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Supreme Court Declares Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Right in Indian Constitution

Previous judgements according to which Right to Privacy is not protected by the Constitution, have been over-ruled.

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Supreme Court of India has declared Right to Privacy as the fundamental right in Indian Constitution
Supreme Court of India has declared Right to Privacy as the fundamental right in Indian Constitution.Wikimedia.
  • Nine-judge bench of the apex court has declared Right to Privacy as the fundamental right.
  • Former Karnataka High Court judge, Shri Justice KS Puttaswamy was the first one to file the petition.
  • Previous judgements on the Right to Privacy by M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh have been over-ruled.

New Delhi, August 24, 2017: In another historic judgment by Supreme Court of India, all 134 crore Indians will enjoy the right to privacy as their fundamental right.

A nine-judge constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar unanimously declared Right to Privacy a fundamental right under Article 21 of Indian Constitution.

The Right to Privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution.

Other members of the nine-judge constitutional bench comprised Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, R K Agrawal, R F Nariman, A M Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, S K Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer.

Nine-judge bench today over-ruled the judgments of both eight-judge bench and six-judge bench headed by M.P. Sharma(1962) and Kharak Singh(1954) resp., which held that Right to Privacy is not protected by the Constitution.

The Right to Privacy verdict of Supreme Court is written in 547 pages. Read the verdict here: http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/pdf/LU/ALL%20WP(C)%20No.494%20of%202012%20Right%20to%20Privacy.pdf

Today, the 91-year old, former Karnataka High Court judge, Shri Justice KS Puttaswamy must be relieved after hearing this historic judgment from the apex court, as he was the first one to file a writ petition against the Union of India in this case.

“Right to Privacy has assumed an uncharted flight. I never contemplated it would comprehend so many things, but the judges may write a good judgment. It will be a memorable one for him (the one writing the judgment),” said Puttaswamy.

Senior Advocates Shyam Divan, Arvind Datar, Gopal Subramanium, Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, Soli Sorabjee and Anand Grover had appeared for various individual petitioners arguing in favor of the Right to Privacy, mentioned Bar and Bench report.

Today’s verdict does not comment on whether the government’s demand for Aadhaar to be linked to PAN card is an infringement of privacy or not. Another small bench of judges will decide upon it.

The verdict has created a huge stir in the nation. Indian National Congress has whole heartedly welcomed the judgment.

“It was on July 20, when all the petitioners had completed their arguments. Then, on July 26, the center stepped in, Attorney General, K.K. Venugopal told the apex court that privacy, as a fundamental right, could have been mentioned in Article 21, but has been omitted. Right to life transcends right to privacy”. Then, on August 2, the apex court reserved its judgment on the issue of whether the right to privacy is fundamental or not,” mentioned ANI report.

Finally, the clouds of suspense have been cleared. Right to Privacy is declared as a fundamental right in India.

prepared by Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter @cshivani31

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US: Supreme Court Blocks Administration’s Effort to Add Citizenship Question on Census

The citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act

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US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
FILE - Demonstrators protest during a Fair Maps rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, U.S., March 26, 2019. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the upcoming U.S. census by saying he’d asked his lawyers whether there was a way to delay the nationwide head count.

In a tweet hours after the court announced its decision, Trump said it “seems totally ridiculous” that the government could not question people about their citizenship on the census, which takes place once every 10 years.

The Supreme Court ruled the administration’s explanation — that the citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act — was “more of a distraction” from the issue than an explanation.

Opponents of the citizenship question say it would intimidate noncitizens into not answering the census, ultimately leaving them underrepresented in Congress.

US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort. Pixabay

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal justices in the 5-4 ruling.

 The nation’s highest court also announced Thursday that it was rejecting a request to intervene in states’ redistricting efforts.  Redrawing the boundaries of voting districts is meant to ensure proportional representation in state legislatures as the population grows and changes locations.

Republicans in the state of North Carolina and Democrats in the state of Maryland have been accused of redrawing the lines of voting districts to keep power in the hands of the ruling party.

The chief justices said manipulation of the electoral map, a practice known colloquially as gerrymandering, is a problem for state governments to solve, not the Supreme Court.

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Thursday was the final day of rulings by the Supreme Court before its summer break. (VOA)