Justice Rohinton F Nariman recognised as ‘hero’ for privacy judgment
Justice Rohinton F Nariman of the Supreme Court has been chosen individually as a “hero” for his judgment recognising privacy as a fundamental right by a global digital rights advocacy group.
The justice earned individual recognition for specifically citing to the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance in his opinion. The honour on justice Nariman has been bestowed by Access Now, an international human rights and advocacy group working for open and free Internet and defending the “digital rights of users at risk around the world”.
Justice Nariman, who wrote a separate, but concurring judgement declaring the right to privacy as fundamental right, rejected the government’s argument that since several statutes are already there to protect the privacy of individuals, it is unnecessary to read a fundamental right of privacy into Part III of the Constitution.
Access Now also accorded special recognition as “heros” to the other Indian judges in the bench on privacy — then Chief Justice JS Khehar, Justice SA Bobde, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice RK Agrawal, Justice AM Sapre, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice SK Kaul and Justice S Abdul Nazeer for “unanimously agreeing to recognise privacy as a fundamental right”.
Justice Nariman and his eight brother judges, including Khehar, had declared privacy a fundamental right on August 27 in a case titled KS Puttaswamy vs Union of India. In its unanimous ruling, the bench said the right to privacy was at par with the constitutional right to life and liberty, but not without “reasonable restrictions” when it came to national security, fighting crime and distribution of state benefits.
Every year, ‘Access Now’ names “heroes” who have worked towards ensuring any electronic surveillance program fully respects human rights.