SC verdict one of the most important since advent of Constitution: Chidambaram
The verdict will have bearing on the government’s Aadhaar scheme.india Updated: Aug 24, 2017 14:32 IST
The Congress on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court’s decision on right to privacy with P Chidambaram calling it a landmark verdict and one of the most important judgments delivered by the top court since the advent of the Constitution of India.
The verdict has given the main opposition party a handle to attack the BJP-led NDA government for what it called attempts to invade the privacy of the people.
“Today, we can once again celebrate our freedom. Tomorrow, there will be other challenges, other questions, and other attempts to invade the right to privacy. We shall overcome those challenges too,” senior Congress leader P Chidambaram told reporters.
He said the most important fundamental right of a citizen is embodied in Article 21 of the Constitution. “It is the right to life and liberty. Civilised societies will breathe meaning into that precious right and guard against any erosion of that right.”
Chidambaram said the Article 21 has acquired a new magnificence by virtue of this judgment. “Privacy is at the core of personal liberty. In fact, privacy is an inalienable part of life itself.”
He said the Aadhar, as conceived by the previous Congress-led UPA government, posed no challenge to the right to privacy. We “It is Modi sarkar’s implementation that does. It is the current government which argued that there is no fundamental right to privacy,” he said. “We salute the Supreme Court and the many counsels who worked tirelessly, did extensive and splendid research and presented persuasive arguments before the court.”
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi welcomed the court’s decision, tweeting,
SC decision marks a major blow to fascist forces.A sound rejection of the BJP's ideology of suppression through surveillance#RightToPrivacy— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) August 24, 2017
Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted,
Path breaking & seminal judgement of Supreme Court declares 'Privacy' as fundamental right. A great victory for liberty & freedom.1/2— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) August 24, 2017
2/2 S.C rejects Modi Govt's attempt to whittle down the right to privacy as a fundamental right by AG's plea of no mention in Constitution.— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) August 24, 2017
#RighToPrivacy verdict is a blow to the creeping advances of those who want to convert India into a fascist police state.— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) August 24, 2017
Here’s how other opposition parties reacted to the decision:
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP National Convener Arvind Kejriwal welcomed the Supreme Court verdict.
Minutes after the landmark decision by the apex court, the chief minister tweeted,
Thank u SC for this v important judgement— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 24, 2017
Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Supreme Court’s ruling that the right to privacy is a fundamental right will have far-reaching consequences in various domains.
Congratulations to all lawyers, activists, others who fought this govt's sinister designs to deny Indians their fundamental right to privacy https://t.co/mZJeL9Ax9U— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) August 24, 2017
We have been opposed to mandatory Aadhaar, data misuse by foreign tech corporates. This judgement will pave the way for securing our rights— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) August 24, 2017
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday also welcomed the ruling.
We welcome this verdict by Honourable Supreme Court #RightToPrivacy is a Fundamental Right— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 24, 2017
The verdict will have bearing on the government’s Aadhaar scheme that makes compulsory linking of the unique biometric identity with bank accounts, income tax returns and for availing government benefits. The petitions challenging Aadhaar will now be referred to a separate five-judge bench.
(With agency inputs)
First Published: Aug 24, 2017 13:54 IST