SC says privacy is fundamental right, ruling may impact Aadhaar, gay sex law | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

SC says privacy is fundamental right, ruling may impact Aadhaar, gay sex law

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Aug 24, 2017 03:22 PM IST

Supreme Court said right to privacy was at par with right to life and liberty, and that the verdict will protect citizens’ personal freedom from intrusions by the state.

Individual privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right”, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, a landmark verdict that could now test the validity of Aadhaar, the controversial biometric identification project the government has been pushing but critics have opposed as intrusive.

Supreme Court said a three-judge bench will test the validity of Aadhaar that the government is pushing widely but which has raised data breach and privacy concerns.(HT File Photo)
Supreme Court said a three-judge bench will test the validity of Aadhaar that the government is pushing widely but which has raised data breach and privacy concerns.(HT File Photo)

Issuing a unanimous ruling, the nine-judge bench said right to privacy was at par with right to life and liberty, and that the verdict will protect citizens’ personal freedom from intrusions by the state. (UPDATES)

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

The Aadhaar law will now be tested against Thursday’s right to privacy judgment, lawyers in the case said. The judgment also has a bearing on broader civil rights as well as a law criminalising homosexuality. A ban imposed on the consumption of beef in many states and alcohol in some could also come up for review.

“This right to privacy is protected under Article 21 and it is intrinsic to the Constitution,” said Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, reading out the verdict for the nine-judge bench. Article 21 guarantees the right to life and liberty as inviolable fundamental rights.

The central government has been pushing for the wide use of Aadhaar, saying it is necessary to plug leakages in its subsidy schemes and to ensure benefits reach those targeted. But critics say the move violates privacy, is vulnerable to data breaches and helps government spy on people.

This led to multiple petitions in court challenging Aadhaar on the question of privacy.

The government had argued citizens have a right to privacy but it is not an absolute right. But petitioners in the case contended that the right to privacy is at the heart of liberty and freedom.

In upholding privacy as a fundamental right, the top court overruled all earlier judgements that had said the right to privacy was not part of the Constitution.

In a quick reaction, the opposition Congress, which had launched Aadhaar when it was in power, welcomed the verdict.

“Path breaking and seminal judgment. A great victory for liberty and freedom... Supreme Court rejects Modi government’s attempt to whittle down the right to privacy,” party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.

Thursday’s verdict comes two days after the court in a landmark judgment struck down the Islamic divorce practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional.

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Lok Sabha Election 2024 live, Infosys Q4 Results Live, Elections 2024, Election 2024 Date along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Bhadra is a legal correspondent and reports Supreme Court proceedings, besides writing on legal issues. A law graduate, Bhadra has extensively covered trial of high-profile criminal cases. She has had a short stint as a crime reporter too.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, April 19, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On