In a landmark judgment passed by the Supreme Court on Thursday, the apex court holds that the right to privacy is a fundamental right which is enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution. A nine-judge bench led by-Chief Justice of India J S Khehar upholds the contention once for all settling the long overdue issue of individual’s basic right.
The judgment came as a result where the government argued against the right to privacy and said that the Constitution does not guarantee individual privacy as an inalienable fundamental right. It is also seen as the judgment gave a blow to the government’s move making Aadhar card mandatory for every policy.
In the past, the BJP government had argued that the plea should be dismissed as the constitutional makers did not intend to make the right to privacy a fundamental right. Arguing before the nine judges, Gopal Subramanium, a lawyer for the petitioners, said, “Our Constitution gives us the liberty to live life. Liberty existed even before the constitution was drafted and it includes privacy. There cannot be a question of diminution but expansion of a right. Right to liberty includes freedom from encroachment on his or her privacy”
The government argues that the Aadhar is important as it’s easy for them to keep track on the individual who files income tax returns, opening bank accounts, pensions, cash transfers and securing loans. The Aadhaar comes under the firing end when there were reports of leaked data from government websites.
The critics say the Aadhar identity card links enough data to allow profiling because it creates a comprehensive profile of a person’s spending habits, their friends and acquaintances, the property they own, and a trove of other information.
In the other case, the judges of the smaller bench will rule out on the fate of implementation of Aadhaar card in the government programs. J S Khehar, hearing the plea on the right to privacy, said that the court will not rule on the reach of Aadhaar -that will be decided separately by a smaller bench.