Privacy is a fundamental right

Supreme Court

Right to privacy Supreme Court to pronounce verdict on Thursday

Prasad sought to hide his government's embarrassment by claiming that right to privacy was never absolutely and it came with reasonable restrictions, thereby making their "stand" vindicated. He added that the top court judgement is that privacy is not an absolute right, its subject to reasonable restrictions.

The court was speaking with regards to the Maharashtra government who enforced a beef ban due to cow slaughther in its state two years ago. Today, we can once again celebrate our freedom. Instead, he targeted the previous Congress government for not enacting a law when it started issuing the 12-digit unique identification numbers. "We shall overcome those challenges too", he said.

This question on the constitutional status of privacy as a fundamental right of an Indian citizen had perplexed the Indian lawmakers since long. Such right remains with the human being till he/she breathes last. Privacy is the core of personal liberty.

Though the bench disagreed with the manner in which Koushal case had dealt with the privacy - dignity based claims of LGBT persons on this aspect it still left its "constitutional validity" to another proceeding.

The judge further said statutes may protect fundamental rights and they may also infringe them, and if any statue is an infringement of the inalienable right to privacy, the apex court would then be required to test such statute against such fundamental right.

However, the SC did not comment on whether linking of Aadhaar with financial transactions will amount to a breach of privacy. This bench of judges had reserved the verdict on the matter on August 2, after a marathon hearing that went on for six days. Aadhaar system operates on the principle of Minimum Information, Maximum Use.

The apex court said Right to Privacy is intrinsic to Right to Life granted under Article 21 of the Constitution. MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar was the most vocal politician involved in actively making sure that Right to Privacy is the Fundamental Right. It was started with an objective to check leakages and duplication of subsidies meant to benefit people.

The court asked the Union government to put in place a robust data protection regime in order to protect informational privacy by balancing individual interests and legitimate concerns of the state. "There is Google, Facebook, WhatsApp... they are all welcome", the minister said.

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