A unanimous landmark verdict has been passed out by the Supreme Court of India, declaring Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Right as per the Constitution of India, calling it an intrinsic right to life. This verdict is revival and enrichment of freedom won by India in 1947.
The case of Right to Privacy had knocked doors of the apex court of India since petitions were filed against Government’s plans to link biometric identity Aadhaar Card with all financial transactions made by Indian citizens. Petitioners and Centre were trying to make their points clearer and stronger to prove if introduction of Aadhaar card will violate Fundamental Rights of citizens or not. This lead to a case where the Supreme Court had to decide whether Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right as per Indian Constitution or not; and today was the judgement day. With a 9-judges-bench, a unanimous (i.e. unopposed) verdict was passed, according to which privacy, without any doubts, is a Fundamental Right.
The judgement was ruled out unanimously, which means all nine judges voiced in the same opinion – privacy is a fundamental right. The verdict also added that right to privacy is intrinsic to the entire fundamental rights chapter of the Constitution. This judgement will touch the lives of 134 Crore Indians, and although it is not directly meant to decide the fate of Aadhaar card, but it will prove to be a major blow to the Centre. The Government will now have to convince the Supreme Court that forcing citizens to give their fingerprints and iris scans, which will then be stored in vulnerable databases – is not violation of privacy. Is that easy! That isn’t even a question.
The previous hearings issued by Supreme Court via an eight-judge bench judgment in the MP Sharma case and a six-judge bench judgment in Kharak Singh case – which said that ‘privacy was not a fundamental right’ were overruled by today’s final verdict. Our eyes are now on the five-bench Supreme Court hearing on the case which will decide the fate of Aadhaar card whether it is a touchstone of now-a-fundamental-right – PRIVACY. This landmark decision is revolutionary and is a reason for us, Indian citizens to be happy about. We can now say – I have a right to privacy, and it is now a FUNDAMENTAL one (wow, I am gonna use that one a lot).