SC reserves verdict on privacy cases

SC reserves verdict on privacy cases

Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its judgement on the Union government’s plea to allow the Constitution bench to determine whether the right to privacy was fundamental.

The issue cropped up after a batch of PIL petitioners challenged the validity of the government's ambitious project to grant Aadhaar cards to citizens saying it violated right to privacy as it sought personal information.

As the Centre maintained that the right to privacy was not a fundamental right, a bench of Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde and C Nagappan said that it will take a decision on the question whether Aadhaar violated right to privacy can be referred to a larger bench.
Fundamental right?

“Whether the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India, in the light of express ratio to the contrary by an eight-judge bench in M P Sharma case and also by a six-judge bench of this court in Kharaksingh's case?” is one of the questions Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, raised.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, also appearing for the Centre, handed out the questions which may be referred to a larger bench for an authoritative pronouncement on Tuesday.

The ASG also said that the larger bench judgment had earlier held that Right to Privacy is not a fundamental right.

However, "subsequent judgments by lesser bench strength" have held that the right to privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution which is contrary to the larger bench decision.

The bench said it would consider all the questions and pronounce the judgement on August 11.

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