SC declares the Right to Privacy as the Fundamental Right of an individual

Team SoOLEGAL 24 Aug 2017 11:06am

SC declares the Right to Privacy as the Fundamental Right of an individual

In a landmark verdict passed by a nine Judge bench of Supreme Court, the Right to Privacy has now pronounced as the Fundamental Right under the Article 21 of the Constitution. After a six-days long argument in the case, the judgment has served over the controversial case of whether the Right to Privacy of an Individual was a part of his/her inviolable Fundamental Rights.

Links of case to the Aadhaar issues

The issue on the constitutional validity of Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Rights, arose after a bunch of petitions filed by retd. HC Judge K S Puttaswamy challenging the UPA Government’s decision of launching Biometric data-enabled Aadhaar Card of citizens, stating it as the violation of citizen’s Right to Privacy Act.

Case background  

A nine seated bench of Supreme Court comprising CJI JS Khehar, Justice J Chlameswar, Justice SA Bogde, Justice RK Agarwal, Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Sapre, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice SK Kaul, and Justice S Abdul Nazeer, was formed after the Center suggested the Bench’s strength was inadequate as a Six Judge bench in Kharak Singh case in 1962 and an Eight Judge bench in M P Sharma Case in 1954, has denied the constitutional validity of Right to Privacy as the Fundamental Right. The bench started hearing the case on July 19 and reserved the Judgment on August 2, 2017.

The top lawyers who argued in the case include Attorney General KK Venugopal, senior advocate Soli Sorabjee, Kapil Sibal, Gopal Subramanium, Shyam Divan, Arvind Dattar, Anand Grover, Rakesh Dwivedi, C.A. Sundaram, Sajan Poovayya, Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Advocate Vipin Nair and Arghaya Sengupta.

Similar cases and Judgments

ON July 19, the bench stated that Privacy is not absolute and we live in a digital era having huge data. Since the Indian Constitution came into existence in 1950, the issue of Right to Privacy dragged the SC’s attention on occasions like Kharak Singh case in 1954 and M P Sharma Case in 1962.

In Kharak Singh case, the Court said that Right To Privacy was not a Guaranteed constitutional right and is linked to personal liberty. 

In State vs MP Sharma Sharma, the Court said that Privacy is not absolute and dismissed the petition.

In Maneka Gandhi vs The Union of India in 1077, the Court dismissed her plea challenging the Government’s decision of seizing her password, preventing her to travel a board. She claimed that it is the violation of personal liberty under Article 21.

In 1995, Rajagopal vs State of Tamil Nadu case, the Court approved the publication of the autobiography of a convict charged with six murders, serving imprisonment in Madras Jail. The Court said a person has Rights to be left alone. He moved to Court after the publication was canceled due to the mention of IAS and IPS in the book.          

In 2004, R Sukanya vs R Shridhar case, wherein the court rejected the plea of Husband-wife to cancel the publication of their divorce case details, saying that the plea is against the right to publish news. 

Tagged: Fundamental Rights   Right to Privacy   CJI JS Khehar   Justice J Chlameswar   Justice SA Bogde   Justice RK Agarwal   Justice RF Nariman   Justice AM Sapre   Justice DY Chandrachud   Justice SK Kaul   Justice S Abdul Nazeer  
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