The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments to rule on whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution to all Indian citizens. The verdict will be divulged any day now, and it will surely be a crucial one – not only because privacy has become a primary debate in the Digital Age but also because of the intrinsic links between privacy and the government’s push to increase the mandate of Aadhaar and UIDAI.
Today, July 26, was the third hearing of right to privacy and four states – West Bengal, Puducherry, Karnataka and Punjab – moved the Supreme Court in support of declaring it a fundamental right in the Indian Constitution.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the four states, started the arguments before the nine-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar.
He talked about reasonable expectation of privacy and said that this expectation needs to stem from the Constitution. He added that privacy cannot be an absolute but a fundamental right and that the Court has to strike a balance to set limitations on discretional powers of the state.
He mentioned that right to privacy is a part of Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) and 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) of the Constitution.
The Attorney General (AG), representing the state refuted by saying that Article 21 is the shortest Article in the Constitution. He emphasised on “procedure established by law”.
The AG also said that right to privacy has more credibility in developed countries, but not India.
Justice Chandrachud replied to the AG by saying that privacy is not an “elitist” right.
The hearing is expected to continue for a considerable time and The Logical Indian hopes that the Court’s decision is such that the common citizens are protected.
The Supreme Court Has Ruled On The Right To Privacy Twice Before; Here’s What It Said