Observer Desk

Posted on 24.08.17 by

SC 9 Judge Bench Verdict on the Right to Privacy

The 9 Judge Bench of  Chief Justice Khehar and Justices Jasti ChelameshwarS.A. BobdeDY ChandrachudAbdul NazeerNarimanR.K. AgarwalAbhay Manohar Sapre, and Sanjay Kishan Kaul that heard arguments on whether a privacy right is inherent in the constitution has pronounced its decision in the case.

In a historic decision, the Bench has unanimously recognised a fundamental right to privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution, observing that Article 21 in particular and Part III on the whole protect the privacy right of every individual.

CJI Khehar: “All judgments that proceeded on the basis that privacy is a Fundamental Right are correct. Privacy is a guaranteed Fundamental Right.”

The question  on a constitutional right to privacy  was raised in 2012 in a number of petitions led by Justice K S Puttaswamy, retired judge of the High Court, consequent to the UPA Government’s introduction of the Aadhaar scheme. This issue was first placed before a 5 Judge Bench which referred the matter to a larger Bench owing to the fact that prior decisions had although recognised privacy as fundamental right, these were all verdicts of smaller benches and the judgments in the cases of M.P Sharma vs. Satish Chandra (1954) and Kharak Singh vs. State of U.P.(1962) where it was held that there is no fundamental right to privacy were 8 Judge and 6 Judge Bench decisions respectively  thus requiring a larger bench to overturn the same.

The decisions in M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh have been overruled by the 9 Judge Bench. Notably, the Supreme Court having recognised a fundamental privacy right, as intrinsic to the right to life under Article 21, the decision is bound to have repercussions on previous decisions of the Court, particularly the controversial decision in Naz Foundation

Copy Of the Judgment: ALL WP(C) No.494 of 2012 Right to Privacy

Record of the case proceedings and the written submissions of parties: http://scobserver.clpr.org.in/cases/aadhar-card-case/

 

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