W. P. (Civil) No. 494 of 2012

Fundamental Right to Privacy

Case Description

This case will decide if a fundamental right to privacy is guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

Background

In 2012, a number of petitions led by Justice K S Puttaswamy, a retired judge of the High Court, were filed in the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutional validity of the Adhaar scheme introduced by the UPA Government. On 11th August, 2015, a Bench of three judges passed an order that a Bench of appropriate strength must examine the correctness of the decisions in M P Sharma v Satish Chandra, District Magistrate, Delhi (1954) SCR 1077 rendered by a Bench of eight judges and Kharak Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh (1964) 1 SCR 332 rendered by a Bench of six judges, and decide whether we have a fundamental right to privacy.

This matter was first placed before a 5 Judge bench headed by the Chief Justice, which referred the matter to a 9 Judge bench on 18th July, 2017.  The bench comprised of  Chief Justice Khehar and Justices Jasti ChelameshwarS.A. BobdeDY ChandrachudAbdul NazeerNarimanR.K. AgarwalAbhay Manohar Sapre, and Sanjay Kishan Kaul. Arguments began on 19th July 2017 and concluded on 2nd August 2017.

In a historic decision delivered on 24th August 2017, the Bench unanimously recognised a fundamental right to privacy of every individual guaranteed by the Constitution, within Article 21 in particular and Part III on the whole. The decisions in M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh stand overruled.

The decision is believed to have repercussions on previous decisions of the Court, particularly the controversial decision in Naz Foundation.


Issues

  1. Whether the decision in  M P Sharma v Satish Chandra, District Magistrate, Delhi (1954) SCR 1077 is correct in law.
  2. Whether the decision in Kharak Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh (1964) 1 SCR 332 is correct in law.
  3. Whether the right to privacy is an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution.

 


Resources

Submissions by Mr. Gopal Subramaniam

Submissions by Mr. Arvind Datar, appearing for one of the Petitioners

Submissions by Mr. Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the Petitioners

Supplementary submissions by Mr. Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the Petitioners

Short note of Submission by Mr. Shyam Divan

Note of submissions by Mr. Anand Grover, appearing for one of the Petitioners

Note of Submissions by Ms. Meenakshi Arora

We would like to thank Ms. Nidhi Khanna for providing us the documents.

 

Read our interviews with Anand Grover and Kapil Sibal

Interview with Anand Grover on judgment in Fundamental Right to Privacy case

Interview with Kapil Sibal on judgment in Fundamental Right to Privacy case

 

Read our reports on the hearings here:

Referral to 9-Judge Bench

Summary of Day 1 arguments from Soli Sorabjee and Shyam Divan

Summary of Day 1 arguments from Gopal Subramanium

Summary of Day 1 arguments from Arvind Datar

Summary of Day 2 arguments from Arvind Datar

Summary of Day 2 arguments from Meenakshi Arora

Summary of Day 2 arguments from Anand Grover

Summary of Day 2 arguments from Sajan Poovayya

Summary of Day 3 arguments from Kapil Sibal

Summary of Day 3 arguments from K.K. Venugopal

Summary of Day 4 arguments from K.K. Venugopal

Summary of Day 4 arguments from C.A. Sundaram

Summary of Day 5 arguments from C.A. Sundaram

Summary of Day 5 arguments from Tushar Mehta

Summary of Day 5 arguments from Rakesh Dwivedi

Summary of Day 6 arguments from Rakesh Dwivedi

Day 6 arguments – Petitioners Rejoinders part I

Day 6 arguments – Petitioners Rejoinders part II

 

Read our reports on the judgement here:

Summary of the 9-Judge Bench judgement

Plain English version of the judgement – part I

Plain English version of the judgement – part II

 

 

 

Latest Hearing


Judgement delivered on 24.08.2017

Judgement delivered. Fundamental Right to privacy upheld.



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