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.


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.


  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.



Latest Hearing

Judgement delivered on 24.08.2017

Judgement delivered. Fundamental Right to privacy upheld.


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