Case Description

The Supreme Court held that a fundamental right to privacy is guaranteed under the Constitution of India.


In 2012, Justice K S Puttaswamy, a retired judge of the High Court, filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme introduced by the UPA Government.

On 11th August 2015, a Bench of three judges comprising Justices Chelameswar, Bobde, and C. Nagappan 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) by a Bench of eight judges and Kharak Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh (1964) 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 then referred the matter to a 9 Judge bench on 18th July 2017. The bench comprised 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 were overruled.

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


Whether the decision in M P Sharma v Satish Chandra, District Magistrate, Delhi (1954) SCR 1077 is correct in law.

Whether the decision in Kharak Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh (1964) 1 SCR 332 is correct in law.

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.

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