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Right to privacy verdict: Mukul Rohatgi blames govt for 'losing' case, says judgment could lead to more demands

After the Supreme Court declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right, former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi had some opposing views on the verdict. In an interview with The Indian Express, he said: “If I was there (as attorney general), I would have said we have lost the case. As lawyers, we are used to winning and losing cases. Because the fact is, we haven’t won this case."

File image of former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi. Image courtesy: IBNLive

File image of former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi. Image courtesy: IBNLive

According to The Indian Express report, Rohatgi, who stepped down as the government’s top law officer was astonished by the Supreme Court's 24 August verdict declaring the right to privacy as a fundamental right.

Rohatgi added that the verdict might be a “path-breaking” judgment, but it could open up a “Pandora’s box” since it could lead to a demand for other rights to be converted to fundamental rights: "There can be a challenge for the right of getting good medical treatment to be converted into a fundamental right."

Furthermore, Rohatgi said that a court could not engraft more fundamental rights. According to PTI, Rohatgi stated: "I still maintain there is much ado about nothing for the simple reason that I do hear that the government has stated that they agree that privacy is a fundamental right."

He stated that a court has no power to engraft more fundamental rights in the Constitution as the right to make a law or amend it belongs to the Parliament.

Rohatgi, while speaking to a TV channel, also said there are two spheres — judiciary and Parliament — and both cannot overlap each other.

"There is no amendment in the Constitution by a court as you have two different spheres. The sphere of the judiciary and the sphere of the Parliament. Both the spheres cannot overlap," he said.

Since 2015, as reported by NDTV, the former attorney general has been making a point on the government's behalf that privacy is not a fundamental right. NDTV quoted Rohatgi as: "Later, the government in the court agreed to kind of bring it (privacy) to a slightly different plane, by admitting it to be some kind of a right."

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Aug 27, 2017 14:45 PM

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