Right to privacy now a fundamental right: Legal experts hail verdict, Opposition calls it 'setback' for govt

The Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday that the right to privacy is a fundamental right was hailed by all circles, including the Opposition parties, noted lawyers and celebrities. The Congress party was one of the first to back the landmark judgment and said that it rejected the Narendra Modi-led government's attempt to whittle it down.

"Path breaking and seminal judgment. A great victory for liberty and freedom. The Supreme Court rejects Modi government's attempt to whittle down the right to privacy," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.

Congress leader P Chidambaram also hailed the judgment, stating that the freedom that was won in 1947 has been "enriched and enlarged" by the Supreme Court verdict. "Article 21 has acquired a new magnificence," Chidambaram said.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy was also one of the first voices to hail the judgment. Interestingly, Swamy was also the lone voice in the saffron party to oppose Aadhaar, terming it a 'disaster.'

Welcome the SC judgment that Right to Privacy is a fundamental Right under Article 21 of the Constitution. Now onto Aadhar modification

Biju Janata Dal MP, Tathagata Satpathy, also lauded the 'historic' judgment, adding that the Supreme Court has upheld rights of the citizens when politicians were going ahead with something like Aadhaar. "Aadhaar is a very wrong policy. The Congress party introduced it and the Modi government continued on the trajectory. Both parties were in this together without thinking what it forebodes for the nation. I was one of the few voices opposing it," Satpathy told CNN-News18. 

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechry also tweeted his support.

Popular actor Kamal Hassan said "these are the moments that make India." The Centre had termed privacy as a "vague and amorphous" term arguing that something as non-definitive as privacy cannot be added to fundamental rights. "Nothing ambiguous or vague about it (the Supreme Court judgment)," Hassan quipped in.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also welcomed the verdict. "Thank you Supreme Court for this very important judgement," the Delhi chief minister tweeted, minutes after the landmark decision by the apex court.

Prominent lawyer and RTI activist Prashant Bhushan said that  the landmark decision will be a "setback" for the government because it goes against its stand on privacy. Senior advocate Soli Sorabjee also welcomed the verdict, adding that it showed the "good approach" of the Supreme Court which does not hesitate in overruling its previous judgment.

The former Attorney General said "it is a very progressive judgment and protects the fundamental rights of the people. Privacy is a basic right which is inherent in every individual."

"The unanimity of the bench in giving this decision shows a very good approach of the Supreme Court. Any judgment which enlarges the fundamental rights of the people should be welcome," he added.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising also expressed hope that the citizens of India would now be protected from any kind of snooping. "It is a day to celebrate... Privacy is fundamental. It certainly has an impact on the day-to-day life. This verdict prevents any kind of snooping," she said.

Updated Date: Aug 24, 2017 13:43 PM

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