SC verdict on Right to Privacy: Amit Shah hails judgment, accuses Congress of false 'jubilation'

New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday said the Congress was engaging in a "false show of jubilation and vindication" over the Supreme Court's judgment holding privacy as a fundamental right, and insisted the verdict was in line with the Modi government's vision and actions.

Referring to "mischievous propaganda", an apparent reference to the Congress' stand that the verdict was a blow to the government, Shah said it needed to be busted as he welcomed the order, saying it strengthened fundamental rights and personal liberty of individuals.

File image of Amit Shah. PTI

File image of Amit Shah. PTI

"Those waxing eloquent on privacy architecture are the ones who have ensured India does not have a robust privacy law for decades. Those commenting on Aadhar are the same people who did not provide it a legal backing for years!" he wrote in a blog.

Attacking the Congress, Shah also referred to the part of the judgment that overruled the 1976 ADM Jabalpur case verdict of the apex court in which it had defended the then Indira Gandhi government's decision to curtail citizens' right to approach courts to challenge detentions.

These words should ring a bell to the Congress, Shah said. Taking a swipe at a bevy of top lawyer-politicians in the Congress, he said the party's in-house eminent lawyers should brief their high command on this.

These words hold a mirror to the Congress at a time when it was engaging in a false show of jubilation and vindication, he said.

It is strange that those who snatched away the right to life and right to liberty of millions of Indians by imposing Emergency were standing as guardians of our fundamental rights based on "misinterpretation" of the judgement, the BJP chief said.

"It is equally strange that those who brought Section 66A and championed censoring on the Internet are speaking of liberties and rights," he said.

Quoting the judgment, he said, it has held that right to privacy was not absolute and subject to various restrictions, a point also in consonance with the government's stand.

He also quoted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's speech in Parliament in which he had said while piloting a bill that "I do accept that probably privacy is a fundamental right".

"Today’s (Thursday's judgment is a welcome judgment as it strengths fundamental rights and personal liberty. Our government is committed to ensuring equitable social delivery, particularly to the poor in consonance with today’s judgment by Hon’ble Supreme Court," he said.

The BJP, he said, fully respected the right to privacy and expressed confidence that the government will lay down a robust privacy architecture after the Srikrishna committee, which has been formed by the government to propose a data protection bill, submits its recommendations.

The Congress had earlier launched a sharp attack on the government with its chief Sonia Gandhi saying the judgement struck a blow on the "unbridled encroachment and surveillance by the state and its agencies in the life of the common man."

Updated Date: Aug 24, 2017 22:35 PM

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