SC upholds Right to Privacy highlights: Opposition lauds judgment, Narendra Modi yet to respond

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SC upholds Right to Privacy highlights: Opposition lauds judgment, Narendra Modi yet to respond
  • 21:04 (IST)

    Decision to terminate life falls under ambit of law, says Justice J Chelameswar

    Justice J Chelameswar, who wrote a separate but concurring judgement, also touched upon other aspects like consumption of food and a woman's freedom of choice on whether to terminate pregnancy.

    "Concerns of privacy arise when the state seeks to intrude into the body of subjects. Corporeal punishments were not unknown to India, their abolition is of a recent vintage. Forced feeding of certain persons by the state raises concerns of privacy," he said.

    "An individual's rights to refuse life-prolonging medical treatment or terminate his life is another freedom which fall within the zone of the right of privacy," Justice Chelameswar said in his 44-page verdict.

  • 20:34 (IST)

    Right to Privacy must be protected against state, non-state actors, says Justice Sanjay Kaul

    Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, who wrote a separate but concurring judgement with eight other judges, expressed apprehension that the growth and development of technology has created new instruments for the possible invasion of privacy by the State, including through surveillance, profiling and data collection and processing.

    Elaborating on the privacy issue, Justice Kaul used an anecdote that "if the individual permits someone to enter the house, it does not mean that others can enter the house."

    He said it is an individual's choice as to who enters his house, how he lives and in what relationship.

  • 20:17 (IST)

    Opposition hails verdict but Narendra Modi remains eerily silent

    While Modi was prompt in supporting the triple talaq verdict, calling it 'historic' just minutes after the ruling, he is yet to issue a statement on the Right to Privacy ruling of Thursday. The only official response from the government has come from Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

    "Narendra Modi government welcomes the judgment and it has been of the view, particularly with respect to Aadhaar, that Right to Privacy should be a fundamental right," Prasad said. 

    Not just Modi, Union minister Smriti Irani and Sushma Swaraj have also tweeted about Deuba's visit but nothing about the Right to Privacy verdict.

  • 20:13 (IST)

    Nandan Nilekani lauds SC verdict on Right to Privacy

  • 20:08 (IST)

    Section 377 may be on the cards after Right to Privacy judgment

  • 19:43 (IST)

    Verdict was reserved after marathon arguments for six days

    Justice Khehar, who read the operative portion of the judgement, said the subsequent verdicts pronounced after MP Sharma and Kharak Singh have laid down the correct position of the law. Before pronouncing the judgement, the CJI said that among the nine judges some of them have authored different orders.

    The verdict was reserved after hearing marathon arguments for six days over a period of three weeks, during which submissions were advanced in favour and against the inclusion of the right to privacy as a fundamental right.

  • 19:20 (IST)

    Govt threw the Right to Privacy into doubt in 2015, says advocate Rahul Narayan

    Rahul Narayan, an advocate of Supreme Court, goes on record for one of the petitioners in this case, says the Right to Privacy is an important part of Article 21 and the implications for it will be huge for every citizen of the country. Watch the lawyer speak here

  • 19:12 (IST)

    Watch Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Panda's take on data protection

    The Dialogue, a Delhi based public-policy startup conducted the Policy Talk with Biju Janata Dal's Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Panda on data protection, privacy, and the Data (Privacy and Protection) Bill 2017, which he tabled in the Parliament. Watch Panda speak on privacy here.

  • 19:07 (IST)

    A nine-judge bench came together for a big decision, says lawyer S Prasanna

    Delhi lawyer Prasanna S, who assisted some of the petitioners in this case, says a nine-judge bench does not usually assemble for a verdict. This is the 15th or 16th time that a nine-judge bench has come together for a big decision. Watch him speak here.

  • 18:39 (IST)

    By terming sexual orientation an 'essential attribute', SC brings cheer to LGBT rights

    The 547- page judgement added that the Right to Privacy and the protection of sexual orientation lie at the core of the fundamental rights guaranteed by articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.

    Justice DY Chandrachud, one of the nine judges, said, "Privacy includes at its core the preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation. Privacy also connotes a right to be left alone." Read more here.

  • 18:24 (IST)

    Even Supreme Court believes privacy isn't an absolute right , says Arun Jaitley

  • 18:15 (IST)

    It's a case of judicial overreach, says Mukul Rohatgi

    The court cannot add fundamental rights or amend the Constitution, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said adding that it's a case of judicial overreach and there has been much ado about nothing.

  • 18:01 (IST)

    Arun Jaitley says privacy as a fundamental right will be respected

    Finance minister Arun Jaitley welcomes Supreme Court's verdict, says object of restrictions will vary from case to case and can must be fair.

  • 17:55 (IST)

    Speculations on Aadhaar should wait for now, says petitioner Sajan Poovayya

    Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya is on the petitioners for applicant MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar. Aadhaar is another matter altogether and a separate bench will analyse it, he says. Watch him speak here

  • 17:43 (IST)

    Petition against Aadhaar was led by Shyam Diwan, aided by Advocate Udayaditya Banerjee

    Udayaditya Banerjee assisted Shyam Diwan, who appeared for the writ petitioners in the case. One of the petitions has been drafted by him. Watch the lawyer speak here.

  • 17:22 (IST)

    Daily life of citizens remain unchanged after SC verdict

    It important here to remember that only the theoretical Right to Privacy has been established by this judgment. It has removed the earlier hurdles of the cases of MP Sharma and Kharak Singh which had held Right to Privacy not to be a Fundamental Right. However, right at this moment, your day-to-day life remains unchanged.

    What the judgment does is to open a bundle of possibilities. Privacy is a wide-ranging concept and now many freedoms could find new life under it. Read more here.

  • 17:06 (IST)

    'Memo to Aadhaar critics; it's not an unequivocal win'

    Now, one knows that all fundamental rights come with reasonable restrictions but this explicit mention of “preventing the dissipation of social welfare benefits” is significant. This is not the unequivocal victory that the opponents of Aadhaar would have wanted.

    The issue now is whether Aadhaar should be struck down on grounds of violation of privacy. Biju Janata Dal’s Baijayant Jay Panda has been arguing – and rightly so – that Aadhaar should not be junked on privacy concerns and that a privacy law is needed regardless of Aadhaar. This is the right, nuanced, line to take. Today’s judgement appears to be doing just that. What has been the objection to Aadhaar? That it involves capturing of biometrics and its use for verification and that this involves an invasion of an individual’s very personal space. Further, that Aadhaar is mandatory to receive welfare benefits and, therefore, there is an element of coercion involved. Read more.

  • 17:00 (IST)

    Privacy bench affirms LGBT Rights

  • 16:56 (IST)

    SC verdict will pave way for Section 377, says Congress leader P Chidambaram

    Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday said that with the Supreme Court ruling that right to privacy is a fundamental right it would be possible to ask the apex court to take a second look at Section 377, which criminalises gay sex.

    "In my view, it (Section 377) was rightly struck down or read down by Justice A.P. Shah. Unfortunately, that was reversed by the Supreme Court," said Chidambaram. 

  • 16:47 (IST)

    Right to Privacy an intrinsic part of individual liberty, says Rahul Gandhi

    "Welcome the SC verdict upholding right to privacy as an intrinsic part of individual's liberty, freedom and dignity. A victory for every Indian," said Gandhi on Twitter. "SC decision marks a major blow to fascist forces. A sound rejection of the BJP's ideology of suppression through surveillance," he added.

  • 16:22 (IST)

    In a first, Justice DY Chandrachud overrules his father Justice YV Chandrachud's judgment in a 1975 case

  • 16:05 (IST)

    What is the Congress' record of protecting individual liberty, questions Ravi Shankar Prasad

  • 16:00 (IST)

    Right to Privacy upheld by Supreme Court sets a precedent, will save citizens from 'Big Brother'

    The application of this bench's decision to the ongoing Aadhaar challenge — that's what is at stake. As we wait to peruse the text of the current judgment, it is important to assess the more granular issues related to the biometric-enabled Aadhaar identification process and its confluence with government services. In principle, we are faced with issues of consent. In practice, we struggle with infrastructural deficiencies and an absence of safeguards and accountability. Read more here.

  • 15:56 (IST)

    Aadhaar is completely safe and secure, says IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

    Aadhaar has shown its utility in a very short span of time. It is completely safe and secure. The government stands committed to the principles enunciated by the Supreme Court on Thursday, says IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. - CNN-News18

  • 15:50 (IST)

    'Kudos to top court but the idea of Aadhaar cannot die'

    The historic Supreme Court verdict on Thursday has forced the Narendra Modi government to acknowledge that right to privacy is not just a common-law right but a fundamental right of the citizens assured by the Constitution. Hopefully, the verdict will enable any common man to challenge any demand either made by the government or private parties seeking his personal data. Also now he has a right to demand protection for his personal data, including his biometrics, which he has already shared with various agencies and companies. Read more.

  • 15:49 (IST)

    Right to Privacy is a part of Fundamental Rights, with reasonable restrictions, recalls Ravishankar Prasad

  • 15:46 (IST)

    Landmark judgment will trigger lot of changes in society, says Gartner research director DD Mishra

    It is a landmark judgment as it will trigger a lot of change in our society. It will create a lot of trust, specially for the outside world. Countries such as the US, UK, Japan, as well as the EU have strict privacy laws. It is a sign of a strong democracy. If concerns such as data privacy are addressed eventually, it will create a good climate for investment. In the long term, it will good for our society as well as for the economy. 

    The judgment should also speed up the creation of strong data privacy laws as well. The judgment will have wider ramifications with the government having to come up with policies, regulations and laws to complement this right of privacy for individuals. Even the consequences of violating the right should be thought out. Read more.

  • 15:41 (IST)

    Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says govt welcomes verdict

    Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says govt welcomes Supreme Court verdict, says UPA government had implemented Aadhaar without any law. Right to Privacy is not absolute and the government has an impartial view on it, Prasad said. He added that UPA did not plan Aaadhaar well. - CNN-News18 

  • 15:34 (IST)

    Questions raised on PM Narendra Modi's silence

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi was prompt to react to the triple talaq verdict by Supre Court but on Thursday his silence after the Right to Privacy judgment is being questioned.

  • 15:26 (IST)

    Nasscom believes privacy as a fundamental right will boost digital adoption

    The Supreme Court's declaring privacy as a fundamental right will enhance citizens' trust in digital services and help in their wider adoption, IT industry body Nasscom said on Thursday.

    Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar said the ruling also "significantly boosts India’s attractiveness as a safe destination for global sourcing". It will ensure that protection of citizen's privacy is a "cardinal principle" in India's growing digital economy, he said. PTI

  • 15:17 (IST)

    Sonia Gandhi says SC verdict strikes at 'unbridled encroachment' by State  

    Congress president Sonia Gandhi says SC verdict on right to privacy strikes at "unbridled encroachment and surveillance" by the State and its agencies on the life of the common man. PTI 

  • 15:17 (IST)

    After ruling on privacy, Supreme Court sets the stage for Section 377

  • 15:11 (IST)

    SC overrules Habeas Corpus judgment of Emergency, says PIL lawyer Prashant Bhushan

  • 15:06 (IST)

    After Right to Privacy, focus on marital rape

  • 15:06 (IST)

    Here are excerpts of what Justice Chandrachud said during the hearing

  • 14:53 (IST)

    Here's a word cloud of the 547-page judgment by the Supreme Court

    Image courtesy: @SriramVSharma/Twitter

  • 14:48 (IST)

  • 14:33 (IST)

    Nobody would like to be told by the State as to what they should eat or how they should dress: Justice Chelameshwar's order

    "I do not think that anybody would like to be told by the State as to what they should eat or how they should dress or whom they should be associated with either in their personal, social or political life," News18 quoted Justice Chelameshwar as saying in his order.

  • 14:29 (IST)

  • 14:22 (IST)

    Here's a timeline of the right to privacy case in Supreme Court:

  • 14:15 (IST)

    Watch: SC says a woman's right to bear or abort a child is part of her privacy

  • 14:11 (IST)

    Aadhaar UPA had conceived was compatible with privacy: Chidambaram

    "Today, we can once again celebrate our freedom. Tomorrow, there will be another challenges, we shall overcome these challenges too," Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram had said.

    "The Aadhaar we had conceived was compatible with privacy. It's not Aadhaar that is inconsistent with right to privacy. It's the interpretation of Article 21. It is a setback (to the government) because the highest law officials did argue that there is no fundament right to privacy," he said.

    "But the nine-judge bench did argue that it is a fundamental right.
    There is considerable merit in the argument. We must go back to the original decision in which Aadhaar was conceived. Aadhaar can't become be-all and end-all of all administrative issue," said the former finance minister.

    "This government approach of Aadhaar is inconsistent with the UPA government's Aadhaar approach. There are other challenges to privacy, which will also be overcome," he said.

    "What is surprising about U-turns and the current government? It's only when they walk on a straight path that you should be surprised. There is nothing wrong with distributing Aadhaar, or wrong with asking citizens to obtain Aadhaar.

     I think the fault is not in the Aadhaar concept but how the government plans to use or misuse it," he added.

    "Aadhaar was conceived to ensure that there is no leakage or duplication of government benefits.

    At the moment, we take pride that the supreme court has declared privacy as a fundamental right. We are confident that liberty of citizens of India cannot be eroded by stealth or otherwise," he further said.

  • 14:01 (IST)

    SC decision a major blow to fascist forces: Rahul Gandhi

  • 13:52 (IST)

    Aadhaar may slip through the cracks but judgment will have big impact on Section 377

    "Aadhaar might slip through the cracks because an arbitrary restriction like national security might be used. It's about a larger question of privacy right now," said Meghnad S, a former LAMP fellow and public policy professional.

    "Its impact will be seen on issues like homosexuality and women's rights. It will be used as a tool to bolster such cases. So many cases pertaining to privacy might now come up, for instance, if someone wants to build a window facing somebody's house. It's the larger issue of privacy that needs to be talked about right now. Another judgement will deal with Aadhar later."

  • 13:38 (IST)

    Fundamental right to privacy will have impact on Section 377, beef ban, bans on commerical surrogacy

    The Supreme Court's unanimous judgment declaring the existence of a fundamental right to privacy is nothing short of historic in every sense of the term. It is a revolution in the understanding of fundamental rights as far as the Supreme Court is concerned and will have an impact in many cases beyond the Aadhar case.

    Section 377 has to go as a result of this judgment and the constitutional validity of beef bans, bans on commercial surrogacy, surveillance laws, among others will all become dubious as a result of this judgment.

    However, a word of caution: the court has not gone deep into what sort of restrictions and for what reasons the government may impose them in restricting privacy. 

    This will have to be decided on a case-by-case basis in the future and will depend a lot on the individual judge's approach to the issue. In any case, as some others have pointed out, this is only the beginning and just one step in the larger battle over the right to privacy in India.

  • 13:16 (IST)

    Section 377 badly decided by earlier benches: Supreme Court

    "LGBT rights cannot be dismissed as so-called rights," CNN-News18 quoted the apex court as saying in the judgment.

  • 13:06 (IST)

  • 13:05 (IST)

  • 13:04 (IST)

The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Thursday its judgment on the vexatious issue whether the right to privacy can be held as a fundamental right under the Constitution.

A nine-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar had on 2 August reserved its verdict after hearing marathon arguments for six days over a period of three weeks, during which submissions were advanced in favour and against the inclusion of the right to privacy as a fundamental right.

Besides CJI Khehar, the other judges of the nine-judge bench are Justices J Chelameswar, SA Bobde, RK Agrawal, RF Nariman, AM Sapre, DY Chandrachud, SK Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer.

 SC upholds Right to Privacy highlights: Opposition lauds judgment, Narendra Modi yet to respond

Representational image. AFP

The high-voltage hearing saw a battery of senior lawyers, including Attorney-General KK Venugopal, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Arvind Datar, Kapil Sibal, Gopal Subaramaniam, Shyam Divan, Anand Grover, CA Sundaram and Rakesh Dwivedi, advancing arguments either in favour of or against the inclusion of right to privacy as a fundamental right.

The contentious issue had emerged when the apex court was dealing with a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.

Initially, on 7 July, a three-judge bench had said that all issues arising out of Aadhaar should finally be decided by a larger bench and the Chief Justice of India would take a call on the need for setting up a constitution bench.

The matter was then mentioned before CJI Khehar who set up a five-judge constitution bench to hear the matter.

However, the five-judge constitution bench on 18 July decided to set up a nine-judge bench to decide whether the right to privacy can be declared a fundamental right under the Constitution.

The decision to set up the nine-judge bench was taken to examine the correctness of two apex court judgments delivered in the cases of Kharak Singh and MP Sharma, decided by six and eight-judge benches respectively, in which it was held that this right was not a fundamental right.

While the Kharak Singh judgment was delivered in 1962, the MP Sharma verdict was reported in 1954.

While reserving the verdict on 2 August, the bench had voiced concern over the possible misuse of personal information in the public domain and said that protection of the concept of privacy in the all-pervading technological era was a "losing battle".

During the arguments, the bench had on 19 July observed that the right to privacy cannot be an absolute right and the state may have some power to put reasonable restrictions.

The attorney-general had also contended that right to privacy cannot fall in the bracket of fundamental rights as there were binding decisions of larger benches that it was only a common law right evolved through judicial decisions.

The Centre had termed privacy as a "vague and amorphous" right which cannot be granted primacy to deprive poor people of their rights to life, food and shelter.

The high-profile arguments also saw the apex court asking searching questions about the contours of right to privacy in the digital age when personal information was randomly shared with all types of government and private entities.

The bench had wanted to know about the tests which could be used to regulate and enforce privacy right when there could be "legitimate or illegitimate" use of data.

Meanwhile, the petitioners had contended that the right to privacy was "inalienable" and "inherent" to the most important fundamental right which is the right to liberty.

They had said that right to liberty, which also included right to privacy, was a pre-existing "natural right" which the Constitution acknowledged and guaranteed to the citizens in case of infringement by the state.

The apex court, during the hearing, favoured overarching guidelines to protect private information in public domain and said there was a need to "maintain the core of privacy" as the notion of privacy was fast becoming irrelevant in an all-pervading technological era.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Aug 24, 2017 21:59:52 IST