Privacy is a fundamental right

Individual privacy has been stated as a “ guaranteed fundamental right ” ruled the Supreme Court on Thursday. Individual privacy is integral to any democracy, this ruling will now allow the validity of the Aadhaar card to be tested, along with the several bans imposed in the past few years. The controversial biometric identification project, Aadhaar is being questioned by critics, who say it jeopardizes people’s personal freedom and allows the government to spy on us and its intrusive nature is stressed on several times.The nine-judge bench issued a unanimous ruling, saying that the “ right to privacy is at par with the right to life and liberty, and the verdict will protect citizens’ personal freedom from intrusions by the State.”

“This right to privacy is protected under Article 21 and it is intrinsic to the Constitution,” said Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, reading out the verdict for the nine-judge bench. Article 21 speaks of the right to liberty and life as an inviolable fundamental right and under this article, the right to privacy also becomes an inviolable fundamental right.

According to Thursday’s verdict, the Aadhar law can be tested, said lawyers in the case. The several bands, such as the ban on consumption of beef and alcohol could be up for review. This verdict will also put the law on criminalizing homosexuality to the test as well along with other broader civil rights issues.

The use of the Aadhaar identification has been pushed as a policy by the government, saying it will help them avoid leaks in its subsidy schemes and allow the subsidy benefits to reach the targeted people. Although, critics say this scheme violates privacy and helps the government spy on us.

The opposition, Congress, was quick to react with a quirky tweet, “Path breaking and seminal judgment. A great victory for liberty and freedom… Supreme Court rejects Modi government’s attempt to whittle down the right to privacy,” from the party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The Aadhaar identification scheme was started by Congress when they were in power but they welcomed this verdict with open arms as they took this to be a failure for the “Modi government”.

After a landmark judgment regarding Triple Talaq comes this verdict protecting the privacy of the people of India. History is being made.

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