The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India passed the verdict on the much anticipated right to privacy case early today morning. Upholding a citizen’s right to privacy, his body, life and dignity the nine-member bench of the Supreme Court ruled that Privacy is a fundamental right of an Indian citizen and that it fell under the ambit of the 21st article of our constitution.
Celebrating the verdict, people across the country have commended this decision. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, one of the several lawyers who involved in the case representing the petitioners called it “Historic”.
The case, which was born through a public interest litigation by four lawyers –S Prasanna, Apar Gupta, Gautam Bhatia, and Kritika Bhardwaj -saw the light of the day finally after 2 years of tireless pursuance. Not only them, but many other activists joined efforts to push forward their mutual cause. The Right now poses a huge question mark on the antics of the UIDAI and the future of Aadhaar. The litigation was originally filed citing concerns over the scope and safety of Aadhaar’s schemes.
A five-member bench will further deliberate and give verdict over the same in a different series of hearings to begin later.
The nine-member bench on the Supreme Court’spanel heard discussions and arguments from a variety of different individuals. Such as Kapil Sibal, Attorney General J S Vennugopalan, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, among many others who had presented different arguments- for and against during the hearings between 17th July and 2nd August.
Enforcing the Right as fundamental, the Supreme Court’s judges stressed on the various aspects that privacy has in today’s age. Such as, privacy online as well as privacy in terms of rights of women, minorities, even different kinds of food eating habits.Justice J Chelameswar also said that things such as Voluntary Euthansia would fall under the Right to Privacy.
Sending a rush of cheer through the LGBT community of India, Justice D.Y Chandrachud a part of the bench said that, “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.” Raising hopes that maybe, the section 377 will be repealed officially.
The Nine-judge panel that presided the proceedings has been the largest set of judges presiding a case proceeding ever, in India. It was led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and had Justices Chelameswar, Bobde, R.K. Agrawal, Rohinton F. Nariman, Abhay Manohar Sapre, Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Nazeer.