The court’s judgment implies that the state will have to be cautious of its activities even before it begins implementing them. Projects or initiatives that involve collection of personal data would have to take into account explicit limitations on how such information can be used.
The last 24 hours have been witness to a fundamental shift in the way our legal regime considers our routine actions. However, the battle has just begun.
The judgment – in the way it defines privacy and dignity of an individual – has far reaching implications on the rights of LGBTQI individuals.
In conversation with Prasanna S., one of the lawyers who assisted senior counsel Shyam Divan in representing a group of petitioners challenging the Aadhaar project.
While the judgement does not strictly defines the right to privacy or catalogues all of its parts, it has attempted to address the broad arguments that are used in justification of and in opposition to privacy.
Digital privacy is a subset of the right to privacy, which can be fully exercised only if a good data protection system is in place.
The judgment makes it clear that in a democracy, the rights of minorities, especially discrete and insular ones, are as sacred as those conferred on citizens to protect their freedoms and liberties.
Justice A.P. Shah said, “There is very little scope now for those wanting to support Section 377…invading the bedroom can’t be considered reasonable restriction [on the fundamental right to privacy].”
The nine-judge bench has now asked the government to come up with a data protection mechanism that balances the rights of individuals and the interests of state.
The arguments advanced by the Modi government’s attorneys general over the last three years have consistently maintained that privacy cannot be viewed as a fundamental right.
The judgment will, however, allow citizens to legally challenge any government action deemed as a violation of privacy.
Does the right to privacy becoming a fundamental right mean the Aadhaar programme is unconstitutional or will be shut down? The Wire explains.
The judgment will need to reinvigorate a conversation on how today’s data protection models need to be reconsidered in light of the changing dynamics of information privacy.
Full text of the judgment by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman declaring privacy to be a fundamental right.
Full text of the judgment by Justice A.M. Sapre declaring privacy to be a fundamental right.
Full text of the judgment by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul declaring privacy to be a fundamental right.
Full text of the judgment by Justice J. Chelameswar declaring privacy to be a fundamental right.
Full text of the judgment by Justice S.A. Bobde declaring privacy to be a fundamental right.
Extracts from the judgement that impact Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises homosexuality.
Full text of the judgment by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices R.K. Agrawal, D.Y. Chandrachud and S. Abdul Nazeer declaring privacy to be a fundamental right.
The judgment overrules the 1961 Kharak Singh verdict.
Decision on whether privacy can be considered a fundamental right is likely to come out by end of August.
The fight for privacy is not just about semantics but about protecting a basic right. It has been won after many battles and should not be surrendered so easily