Right to Privacy Current Affairs - 2019
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Imtiyaz Ali Palsaniya has filed a review petition in Supreme Court against the Aadhaar verdict in which the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar.
SC Verdict on Aadhaar
A five-judge constitution bench while upholding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar had struck down various provisions of the in the Aadhaar Act. Important features of the Aadhaar verdict are:
- Supreme Court had said that sufficient security measures are taken to protect data and it is difficult to launch surveillance on citizens on the basis of Aadhaar.
- Then CJI Deepak Mishra had asked the government to provide more security measures as well as reduce the period of storage of data.
- Centre was asked to bring a robust law for data protection as soon as possible.
- The Supreme Court had said that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for openings of a bank account and to get mobile connections.
- The Supreme Court had upheld the mandatory linking of PAN with Aadhaar and Aadhaar was made mandatory for filing income tax returns.
- The government was asked to ensure that illegal migrants are not issued Aadhaar to get benefits of social welfare schemes.
- Private companies can’t ask for Aadhaar.
- The Supreme Court had struck down the provision in Aadhaar law allowing sharing of data on the ground of national security.
- The Supreme Court had also upheld the passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill by the Parliament.
The petitioner claims that he had filed two impleadment applications on the issue and the Court had failed to consider the grounds raised while delivering the Aadhaar Verdict.
The nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar in a landmark unanimous decision has declared right to privacy a fundamental right under the constitution.
With this, the apex court overruled its own previous eight-judge Bench and six-judge Bench judgments of M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh delivered in 1954 and 1961, respectively, both of which had pronounced that the right to privacy is not protected under the constitution.
Supreme Court Judgment
The apex court ruled that right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution. It overruled the apex court’s earlier two judgements that right to privacy is not protected under the Constitution.
The apex court also had voiced concern over the possible misuse of personal information in the public domain. The question whether Aadhaar violates right to privacy will be dealt with by the five-judge bench which has been hearing the petitions since 2015.
The Supreme Court of India’s judgment gains international significance as privacy enjoys a robust legal framework internationally, though India had earlier remained circumspect. The judgment finally reconcile Indian laws with the spirit of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1966, which legally protects persons against the arbitrary interference with one’s privacy, honour and reputation, family, home and correspondence.