Aadhaar during UPA govt. had no protection of law, asserts Centre

Aadhaar during UPA govt. had no protection of law, asserts Centre

Aadhaar during UPA govt. had no protection of law, asserts Centre

"As far as I am concerned, I told you that I had taken a position, that what the eight-judge bench had said (that the Indian constitution did not have a concept of privacy)". While announcing the verdict, the nine judge bench affirmed that right to privacy "is protected as an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty". The verdict was given as soon as the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court resumed the hearing on the case today morning.

"A landmark judgment by India's Supreme Court ruling that the right to privacy is part of the constitutional right to life and personal liberty could have far-reaching implications for human rights in the country", Amnesty International India said today. The verdict was announced in Courtroom No.1, the court of Chief Justice of India Khehar.

A nine-member bench of India's Supreme Court announced the ruling in a major setback for the Narendra Modi-led government, which argued that privacy was not a fundamental right protected by the constitution. "Privacy should be a fundamental right subject to reasonable restrictions", the law minister said at a press conference. He said, "Even a fundamental Right to Privacy has limitations, that need to be identified on case-to-case basis".

Privacy advocates have said Aadhaar is can cause breaches of individual and personal data and hence susceptible to misused by companies.

The Supreme Court, earlier on August 2, had reserved its judgement over the issue of whether right to privacy is fundamental or not.

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It, however, clarified that since the challenge to Section 377 (Section which criminalizes gay sex) is pending consideration before another bench of the Supreme Court, it would leave the constitutional validity to be decided in an "appropriate proceeding".

"The fact that there was no dissent is an important thing", said Raman Chima, policy director at Access Now, which defends digital rights.

This decision by the supreme court comes as a heartening news.

"Privacy is fundamental. It certainly has an impact on day-to-day life". Activists argued the program was a violation of the right to privacy.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, also referred to the fact that India was a signatory of a 1948 worldwide convention which recognised privacy as a human right. It has also stopped short of commenting on the government's Aadhaar drive and if that amounts to an infringement of privacy.

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