It is after 55 years of the announcement that privacy is not among the basic right for citizens, today a nine-judge bench will go through the questions regarding a case related to petitions against the Aadhaar scheme. The five-judge bench including Chief Justice JS Khehar admitted, “It is essential to decide whether there is right to privacy under the Indian Constitution. We are of the view it has to be decided by a 9-judge bench.”
The statement made by the centre in court describes the right to privacy is not included in the Constitution and neither it is a part of the right to life but the petitions say so. Another person, who is a judge, addressed, even freedom of the press is not considered as explicit in the constitution but the courts indicate right to free speech includes freedom of expression of the press.
The government’s stand is hugely criticised by many politicians of the country, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury tweeted, “We have a government which believes in the right to privacy for top loan defaulters from being named, but not in Privacy for ordinary citizens. The right to Privacy of the ordinary Indian cannot be invaded by any government. Every Indian’s dignity is important.”
Earlier decisions have said privacy is not fundamental, but now a group of petitioners asks the relevance of recording personal data of millions of people by the Aadhaar scheme. According to them, the record of iris scans and fingerprints somehow violate the citizens’ privacy. Mukul Rohatgi, who was the Attorney General in 2015, said that the Indian citizens never had a fundamental right to privacy under the Constitution, he represented his thoughts repeatedly but unable to bring an effect upon its Government.