Right to Privacy A Fundamental Right: Supreme Court

New Delhi: In a significant ruling, a nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court today upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution.

The apex court overruled the previous judgments in the M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh cases, which had found that the right to privacy was not protected by the Constitution.

The Bench observed that privacy is intrinsic to freedom of life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, comprises Justices J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde, R.K. Agrawal, R.F. Nariman, A.M. Sapre, D.Y. Chandrachud, S.K. Kaul and S. Abdul Nazeer.

The Bench had reserved its verdict on the matter on August 2, after a marathon hearing spread over six days.

The matter was referred to a constitution Bench by a five-judge Bench hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the Aadhaar Act.

The SC bench’s judgment will touch the lives of 134 crore Indians. It was not meant to decide on the fate of Aadhaar, just on whether privacy of an individual was a part of their inviolable fundamental rights. What this means is a five-judge bench of the SC will test the validity of Aadhaar on the touchstone of privacy as a fundamental right.