right-to-privacy-is-a-fundamental-right

Context:

  • Centre’s move to make Aadhar card mandatory for availing government schemes.  It was contended that it would breach privacy of individual.
Judgement:
  • In  K.S.Puttaswamy v. Union of India, Supreme Court held that right to privacy is protected under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Before this Judgement:
  • In M.P Sharma vs Satish Chandra (1954) and Kharak Singh vs State of Uttar Pradesh (1962) Supreme Court held that privacy is not a fundamental right which after this judgement stands overruled.
What is Right to Privacy
  • Right to Privacy refers to respecting and ensuring the privacy of the individual. In fact, it restrains government and also private actions that threaten the privacy of individuals.
Arguments for Right to Privacy
  1. This will ensure the dignity of the individual as mentioned in our Preamble.
  2. It will impose restrictions on the government when it tries encroach our privacy.
  3. It will also give impetus to the Right to personal liberty, under Article 21 of the Constitution
Arguments Against
  1. It can hinder the implementation and performance of welfare schemes -like Aadhar and Direct Benefits Transfer-which requires personal data of citizens.
  2. Right to Privacy will also restrict police and intelligence agencies to collect private information about accused, dead persons etc. as mentioned in DNA Profiling bill.
Implication of the Judgement
  1. The judgment reconciles Indian laws with the spirit of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
  2.  Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code has been repealed after this judgement.
  3. Aadhaar would also have restrictions and limitations that privacy would be subject to.
  4. Data Privacy and Protection Bill 2017 has been introduced in Lok Sabha.
  Challenges
  1. No law has been passed till now and the term “privacy” has also not been defined.
  2. Huge multinationals are taking data about millions of Indians abroad.
  3. Privacy consciousness is low in India as compared to western countries.
  4. Indian institutions like joint family, temple festivals, marriage celebrations and community life do not encourage privacy.
Related Questions:
  • Should Right to Privacy be made the Fundamental Right under our constitution? Do you think there is a threat to privacy in India and to what extent can a law mitigate them? (250 words)
Read Also: Right to Privacy