Right to Privacy – Intrinsic Part of Article 21 of Indian Constitution
~~~ The judges ruled the right to privacy was “an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty”… The verdict overturns two previous rulings by the top court which said that privacy was not a fundamental right….During the hearing of the case, the government’s lawyers had told the court that citizens did not have absolute right over their bodies which meant that people could be forced to give their biometrics.~~~ BBC
~~~ (the judgment) may impact everything from the government’s signature Aadhaar program to civil liberties, to gay rights to the collection and use of personal data by the Internet and financial firms…. It also spoke of the right to marriage, procreation, the privacy of home and the right to be left alone as other facets of privacy. ~~~ Economic Times
~~~ Justice J Chelameswar, who wrote a separate but concurring judgment, also touched upon other aspects like consumption of food and a woman’s freedom of choice on whether to terminate the pregnancy… “Concerns about privacy arise when the state seeks to intrude into the body of subjects.”… “An individual’s rights to refuse life-prolonging medical treatment or terminate his life is another freedom which falls within the zone of the right of privacy,” Justice Chelameswar said in his 44-page verdict.” Firstpost
~~~ Justice Chandrachud: “I don’t want the state to pass on my personal information to some 2,000 service providers who will send me WhatsApp messages offering cosmetics and air conditioners… That is our area of concern. Personal details turn into vital commercial information for private service providers.”~~~ The Hindu
~~~ The right to privacy is not just a common law right, not just a legal right, not just a fundamental right under the Constitution. It is a natural right inherent in every individual…. Three elements are considered as the core of the right to privacy: Personal autonomy, the freedom to make choices and the right to determine what happens with information about oneself…. In this judgment itself, the SC has affirmed that sexual orientation is a part of the right to privacy (casting serious doubts over the fate of Section 377 of the IPC) and affirmed the right to choose one’s food habits (indirectly approving the Bombay High Court’s striking down parts of Maharashtra’s beef ban). The principles laid down here will go a long way in striking down some of the most regressive and tyrannical laws on the books.~~~ Indian Express
Thank You, Chief Justice Khehar and Justices J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde, R.K. Agrawal, Rohinton Nariman, A.M. Sapre, D.Y. Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S. Abdul Nazeer.