The Supreme Court of India’s recognition of the right to privacy as a fundamental right is going to have widespread implications. Explain.

The Supreme Court of India’s recognition of the right to privacy as a fundamental right is going to have widespread implications. Explain.

Approach

  • Introduce with right to privacy and recent judgement of SC in this regard.
  • Point out various implications of this judgement.
  • Conclude appropriately.
Model Answer :

The right to privacy gives people the right to lead their lives in a manner that is reasonably secluded from public scrutiny. The Indian constitution does not explicitly recognises the right to privacy as a fundamental right. The Supreme Court of India recently ruled that the right to privacy is intrinsic to life and liberty and hence protected as a fundamental right under article 21 of the constitution of India.

The implications of this decision are as follows:

  • The state is now obligated to take all the necessary means e.g. enacting suitable legislative and policy framework, to protect the privacy of the citizens.
  • The judgement will impact the Aadhaar project as it involves the biometric and demographic data which are intrinsic to the privacy of individuals.
  • In the age of digitalisation and technology, several non-state actors like IT companies also deal with various forms of data relating to an individual. Formation of a robust data protection regime will be expedited by this judgement.
  • The SC has explicitly included a person’s sexual orientation as a part of the right to privacy, this can help in reforming the legal architecture like sec. 377 of the IPC, w.r.t the LGBT community.
  • Overall, this will help an individual to control and protect the vital aspects of his/her life like eating habits, religion and faith, health records, etc against unnecessary intrusion in privacy.

The recognition of right to privacy is going to have many effects in future as more and more legal cases will be tried on its parameter. This judgement has undoubtedly ushered a new era, however, it should be kept in mind that the right to privacy is not an absolute right but subject to reasonable restrictions for greater public interest.

Subjects : Polity

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