Right to privacy is not absolute: Supreme Court
A nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will decide whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right or not. Photograph: (Reuters)
The nine-judge Constitution bench hearing the issue of right to privacy has said that it is not an absolute right.
According to a report in The Hindu, the bench observed that privacy cannot prevent the state from making laws imposing reasonable restrictions on citizens.
The nine-judge bench is headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar and comprises Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, R K Agrawal, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Abhay Manohar Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer.
The nine-judge Constitution bench was constituted on Tuesday for deciding on the issue whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right or not.
Petitions challenging Aadhaar will continue to be heard before the five-judge Constitution bench.
The five-judge bench had referred to the larger bench the issue of privacy in the context of two previous judgements of the top court delivered in 1950 and 1962 which held that right to privacy is not a fundamental right.
Appearing for the petitioners, senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium said that the rights to life and liberty are pre-existing natural rights and how can liberty be experienced without privacy.
"Life and liberty are natural existing rights which our Constitution has. Now can liberty be at all experienced without privacy? Can liberty be exercised without privacy at least with regard to all the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution," he said.
The bench will continue hearing the arguments on Thursday also.