Supreme Court reserves judgment on right to privacy being a fundamental right
In photo: The Supreme Court of India Photograph: (Reuters)
The nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment over the issue of whether the right to privacy is fundamental right or not.
The federal government has told the top court that even though the right to privacy is a fundamental right, it is a "wholly qualified right". It maintains that the right to life transcends the right to privacy.
The government made this submission before the nine-judge Constitution bench that is hearing the Aadhaar Card privacy matter on July 26.
Attorney General KK Venugopal told the top court that "privacy, as a fundamental right, could have been mentioned in Article 21, but has been omitted. Right to life transcends right to privacy".
The Attorney General told the court that under special circumstances, the government can interfere in a matter that comes under a wholly qualified right. An absolute right cannot be reduced or amended, he said.
The petitioners maintain that the twelve-digit biometric unique identification Aadhaar card is a threat to the right to privacy. They completed their argument in the top court on July 20.
In June, the top court had ruled that from July 1, every person eligible to obtain the Aadhaar card must quote their Aadhaar number or their Aadhaar Enrolment ID number for filing Income Tax Returns as well as applications for Permanent Account Number (PAN).