Supreme Court slams central government’s stand on right to privacy

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The centre’s BJP led government’s stand on right to privacy not being a fundamental right has come under sharp criticism by India’s Supreme Court.

The apex court on Wednesday slammed the centre for saying that the right to privacy was not a fundamental right.

The three-judge bench asked, “If a man is not safe in his own house, then what remains in Article 21 (right to life and liberty)? Where is the liberty then? If privacy is not there in liberty, then what else can be there? To say that it (right to privacy) is not at all there will not be right. We will not accept it.”

The bench’s observation came in response to Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi’s submission that Indian constitution did not state that right to privacy was a fundamental right, and the issue needed to be considered by a Constitution Bench.

Rohatgi said, ““No judgement explicitly cites right to privacy as a fundamental right. It is not there under the letters of Article 21 either. If this court feels that there must be clarity on this subject, only a Constitution Bench can decide.”

Rohatgi’s arguments came as he defended the central government’s decision to collect and share biometric information of Aadhar Card holders. A host of petitions have questioned this exercise by the government calling it a breach of an individual’s fundamental right.

Rohatgi said that there was nothing wrong in collecting and sharing the biometric details of Aadhar Card same as it was legally allowed to intercept someone’s phone calls under certain circumstances.

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