Critically discuss the impact of recent Supreme Court verdict on women rights in India.
Supreme Court in a landmark judgment declared that right to privacy is a fundamental right under article 21 of the Constitution. This judgment will have a substantial impact on the rights of women.
Privacy is at the core of various women rights in general and bodily rights in particular. For example, freedom to have a child or freedom to abort a pregnancy is within the realm of the right to privacy.
Right to privacy also covers the sexual violence and sexual orientation. Sexual violence is not only a dehumanizing act but also an intrusion on the privacy of women. Therefore the judgment takes a progressive stand on marital rape.
Similarly, sexual orientation is an essential component of identity and therefore part of privacy this challenges the validity of section 377 of IPC.
Right to privacy also gives freedom to choose either to work or not. It also gives the freedom to choose the nature of the work as these are areas of private decision-making process.
However right to privacy not only restricted in private sphere of life, it also covers the public sphere of life means safety for women in public spaces.
Privacy verdict has widened the scope of rights of women. Right to privacy should protect the rights of all vulnerable sections of society and reasonable restrictions should be defined in an objective manner so that these are not used to further dilute rights.