Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in the light of the latest judgement of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy in the case of K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India

The right to privacy is an element of various legal provisions in any civilized society to impede governmental and private actions that creates a threat to the privacy of the individuals. Owing to the technological revolution, the concern for privacy has become higher than at any time in recent history.

The verdict

A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India in the case of K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India gave a historic judgment favoring the individual privacy a fundamental right that is going to impact the daily lives. But the court clarified that like other rights prescribed under Part III of the Constitution of India, the right to privacy is not an “absolute right”

Recent issues and impacts after the verdict

  • The Aadhaar scheme has been launched without any backing of the law and therefore there is no guarantee that data will not be used for any other purpose. For example by law enforcement agencies for snooping on citizens etc. Therefore, breach of the right to privacy has become a central issue. But the Supreme Court stated the Aadhaar Act is not violating the fundamental right of privacy.
  • The right to refuse food and medicine are also included in the right to privacy.
  • The publication of important, private documents regarding health-related problems, that can lead to social discomfort and worse are also under the Right to Privacy.
  • The Sexuality and Privacy, reproductive rights are safeguarded under the verdict, and at the same time any unauthorized phone call tapping has been declared violative to fundamental rights.

Comment

The concern about the privacy issue is a bone of contention. At the same time, it is also essential to deliver quality governance in the country. Only the introduction of new technology and innovation through the Digital India initiative can provide the massive changes that are required in the country. However, such a project must be accompanied by proper data protection and privacy law. Citizens of the country should feel confident in their privacy while using such facilities. The verdict of the Supreme court regarding this issue will definitely alleviate some of the issues faced by the common man.

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