Restrictions on fundamental right to privacy must be just, reasonable and fair and should be for the larger good of the society and empowerment of people. Discuss critically.

Published: August 26, 2017

Part III of the Indian Constitution provides for the fundamental rights. Fundamental rights are not absolute and they are subject to reasonable restrictions.

A nine judge constitutional bench of Supreme Court declared that right to privacy is a fundamental right in the Constitution and it is the intrinsic part of article 21. However the like other fundamental rights, it is not absolute and is subject to certain reasonable restrictions such as for national security, crime prevention, innovation and spread of knowledge, for prevention of dissipation of social welfare benefits.
For example, Aadhaar use for subsidy schemes comes under the reasonable restriction of prevention of dissipation of social welfare benefits. Linkage of Aadhar with bank accounts to prevent black money and tax evasion will be covered under restrictions of ‘prevention of crime’. Use of Aadhaar in digital payments through BHIM is an example of innovation.
The state is entitled to impose restrictions on the basis of social, moral and compelling public interest in accordance with the law. However, the restrictions on the fundamental right to privacy must be just, reasonable and fair and should be for the larger good of the society and empowerment of people. The codification of restrictions will ensure that law is interpreted in an objective manner.

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