Aadhaar: 9-judge Bench to consider whether privacy is a basic right
A nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear the question whether privacy is a fundamental human right and is part of the basic structure of the Constitution. The decision was taken by a five-judge Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Khehar, based on a bunch of petitions contending that the Aadhaar scheme is a violation of the citizens right to privacy.
The petitioners have argued that right to privacy is part of Article 21, the right to life and is implicit in Article 19, though not explicitly stated in the Constitution.
Justice Chelameswar remarked that in a Republic founded on a written Constitution, it is difficult to accept that there is no fundamental right to privacy.
Previous judgments of the Supreme court:
- The M.P. Sharma case verdict pronounced by an eight-judge Bench in 1954 shortly after the Constitution came into force in 1950
- The Kharak Singh case verdict of 1962 by a six-judge Bench
- Both judgments had concluded that privacy was not a fundamental or ‘guaranteed’ right.
What the nine judge constitutional bench will decide:
- Whether privacy is negotiable or not is to be determined
- Whether privacy is a fundamental right under the constitution
- The court will subsequently look into the issue of the constitutionality of the Aadhaar scheme
- It would also determine whether decisions in MP Sharma and Kharak Singh cases that there is no such fundamental right is the correct expression of the constitutional question