After the Triple Talaq verdict, the Supreme Court’s judgment on right to privacy has created another milestone. The August 24 judgment is a landmark verdict as it puts right to privacy as a fundamental right, protecting under the Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The nine-judge bench delivered the verdict as “Privacy is the constitutional core of human dignity”. In its 547-pages judgment over the right to privacy, the Supreme Court has also overruled verdicts given in the MP Sarmah case in 1958 and the Kharak Singh case in 1961 – both the cases holding that the right to privacy was not a part of the constitution.
Privacy is an essential aspect of liberty. It is the ability to choose what information you do or do not share about yourself or others. It is also the key point to enjoy the fundamental rights like the right to speech and expression of Indian Constitution. It also ensures individual liberty and respect for human being.
Privacy also safeguards individual autonomy & recognizes the ability of the individual to control vital aspects of his or her life. In the digital platform, the right to privacy means the protection of personal data.
In a global perspective, Article 17 of the UN International Convent on Civil and Political Rights states about the right to privacy. It says, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.” Whereas Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, says, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”
Both the international instruments clearly provides right to privacy to the citizens and to the states.
Meanwhile, the significant judgment by the Supreme Court has also sent a strong message to the entire world community who are keenly looking for status of India’s human rights.
The impact of the judgment will be seen on the AADHAR and in the near future, more clarity on the subject could be found.
In fine, we may take this into consideration that after the 70 years of India’s Independence, the people of India will be going to test a new kind of freedom – in terms of right to privacy. It will be interesting to see how India adopts right to privacy even as privacy in India is still at its infancy.