While the question of Aadhaar and privacy are interlinked and a decision is underway, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held a hearing to decide if privacy is a fundamental right, a significant question that has a bearing on the government’s push for Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric identity number.
The petitioner’s lawyer who challenged the Aadhar scheme raising the aspect of privacy attached to it has told the nine-bench constitution of the Supreme Court that privacy is embedded in all processes of human life and dignity.
What happened at the Supreme Court hearing today?
Petitioners on Wednesday took up Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement in Parliament on privacy while moving the Aadhaar Bill in March. He had said that the government “was moving on a premise that privacy is an individual right aside from the court judgement.
“Is privacy a fundamental right or not? The present bill presupposes and is based on a premise, and it’s too late in the day to contest that privacy is not a fundamental right. Privacy is not an absolute right, which is subjected to a restriction established by law on a fair and just procedure,” he had said in the Rajya Sabha.
“Liberty is the fundamental value of our Constitution.Life and liberty are natural existing rights which our Constitution has. Now can liberty be at all experienced without privacy? Can liberty be exercised without privacy at least with regard to all the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution,” said Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium initiated the hearing before the bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar.
Notably, the decision on this matter is still pending.