Right to privacy a Fundamental Right

Right to privacy a Fundamental Right”

"Much before the creation of the nine-judge bench, the government, while moving the Aadhaar Bill in Parliament had clearly said that right to privacy is fundamental, flowing from Article 21, subject to reasonable restrictions", said Mr Prasad.

The Centre on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court's verdict declaring privacy as a fundamental right and stressed that it was not a setback for the government. At this, the bench said that it would consider whether this should be sent to a larger bench. Chander Uday singh who appeared for a Mumbai-based lawyer Haresh Jagtiani referred to Justice J.Chelameswar's judgment on privacy which said: "I do not think that anybody would like to be told by the State as to what they should eat or how they should dress".

The issue came up when Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, representing an NGO challenged the correctness of the seven-judge bench decision in State Of Gujarat vs Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab. The top court is hearing a batch of cross petitions including one by Akhil Bharat Krishi Go Sewa Sangh, which questioned the high court judgment holding that the right to eat was a fundamental right forming a part of right to privacy. "So this has to be heard by a larger bench", she said seeking the constitution of a nine-judge bench. The matter followed a slew of petitions filed in the supreme court against the move to make aadhaar mandatory for citizens to avail benefits of social sector schemes. The court further had observed that the protection of cow progeny was "needed in the interest of the nation's economy".

This judgement has implications for several other issues, including sexual rights and freedoms for LGBTI people. The HC had observed that possessing beef slaughtered outside the state was not a crime.

In its judgement, the high court had upheld the ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks imposed by the Maharashtra government, but decriminalised possession of beef in case the animals were slaughtered outside the state.

The full impact of the ruling can only be understood only after the court gives a further decision in the matter.

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