Right to privacy not absolute: SC
By Team Legistify / 2017-07-21

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Right to privacy is not absolute and courts can’t stop the legislature from imposing reasonable restrictions, the Supreme Court on Wednesday observed orally while taking up a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme and claiming privacy as a fundamental right.

A nine-judge Bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde, R.K. Agrawal, Rohinton Nariman, A.M. Sapre, D.Y. Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S. Abdul Nazeer is revisiting, after 55 years, two earlier apex court judgements which held that “right to privacy” is not a fundamental right.

Even as petitioners’ senior counsel Arvind P. Datar was making his submission, Justice Chandrachud said “right to privacy” cannot be defined by the court as its contours are amorphous.

The court asked counsel, “Can this court define privacy? You can’t make a catalogue of what constitutes privacy. Privacy is so amorphous and includes everything from liberty, dignity, religion and free movement.”

Justice Chandrachud told counsel “If we make any attempt to catalogue privacy it will have disastrous consequences. Privacy is a sub-sect of liberty and not necessarily co-exists with data protection”.

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