The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the right to privacy is a fundamental right protected under Article 21 of the Constitution as it is an “intrinsic part of life and personal liberty”. Delivering a unanimous verdict, the Constitution bench overruled earlier judgements by two benches that had ruled that privacy is not a fundamental right.
The top court’s judgement has several implications, most importantly for the debate on Aadhaar, a biometrics-based identification number that has been made mandatory for numerous government services and benefits. It may also open the door to overturn Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises homosexual sex.
As many hailed the ruling, the Centre, too, welcomed it, though Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government stood by its earlier assertion that privacy “is not an absolute right, it must be subject to some reasonable restrictions”.
Social media was also quick to respond to the Supreme Court verdict with some tweets taking a serious tone and some raising questions while many were just tongue-in-cheek.
There were a few disbelieving notes, with some Twitter users wondering how this judgement would hold up in a digital age full of data leaks.
And for many young people, it was not people in authority, foreign entities or even strangers who posed a threat to their privacy but someone closer home.
Fundamental Right to Privacy
Read coverage of the landmark judgment