Privacy embedded in all processes of human life and liberty: Senior Advocate Gopal Subramaniam

Privacy embedded in all processes of human life and liberty: Senior Advocate Gopal Subramaniam


New Delhi: On the Aadhaar privacy issue, Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam today said in the Supreme Court that the issue of one's privacy was a simple one and basic freedoms were enshrined under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. "The issue is simple. Whether the Judgement of MP Sharma and Kharak Singh still stand as good law at present context or not. Is there a fundamental right to privacy under the Indian Constitution? The view that existed earlier was a opinion that different fundamental rights were individual and distinct. (AK Gopalan's case), and that Article 21 was a residuary right. The basic freedoms were under article 19," Subramaniam, appearing for one of the petitioners, told the nine-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Jagdish Singh Khehar. Subramaniam further argued that privacy was embedded in all processes of Human life and liberty. "The Preamble uses two expressions. Liberty and dignity. These two words are intended to convey an inherent right recognised by the Constitution. Privacy is embedded in both," he said. Hearing the arguments from Subramaniam, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, who is among the Nine-judge Constitution Bench, asked: Were the contours of constitutional right to privacy bigger than the common law right of privacy? To this, Subramanium replied: "Yes, actions that have an impact on liberty can also have an impact on privacy." Subramaniam argued that Privacy was the essence of liberty. "All human choices are an exercise of liberty. And they all presuppose privacy. Not only a fundamental right. But an inalienable one," he argued. The matter is still going on in the Supreme Court. The other eight judges in the apex court's Nine-judge Constitution Bench, who are hearing the arguments in the Aadhaar privacy issue from various parties, including the petitioners and the respondents, are Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Abhay Manohar Sapre, D Chandrachud, S Abdul Nazeer, SA Bobde, RK Agrarwal and J Chelameshwar.

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