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News Snippets

  • The government will make new IT rules to make it mandatory for platforms to provide traceability of content
  • PM Modi says India striving to move to evidence-based policy making by 2022
  • Patna High Court says that courts are clogged with cases against prohibition in the state
  • NCP-Congress say unanimity reached on government formation in Maharashtra, talks with Sena today
  • Surrogacy Bill referred to 23-member select committee by the Rajya Sabha
  • Government has asked the IITs to follow the quota system in hiring faculty
  • Gujarat police say self-styled godman Nithyanand has fled the country
  • Muslim parties are split over seeking review of the Ayodhya verdict
  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli says the pink ball could pose a lot of challenges due to its weight, hardness and colour
  • India to play its first pink-ball Test match against Bangladesh from Friday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata
  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The 9-judge constitutional bench that gifted the people of India with a judgment that unshackles them from the undesirable watch (and hence manipulation) of governments is important because it will now be the cornerstone of the relationship an individual citizen will have with the omnipresent State. When the judges recognized right to privacy as an integral part of the right to life and personal liberty enshrined in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, they in effect said that the citizen has a right to choose what elements of his life he will make public in order to live a dignified life.

Once an individual is guaranteed a right of privacy, it liberates him in the sense Indians have never experienced. At present, citizens have no choice as just about any government agency can come calling and collect all their personal data through coercion. Now, they can refuse to share things they want to keep private. Of course the court has also said that the right to privacy is not absolute. The reasonable restrictions are like those in all other rights (national security, for example). But now, these restrictions will be checked by the courts and not depend on the whims of the government.

The NDA government might well say that it had argued for exactly this – that the citizens can have privacy but will have to share information for important matters like Aadhar. But when one goes through what the then AG Mukul Rohatgi had said in court, one concludes that the government never wanted citizens to have privacy. Rohatgi had clearly said during the hearings that neither is a right to privacy part of any fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution nor are different Supreme Court orders on the subject clear enough to deduce the same. It is good that the apex court has settled matters once and for all by giving this right to Indians.

The biggest benefit that will accrue from the judgment is that the matter of privacy as defined by the court will now be beyond the intervention of parliament. Although politicians will try and play with the reasonable restrictions by trying to widen their ambit, the courts are not likely to allow that in the light of this comprehensive judgment. This judgment has overturned two earlier judgments which did not recognize right to privacy as a fundamental right. After this, the other contentious privacy issues like Aadhar, sec 377, RTI etc. will need to be examined fresh.