One verdict that impacts three major cases

Aadhaar, online freedom of expression and homosexuality would have to be considered on a case-to-case basis following the right to privacy verdict

GN Bureau | August 24, 2017


#supreme court   #right to privacy   #aadhaar  


The supreme court’s verdict upholding privacy as a fundamental right is likely to have an impact on at least three major cases – Aadhaar, online freedom of expression and homosexuality.
 
On Aadhaar, the government would now have to defend itself in the supreme court where it has submitted that it is essential to collect biometric details of the citizens. The government has repeatedly assured that the people are well protected.
 
Petitioners have said that forcing people to use Aadhaar is an infringement of their right to privacy. They say that Aadhaar began as a voluntary effort and slowly the government has made it mandatory for various government schemes.
 
Data protection is at the crux of the Aadhaar debate.
 
In April 2017, when the apex court was hearing the WhatsApp privacy policy case, Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi told a five-judge constitution bench that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India was in the process of evolving the data protection framework.
 
People share loads of information on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp and there is a need for protecting that data.
 
In 2015, the Supreme Court had struck down section 66A of the IT act under which many people were arrested for criticising politicians, government or for their satirical overtones.
 
The supreme court had upheld section 377, effectively criminalizing consensual homosexual activity between two consenting adults.
 
The LGTB activists have repeatedly stressed that what happens in their bedroom is private and the state cannot interfere.
 
The latest verdict would most likely open the debate on privacy with regard to the LGBT community.
 
With the supreme court deciding that privacy is a fundamental right, the other major cases would have to dealt on a case-to-case basis.
 

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