Privacy A Fundamental Right But A Qualified One: Centre To Supreme Court

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Privacy A Fundamental Right But A Qualified One: Centre To Supreme Court

"Every aspect of it does not qualify as a fundamental right, as privacy also includes the subtext of liberty", said the centre's lawyer KK Venugopal today.

Arguing for the Centre, AG Venugopal said that framers of the Constitution intentionally omitted mention of privacy as a fundamental right.

The bench is dealing with the limited issue of right to privacy and matters challenging the Aadhaar scheme would be referred back to a smaller bench.

"Privacy is a species of liberty, which is subordinate to the right to life".

There are several aspects to Right to Life such as right to food, shelter and employment but everything does not enjoy the status of a fundamental right, K K Venugopal said. According to an Indian Express report, an absolute right cannot be reduced or amended.

The Supreme Court of India will hear the government's arguments on Wednesday against the constitutional validity of right to privacy in the ongoing case that stemmed from petitioners opposing Aadhaar for privacy infringement. As a result, the question of whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right has resurfaced as the point of law around which the entire debate revolves.

Hearings related to the right to privacy and Aadhaar cards will resume on Thursday, where the respondents i.e. the State will resume its arguments. In the submission, he states that right to privacy is a "quintessential right flowing out of the bouquet of rights under enshrined under Article 21".

These submissions are in slight variance with the earlier stance of the Centre that the right is not a fundamental right and judgments subsequent to MP Sharma and Kharak Singh are per incuriam. He goes on to say that "present societal context where advances in technology and communication have transformed the relationship between stakeholders inter se and in particular the relationship between the State and its citizens". "This court needs to strike a balance", he submitted before the bench, PTI reported. "That is why we have the death penalty for gross crimes and incarceration for crimes". "Right to privacy can not be so absolute that it prevents the state from legislating or regulating it", the Constitution bench said.

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