In a historical judgement, the nine bench Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court declared that privacy is a fundamental right. The rather unexpectedly progressive stand of the Court will make exceptional ramifications on the way in which citizens live.
Supreme Courts’ unanimous verdict is against the opinion expressed by the centre and almost all states except Kerala. The Kerala government has argued for giving more protection to privacy in its opinion.
This is the second major verdict by the SC in two days; the previous one outlawing the triple talaq. Affirming fundamental right to privacy is perhaps one of the progressive judicial contribution in the history of the Republic.
Credit for the verdict should go to the petitioners who tried to place the dignity of Indian citizens from the typical havoc of South Asian mob rule behaviour.
“We, the people of India, are once more able to stand with our heads high in the global community. We are grateful to the experts from the legal community who have tirelessly and freely striven to preserve the Constitution of India, itself the distillation of decades of sacrifice against the hegemony of discrimination,” Vickram Krishna, one of the petitioners in the right to privacy case, was quoted by firstpost.
Interestingly, granting fundamental rights to privacy brings India nearer to Western individualistic pattern societies and away from the Eastern social maniac societies.
Granting fundamental right implies privacy would get higher degree of protection under the existing law. Several legislations and administrative dictats should change to bring a state-citizen relationship (including the Aadhaar), social organizations’ interventions on individual life as well as individual to individual life.
From the individual point of view, the verdict gives more dignity to their life at a time when Indian society is showing signs of Afro-Arabian mob rule pattern.
In the recent past, the judiciary in India has shown guidelines for the legislative mechanism. More than anything else, the verdict indicates a deviation from the historical view point in India that individual rights are subversive to the interest of the society. Though privacy verdict doesn’t indicate conflict between the two, often privacy is least respected in the name of social issues.