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9-judge SC Bench Will Decide Today if Privacy is a Fundamental Right

Once the nine-judge bench decides the sanctity of the right to privacy, the case will come back to the five-judge bench to examine petitioners' allegation that Aadhaar breaches right to privacy.

News18.com

Updated:July 19, 2017, 2:40 PM IST
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9-judge SC Bench Will Decide Today if Privacy is a Fundamental Right
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New Delhi: A nine-judge Supreme Court bench is set to rule whether there is a fundamental right to privacy under the Indian Constitution.

The bench will sit on Wednesday and is likely to conclude the hearing within the day. Once the nine-judge bench decides the sanctity of the right to privacy, the case will come back to the five-judge bench to examine petitioners' allegation that Aadhaar breaches right to privacy.

Since an eight-judge bench verdict of 1950 held there is no fundamental right to privacy, the CJI-led court on Tuesday decided to get the subject examined by a larger bench.

“Right to privacy is a very, very important issue. It is essential to decide whether there is a fundamental right to privacy,” said the CJI.

The issue requires to be settled after 67 years of a Constitution Bench judgment as a clutch of petitions has claimed Aadhaar violates right to privacy.

Aadhaar-Privacy Timeline

- The first petition in SC against Aadhaar scheme is filed by retired Karnataka HC judge K S Puttaswamy in 2012

- In September 2013, SC said government cannot deny benefits for want of Aadhaar

- The apex court clarifies Aadhaar is voluntary, not mandatory. It also said illegal immigrants can’t get Aadhaar

- In February 2014, SC sought views of all states and UTs on making Aadhaar mandatory

- The court reiterated that the government cannot exclude people for not having Aadhaar

- SC also restricts UIDAI and other authorities from sharing biometric database

- On August 11, 2015, a three-judge bench referred the issue to a five-judge Constitution Bench to decide whether right to privacy is a fundamental right

- The three-judge bench allowed the government to use Aadhaar for public distribution system (PDS) and to distribute LPG cylinders

- On October 15, 2015, the 5-judge court allows government to use Aadhaar also for MGNREGS, National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions), Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)

- Both the 3-judge and 5-judge benches reaffirm Aadhaar is not mandatory

- In March, Parliament passes Aadhaar Act, giving scheme a statutory backing

- Series of petitions line up in SC challenging legal provisions to make Aadhaar mandatory

- On June 9, the court upholds law to make Aadhaar mandatory for PAN, I-T returns

- On July 18, a 5-judge Constitution Bench refers the case to a 9-judge bench to decide whether right to privacy is a fundamental right

- On October 15, 2015, the 5-judge court allows the Govt to use Aadhaar also for MGNREGS, National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions), Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

- Both the 3-judge and 5-judge benches reaffirm Aadhaar is not mandatory

- In March, Parliament passes Aadhaar Act, giving scheme a statutory backing

- Series of petitions line up in SC challenging legal provisions to make Aadhaar mandatory

- On June 9, SC upholds law to make Aadhaar mandatory for PAN, I-T returns

- On July 18, a 5-judge Constitution Bench refers the case to a 9-judge bench to decide whether right to privacy is a fundamental right

PRIVACY AND DATA PROTECTION BY COUNTRY
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