Right to Privacy: From Common Law Right to Fundamental Right
New Delhi: In a landmark decision that will affect the lives of all Indians, the Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously declared that right to privacy was a fundamental right under the Constitution. A nine-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, ruled that "Right to Privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution".
The ruling on the highly contentious issue was to deal with a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.
Here’s a look at how the case has progressed:
July 7: Three-judge bench says issues arising out of Aadhaar should finally be decided by larger bench and CJI would take a call on need for setting up a constitution bench.
July: Matter mentioned before CJI who sets up a five- judge constitution bench to hear the matter.
July 18: Five-judge constitution bench decides to set up a nine-judge bench to decide whether the right to privacy can be declared a fundamental right under the Constitution.
Nine-judge bench (Chief Justice J S Khehar, Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, R K Agrawal, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Abhay Manohar Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer) constituted to hear the privacy matter.
July 19: Supreme Court says right to privacy can't be absolute, may be regulated.
July 19: Centre tells Supreme Court that right to privacy is not a fundamental right.
July 26: Karnataka, West Bengal, Punjab and Puducherry, the four non-BJP ruled states move Supreme Court in favour of right to privacy.
July 26: Centre tells Supreme Court that privacy can be fundamental right with some riders.
July 27: Maharashtra government tells Supreme Court that privacy is not a "standalone" right, but it is rather a concept.
August 1: Supreme Court says there has to be "overarching" guidelines to protect an individual's private information in public domain.
August 2: Supreme Court says protection of the concept of privacy in the technological era was a "losing battle", reserves verdict.
August 24: Supreme Court declares right to privacy as fundamental right under the Constitution.