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India’s top court champions right to privacy
August 24, 2017, 6:26 am

India’s top court has decided that privacy is a fundamental right [Xinhua]

In a landmark judgement on Thursday, the top court of India has ruled that individual privacy is a fundamental right.

The Supreme Court last month heard arguments to determine whether individual privacy is a fundamental right protected by the constitution.

The court had set up a rare nine-member bench to rule on the matter triggered by a petition challenging the mandatory use of national identity cards, which are known as Aadhaar, as an infringement of privacy.

“Right to privacy an integral part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution,” the ruling of the top court was quoted by Indian daily Times of India.

It was a unanimous decision by the 9 judges of the Supreme Court overruling earlier rulings that the constitution of India does not guarantee individual privacy as an inalienable fundamental right.

Thursday’s ruling is a setback to the government’s attempts to enrol all of its citizens in the world’s largest domestic biometric identification system, Aadhaar. The government was almost ready with a massive ID system, biometric data – fingerprint and iris scans – of a billion people.

The Narendra Modi government in New Delhi  government had attempted to make these identity cards mandatory and wanted these cards to be linked to things like tax returns, phone numbers and bank accounts.

Critics of Aadhaar had raised fears the data could be misused by the government.

TBP

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