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The Supreme Court on 24.08.2017 declared to right to privacy as a Fundamental right under the Constitution. A nine-judge constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar ruled that right to privacy is protected intrinsically as part of rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Delivering the verdict, the bench observed that privacy is protected under Article 21 and Part 3 of the Indian Constitution.
The ruling will have a bearing on 24 other cases challenging the validity of the Aadhaar scheme on the grounds of it violating the right to privacy. Others members of the bench comprising Justice J Chelameswar, Justice S A Bobde, Justice R K Agrawal, Justice R F Nariman, Justice A M Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, S K Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer also shared the same view.
Reading out the "operative portion" of the judgment, Khehar made following observations: Decision in MP Sharma case overruled. Decision in Kharak Singh case, to the extent it says Right to Privacy is not part of Right to Life, is overruled- Right to Privacy is an intrinsic part of life and personal liberty under Article 21. Decisions subsequent to the Kharak Singh case verdict which held privacy as part of right to life are correct. A number of writ petitions were tagged along with Justice K Puttaswamy’s petition on Aadhaar, which led to the constitution of this 9 Judge Bench. A slew of Senior Advocates had appeared for various parties in the case.