New Delhi: The Supreme court of India on Thursday will pronounce its judgment on whether privacy is a fundamental right, a judgement that will influence the outcome of several other cases that are pending before courts.

The question had cropped up in the context of legal challenges to the validity of Aadhaar, the Centre’s biometric identification project.

The possibility of a constitution bench being set up to address privacy concerns surrounding Aadhaar came up for the first time in August 2015. It was raised again after two years in July to determine whether Aadhaar was in violation of such a right.

After arguments spread over a fortnight, varying from the scope and contours of the right to its application and rightful place in the Constitution of India, the court reserved its verdict on 2 August.

Once the privacy question is settled by the Constitution bench, the remaining issues related to Aadhaar will be heard by a smaller bench.

Why the verdict is important

■ May have an impact on Aadhaar and whether citizens will have to mandatorily share personal and biometric information.

■ Will have a bearing on redefining the extent of state surveillance on individuals.

■Inclusion of privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution will accord it a much higher degree of protection under the law than before.

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