The limited question—if the right to privacy is a fundamental right—had cropped up in the context of legal challenges to the Aadhaar number, which has now become the bedrock of government welfare programmes, the tax administration network and online financial transactions. Photo: Hindustan Times
The limited question—if the right to privacy is a fundamental right—had cropped up in the context of legal challenges to the Aadhaar number, which has now become the bedrock of government welfare programmes, the tax administration network and online financial transactions. Photo: Hindustan Times

Right to Privacy: A timeline of events leading up to Supreme Court ruling today

Supreme Court rules that right to privacy is protected intrinsically as part of rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. Here is a timeline of the events

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday declared right to privacy as a Fundamental right under the Constitution. A nine-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J. S. Khehar ruled that right to privacy is protected intrinsically as part of rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Others members of the bench comprising justices J. Chelameswar, S. A. Bobde, R. K. Agrawal, R. F. Nariman, A. M. Sapre, D. Y. Chandrachud, S. K. Kaul and S. Abdul Nazeer also shared the same view.

The limited question—if the right to privacy is a fundamental right—had cropped up in the context of legal challenges to the Aadhaar number, which has now become the bedrock of government welfare programmes, the tax administration network and online financial transactions, Mint reports.

Following is the chronology of Supreme Court hearings in the right to privacy case:

7 July: 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.

12 July: Matter mentioned before CJI who sets up a five- judge constitution bench to hear the matter.

18 July: 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.

19 July: SC says right to privacy can’t be absolute, may be regulated. Centre tells SC that right to privacy is not a fundamental right.

Also read | Privacy is a fundamental right, says Supreme Court in historic ruling

26 July: Karnataka, West Bengal, Punjab and Puducherry, the four non-BJP ruled states move SC in favour of right to privacy. Centre tells SC that privacy can be fundamental right with some riders.

27 July: Maharashtra government tells SC that privacy is not a “standalone" right, but it is rather a concept.

1 August: SC says there has to be “overarching" guidelines to protect an individual’s private information in public domain.

2 August: SC says protection of the concept of privacy in the technological era was a “losing battle", reserves verdict.

24 August: SC declares right to privacy as fundamental right under the Constitution.

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