If a non-state actor accesses the data of the state, he should be prosecuted: Mr. Kapil Sibal argues in the SC: Aadhar Case Update

The Aadhar case has been ongoing in the Supreme Court and the attorneys on both behalf have been making contentions in new ways, trying to regain a perspective on the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right.

In today’s hearing, the Supreme Court observed that Privacy is not aan elitist concept and will affect the masses. Right to privacy, even though a fundamental right, has various aspects and every aspect does not qualify as a fundamental right as some of the aspects also include liberty. It further observed that the right to Privacy is secondary to the Right to Life and, therefore, will not prevail, should there be a conflict between the two.

These statements were given after 4 Non-BJP states moved to the Hon’ble Court, seeking  the upholding of their Right to Privacy.

Mr. Kapil Sibal, acting Counsel, on behalf of the States of Karnataka, Punjab, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Puducherry, submitted that the case of MP Sharma and Kharak Singh cannot be used to determine contours of privacy today due to big changes in technology and circumstances.

He further stated that “In this era of technology, Right to Privacy cannot be absolute. The Court has to strike a balance and there should be a method to protect communication between State and individuals and non-state parties and individuals. Privacy relates to one’s physical being, thoughts and inter-personal relationships.”

When state accesses data, it should be sanctioned by law and it should be for a legitimate aim.

In response to the aforementioned contentions, the opposing Counsel, Mr. KK Venugopal submitted in the Hon’ble Court that, “There are different species of personal liberty. They are all not entitled to the status of a fundamental right automatically. Each one of them has to be scrutinized in the context in which it is claimed. Right to Privacy may be a species of right covered by Right to Personal Liberty. But this right has a large number of sub-species and all of them cannot be elevated to the status of fundamental right.”

The Nine Judge Bench, till now, have questioned the stance of the Right to Privacy, when the Data is usually shared with the Social networking Sites such as Fcebook and Twitter.



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