The nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court has unanimously delivered its judgment in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) v. Union of India holding that privacy is a constitutionally protected right which not only emerges from the guarantee of life and personal liberty in Article 21 of the constitution, but also arises in varying contexts from the other facets of freedom and dignity recognised and guaranteed by the fundamental rights contained in Part III of the Indian constitution.

The bench has overruled its decisions in M.P. Sharma v Satish Chandra, District Magistrate, Delhi (1954), rendered by a bench of eight judges and, in Kharak Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh (1962), rendered by a bench of six judges, which contained observations that the Indian constitution does not specifically protect the right to privacy.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, while delivering the main judgment, on behalf of the Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, Justice R.K. Agarwal, himself and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer has held that privacy is intrinsic to life, liberty, freedom and dignity and therefore, is an inalienable natural right.

August 30th, 2017