Aadhaar Act presumes privacy as fundamental right: Govt

Raj Kamal Rao

Responding reporters’ questions on the impact of SC’s order on ‘right to privacy’, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that government stands committed to the principles enunciated by the Court on an individual’s right to privacy.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Prasad said that government has put in place adequate data protection mechanism is in place to protect individual’s rights. He also said that the court has taken note of the high-powered committee formed by the government for Data Protection

“AADHAAR has shown its utility in a very short span of time; it is completely safe and secure. It operates on the principle of Minimum Information, Maximum Use. The Aadhaar Act puts in place a tough ecosystem for disclosure of individual data,” he said.

The Law minister said that the essence of SC judgment is a wider affirmation of the observation made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha.

“FM Arun Jaitley had told in Rajya Sabha that AADHAAR Act presupposes that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right,” Prasad said.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

He also said that even a fundamental right to privacy has limitations that need to be identified on a case-to-case basis.

“SC clearly acknowledges the need for a robust data regime to balance sensitive concerns between individual interest and state interest,” the Law Minister said quoting Supreme Court order.

The Supreme Court on Thursday declared the right to privacy as a Fundamental right under the Constitution.

AADHAARA 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.