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Government welcomes SC ruling but says ‘right to privacy’ subject to restrictions

Government welcomes SC ruling but says ‘right to privacy’ subject to restrictions

On Thursday, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister of Law and Justice said the NDA-led government at the Centre has welcomed the Top Court’s ruling that right to individual privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution.

“Government welcomes judgement. Government has been of view, particularly with regard to Aadhaar, that Right to Privacy should be fundamental right,” Prasad said.

However, he added that the “Supreme Court has said right to privacy is not absolute and is subject to reasonable restrictions”.

“The Supreme Court has affirmed what the government had said in Parliament while moving the Aadhaar Bill. Privacy should be a fundamental right subject to reasonable restrictions,” Prasad said.

Congress leader P Chidambaram, addressing the media after the SC’s verdict criticised the government’s approach in its interpretation of Aadhaar under Article 21 and alleged that its stand was “inconsistent”.

Rahul Gandhi, Congress vice-president had also slammed the NDA govt, saying the verdict was a “sound rejection” of the BJP’s ideology of “suppression through surveillance”.

Responding to the Congress’ remarks, Prasad said, “Since morning Congress is targeting us and Left has also joined them. What is the Congress’ record of protecting individual liberty?”

“Aadhaar during UPA regime had no protection of law. We made Aadhaar law and provided legal framework for protection its data,” he said.

In a landmark verdict, a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that “right to privacy was an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution”.

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