Baijayant hails SC verdict; says right to privacy should be fundamental with exceptions

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Bhubaneswar: BJD MP Baijayant Panda who had introduced the Data (Privacy and Protection) Bill in Lok Sabha in 2017 hailed the Supreme Court verdict upholding Right to Privacy as a fundamental right.

Panda who has been writing about Aadhaar, privacy and data security issues for past several years, said “The stand I have taken is that privacy is indeed a right and now that the Supreme Court has ruled it as a fundamental right, it is a welcome development.”

Awaiting details of the court order, Panda said “No right can be absolute. There will be certain requirements of narrowly defined exceptions. For that we will have to wait until the full judgement comes out as we don’t know the details yet.”

Commenting on the concerns regarding Aadhaar, Panda added “The stand that I have taken is -it cannot be ‘either-or.’ You can have Aadhaar and you can have right to privacy. You can have credit card transactions and you can still have right to privacy. So it cannot be ‘either-or.’ It has to be a fundamental right with narrowly defined exceptions.”

Coming out strongly in support of individual freedom, the Supreme Court today declared right to privacy as a fundamental right guaranteed by Constitution.

In a unanimous verdict, a nine-judge Constitution bench observed that privacy was protected as an intrinsic part of life and personal liberty and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

Rejecting the government’s contention that privacy was not a fundamental right, the bench headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar unanimously overturned two earlier rulings in the M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh cases that held that the right to privacy was not protected by the Constitution.

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