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High possibility of Aadhaar scheme being invalidated says lawyer who fought Right to Privacy case

By Shreya

In an exclusive interview to Oneindia, lawyer Prasanna S, one of the lawyers who argued the historic verdict of Right to Privacy said that with the verdict, the Supreme Court has completely debunked the idea behind Aadhaar scheme.

In view of the recent verdict by the Supreme Court which declared Right to Privacy a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 and Part III of the Constitution, how would information and data gathered for Aadhaar be justified?

The SC not only held Right to Privacy as a fundamental right but also held that the restrictions on the right has to be narrow. There has to be a law. The Aadhaar project did not have any statutory backing until 2016. As the data collected before 2016, was not under any law or statute, hence according to me, those data should ideally be destroyed. Prasanna also revealed that India may soon get a data protection law for safer data protection, a possibility of a committee being formed can be expected.

Centre said that right to life of poor takes precedence over right to privacy of the elite class to justify the Aadhaar scheme. After the SC verdict that declared right to privacy a fundamental right, the centre and the supreme court stand in contradiction. How will you think this contradiction can be resolved or will the centre have the final call on Aadhaar?

It's a laughable and sorry state of affairs, Right to Privacy is fundamental, and the poor did not say that they did not need privacy, it is the government which is forcing people to make a choice between privacy and poverty. The Government either does not understand Privacy or povery or both. There are people who might find right to equality to be a choice of the elites, however, the reality is different.

The SC judgment also made some landmark observations regarding sexual preference of a citizen being private, does that hint a possibility of section 377 being invalidated in near future?

There's a distinct possibility that the Section could be struck down, and it's good that the decision is back to the court and not left at the mercy of the Parliament. And there is reason to celebrate

Are there any reasonable restrictions in the SC verdict which declared Rght to Pivacy a fundamental right? If any what are they?

The state to impose any action on the individual, must pass the test of objectivity and reasonableness.

Which are the other cases or previous judgments that could be now affected after the verdict?

The verdict will affect many more schemes, and there is a lot to look out for in future, for example, the DNA profiling bill is under attack.

The Supreme Court on August 24, 2017, declared Right to Privacy a fundamental right underArticle 21 and Part II of the Indian Constitution.

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