Right to privacy: Justice Chandrachud overrules his father’s Judgment as seriously flawed
In a unanimous ruling, a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution. Interestingly, Justice DY Chandrachud, one of the judges in the nine-judge constitution bench in a discordant note overruled an earlier judgement authored by his father Justice YV Chandrachud in the ADM Jabalpur v Shivakant Shukla case.
Chandrachud wrote the verdict in the Supreme Court's landmark judgment on Thursday that declared right to privacy integral to the Constitution.
Justice YV Chandrachud had ruled that "when the right (to personal liberty) is put in action it is impossible to identify whether the right is one given by the Constitution or is one which existed in the pre-Constitution era." Overruling his father's judgement, Justice DY Chandrachud said that judgments rendered in the ADM Jabalpur case were 'seriously flawed.' In doing so he set aside the opinion of his father, Justice YV Chandrachud, in the controversial ADM Jabalpur case.
His conclusions got the backing of three members of the nine-judge bench - Chief Justice JS Khehar, Justice RK Agrawal and Justice SA Nazeer.
The senior Chandrachud was among four out of five judges who in 1976 upheld a presidential order to impose Emergency in the country.
During the 1975 Emergency, when fundamental rights were suspended by the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government, a five-judge Supreme Court bench backed it. The bench included Justice YV Chandrachud.
"Dignity is associated with liberty and freedom. No civilized state can contemplate an encroachment upon life and personal liberty without the authority of law. Neither life nor liberty are bounties conferred by the state, nor does the Constitution create these rights," he said, agreeing with Khanna's views in 1976.
"The power of the Court to issue a Writ of Habeas Corpus is a precious and undeniable feature of the rule of law," he said. It is rare instance in the history of Indian judiciary where a son has overruled his father's judgment.