In the ongoing hearing on petitions against the unique identification project, or Aadhaar scheme, the Narendra Modi-led government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the Constitution does not envisage privacy as a fundamental right.
Attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi told a bench headed by justice J Chelameswar that the Constitution does not confer the right to privacy to citizens and referred an SC verdict delivered in the 1950s in which an eight-judge bench had held that the right to privacy was not a fundamental right.
“Constitution-makers did not intend to make right to privacy a fundamental right,” he said, citing previous judgements of the apex court.
Pointing to the wide divergence of views on privacy in the past verdicts of the apex court, Rohatgi urged the three-judge bench hearing the case to refer the petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme to a Constitution bench.
The bench indicated that it may refer the issue to a larger bench. “We are inclined to refer it to the larger Constitution bench” justice Chelameswar observed as Rohatgi told the court that the challenge to the Aadhaar scheme was primarily on the grounds of the violation of privacy.