Aadhaar card privacy issue: A nine-judge Constitution bench in Supreme Court yesterday heard the contentious issue whether right to privacy was a fundamental right. During the hearing, the apex court had witnessed light moments. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing on behalf of the Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI), said his position was like the seventh husband of Elizabeth Taylor. He said that his turn to speak had come after several others . When judges asked him how he felt, Taylor’s husband had replied that he knew how to do it, but didn’t know how to make it interesting.
Subsequently, Justice R F Nariman, one of the judges on the bench, asked, “What happens to the eighth and ninth?” while referring to those who were to still address the bench. All thos who were present in the court room burst into laughter.
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The top court had said that there has to be “overarching” guidelines to protect an individual’s private information in public domain to ensure that it was used only for an intended purpose. The Supreme Court rejected plea of a Gujarat government lawyer that misuse of personal information could be dealt with on a “case-to-case basis” and said an all-embracing guideline was needed keeping in mind the size of the population, according to PTI report.
Mehta noted that that several countries had protected privacy via statutes without making it a fundamental right. Joining issue, Justice Nariman said, “We are told that our neighbour, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, recognises privacy as a fundamental right.” Mehta, however, said he had heard a story though he could not vouch for its authenticity.