From a sci-fi geek scholar to an LSR graduate, meet the four youngsters in Right to Privacy case

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New Delhi | Updated: August 07, 2017 5:29 PM

While Supreme Court is busy examining the viability of Right to Privacy, a group of lawyers have taken it upon themselves to spread the word - privacy is non-negotiable.

right to privacy, privacy as fundamental right, Supreme Court on privacy fundamental right, Aadhaar card compulsion, aadhar act, latest news, india news, indian express, Gautam Bhatia, Prasanna S, Kritika Bhardwaj, Apar Gupta, Supreme CourtWhile Supreme Court is busy examining the viability of Right to Privacy, a group of lawyers have taken it upon themselves to spread the word – privacy is non-negotiable. (IE)

While Supreme Court is busy examining the viability of Right to Privacy, a group of lawyers have taken it upon themselves to spread the word – privacy is non-negotiable. Meet Prassana S, Apar Gupta and Kritika Bhardwaj, who are helping Shyam Divan, a senior counsel in the case. Divan is representing other petitioners like Shanta Sinha and Bezwada Wilson in the apex court. Another lawyer named Gautam Bhatia is providing assistance to Arvind Datar, who is a senior lawyer arguing on behalf for the Election Commission to treat privacy as a fundamental right. In total, there are 7 petitioners and 12 counsels arguing the right to privacy case before the SC bench consisting of 9 judges.

Prassana S, a 34-year-old Tamil-speaking man, who is currently a Delhi-based lawyer, had left the IT industry for the world of law four years ago. The young lawyer told The Indian Express, “If it is a machine, it will make correct choices.” Prassana thinks technology can only be believed to be solving problems, if it can be proven and according to the current Aadhaar system, he is not convinced of the same.

Gautam Bhatia is a 28-year-old sci-fi geek. He edits a UK-based magazine, Strange Horizons, which is a sci-fi magazine and is now handling post-colonial sci-fi stories. Gautam is among the leading voices of the debate and also side by side tweeting the live update of the apex court proceedings. He told IE, “Any law on privacy has to be founded on principles of informed consent and specific consent.” Gautam believes a political structure that does not value the right to privacy will not go a long way. According to him, violating someone’s privacy is equal to discriminating him.

Apar Gupta is a 33-year-old Twitter sensation for followers of privacy debates in India. Amar, who holds the Columbia Law School degree, says if we separate civil rights from digitalization, it will be unjust. He believes that on some basis, going digital is baseless. Amar said that nearly INR 11,000 crore has been utilized on Aadhaar. “There is an administrative fetish, which is fed by Aadhaar,” he said.

Kritika Bharadwaj is a 26-year-old LSR graduate, who has completed Masters in Information Law from Cambridge. Kritika diligently researched on biometrics and international protocols hailing in the world. She believes the major problem lies in the “so-what” attitude of people. If the right to privacy is infringed, “So what?” will be questioned from people. “My understanding and study tells me that the real worry is that the citizen does not even know what the government knows about him and how it will be used against the citizen,” she told IE.

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