Individual privacy is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution, a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court has ruled unanimously. The judges said the right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Liberty. The order is based on a number of petitions that challenged the mandatory use of Aadhaar cards, which assign a unique 12-digit ID to every citizen.
The court has not ruled on the validity of sharing information under Aadhaar today. That will be decided separately by a smaller bench.
The government had argued that the constitution does not guarantee individual privacy as an inalienable fundamental right. Petitioners argued that although the right to privacy is not explicitly set out in India’s constitution, it nevertheless guarantees it implicitly.