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In a landmark development in the right to privacy case, the Supreme Court of India, on Thursday, announced it to be a fundamental right, giving a jolt to the central government, most of whose policies and schemes are on the line of violating the newly announced fundamental right, most notably the Aadhaar scheme case.
A 9 judge bench was set by the Supreme Court to decide whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right or not, after a five judge bench of the top court reached a roadblock in the hearing of Aadhaar scheme case due to the same.
After the Supreme Court's 9 judge bench's verdict, the hearing of Aadhaar scheme case will continue with the five judge bench, which was hearing the case.
The decision will most certainly have huge implications for many cases including the Aadhaar scheme, which makes linking of the unique biometric identity (Aadhaar card) with bank accounts compulsory to file income tax returns and for availing government benefits.
According to the celebrated lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, the Supreme Court decision to declare the right to privacy as a fundamental right, is a setback for the government.
Bhushan, when asked about the implications of the verdict on Aadhaar case, said, "This judgment does not say anything about that," however, he also said that "any law which restricts fundamental right will have to be examined on the touchstone of Article 21."
Exhibiting an example, Bhushan said, "If the government asks for Aadhaar for booking railway tickets or if you buy something then such a law would be considered as an unreasonable restriction on Right to Privacy. I feel it will be struck down."