Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer - 22

Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer

(Public Administration Paper I / Chapter: Accountability and Control)

(Current Based) Question : Do you think privacy is a fundamental right ? Discuss in the context of recent Judgment of the Supreme court. (20 Marks/250 Words)

Model Answer :

"Right to Privacy is an integral part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution," the SC ruled unanimously. It added that the right to privacy is intrinsic to the entire fundamental rights chapter of the Constitution. It also spoke of the right to marriage, procreation, privacy of home and the right to be left alone as other facets of privacy.

The broad implication is that the government cannot frame any policy or law that completely takes away the citizen's right to privacy. It can only place reasonable restrictions on limited grounds such as national sovereignty and security, public order, decency, etc, as specified in Article 19 (2) of the Constitution.

The right to privacy broadly encompasses physical privacy, informational privacy and decisional autonomy. The interplay of technological advances and the right to privacy in the digital age needs to be closely scrutinised. Digital privacy is a subset of the right to privacy, which can be fully exercised only if a good data protection system is in place. After Right to Privacy Ruling, Focus Must Now Be on Creating Robust Data Protection Laws.

This unanimous verdict has rejected the claim of the Union of India that the citizens of India did not have a fundamental right to privacy and that there was, at best, a common law right. This startling claim was based on two judgments of the Supreme Court, one in 1954 by an eight-judge bench and the other, in 1962, by a six-judge bench. (Total Words- 252)

(Linkages : Right to Privacy and Fundamental Rights, Right to Privacy and Right to life and Personal liberty, Right to Privacy and Reasonable Restrictions, Right to Privacy and Data Protection and the Proliferation)

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