Six years since Puttuswamy Judgement

Six years since Puttuswamy Judgement

News: The Digital Personal Data Protection Act was passed last month which comes almost exactly six years after the judgment in K S Puttaswamy vs Union of India, where the Supreme Court (SC) reaffirmed the right to privacy and stressed the need for a dedicated data protection law.

How has SC expanded The ambit of right to privacy?
• The Court construed privacy not as a narrow right against physical invasion, but as one that includes the body and mind, enables us to make free decisions, and is deeply tied to human dignity and autonomy.
• The SC decriminalised all sexual relations between consenting adults, including adults of the same sex, relying on the right to privacy linked with freedom of expression, equality, and non-discrimination.
• It has, in multiple judgments, reaffirmed the right of adults to marry across religious and caste lines, linking such rights to autonomy and self-recognition.
• It decriminalised adultery both based on protecting sexual autonomy and privacy and on the grounds of excessive state involvement in the married life of individuals.
• The Court also examined the role of privacy in the context of end-of-life care and reaffirmed the right to die with dignity.

What will be the future of privacy jurisprudence in India?
• The SC will decide on the Pegasus spyware allegations, LGBTQIA+ marriage rights, and Digital Personal Data Protection Act. These cases will shape the evolution of fundamental rights and freedoms.
• The Court's role is to enable individuals to effectively exercise their rights and freedoms in India.

Way Forward
• The challenge will be to strike a balance between individual rights and societal interests. Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Right and must get a fair Constitutional recognition. 

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