The Supreme Court
on Thursday ruled that individual privacy is a fundamental right, in a far-reaching verdict that could derail Aadhaar, the world's largest biometric identification programme.
A nine-member bench was hearing petitions challenging the mandatory use of Aadhaar, as an infringement of privacy. There have also been concerns over data breach.
History of the case
The contentious issue had emerged when the apex court was dealing with a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's move to make Aadhaar
mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.
Initially, on July 7, a three-judge bench had said that all issues arising out of Aadhaar
should finally be decided by a larger bench and the CJI would take a call on the need for setting up a constitution bench.
The matter was then mentioned before CJI Khehar who set up a five-judge constitution bench to hear the matter.
However, the five-judge constitution bench on July 18 decided to set up a nine-judge bench to decide whether the right to privacy
can be declared a fundamental right under the Constitution.
The decision to set up the nine-judge bench was taken to examine the correctness of two apex court judgements delivered in the cases of Kharak Singh and M P Sharma, decided by six and eight judge benches respectively, in which it was held that this right was not a fundamental right.
While the Kharak Singh judgement was delivered in 1960, the M P Sharma verdict was reported in 1950.
Here is a timeline of how the Supreme Court
had dealt with questions related to privacy over the years