Supreme Court judge, Justice R F Nariman, and the constitution bench which delivered the historic ruling recognising privacy as a fundamental right, have been chosen as one of the five global 'Heroes of Human Rights and Communications Surveillance' by a global digital rights advocacy group.
"While all nine justices (of the bench) deserve recognition for their heroic judgments, Justice Nariman earns individual recognition for specifically citing to the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance in his opinion," the group, Access Now, said in a statement.
It also accorded special recognition to the other Indian judges in the bench on privacy - then Chief Justice J S Khehar, Justice S A Bobde, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice R K Agrawal, Justice A M Sapre, Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice S K Kaul and Justice S Abdul Nazeer for "unanimously agreeing to recognise privacy as a fundamental right".
The Supreme Court had on August 24 declared Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Right, a far-reaching verdict that could impact a range of life choices of Indians, including food habits and sexual orientation.
Access Now is an international human and digital rights body "dedicated to defending and extending the digital rights of users at risk around the world, including issues of privacy, security, freedom of expression, and transparency," says its website and adds "we fight for open and secure communications for all".
For the annual 'Heroes and Villains award', the digital rights' group chose the 'heroes' in recognition of their work over the past year to advance human rights, while the 'villains' were selected for undermining the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance.
The group also named French president Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump among its five 'villains' of the year.
"The threats to and abuse of human rights in the United States under President Trump have been well documented," the organisation said, referring to the travel restrictions to the US, increased surveillance of immigrant population and the "most invasive US surveillance laws".
It said under Macron, "we saw a renewal of France's state of emergency as well as a pledge to make some of its more invasive provisions permanent in what would become a new law."
Among other 'heroes' chosen for the award were people who revealed illegal surveillance activities in the US, researched on Mexican government's "purchase and use" of sophisticated malware against journalists, human rights defenders and political opponents and two persons providing digital security training to at-risk users in Turkey but were arrested on suspicion of aiding terrorists.
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