The hearing for right to privacy has been concluded today and the Supreme Court has reserved its verdict in the matter. It may be recalled that a nine-judge bench was constituted by the Supreme Court to decide whether right to privacy was a fundamental right or not. The arguments were heard from both the government’s side and the petitioners who claim that right to privacy is being harmed due to use of government programs such as Aadhaar. However, the government has continued to argue its case that Aadhaar like systems are the future of the world and they are needed to ensure good governance. It remains to be seen what decision the Supreme Court takes in the matter. If the court identifies right to privacy as a fundamental right, then it can turn out to be a setback for the government, since most of its governance programs are built around the Aadhaar system.
Aadhaar is one-of-its-kind system that utilizes a person’s biometric information to establish their identity. It is a foolproof system and extremely difficult to manipulate. If the Supreme Court declares right to privacy as a fundamental right, it would mean that citizens could no longer be asked to provide their biometric data. All the processes that the government has built around the Aadhaar system such as distribution of subsidy, tax reforms, etc. will be significantly affected. The ones who want to see India’s progress can only hope that the Supreme Court would be able to understand the importance of Aadhaar and take the right decision.