Author: Abhishek Purohit, Student at Jindal Global Law School
The ‘Aadhar Act, 2016’ was enacted by the Government of India, in line with its UIDAI objective. Surprisingly enough, the enactment of this act resulted into an enormous breakthrough decision, in the K.S Puttaswamy judgement, since there subsisted an immense unsettled position in our Indian Legal arena, which was the constitutional outlook of right to privacy. This issue was primarily grounded on 2 previous landmark judgements which were, Kharak Singh v. State of U. P & M.P Sharma v. Satish Chandra , both of which pointed out that right to privacy wasn’t constitutionally guaranteed as a fundamental right. Moreover, cases like ADM Jabalpur and Gobind Singh, were also somewhat in sync with these. Consequently, it almost took 55 years for these judgments to be overruled by the apex court, and hence they were still deemed as valid precedent.
The inadequacy of these rulings, concerning this specific model, is pointed out through multiple aspects. In the M.P. Sharma case, the primary issue of concern was ‘Self-Incrimination’, and the mention of privacy could be rightfully estimated as mere stray comments, as there was no specificity. Moreover , the Kharak Singh case posed a contradictory decision, i.e., on one hand it defended a criminal’s privacy against intrusion, however on the other flank it also mentioned that right to privacy was not constitutionally embedded in India. The only factor protecting this precedent, was undoubtedly the bench size of these judgements, that is why a potent opportunity to overturn these judgements did not strike the apex court and no Suo Moto action was taken.