On Wednesday, a 9-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court began the hearing of the matter on whether privacy is a fundamental right of citizens. The matter is being taken up by a 9-judge bench after a 5-judge bench, on Monday, referred the matter to a larger bench of judges to decide if the linking of PAN card with the biometric identification number would breach citizen’s privacy.

The case was highlighted after the Centre — in the court — said that right to privacy is not mentioned in the Constitution of India and is also not the part of right to life. However, the petitioners have claimed that the right to privacy is inherent in the Constitution.

In the matter which is being heard in the court, the Petitioner today told the court that privacy is embedded in all processes of human life and liberty.

The court would also be examining the correctness of the previous judgements passed in Kharak Singh and MP Sharma cases, where it was held that right to privacy is not a fundamental right.

Commenting on the matter, a judge claimed that the freedom of press is there in the constitution but the courts have interpreted that right to free speech includes freedom of expression of press.

Criticising the government’s stand on the matter many leaders have raised their voices, one of them was CPM’s Sitaram Yechury who said, “We have a government which believes in the right to privacy for top loan defaulters from being named, but not in Privacy for ordinary citizens. Right to Privacy of the ordinary Indian cannot be invaded by any government. Every Indian’s dignity is important.”

In the previous rulings passed by the Supreme Court, the right to clean air and sleep were included in Right to life. However, if the apex court does pass a ruling claiming that privacy is a fundamental right, then all cases relating to the Aadhar Card scheme will be taken up by the original 3-judge or 5-judge bench.