India’s Supreme Court declares right to privacy a fundamental right

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that the right to privacy is a fundamental right. The judgment, which will impact the lives of over 1.34 billion Indians, comes as the Indian government is seeking to roll out a biometric database (Aadhaar) linking personal details with iris scans and fingerprints. Petitioners had challenged the government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory. The Supreme Court’s judgment, which overruled an earlier lower court judgment declaring that the right to privacy is not a fundamental right, does not however invalidate Aadhaar. The validity of the scheme will be tested separately by the Supreme Court.