Govt has been speaking in two tongues on right to privacy:

Reetika Khera
As a nine-judge Constitution bench in the Supreme Court decides whether right to privacy is a basic right of citizens, economist and social scientist Reetika Khera speaks to Ranjita Ganesan on how this relates to the Aadhaar debate and social media. Edited excerpts: It is being said in the Supreme Court that the right to privacy is not absolute. What would this mean for the Aadhaar debate? The government has been speaking in two tongues on the right to privacy for a long time. The latest example of this is the same government that is challenging whether it is fundamental right in the Aadhaar matter, in the WhatsApp case, is saying that privacy is integral to Article 21. At least two ministers of this government have expressed their commitment to upholding the right to privacy, yet in the Supreme Court now, they argue against this right. In their submissions to the Supreme Court in the Aadhaar matter, the government has also said so. When the BJP was in the opposition, it was among the biggest critics of the Aadhaar project, and it has never clarified why its stance changed after coming to power. On the other hand, the Congress party too has a lot to explain (especially its rush in implementing the Aadhaar project, without following due process). This magnifies the responsibility of the Supreme Court in the discussion on the fundamental right to privacy as well as the existence of the Aadhaar project.
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