Legal eagles in brainstorm pick on apex court’s privacy verdict

Is privacy a fundamental right protected under Article 21 of the Constitution? The Supreme Court’s nine-judge bench said ‘yes’ last year, but the brainstorming at the 2018 edition of ‘Lawgical Connect’, organised by SASTRA University School of Law and The Times of India on Saturday, sought to say the matter is not settled yet.
Speaking on ‘Constitution and Constitutionalism’, senior advocate N Venkataraman argued that the “Constitution of India is only 70 years old, our (Indian) values predate the Constitution”. Absolute privacy of the individual, Venkataraman said, would jeopardise family and societal structures built on these values. “Unbridled liberty would transform a duty-based society into a rights-based society,” he said, quoting statistics on how Western societies that follow this system suffer family and societal breakdowns.

Senior advocate K V Viswanathan, while listing out crises that have gripped all pillars of Indian democracy, countered Venkataraman, saying individual privacy was supreme. If someone decides not to get married, his parents cannot insist that he should, he said. Viswanathan said the need of the hour is to create a “constitutional culture” by engendering reverence to the Constitution.

Thuglak editor S Gurumurthy sought to counter Viswanathan, saying extreme individual privacy would be a form of untouchability. Gurumurthy said the Constitution was limited in its operations and hence “away from the realities” of the people. “In my experience, Constitution is a product of culture. The Constitution doesn’t have a mechanism to generate values. It is a beneficiary of the values created by culture,” said Gurumurthy, who serves as a research professor of legal anthropology at SASTRA University.....Read more


Source web page: Times of India

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