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JULY 19,2017


Aadhaar: 9-judge Bench to consider whether privacy is a basic right

  • A nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear the question whether privacy is a fundamental human right and is part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • The decision taken on Tuesday by a five-judge Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Khehar is on the basis of a bunch of petitions contending that the Aadhaar scheme, is a violation of the citizens’ right to privacy. The petitioners have argued that right to privacy is part of Article 21, the right to life, and interspersed in Article 19, though not explicitly stated in the Constitution.
  • Two judgments of the Supreme Court — the M.P. Sharma case verdict pronounced by an eight-judge Bench in 1954 shortly after the Constitution came into force in 1950 and the Kharak Singh case verdict of 1962 by a six-judge Bench — had dominated the judicial dialogue on privacy since Independence. Both judgments had concluded that privacy was not a fundamental or ‘guaranteed’ right.

Taking a final call

  • “In a Republic founded on a written Constitution, it is difficult to accept there is no fundamental right to privacy… There is a battery of judgments saying privacy is a fundamental right, we cannot ignore them. We have to give serious thought to this question,” Justice Chelameswar told the government.

Mahadayi row: Karnataka puts the ball in PM’s court

  • After being rebuked by the Goa government for trying to find an out-of-court settlement to the Mahadayi water-sharing row, Karnataka has again sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to find an amicable solution.

Goa’s U-turn

  • Initially, Goa’s Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar had responded positively to the move. But he has now done a U-turn by ruling out any out-of-court settlement.
  • Pointing out that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had intervened in the Telugu Ganga issue and the Narmada river water-sharing row, Mr.Patil demanded that Mr. Modi follow suit.

‘Mineral funds being used for infrastructure’

  • Mines, Minerals and People (MM&P), and other organisations, will meet members of Parliament in New Delhi on July 26 to prevail upon them to pressure the government on the establishing of Future Generation Funds in all States for the welfare of the children, curbing of illegal mining, the proper utilisation of funds collected under District Mineral Foundation, and ensuring that mining leases are given only after the prior approval of the gram sabhas.
  • MM&P has been on the forefront in taking up the cause of the people affected by mining activities.

Many displaced

  • The Supreme Court, in an order pertaining to Goa mining case, had for the first time, directed setting of Future Generation Fund to be used for the welfare of the children in the areas affected by mining activities. The same needed to be forwarded in other States too.
  • Mr. Shrimali said that parliamentarians would be asked to take suitable decisions to curb illegal mining all over the country resulting in looting of natural mineral resources and causing a severe impact on the environment, ecology and public health.
  • “The community (people) should have rights over the natural mineral resources and their consent should be made mandatory before granting mining leases,” he stressed.