Nine Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court have delivered a landmark judgement on 24.08.2016 on the Right to Privacy by declaring it to be part of the fundamental rights of every citizen. It has also held that the guarantee of constitutional rights does not depend upon their exercise being favourably regarded by the majority.
This is a historic judgment as it has endorsed and upheld the principle that the majoritarian concept does not apply to Constitutional Rights. It shall be a step forward in constraining governmental power to shield the fundamental freedoms against legislative majorities. That will ultimately serve as a check on policy making of the government, legislative processes and administrative action and shall keep them under control.
The practice of religion and most aspects of our lives that religion concerns itself with such as how we worship, what we eat, who we marry and what practices accompany the birth of our children and our death are among the most private of matters. By putting a person’s house, their person and their personal lives beyond the reach of the State, the Supreme Court has placed most aspects of one’s life that are touched by religion beyond the reach of motivated or malicious State action. With this judgment, coupled with the law laid down by five Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court on 22.08.2017 in Talaq Case, which held that the freedom of religion in Article 25 is absolute matters of faith have finally been given the protection they deserve in a secular democracy such as ours.
Apart from benefiting all citizens of the country at large, it will particularly help minorities, schedule castes, schedule tribes and different sects who often face the trauma of legislative/administrative action based upon majoritarian views.