Amit Shah comes down heavily on Congress over Right to Privacy issue

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Thursday came down heavily on Congress on the issue of Right to Privacy.

Shah, in his new blog post, said, "Congress should remember their record of trampling on Right to Life & Liberty as well as Internet Censoring."

He expressed his views after the Supreme Court on Thursday passed an order and declared privacy a fundamental right.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi attacked government over the SC verdict and said it was a rejection of the BJP's ideology of "suppression through surveillance".

Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram said the judges' unanimous verdict was a setback to the Centre which said in court that there could be no fundamental right to privacy.

Shah said, "While today's judgement is an important one, which also is in accordance with the Government's vision and actions, some mischievous propaganda needs to be busted. Those waxing eloquent today on privacy architecture are the ones who have ensured India does not have a robust privacy law for decades. Those commenting on Aadhar are the same people who did not provide it a legal backing for years!"

He further added that "today's judgement of the Supreme Court is a welcome judgement as it strengthens the Fundamental Rights and personal liberty. Our Government is committed to ensuring equitable social delivery, particularly to the poor in consonance to today's judgement by Hon'ble Supreme Court".

Shah cited observation of one of the judges in the Supreme Court's judgement which reads: "I fully agree with the view expressly overruling the ADM Jabalpur case which was an aberration in the constitutional jurisprudence of our country and the desirability of burying the majority opinion ten fathom deep, with no chance of resurrection."

The BJP President said that these words should ring a bell to the Congress Party and hoped Congress' in-house eminent lawyers brief the high command on this.

"These words also summarise how far we have come. These words also hold a mirror to the Congress Party at a time when they are engaging in a false show of jubilation and vindication. It is strange that those who snatched away the Right to Life & Right to Liberty of millions of Indians by imposing emergency are standing today as guardians of our fundamental rights based on misinterpretation of the judgement. It is equally strange that those who brought Section 66A & championed censoring on the Internet are speaking of liberties & rights," Shah said.

The BJP President also cited Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's speech in Parliament to prove his point.

"The point on right of privacy being not absolute and subject to various restrictions is also supported by other Judges. This point is also in consonance with the Government stand. Arun Jaitley in the parliament is on record saying: Is privacy a fundamental right or not? The present Bill pre-supposes and is based on the premise and that it is too late in date to contend that privacy is not a fundamental right. So, I do accept that probably privacy is a fundamental right. Now, where do you fit privacy as a fundamental right? And that is where I want to clear the misconception due to which these amendments which have been proposed. It is contended and broadly it is now accepted that privacy is a part of the individual liberty."

He further added that "BJP fully respects the Right to Privacy and I am sure with the recommendations of Srikrishna committee, we will lay down a robust privacy architecture. We are fully committed to ensure that the poor get their right in terms of service delivery without any diversion. Our Government will ensure equitable social delivery, particularly to the poor in consonance to today's judgement by Hon'ble Supreme Court".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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