Right to privacy verdict: Judge son corrects father’s controversial ruling of suspending Right to Life during Emergency

Updated On : 25 Aug , 2017 , 01:20 PM
Supreme Court - File Photo
Supreme Court - File Photo
New Delhi:

The nine-judge SC bench's landmark verdict pronouncing Right to Privacy as a fundamental right has been dubbed as a historic ruling by the apex court in many ways.

Not only has it been hailed by legal experts as one of the most forthright judgements in the history of the Indian judiciary but has also helped erase the much controversial SC judgement upholding the govt's decision to suspend right to life during the Emergency-era in 1976, a blot in the otherwise near to impeccable history of Supreme Court

When a nine-judge SC bench did that on Thursday through Justice D Y Chandrachud's lead judgment, the main author was carrying out the herculean task of overruling his father Justice Y V Chandrachud, who was part of the majority judgment which had endorsed the Indira Gandhi government's decision to suspend right to life during Emergency.

The majority judgment of the 1976 verdict was written by Justice M H Beg with whom then CJI A N Ray and Justices Chandrachud and P N Bhagwati had agreed. Justice H R Khanna had strongly dissented, stressing the inviolability of right to life.

Driven passionately to correct a constitutional blunder to which his father was a party 41 years ago, son Chandrachud displayed steely resolve to tread the constitutional path and declare, "The judgments rendered by all the four judges constituting the majority in ADM Jabalpur are seriously flawed... ADM Jabalpur must be and is accordingly overruled.

"Justice Khanna was clearly right in holding that the recognition of right to life and personal liberty under the Constitution does not denude the existence of that right, apart from it nor can there be a fatuous assumption that in adopting the Constitution, the people of India surrendered the most precious aspect of the human persona, namely, life, liberty and freedom to the state on whose mercy these rights would depend.

On the quality and value of A D M Jabalpur judgment, Justice Chandrachud said, "When histories of nations are written and critiqued, there are judicial decisions at the forefront of liberty. Yet others have to be consigned to the archives, reflective of what was, but should never have been."

First Published : Friday, August 25, 2017 12:43 PM
Download the News Nation Mobile App and stay connected with top stories from India and around the world. Available on Android and iOS.