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Data Protection Law: Panel Constituted by Centre

by Vidhi KoolwalAugust 1, 2017

While the Supreme Court is hearing upon whether Right to Privacy is affected by the collection of data under the Aadhar scheme or rather whether the Right to privacy is a fundamental right, implicit under the Constitution of India, the Centre has set up a panel of experts for studying the issues relating to the Right and to further draft a law on the protection of data of the people.

The Counsel representing the UIDAI, in the Aadhar Case, has submitted before the Court that the panel, which is to be headed by former Mr. Justice BN Srikrishna, was set up by the Centre as “the government is cognizant of the growing importance of data protection in India. The need to ensure growth of the digital economy while keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected is of utmost importance.”

However, the Counsel did not deviate from his stand on not recognizing privacy as a fundamental right and submitted that, “privacy is not a fundamental right, privacy is subjective and dependent on human behavior. Any attempt by the court to robe it in the status of a fundamental right would damage the nation and stymie the government’s efforts for good governance.”

Justice RF Nariman, on the other hand, disagreed with the stand of the government and stated that privacy has been recognized by international conventions as an inalienable human right and the directive principles of state policy obliged it read privacy into fundamental rights.

The Members of the Panel are also to include the Telecom Secretary, Ms Aruna Sundararajan, CEO of UIDAI, Mr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of IT, Mr. Ajay Kumar, IIT Raipur Director, Mr. Rajat Moona, IIM Indore Director, Mr. Rishikesha T Krishnan, National Cyber Security Coordinator, Mr. Gulshan Rai, the Director of thr Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy Research, Arghya Sengupta, Data Security Council of India CEO Rama Vedashree and a Joint Secretary of the IT Ministry.

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