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Big day for K.K. Venugopal as Supreme Court hears privacy case today

LiveMint logoLiveMint 25-07-2017 Shreya Agarwal

New Delhi: The resumption of hearing on whether privacy is a fundamental right in the Supreme Court on Wednesday will mark a big day in office for K.K. Venugopal as the country’s newest attorney general.

Venugopal, who was the additional solicitor general in 1977 and has handled several high-profile cases as a lawyer, will set out the government’s case before a nine-judge constitution bench.

Having appeared in various high-profile cases like the Babri Masjid demolition case and the 2G spectrum case, Venugopal is seen as the most suited legal mind to mount the government’s defence in what is one of the biggest constitutional questions of recent years.

Other significant constitutional cases under his belt are the Mandal case (on the issue of reservation in promotions in government jobs), judges’ appointment and the disproportionate assets case against late Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.

In the big case on the right to privacy, he is backed by more than 50 years of legal experience, including helping shape the Constitution of Bhutan.

The privacy case revolves around Aadhaar, the centre’s twelve-digit biometric unique identification card, which has faced criticism for collecting biometric data of card holders without due statutory backing. It is under challenge for allegedly violating the right to privacy of citizens. As a result, the question of whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right has resurfaced as the point of law around which the entire debate revolves.

“Given the pervasive nature of modern technology and social media, it has become all the more important that the court decides on the issue of right to privacy,” said Kartikeya Gajjala, an advocate at a top-notch law firm.

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