Sadegh Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran's judiciary, is taking over as chairman of the powerful Expediency Council. Representational photo: iStock

The Supreme Court of India decided on Tuesday to establish a nine-judge bench to determine whether privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution, according to media reports. The move was prompted by concerns over the biometric Aadhaar identity card scheme’s alleged infringement on the “fundamental right to privacy.”

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar said that the new bench would examine the merits of the two judgments delivered in the cases of Kharak Singh and MP Sharma, which stated that privacy was not a fundamental right. The Kharak Singh judgment was delivered in 1960 by a six- judge bench, while the MP Sharma verdict was delivered by an eight-judge Constitution bench in 1950.

The new bench will assemble on Wednesday to consider whether the fundamental rights described in Part III of the Constitution cover privacy.

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