The attention of the entire Country was on the Supreme Court verdict on the interpretation of Article 20 of the Constitution of India. At last, the verdict which was announced today upheld the right of privacy as the fundamental right. However, jurists lawyers and even common people are intrigued over the judgment of the Apex Court.
The Article 20 of the Constitution has three clauses which are reproduced as under:
Protection in respect of conviction for offences: –
(1) No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of law at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which has been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.
(2) No person shall be prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once.
(3) No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
In fact, this Article had been incorporated in the Constitution to protect innocent persons who used to be the victims of torture and third-degree methods by the police which had been condemned even by Allahabad High Court organized gangs of criminals in one of its judgments. Many have not forgotten some prisoners who had been made blind in UP. Under this Article, many accused got relief against taking thumb impressions by force.
The landmark judgment on the point was of Punjab High Court Pakhar Singh Vs. the State of Punjab. It is also interesting to note that in Article 20 of the Constitution reproduced above verbatim the words “right to privacy” does not find any place.