Right to privacy not eclipsed by marriage
According to the High Court of Karnataka, marriage does not trump the right to privacy under the Aadhaar Act, and the personal data of one of the spouses held in Aadhaar cannot be divulged at the request of the other spouse without first hearing the spouse whose information is requested.
Privacy Rights and the Aadhaar Act:
The court stressed that the Aadhaar Act’s right to privacy is not superseded by a married relationship. The court ruled that personal data contained in the Aadhaar of one spouse cannot be revealed at the request of the other spouse unless the spouse whose information is sought is allowed to be heard.
Procedural Right of Hearing :
Marriage does not invalidate the procedural right of hearing provided by Section 33 of the Aadhaar Act, according to the court. The hearing mechanism proposed by the Act protects the right to privacy.
Rejection of Identity Merger Argument :
The court rejected the wife’s claim that marriage results in the merging of identities. This means that, according to the court, marriage does not remove an individual’s right to privacy or the requirement for due process when accessing their Aadhaar information.
UIDAI Challenge :
The UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) had appealed a direction from a Single Judge Bench to consider a woman’s RTI (Right to Information) Act petition. The woman requested access to the data form that her husband filled out during his Aadhaar enrollment.
This decision underscores the notion that the right to privacy is a vital element, even within marital partnerships, and that any revelation of personal information, particularly under the Aadhaar Act, should be subject to due process and include a hearing of the individual affected.