UP’s population bill legally violates privacy and socially alienates Muslims
In this context, it becomes imperative to discuss the concept of privacy with reference to the landmark case Justice KS Puttaswamy v. Union of India, which made privacy an inalienable fundamental right.
In that case, the court ruled that privacy extends to personal autonomy relating to mind, body and choice. The main facet of this personal autonomy are reproductive rights, which involve the right to make reproductive decisions, as recognized by the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in 1994.
In the landmark case of Suchita Srivastava against the administration of Chandigarh, the country’s highest court ruled that “freedom” under article 21 of the Constitution includes the right of a woman to make choices. matters of procreation. This right includes within its scope the right of a woman to give birth and to make decisions about reproduction, without discrimination.
However, the objective of the National Population Policy, 2000 cannot be ignored in this discussion. The policy includes a commitment to “the voluntary and informed choice and consent of citizens while benefiting from reproductive health services, and the continuation of the target-free approach in the administration of family planning services.”
Even the International Conference on Population and Development [ICPD] The Platform for Action, which India has adopted, underlines the importance of such freedom and voluntary choice.