Right to Life – The Indian Realm

The Constitution of India is the supreme law of the country. This is the framework in which all other laws are incorporated. In India, the Constitution certainly defines the policies, procedures and laws that set out the powers and duties of the government and various central and state agencies. It also establishes the rights and obligations of people to the state.

The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution in the world and consists of 22 parts, 12 schedules and 5 annexes.

The Constitution of India is novel in its approach and wording. India is a vast and diverse country with many aspects and issues to deal with. In a secular, democratic republic like India, the people are paramount and the law should ensure that everyone is equally protected regardless of their classification, such as caste, colour or creed. It is a legislative duty.

Part III and IV of The Indian Constitution

As the main social document of the country, the Constitution of India has two very important parts, namely Parts III and IV of the Constitution, which basically stipulates basic rights and guiding principles of policy. state to the country. The following is a very important question, i.e. – “What are the basic rights?”

Fundamental Rights are a set of rights enshrined in the bill of rights contained in Part III of the Constitution of India. Fundamental rights guarantee certain civil liberties to all people, citizens or foreigners, enabling them to live their lives dignified, in peace and harmony, and in full harmony. satisfied.

Of all the basic rights that exist, the most critical is the Right to life.

Article 21 of the Constitution provides that the Constitution guarantees the right to life and individual liberties to every person, citizen or foreigner, and invokes specific provisions in which these rights must be applied and respected.

Article 21 guarantees the protection of life and personal liberties to all individuals and provides that “No one shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.

The real test of a democracy is how well its laws govern the lives and liberties of its people. In England, the charter of liberties was enshrined in the Magna Carta of 1215. Along the same line, in the United States, the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution is Article 21 in India and Article XXXI of the Constitution of Japan, 1946 reflects what is stated in Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Literally, this right means the fundamental right to life as stated in Article 21, which, as mentioned above, prevents any form of infringement of individual liberties and deprivation of life of any person. any individual, except under a due process. established by law.

A clear reading of this article indicates that this right protects citizens against any act of the State that infringes upon the basic dignity of life and freedoms of all citizens.

According to Hon’ble Justice Bhagwati, Article 21 “embodies a constitutional value of supreme importance in a democratic society.” Article 21 has also been linked to “the magna carta for protecting life and liberty”.

Article 21 applies to all natural persons and is accessible to any individual, citizen or foreigner, which means that even foreigners can claim this right.

What does ‘the right to life’ embody?

Article 21, which includes the right to life and liberty, is the right from which all other rights derive. Without the right to life and liberty, all other fundamental rights would be completely meaningless.

When we analyse the meaning and implications of Article 21, we can consider that it includes two separate rights that are, in fact, inseparable and parallel. These two rights are,

  1. the right to life, and
  2. the right to individual liberty.

The ‘right to life

“Life” mentioned in Article 21 does not simply mean living or the act of physical breathing. It has a much deeper meaning, which means:

  • Right to live with human dignity;
  • Right to livelihood;
  • Right to health;
  • Right to pollution-free air; and
  • Right to live a quality life.
  • Right to go abroad;
  • Right to privacy;
  • Right against solitary confinement;
  • Right against delayed execution;
  • Right to shelter;
  • Right against custodial death;
  • Right against public hanging; and
  • anything and everything that fulfils the criteria for a dignified life.

Article 21 is, in a sense, infinite in scope as it embodies all that a person needs to live a quality life to be able to earn the opportunities to make his life work. Better, more efficient and safer.

In a historic ruling on the right to life, the Honorable Supreme Court has notably ruled that “the life used here is not merely animal existence…”

The right to life, therefore, includes the right to live with human dignity and all that comes with it, i.e. the necessities of life such as food, clothing, and shelter and means of convenient self-expression such as literacy and self-expression in various forms, free movement and integration and integration in society. To have all this is to live with dignity, and we can consider ourselves fortunate to be governed by laws that guarantee the basic law of life and freedom.

Thus, it can be seen that the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 fully covers all the rights and obligations to ensure a free and dignified life.

What is ‘the procedure established by law, as stated in Article 21?

We have analyzed the first part of the article, summarizing that every individual has a fundamental right to his personal life and liberties, unless deprived by due process.

Again, article 21 states that “No one may be deprived of his life and his personal liberty except by due process prescribed by law.

The term “procedure established by law” has been scrutinized in various landmark cases and consensus is the procedure prescribed by law to deprive life and liberty of one’s personal identity must be “just, fair and just” and not “arbitrary, vain and oppressive”, otherwise it will directly violate Article 21.

Effectiveness of Article 21

Article 21 of our constitution is the broadest provision and scope and, to be fair, it is the foundation upon which all other laws are based. The right to life and liberty affects every person in the country, every moment of their life and is something that we must always value and protect because our ancestors guaranteed it. for us and is maintained through legal oversight. the system preserves our rights.

The gist here is that this is a significant paper, i.e. clause 21 can be partially understood to determine its significance, but must be read as a whole to understand its actual effect. its fact. Article 21 is essentially responsible for facilitating the full development of an individual and ensuring the dignity of his or her life through the power conferred on that person by law. The effect of this law can only be achieved if it is based on due process mechanisms that are fair and equal for all.

The right to life and fundamental freedoms mentioned in Article 21 can and should be read according to the guiding principles of state policy listed in Part IV of the Constitution of India.

Some guiding principles are listed below for easy reference:

  • the right to unpolluted air and water;
  • protect litigants;
  • the right to the integral development of every child; and
  • cultural heritage protection.

In this way, the Constitution and the legislators of India have made the necessary efforts to ensure that the fundamental right to life and individual liberties is within the reach of every individual. A study of court decisions and statements on the matter highlights the flexibility and ease with which this right is exercised. This humanitarian vision, in which the right to life is seen as a feature of our legal system, and it is this quality that breathes life into our constitution, giving it life and enabling it. change with the pressures and demands of our ever-changing society, despite the economic and cultural inequalities that weigh heavily on the basic quality of life for many in India.

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