March 3, 2024

Voice of Barristers

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An analysis of the background of the emergence and importance of Article 21 in India

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Introduction

The right to life and personal freedom is one of the most crucial and hallowed human rights under the provisions of the Constitution of many nations like the United States of America, Switzerland, India, and others. It is not an exhaustive right but incorporates inside its ambit different other fundamental rights. Prior, these rights only existed within the restricted walls and were given strict elucidation. The development of humans is not fair socially but too developed within the areas of instruction and economics. Globalization has led to indeed more extensive elucidation of the terms Life and Liberty nowadays that covers an entire lot of rights inside its ambit and the horizon is still extending and ever-advancing. The transformation within the basic concept makes it significant that the concept of the right to life and personal liberty must be examined about the new development, meaning, and profundity alongside the part of legal and justification for such generous elucidation.

Wondering how serious is India about Article 21?

The article is a commitment or an obligation upon the state to ensure the life and liberty of all the people within the domain in all circumstances but where it is allowed under the established procedures and the law is being followed. These are the basic human rights that indeed the State cannot abuse. The rights secured under this article are the ‘Right to life and personal liberty.’ As per the Indian constitution, the protection under this article is not as it was confined to the citizens but is available to all the people living within the domain of India. The Supreme Court within the case of Chairman, Railway Board v. Chandrima Das has emphasized that “even those who come to India as tourists too have right to live, so long as they are here, with human dignity, just as the State is under an obligation to protect the life of every citizen in this nation, so also the State is under a commitment to secure the life of the persons who are not a citizen.”

Article 21 consists of: –

A: – Right to Life

B: – Personal Liberty

Personal Liberty consists of: –

  1. The right to equal opportunity
  2. The right to freedom under Article 19
  3. Right against exploitation
  4. The right to freedom of religion
  5. Cultural and educational rights
  6. Remedies constitutional right
  7. Right to education
  8. Right against arbitrary arrest and detention
  9. Prohibition of child labor and trafficking

One of the major cases was Maneka Gandhi v Union of India the Supreme Court held that Articles 14, 19, and 21 are not mutually exclusive and Article 21 within its broad ambit contains all these rights mentioned specifically under Articles 14 and 19. These three articles are collectively known as the golden triangle and the Magna Carta of human rights. “The fundamental rights conferred in Part III of the Constitution are neither distinctive nor mutually exclusive.” Any law depriving a person of his liberty must stand the test of one or more of the fundamental rights conferred under Article 19. When referring to Article 14, the concept of reasonableness must be tested and projected in the procedure.

C: – Right to privacy

The right to protection has now been recognized to be a natural part of the right to life and personal freedom. Within the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) v. Union of India decisions and preserves the sanctity of the private sphere of an individual. The correct protection is not the “right to be let alone” and has a voyage distant beyond that initial concept. It presently consolidates the thoughts of spatial security and decisional protection or security of choice. It amplifies the correct to create crucial individual choices, counting those relating to insinuating sexual conduct, without ridiculous State impedances.

Conclusion

The doctrine of legal activism which justifies simple and constant readiness to set aside choices of other branches of government is getting to be entirely contradictory with confidence in democracy and in so distant it empowers a conviction that judges ought to be cleared out to adjust the result of open indifference. Thus, a great duty has been conferred upon the legal wing to analyze and interpret the meaning of freedom and life which is the fundamental human right and as it is best said that with great control, comes incredible duty, consequently, legal must follow by its duty. When the judiciary surpasses its control to stop and abuse or abuse of control by the government in a way, it limits the working of the government. The work and obligation of the governing body to create laws and the part of the legal are to fill the hole of laws and to actualize them legitimately. Subsequently, it is recommended that an adjustment must be kept up between the obligations of these two bodies a fine balance between these government bodies can sustain the constitutional values so that the only work remaining for the judiciary is interpretations. Judiciary through judicial activism must perform the role and set out a system of balances and controls for the other branches of the government.

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