Life, Liberty and Dignity in the Indian Constitution – A Legal Study​​

Agnes Priscilla
Lecturer, Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian College, India.

Volume IV, Issue I, 2021

Man, to a great degree, controls his own destiny, but he too is exposed to certain basic impulses and this may be noticed by perceiving human nature. Man is free, rational and has the capacity to act in manner which is in conflict with eternal law, unlike the rest of the creation this eternal law had to be proclaimed to him through reason. The doctrines of natural law and social contract were prominent in the legal philosophy of Immanuel Kant. According to Kant “Freedom in law means freedom from arbitrary subjection to another and law is the complex totality of conditions under which maximum freedom is possible for all”. The Magna Carta and the Petition of Rights,1628 were repeatedly reiterated and finally concluded in the Bill of Rights 1689, which was passed as a Parliamentary Statute. The Act of Settlement 1701 which followed had for its title. An Act declaring Rights and Liberties of the Subject which were affirmed as the Birth Rights of the People of England.

The term Life signifies every aspect of vitality which puts a human being in good shape for self-determination. Hence life includes bodily including cerebral health and freedom from the pain that betokens organic malfunctioning injury.  According to Locke, liberty was one’s right to do what one chooses with what is one’s own- to freely follow one’s own will and not the command of another, as long as he respects the equal rights of others. According to Hobbes Freedom means “non interference, independence from the State, the personal and proprietary liberty of the governed”.

Keywords Liberty, Freedom, Life, Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, non interference