Right to Life and Personal Liberty: Scope of Article 21

  • Sandhya Prabhakaran
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  • Sandhya Prabhakaran

    Student at Amity Law School, Noida, India.

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Right to life is provided to every person through Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Right to life not only refers to mere existence while breathing, but way more than that with multiple rights and interpretations included. Living a dignified life with the basic food, clothing, and shelter, having the right to get educated, including the right to live in a pollution free environment, right to have medical health care facilities, right to have privacy and many more rights are held to be under the scope of Article 21 of the Constitution of India through various judgments. Article 21 is one of the most important fundamental right provided in the Constitution of India. It is a proviso that covers almost entire facets of how to run a peaceful life. Article 21 provides two major rights which include right to life and right to personal liberty. Article 21 ensures that a person is never robbed off their right to life and the right to personal liberty unless as per the procedures established by the law. The scope of Article 21 is so wide that judicial intervention keeps expanding its meaning and provides various rights to be included in it which are necessary to complete the meaning of right to life and personal liberty. Be it right to travel as interpreted through Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India or protection from sexual harassment at workplace as interpreted through VISHAKA v. State of Rajasthan, judiciary’s intervention in the process of interpreting the rights included in Article 21 has made the scope wider. Article 21 even includes right to die with dignity (passive euthanasia, but only on case-by-case basis, Supreme Court held in Aruna Shanbaugh v. Union of India).


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 4, Page 500 - 511

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.113365

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