As per Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.”
Article 21 is a superb example of the Constitution of India's transformative nature. The Indian judiciary has given Article 21 a broader sense and significance. These interpretations of the 'right to life' and ‘right to liberty’ have their own set of complications. Let's discuss it in a simple way.
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Article 21 of the Indian constitution defines life as more than just animal existence or the act of breathing. It ensures the right to a decent existence.
Mohini Jain vs. the State of Karnataka, 1992 SC
The SC held that the Right to life also includes the Right to education.
AK Gopalan Case (1950)
Article 21 had a rather limited scope until the 1950s. The Supreme Court ruled that the phrase "procedure established by law" in the Constitution conveyed the British concept of personal liberty rather than the American concept of "due process" in this case.
Sunil Batra vs. Delhi Administration
In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the use of deadly handcuffs on convicted criminals is illegal since it reflects inhumane treatment of the prisoner. The court reaffirmed Article 21's "protection of the convicted and accused person" clause.
Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India Case (1978)
The Gopalan case was reversed in this case. Articles 19 and 21 are not watertight compartments, according to the Supreme Court. Article 21's concept of personal liberty encompasses a wide range of rights, some of which are enshrined in Article 19, providing them with "additional protection." The court went on to say that a statute that falls under Article 21 must also meet the conditions of Article 19. That means that any legal procedure for depriving someone of their life or liberty must be fair, reasonable, and arbitrary.
Francis Coralie Mullin vs. Union Territory of Delhi (1981)
The court ruled in this decision that any procedure for depriving someone of their life or liberty must be rational, fair, and just, rather than arbitrary, whimsical, or fantastical.
Subhash Kumar vs. the State of Bihar
The right to clean air was placed in the scope of the right to life by the Supreme Court.
Lachma Devi vs. Attorney General of India
In this case, SC made the execution of a death sentence at a public place unconstitutional.
Olga Tellis vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation (1985)
This case reaffirmed the former position that any method that deprives a person of their fundamental rights must follow the rules of fair play and fairness.
Unni Krishnan vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (1993)
The Supreme Court supported the enlarged interpretation of the right to life in this instance.
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The Right to Elementary Education is guaranteed under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution, which was inserted in 2002 as part of the 86th Amendment. It stipulates that children from 6 to 14 years have the right to free education. Article 21A of the constitution went into force on April 1, 2010, and anyone who violates it can face serious consequences.