The concept of life and personal liberty often becomes a strong basis for the
smooth functioning of the administration of any state as the same connects the
state to its citizens. This statement proves its worth in contemporary society
where the perception of life and personal liberty has now become an incarnate
reality as well as veracity because of the organs of any state including the
judicial system itself have taken steps to augment genuine importance to the
liberty and freedom of the people thereby making this notion as crucial as the
need might suggest in each and every case law.
It, therefore, becomes a duty of the organs of any state to protect the life and
personal liberty of its citizens and in turn, gives the same as a right to the
citizens of that particular state. The Constitution of India being the supreme
law of our nation gives this right to the citizens of India. The concept of
protection of rights and personal liberty is enshrined under the Fundamental
Rights and is specified under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
This right to life and personal liberty is the fundamental of our fundamental
rights. Nonetheless, the terminology of Article 21 begins with a negative
word-NO but this word has been duly used in reference to the word deprived
The foremost objective of the fundamental right under Article 21of the
Constitution is to preclude the infringement upon the personal liberty and
deprivation of life of the people ‘except according to the procedure established
It noticeably means that this fundamental and essential right has been provided
against the state primarily. If any act of private individual quantities to the
infringement upon personal liberty or turns into the deprivation of life of the
person aggrieved, such violation would not be categorized as a fit under the
parameters set for the application of Article 21. In such a case the remedy for
a distressed person would be either under Article 226 of the Constitution or
under any other general law.
However, if any act of a private individual, it is supported by the state has
resulted in the infringement of the personal liberty or life of another person,
the act will positively come under the compass of Article 21 as this article
deals with the deterrence of the encroachment upon personal liberty or the
deprivation of life of a person.
Article 226 of the Constitution provides the power to the Hon’ble High Courts of
the country to adjudicate the matters related to the Article 21 of the
Constitution of India. The case laws are initiated in the High Courts under the
ambit of its writ jurisdiction wherein the courts issue the writs as per the
facts and the requirements of each and every case.
The Constitution of India also provides additional authority to the High Courts
where there is an option to issue the prerogative writs thereby widening the
jurisdiction of the high courts and broadening the ambit of the protection of
the rights of the citizens of the country. In the case Mr. E.S. Sanjeeva Rao
vs Central Bureau of Investigation
, it was stated by the High Court of
Bombay that a definitive judgment shall be as such that it results in the
complete protection of the personal liberty of the person who is aggrieved.
In Abdul Kasem Ali Ahmed vs State Of Assam And Ors
; the Gauhati High
Court explained the difference between a public wrong and a private wrong by
verbatim stating that ‘What, now, needs to be noted is that howsoever thin and
subtle maybe, there is, indeed, a real and definite line of demarcation not only
between a public wrong and a private wrong, but also between a public law remedy
and private law remedy.
Article 226 is pre-eminently a public law remedy and is not, generally,
available as a remedy against private wrongs. Resort to Article 226 can be had
to enforce various rights of the public or to compel the public or statutory
authorities to discharge their public duties and/or to act, in the realm of
their public functions, within the bounds of the law. The remedy under Article
226 can, no doubt, be availed of even against a private body or person; but the
scope of the right of mandamus is limited to enforcement of public duty.
Thus concluding, the High Courts of the nation have been provided a wider scope
than that of the apex court of the nation. The Hon’ble courts have often
provided remedies which have resulted in the increase in the trust of the
citizens upon the judicial system of the nation.
This stands to be very crucial and essential for the proper and smooth
functioning of the organs of the nation and the relationship between the
citizens and the administrative authorities as Article 21 connects the state to
the citizens in a direct sense.
- Criminal Writ Petition No. 2637 OF 2010; Bombay High Court
- 2007 (1) CTLJ 323 Gau, (2007) 2 GLR 232, 2007 (1) GLT 784