The characterization of human dignity can be very well linked with law and
morality. Consequently, associations between the rule of law and human dignity
take steps to create the only disarray of theoretical, standardizing, and
disciplinary discussions. The basic connotation of rule of law
equity, justice, and good conscience. Indian Constitution is one of the
one-of-a-kind Constitutions of the world which deals with every single area of
the general public. The designers of the Constitution knew about the
significance of human respect and value and in this manner, they fused the word
human dignity in the Preamble of the Constitution of India.
The Constitution gave different rights for example right to equality, right to
freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, right to
cultural and educational rights, right to constitutional remedy, which discusses
the holiest, basic, regular, and inborn rights. Fundamental rights are ensured
by the Constitution to all individuals with no discrimination. The safeguard of
Fundamental Rights preserves and protects human dignity.
Recently, in Naz
Foundation v. Government of NCT and others, the Court saw that The
Constitutional safeguard of human dignity expects us to recognize the worth and
value of all people as an individual of our society. All citizens of India will
live and appreciate a quiet, noble life with no unsettling influences.
Social equity which is the base of the Indian Constitution has its suggestions
in the criminal equity framework as well. The preamble of the Indian
Constitution itself clarifies that there is uniformity among all the citizens of
India and that is the reasoning behind all people being equivalent under the
watchful eye of the law including administrators and followers of the equivalent
law. The Constitution of India likewise ensures equal justice to all the
individuals of India apart from their caste and religion.
Article 21 is the most fundamental and predominant in the Constitution of
India. This Article is hugely utilized by the citizens as it is enforceable
against the State. Each human life is valuable and beautiful. One must offer
appreciation to one’s human dignity. In this way, it is all around perceived and
the establishment of an ethical vision for
Article 21Article 21 reads as:
No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to
a procedure established by law.
According to Bhagwati, J., Article 21 embodies a constitutional value of
supreme importance in a democratic society.
Iyer, J., has characterized Article
21 as the procedural Magna Carta protective of life and liberty.
This right has been held to be the heart of the Constitution, the most organic
and progressive provision in our living constitution, the foundation of our
Article 21 can only be claimed when a person is deprived of his life or personal liberty by the State as defined in Article 12. Violation of the
right by private individuals is not within the preview of Article 21.
Article 21 secures two rights
- Right to life, and
- Right to personal liberty.
The article prohibits the deprivation of the above rights except according to a
procedure established by law. Article 21 corresponds to the Magna Carta of 1215,
the Fifth Amendment to the American Constitution, Article 40(4) of the
Constitution of Eire 1937, and Article XXXI of the Constitution of Japan, 1946.
Article 21 applies to natural persons. The right is available to every person,
citizen, or alien. Thus, even a foreigner can claim this right. It, however,
does not entitle a foreigner the right to reside and settle in India, as
mentioned in Article 19 (1) (e).
Meaning And Concept Of ‘Right To Life’
Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of person
. The right
to life is undoubtedly the most fundamental of all rights. All other rights add
quality to the life in question and depend on the pre-existence of life itself
for their operation. As human rights can only attach to living beings, one might
expect the right to life itself to be in some sense primary, since none of the
other rights would have any value or utility without it.
There would have been
no Fundamental Rights worth mentioning if Article 21 had been interpreted in its
original sense. This Section will examine the right to life as interpreted and
applied by the Supreme Court of India.
Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950 provides that:
No person shall be
deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure
established by law. ‘Life’ in Article 21 of the Constitution is not merely the
physical act of breathing. It does not connote mere animal existence or
continued drudgery through life. It has a much wider meaning which includes the
right to live with human dignity, right to livelihood, right to health, right to
pollution-free air, etc.
Right to life is fundamental to our very existence without which we cannot live
as human beings and includes all those aspects of life, which go to make a man’s
life meaningful, complete, and worth living. It is the only article in the
Constitution that has received the widest possible interpretation. Under the
canopy of Article 21, so many rights have found shelter, growth, and
nourishment. Thus, the bare necessities, minimum and basic requirements that are
essential and unavoidable for a person is the core concept of the right to life.
In the case of Kharak Singh v. the State of Uttar Pradesh
, the Supreme Court
quoted and held that:
By the term life
as here used something more is meant than mere animal
existence. The inhibition against its deprivation extends to all those limbs and
faculties by which life is enjoyed. The provision equally prohibits the
mutilation of the body by amputation of an armored leg or the pulling out of an
eye, or the destruction of any other organ of the body through which the soul
communicates with the outer world.
In Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration
, the Supreme Court reiterated with the
approval of the above observations and held that the right to life included
the right to lead a healthy life to enjoy all faculties of the human body in
their prime conditions. It would even include the right to protection of a
person’s tradition, culture, heritage, and all that gives meaning to a man’s
life. It includes the right to live in peace, to sleep in peace, and the right
to repose and health.
Right ambit the To Live With Human Dignity
In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India
, the Supreme Court gave a new
dimension to Art. 21 and held that the right to live is not merely a physical
right but includes within its right to live with human dignity.
Elaborating the same view, the Court in Francis Coralie v. Union Territory of
The right to live includes the right to live with human dignity and all that
goes along with it, viz., the bare necessities of life such as adequate
nutrition, clothing and shelter over the head and facilities for reading writing
and expressing oneself in diverse forms, freely moving about and mixing and
mingling with fellow human beings and must include the right to necessities the
necessities of life and also the right to carry on functions and activities as
constitute the bare minimum expression of the human self.
Another broad formulation of the theme of life to dignity is to be found in Bandhua
Mukti Morcha v. Union of India
. Characterizing Art. 21 as the heart of
fundamental rights, the Court gave it an expanded interpretation. Bhagwati J.
It is the fundamental right of everyone in this country… to live with human
dignity free from exploitation. This right to live with human dignity enshrined
in Article 21 derives its life breath from the Directive Principles of State
Policy and particularly clauses (e) and (f) of Article 39 and Articles 41 and 42
and at the least, therefore, it must include protection of the health and
strength of workers, men and women, and of the tender age of children against
abuse, opportunities and facilities for children to develop healthily and in
conditions of freedom and dignity, educational facilities, just and humane
conditions of work and maternity relief.
These are the minimum requirements which must exist to enable a person to live
with human dignity and no State neither the Central Government nor any State
Government-has the right to take any action which will deprive a person of the
enjoyment of these essentials.
Following the above-stated cases, the Supreme Court in Peoples Union for
Democratic Rights v. Union of India
, held that non-payment of minimum wages
to the workers employed in various Asiad Projects in Delhi was a denial to them
of their right to live with basic human dignity and violative of Article 21 of
Bhagwati J. held that rights and benefits conferred on workmen employed by a
contractor under various labor laws are clearly intended to ensure basic human
dignity to workmen. He held that the non-implementation by the private
contractors engaged in constructing a building for holding Asian Games in Delhi,
and non-enforcement of these laws by the State Authorities of the provisions of
these laws was held to be violative of the fundamental right of workers to live
with human dignity contained in Art. 21.
In Chandra Raja Kumar v. Police Commissioner Hyderabad
, it has been held
that the right to life includes the right to live with human dignity and decency
and, therefore, holding of beauty contest is repugnant to the dignity or decency
of women and offends Article 21 of the Constitution only if the same is grossly
indecent, scurrilous, obscene, or intended for blackmailing. The government is
empowered to prohibit the contest as objectionable performance under Section 3
of the Andhra Pradesh Objectionable Performances Prohibition Act, 1956.
In State of Maharashtra v. Chandrabhan,
the Court struck down a provision
of Bombay Civil Service Rules, 1959, which provided for payment of only a
nominal subsistence allowance of Re. 1 per month to a suspended Government
Servant upon his conviction during the pendency of his appeal as
unconstitutional on the ground that it was violative of Article 21 of the
Human Rights are supposed to be perceived. Human Rights are supposed to be
unavoidable, common, and characteristic. Every single individual is supposed to
be equivalent. The fundamental suppositions are that the individuals are had
sane and moral abilities which separate them from different animals on earth and
in this way, they are qualified for specific rights and opportunities which
different animals don’t have. The prior investigation focused on the issues of
utilizing human respect in philosophical and moral ideas.
The idea itself is hazy, and one significant present-day use faces the issue of
trying to be interstitial inside and between regulating fields that are
themselves impervious to the general concept of such interstitial ideas. All
things considered, there are valid justifications why such a broad idea ought to
be essential in our intuition, and hence human poise is probably going to stay a
segment of regulating talk despite its risky attributes.