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Right to Life Under the Constitution of India

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Our lives are the most beautiful gifts of nature bestowed upon us. We get only one life, so it’s our bounded duty to live it to the fullest. Each life whether great or simple has its value as everyone adds some or other colour to the canvas of the time. It does not matter whether one
is a king.

After a long struggle with the colonial giants, India achieved her freedom, and the forefathers of the struggle decided and ventured to provide graceful lives to the citizens of India. Indian constitution celebrates the life and freedom of every citizen irrespective of class, caste, or gender. The Right to Life is a fundamental right that has been inscribed in Part 3 of the Constitution of India:

“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure
established by law.” –Article 21
The Right to Life does not mean just to keep on living anyhow rather it provides possibilities to live life with dignity. It provides conditions in which the life of an individual thrives to the fullest. The Supreme Court of India praised the Right to Life as the “heart of fundamental rights”.

The Right to Life under the Constitution of India cannot be suspended even during an emergency. It does not even allow an individual to take his/her own life as life is not limited to that person only rather it is a social asset also that cannot be put into danger in any circumstances. The Right to Life is a sum-up of many rights including the rights to livelihood, privacy, shelter, free education up to 14 years of age, free legal aid, speedy trial, traveling abroad, emergency medical aid, a fair trial, social security and protection of family, etc. Apart from these, it provides one a say against solitary confinement, handcuffing,
inhuman treatment, custodial harassment, public hanging, etc.

Article 21 has been explained and updated several times by courts during various trials e.g. Kharak Sigh vs. the State of UP and Others led to the inclusion of the Right to Privacy in Article 21; Sunil Batra vs. Delhi Administration paved the way for better treatment for a convicted person; Lachma Devi vs. Attorney General of India called the execution of a death sentence at a public place unconstitutional, etc. In a democracy like India, the Right to Life is of the utmost importance. It provides a human being a say against ill-treatment and covers all segments of life. According to Bruce Montague, “One cannot have a right to life without the right to defend it with deadly force.”

 

Best Law College

Dr. Amita Anand Dubey

Ph.D., NET, MSET, B.Ed.
Asst. Professor at Shri L. R Tiwari College of Law

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