Importance Of Right To Life

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The most important ingredient of Article 21 is the expression 'Life'. Right to life under Article 21 is something more than mere survival or animal existence. It is something more than mere breathing. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has held in Francis Coralie Mullin v. Union Territory that right to life would include the right to live with human dignity. With this interpretation given to Article 21, the door was made open for various kinds of rights which will have to be read into the Right to life with human dignity. Thus right to minimum subsistence during suspension (State of Maharashtra v. Chandrabhan ), right of a person not to be subjected to bonded labour or to unfair labour conditions, (People's Union v. Union of India ),
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So this right has been stressed by international, regional and national documents. For example, Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: ``every one has the right to life, liberty and security of person.'' Similarly, Article 2(1) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights 1950 declares. ``Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law.'' Article 21 of the Indian Constitution provides that none shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. The right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is not merely a fundamental right, but is a basic human right. The fundamental rights are mostly of individual character and meant to protect individuals against arbitrary state action. Several of these fundamental rights are ordinarily capable of enjoyment only by persons who are already free from want and necessity. Thus, economic and social freedom is necessary in addition to political freedom. This means that in order to realize one's rights, the role of the state is also…show more content…
A person cannot have a right unless others accept it and create conditions for him to enjoy it freely. This means that rights always presuppose duty. But others will not admit it unless similar rights are assured to them. It implies that the nature of their obligation is determined by the content of their right. So man's duty follows from his rights and not vice-versa
A grand step was taken by the Court in expanding the scope of Art. 21 when it argued that 'life' in Art. 21 does not mean merely 'animal existence' but living with 'human dignity'. The Court has thus given very extensive parameters to Art 21.
In Francis Coralie Mullin v. Administrator, Union Territory of Delhi. "But the question which arises is whether the right to life is limited only to protection of limb or faculty or does it go further and embrace something more. We think that the right to life includes the right to live with human dignity and all that goes along with it, namely, the bare necessaries 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 commingling with fellow human beings.

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