Previous Cases Related To Euthanasia
. 1996- Supreme Court in Gian Kaur v State of Punjab held both euthanasia and assisted suicide not lawful in India. The Court held that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution does not include the right to die
. 2011- In Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug v Union of India the Supreme Court held that passive euthanasia can be allowed under exceptional circumstances under strict monitoring
. 2014- a three-judge bench of Supreme Court of India termed the judgment in the Aruna Shanbaug Case to be ‘inconsistent in itself’ and referred the issue of euthanasia to its five-judge Constitution bench
Brij Lal v Prem Chand
In this case, the Supreme Court held that “Where there was overwhelming evidence that the accused has made the life of his wife intolerable by constantly demanding money and made it clear to her that if she wanted to die, she may do so on very same day and give him relief forthwith, thereby spurring her and goading her to commit suicide, the case would squarely fall under the first category of abetment under Section 107
Nikhil Soni v Union of India
The Rajasthan High Court in a Public Interest Litigation criminalized the ancient religious practice of the Jain Community called Santhara/ Sallekhana, or fast-unto-death. The Court equated Santhara to “suicide” under the Indian Penal Code. This judgment had received considerable flak from the Jain Community over the past few months. A special leave petition (SLP) against the order was filed in the Supreme Court by Jain Groups, and the court granted an interim on the Rajasthan order while deciding to entertain the appeal. Following the stay, an 83-year old woman from Tamil Nadu was recently reported have completed the Santhara Ritual and embraced death in a peaceful manner.
AK Gopalan v State of Madras In this case, Supreme Court interpreted Article 21 in a narrow and restricted manner and interpreted the expression ‘personal liberty’ as merely protection for one’s bodily parts i.e. State cannot damage or harm to the body of an individual.
. It further refused to equate personal liberty with liberty. It also held that the Article 21 and Article 19 deal with two different rights and violation of one did not necessarily means violation of Article 21.
. Court also refused to read the phrase ‘due process of law’ under Article 21. A “LAW” affecting life and liberty could not be declared unconstitutional merely because it lacked natural justice or due procedure. Hence Article 21 provided no immunity against competent legislative action and only against the executive action
Common Cause v Union of India
A Constitutional Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra, upheld that the fundamental right to life and dignity includes right to refuse treatment and die with dignity
The fundamental right to a “meaningful existence” includes a person’s choice to die without suffering, it held.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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