Article 21 of the Indian constitution guarantees that no one will be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. It unmistakably implies that this central right has been given against the state as it were. In the event that a demonstration of a private individual adds up to infringement upon the individual freedom or hardship of life of another individual. Such infringement would not fall under the boundaries set for Article 21. in such a case the solution for a bothered individual would be either under Article 226 of the constitution or under broad law, where a demonstration of private individual upheld by the state encroaches on the individual freedom or life of someone else, the demonstration will surely go under the ambit of Article 21.
Article 21 of the Constitution manages avoidance of infringement upon individual freedom or hardship of life of an individual Article 21 is not only available to citizens of our country but also to non-citizens, for example, a foreigner visiting the country and also to people whose citizenship is not known. In the case of National human rights commission v. State of Arunachal Pradesh (1996)1 SCC 742, back in the mid-’90s when Chakma settlers from Bangladesh in Arunachal Pradesh( who was earlier settled in Assam were displaced due to the Kaptai hydel power project) were being driven out of the state. They were given an ultimatum by the locals residing saying that they will face repercussions if they don’t leave the state.
After the intervention of NHRC, a case was filed and It was held by the court that the state should ensure that Chakmas residing in Arunachal Pradesh should be given protection and no one should be allowed to deny them their fundamental rights. It was sought in the petition that refugees can’t be denied their basic rights. It was observed that article 21 has become an inexhaustible source of many rights. It includes the right to live with human dignity, the right against sexual harassment at the workplace, the right to a clean environment, the right to be informed, the right of prisoners, rights against illegal detention, the right to legal aid, right to a speedy trial, right to privacy, right to be compensated, right to die with dignity, right to choose life partner, etc. It was given in the notes that the assembly proposed the addition of “personal” before liberty so as to give it a wider interpretation and include all the freedoms which were already provided in article 13.
Right to life is a fundamental right but it is difficult to define what does it constitute. It is not limited to guarantee against the taking away of life but has a wider scope. In the case of Munn v. Illions 24 L Ed 77: 94 US 113(1877), the word life used here, it includes something more than animal existence. The inhibition against its deprivation extends to all limbs and faculties by which life is enjoyed. This provision prohibits mutilation by the amputation of an arm or a leg or taking out of eye or destruction of any other body part etc.
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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