Article 21 and Environment

Article 21

This Article of the constitution provides for the fundamental right of life. It states that no person shall be deprived of his right to life or personal liberty except in accordance with procedures established by law. The words “except in accordance with procedures established by law” can be interpreted to mean that this provision is subject to exception and is regulated by law which varies from case to case.

In the case of Subhash Kumar v State of Bihar, again the apex court held that the right to get pollution free water and air is a fundamental right under Article 21. Following this decision, the right to pollution free environment was incorporated under the head of right to life and all the law courts within the Indian territory were bound to follow the same. This laid down the foundation of environmental litigation in India. Similarly, public health and ecology3 were held to be the priorities under Article 21 and the constitution of a green bench was also ordered by the Supreme Court. In the case of Ratlam Muncipality v Vardicharan, where the problem of pollution was due to private polluters and haphazard town planning, it was held by the Supreme Court that pollution free environment is an integral part of right to life under Article 21.[1]

In the case of Murli Deora v. Union of India[2], it was held that passive smokers have the right to be protected against the adverse effects smoking thus justifying a ban on smoking in public places like theatres, playgrounds, offices, restaurants etc.

[1] Indian Bar Association, Constitutional Provisions for the Protection of Environment with relevant case laws, 2013.

[2] Murli Deora v. Union of India AIR 2002 SC 40.

Aishwarya Says:

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.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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