Article 21: The Ever Evolving Article of the Indian Constitution
Volume III, Issue III, 2020
Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees to all individuals right to life and liberty. Adopted from the concept of due process of law as mentioned under the American Constitution, it is considered as the heart of the Indian Constitution. This article which had started with the meaning of mere freedom of human body in 1950 has evolved over the years to become a set of rights within itself to protect human life and liberty. But the judges of the Supreme Court as recently as in 2019, have commented about the need to expand the scope of article 21. This is because with changing times the human needs and priorities keep changing and the judiciary and lawmakers have to keep this in mind, in order to make sure that the laws are equipped to serve the basic needs of the changing times. Some of the rights which have evolved over the past 70 years are (i.) Right to live with human dignity (ii). Right against sexual harassment at work place (iii) Right to clean environment (iv.) Right against illegal detention (v.) Right to legal aid (vi.) Right to Speedy trial (vii.) Right to livelihood (viii.) Right to education and (ix.) Right to privacy.