Critical Analysis on Interpretation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution
Amity University, Kolkata, India.
Volume III, Issue V, 2020
The scope of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which secures two rights namely, Right to Life and Right to Personal Liberty had widened its scope and has been interpreting the right to life from mere physical existence to include finer values of life and right to proper healthy livelihood and the right to personal liberty has been interpreted to include right to privacy, right to travel abroad and various others. The framers of the Indian Constitution kept in mind the basic Human Rights and by the influence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) provided for the protection of life and personal liberty of every citizen. Article 21 is available to both the citizens of the country and also to the non citizens, the reason behind this is that, Article 21 is safeguarding the basic human rights and such right shall apply without discrimination of any sort including citizens or non citizens. Traditionally the Article had a narrow interpretation, but with time and more wide interpretation of the Article and by applying the purposive construction approach of interpretation whereby the purpose of the creation of the statute is kept in mind and taken in consideration, Article 21 is being interpreted in a very wide scope. The court moved from a traditional pedantic approach to purposive approach in constructing the right to life and right to personal liberty under the constitution. Article 21 is omnipotent and cannot be suspended even during the period of emergency in the country. Article 21 does not merely exist in the paper but is kept alive and vibrant so the country can provide for absolute dignity and basic Human Rights to the people as it was intended by the framers of the constitution.
Keywords: Article 21, Human Rights, Right to Life, Personal Liberty, Constitution.