The Scope of Right to live with dignity is not only to the living but also to his dead body

“As more men become more educated and women get educated, the value system has to be more enhanced and the respect for human dignity and human life is made better”.

– Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Written by- Shivam Kumar Gupta

Article 21 of the Constitution of India which provides “No person shall be deprived of his life and liberty except according to procedure established by law.” The procedure established by law should be as per the natural justice, and be fair, just and reasonable.

 This right which got the right to live with dignity as in case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, [AIR 1978 SC 597: (1978) 1 SCC 248], it was observed that this fundamental rights represents the basic values cherished by the people of their country since Vedic times and they are calculated to protect the dignity of the individual and create conditions in which every human being can develop his personality to the fullest extent.

The term ‘living’ does not merely means to physical survival or existence but also includes having the adequate means of living which includes the food, water, education, shelter, and decent environment.

As the ‘right to life’ includes the right to ‘live with human dignity’ which means that this right is going to exist up to the end of the natural life. This also includes the ‘dignified procedure of death’. Right to life should not be confused with the right to die, there is no such right to die in the scope of Article 21.

The scope of the Right to live with human dignity is not only to a living man but also to his dead body which came in the case of Paramanand Ketara v. Union of India, [ AIR (1995) 3 SCC 248 ] and also applies to the homeless deceased, this principle came in case of Ashray Adhikar Abhiyam v. Union of India, [AIR 2002 SC 554 : (2002) 2 SCC 27].

The Preamble in International Covenant as Civil and Political Rights, 1966 (ICCPR) and International Covenant of Economics, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, (ICESCR) talks about the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of this human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace of the world. Article 10(1) of the ICCPR proclaims: “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”.

It was also there that any violation of the woman society in the country in body or body leading to justifiable unhappy existence is bound to attract Article 21. The beauty contests tend to offend the dignity of a woman to deal with her indecency and would offend Article 21. This came in the case of Chandra Rajkumari v. Police Commr., Hyderabad,[ AIR 1998 AP 302]  as “ Beauty Contests repugnant to dignity or decency is violation of Article 21 and 51A”

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