Constitution of India, Article 21


Constitution of India, Article 21   - Malicious prosecution - Public law remedy for grant of compensation  - Appellant an ISRO scientist arrested for 50 days on allegations of espionage – Charges were not proved and were found to be false by the CBI - It has caused tremendous harassment and immeasurable anguish to the appellant - It is not a case where the accused is kept under custody and, eventually, after trial, he is found not guilty - Criminal law was set in motion without any basis - It was initiated, if one is allowed to say, on some kind of fancy or notion - Liberty and dignity of the appellant which are basic to his human rights were jeopardized as he was taken into custody and, eventually, despite all the glory of the past, he was compelled to face cynical abhorrence -  This situation invites the public law remedy for grant of compensation for violation of the fundamental right envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution - In such a situation, it springs to life with immediacy - It is because life commands self-respect and dignity.(2018)2 SCeJ 1426

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Constitution of India, Article 21   - Malicious prosecution - Torture – Constitutional court can grant compensation taking recourse to public law  - Plea that there is no complaint with regard to custodial torture - When such an argument is advanced, the concept of torture is viewed from a narrow perspective  - Emphasis has been laid on mental agony when a person is confined within the four walls of a police station or lock up -  There may not be infliction of physical pain but definitely there is mental torment - It can be stated with certitude that the fundamental right of the appellant under Article 21 has been gravely affected - There can be no scintilla of doubt that the appellant, a successful scientist having national reputation, has been compelled to undergo immense humiliation - The lackadaisical attitude of the State police to arrest anyone and put him in police custody has made the appellant to suffer the ignominy - The dignity of a person gets shocked when psycho-pathological treatment is meted out to him - A human being cries for justice when he feels that the insensible act has crucified his self-respect - That warrants grant of compensation under the public law remedy -  We are absolutely conscious that a civil suit has been filed for grant of compensation -  That will not debar the constitutional court to grant compensation taking recourse to public law -  The Court cannot lose sight of the wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution, the humiliation and the defamation faced by the appellant.(2018)2 SCeJ 1426

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Constitution of India, Article 21   - Malicious prosecution - Constitutional court can grant compensation taking recourse to public law  - Appellant, a successful scientist having national reputation  - Suitable compensation has to be awarded, to compensate the suffering, anxiety and the treatment by which the quintessence of life and liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution withers away -  Direct the State of Kerala to pay a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs towards compensation - Appellant, if so advised, may proceed with the civil suit wherein he has claimed more compensation.(2018)2 SCeJ 1426

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  1.         Constitution of India, Art.  21  - Right to life is enshrined under Article 21 includes right to safety of persons while travelling on the road and the immediate medical assistance as a necessary corollary is required to be provided and also adequate legal protection and prevention from harassment to good Samaritans. (2016)3 PLRSC 823
  2.         Constitution of India, Art.  21, 14, 19 - Sentenced to death - Mercy petition - Delay on the part of the office of the President of India, which took about 13 years and 5 months to decide the mercy petition of the petitioner - Had remained in solitary confinement in a single Cell in various jails, after his conviction in the murder case by the trial court on 05.05.1997 - He has spent about 18 years in solitary confinement - Inordinate delay in disposal of the mercy petition in the present case, which has been caused by the authorities without any reasonable ground, is beyond the control of the petitioner - The inordinate, unreasonable and unexplained delay is a ground, which confers a right on condemned prisoner to get his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment, by seeking appropriate remedy under the law - Sentenced awarded to the petitioner commuted to life imprisonment. (179) PLR
  3.         Constitution of India, Art.  21, 72, 136, 137, 161  Death Sentence - Supreme Court pronounced judgment on 15.05.2015 dismissing appeal under Article 136 confirming the death penalty and within six days of the dismissal of the criminal appeals, learned Sessions Judge issued the death warrants on 21.05.2015 -  This is clearly impermissible and unwarranted for various reasons  (I) First and foremost reason is that the convicts have not exhausted their judicial and administrative remedies, which are still open to  them even if their appeals in the highest Court have failed affirming the imposition of death penalty. Those appeals were filed via the route of Article 136 of the Constitution. However, law gives such persons another chance, namely, to seek review of the orders so passed, by means of filing of review petition. It is to provided under Article 137 of the Constitution. (II) That apart, right to file mercy petitions to the Governor of the State as well as to the President of India also remains intact. (III) Article 21 of the Constitution lays down that nobody shall be deprived of his life and liberty except according to the procedure established by law. After long judicial debate, it now stands settled that the procedure established by law has to be 'due procedure'. (IV) There is another facet of right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution which needs to be highlighted at this juncture, namely, 'human dignity'. Article 21 has its traces in the dignity of human being. It has been recognized as part of Article 21 of the Constitution. (2016)3 PLRSC 692
  4.         Constitution of India, Art.  21 - 'human dignity' - Article 21 has its traces in the dignity of human being. It has been recognized as part of Article 21  -Once we recognize this aspect of dignity of human being, it does not end with the confirmation of death sentence, but goes beyond and remains valid till such a convict meets his/her destiny - Therefore, the process/procedure from confirmation of death sentence by the highest Court till the execution of the said sentence, the convict is to be treated with human dignity to the extent which is reasonable and permissible in law  Death Sentence. Held, This right to human dignity has many elements. First and foremost, human dignity is the dignity of each human being 'as a human being'. Another element, which needs to be highlighted, in the context of the present case, is that human dignity is infringed if a person's life, physical or mental welfare is armed. It is in this sense torture, humiliation, forced labour, etc. all infringe on human dignity. It is in this context many rights of the accused derive from his dignity as a human being. These may include the presumption that every person is innocent until proven guilty; the right of the accused to a fair trial as well as speedy trial; right of legal aid, all part of human dignity. Even after conviction, when a person is spending prison life, allowing humane conditions in jail is part of human dignity. Prisons reforms or Jail reforms measures to make convicts a reformed person so that they are able to lead normal life and assimilate in the society, after serving the jail term, are motivated by human dignity jurisprudence. Further Held, In this country,  however, since the death penalty has been held to be constitutionally valid (See Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab 9 (1980) 2 SCC 684), we do not have to travel to that extent. At the same time, even if death sentence is to be awarded, it has to be in accord with due dignity. In fact, this element of human dignity is well recognized in choosing the mode of execution of death sentence with general consensus that method of execution of death sentence should be such which is certain, humane, quick and decent. (2016)3 PLRSC 692
  5.         Constitution of India, Art.  21 - A disturbing feature that petitioner No.2 being minor has filed this petition through her next friend because a minor cannot enter into a contract as she suffers from legal disability but at the same time, she is seeking protection from the Court for contracting marriage, which otherwise would not be valid under Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (25 of 1955) - Indian Marriage Act, 1875 - Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006  Section 2(a). (183) PLR
  6.         Constitution of India, Art.  21 - Appointed on whole time basis (contingent paid) - No notice was ever issued to him before his appointment was converted to part-time basis - Article 21 of the Constitution of India gives a fundamental right to persons like the petitioner to live with dignity - On being paid a paltry amount of Rs. 1506/- for 2007-08 and Rs. 1788/- for 2008-09 with marginal annual increases thereafter, what to talk of living with dignity, I fail to understand how he and his family has survived over the years - Prayer made by the petitioner to claim Rs. 3560/- per month for the year 2007-08, Rs. 3588/- per month for the year 2008-09 with marginal increases thereafter to be reasonable and in line with his fundamental right - Held entitled to the grant of wages payable to whole-time Malis (Contingent Paid) working in the Police Department. (181) PLR
  7.         Constitution of India, Art.  21 - Installing a rice sheller - Punjab State Pollution Control Board and respondent No.8 being its Local Officer under an obligation to monitor that Rice Mill periodically and make sure that it strictly follows the pollution norms - Similarly, respondent No.10 is directed to abide by the terms and conditions imposed by various Statutory Authorities and in the event of any violation, every affected person shall be entitled to seek suitable compensation from him besides other penal consequences. (182) PLR
  8.         Constitution of India, Art.  21 - It is clear that in paternity disputes - DNA can be directed - It cannot be said to be affecting his fundamental right and is not violative of his right to personal liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. (174) PLR
  9.         Constitution of India, Art.  21 - Lays down that nobody shall be deprived of his life and liberty except according to the procedure established by law - It now stands settled that the procedure established by law has to be 'due procedure'  - By judicial interpretation, this Court has read the principle of reasonableness into the said procedure contemplated by Article 21, holding that it must be 'right and just and fair' and not arbitrary, fanciful or oppressive -  Even as per the statute book, this procedure does not culminate with the dismissal of appeals of the convicts by the final Court - No doubt, when an accused is tried of an offence by a competent court of law and is imposed such death penalty and the said death penalty is upheld by the highest Court, the procedure that is established by law has been followed up to this stage - However, in the statutory framework, further procedural safeguards in the form of judicial review as well as mercy petitions are yet to be traversed - This would also be covered by the expression 'procedure established by law' occurring in Article 21 - Therefore, till the time limitation period for filing the review petition and thereafter reasonable time for filing the mercy petition has not lapsed, issuing of death warrants would be violative of Article 21 - Death Sentence.  (2016)3 PLRSC 692
  10.         Constitution of India, Art.  21 - Part-time employees - Entitled to minimum wages prescribed. (182) PLR
  11.         Constitution of India, Art.  21 - Right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes the right to livelihood - If a person is evicted from the place where he is residing unauthorizedlly and his shanty is demolished, he will certainly lose his livelihood too, for to work he must live somewhere - Perhaps for this reason, the Hon'ble Supreme Court directed that alternative land sites must be allotted to the slum dwellers, not at a too far away distance from their place of work - Otherwise also, it is the duty of the State to look into the needs and necessities of poor people who are not in a position to acquire the minimum three needs of a person i.e. "food, clothing and shelter" - These are the basic needs of every human being.  Held, that in sum and substance, the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes the right to livelihood. If a person is evicted from the place where he is residing unauthorizedlly and his shanty is demolished, he will certainly lose his livelihood too, for to work he must live somewhere. Perhaps for this reason, the Hon'ble Supreme Court directed that alternative land sites must be allotted to the slum dwellers, not at a too far away distance from their place of work. Otherwise also, it is the duty of the State to look into the needs and necessities of poor people who are not in a position to acquire the minimum three needs of a person i.e. "food, clothing and shelter". These are the basic needs of every human being. The Court is of the opinion that encroachment is not required to be encouraged and right to residence can also not to be held as a fundamental right, but the fact remains that something is required to be done and some alternative arrangement should be made for resettlement and rehabilitation of the poor people, who live in shanties.  (183) PLR
  12.         Constitution of India, Art.  21 - Right to live with human dignity without any fear or actual subjection to any kind of unlawful, unsocial and physical or mental abuse and be a member of the self-regulated civic society too is one of the most cherished fundamental right bestowed on every person under Article 21 of the Constitution - The protection or conferment of certain rights on a victim under the Code therefore cannot be mirrored as a favour shown to him/her by the Legislature. (173) PLR
  13.         Constitution of India, Art.  21- Criminal Trial - Purpose of an enquiry cannot be, to investigate and have roving and fishing enquiries, trying to somehow find something against the officers - There has to be aprima-facie offence found to have been committed or a person's involvement is prima-facie established for a direction to be given and not a direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation "to investigate whether any person has committed any offence or not" - Such a direction has been held to be violative of Article 21 of the Constitution - A man has therefore to be left alone to enjoy "life" without fretters. (173) PLR 
  14. Constitution of India, Article 21- A fair investigation, which is but the very foundation of fair trial, necessarily postulates that the informant and the investigator must not be the same person - Justice must not only be done, but must appear to be done also - Any possibility of bias or a predetermined conclusion has to be excluded - This requirement is all the more imperative in laws carrying a reverse burden of proof, especially under laws such as NDPS Act - In view of the conflicting opinions expressed by different two Judge Benches of this Court, the importance of a fair investigation from the point of view of an accused as a guaranteed constitutional right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, it is considered necessary that the law in this regard be laid down with certainty - To leave the matter for being determined on the individual facts of a case, may not only lead to a possible abuse of powers, but more importantly will leave the police, the accused, the lawyer and the courts in a state of uncertainty and confusion which has to be avoided. (2018)2 SC eJournal 1314 DOWNLOAD JUDGEMENT
  15. Constitution  of India, Article 21  - Fair trial  - Proof beyond reasonable doubt  - A fair trial to an accused, a constitutional guarantee under Article 21 of the Constitution, would be a hollow promise if the investigation in a NDPS case were not to be fair or raises serious questions about its fairness apparent on the face of the investigation - In the nature of the reverse burden of proof, the onus will lie on the prosecution to demonstrate on the face of it that the investigation was fair, judicious with no circumstances that may raise doubts about its veracity - The obligation of proof beyond reasonable doubt will take within its ambit a fair investigation, in absence of which there can be no fair trial - If the investigation itself is unfair, to require the accused to demonstrate prejudice will be fraught with danger vesting arbitrary powers in the police which may well lead to false implication also -Investigation in such a case would then become an empty formality and a farce. (2018)2 SC eJournal 1314 DOWNLOAD JUDGEMENT