Supreme Court On Fundamental Right To Life & Personal Liberty [ Kaushal Kishore vs State Of UP ]

A fundamental right under Article 21 can be enforced even against persons other than the State or its instrumentalities.

Article 21 right is available not only to citizens but to all persons.

This Court has interpreted ‘the right to life’ to include, (i) livelihood; (ii) all those aspects of life which go to make a man’s life meaningful, complete and worth living; (iii) something more than mere survival or animal existence; (iv) right to live (and die) with human dignity; (v) right to food, water, decent environment, medical care and shelter etc.; (vi) all that gives meaning to a man’s life, such as his tradition, culture, heritage and protection of that heritage in its full measure; and (vii) the right to Privacy. There are certain jurisdictions which have taken this right to include “the right to be forgotten” or the “right not to be remembered”.

State is under a duty to affirmatively protect the rights of a person under Article 21, whenever there is a threat to personal liberty, even by a non­ State actor

That the State has an obligation to help preserve life, guaranteed under Article 21 was spelt out clearly in Pt. Parmanand Katara. What applies to life applies equally to personal liberty. This is because there may be cases involving both the right to life as well as liberty.

Today, the infringement of the right to privacy is mostly by private players and if fundamental rights cannot be enforced against non­State actors, this right will go for a toss.

The importance of the right to personal liberty over and above all the other rights guaranteed under Articles 19 and 14 need hardly to be over­emphasized.

Kaushal Kishore vs State of Uttar Pradesh | 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 4 | WP (C) 113 OF 2016 | 3 Jan 2023 | Justices S Abdul Nazeer, BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian and BV Nagarathna | Constitution Bench | Article 19/21 | Freedom of Speech | Reasonable Restrictions | Minister’s Statements | Enforcement Of Fundamental Rights Including Under Articles 19/21 Against Non- State Actors |

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