By: Team Kanoonirai

Reading Progress:

Article 21 : Constitution of India

Home | Advice | Statute | Constitution of India | Article 21 : Constitution of India

Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty

No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

The State cannot deprive a person of his life or personal liberty except according to a just, fair and reasonable procedure made by it. Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, (1978) 1 SCC 248; the Supreme Court held that the procedure must be “just, right and fair” and not arbitrary, fanciful or oppressive; otherwise, it would be no procedure at all and the requirement of Article 21 would not be satisfied. The expression ‘personal liberty’ in Article 21 is of the widest amplitude and it covers a variety of rights which go to constitute the personal liberty of man and some of them have been raised to the status of distinct fundamental rights and given additional protection under Article 19.

The Supreme Court of India has continuously been expanding the scope of Article 21 and declared these rights as a fundamental right under Article 21:

  • Right to live with dignity, [Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India, (1991) 4 SCC 177]
  • Right to die with dignity, [Common Cause v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 1]
  • Right to education, [Unni Krishnan v. State of A.P., (1993) 1 SCC 645]
  • Right to shelter, [Chameli Singh v. State of U.P., (1996) 2 SCC 549]
  • Right to privacy, [K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1]
  • Free legal aid, [Khatri (II) v. State of Bihar, (1981) 1 SCC 627; (1986) 2 SCC 401]
  • Protection against police atrocities, [D.K. Basu v. State of W.B., (1997) 1 SCC 416]
  • Speedy trial and speedy justice, [Hussainara Khatoon (IV) v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar, (1980) 1 SCC 98]
  • Access to open court, Judicial accountability and transparency in judiciary, [Swapnil Tripathi v. Supreme Court of India, (2018) 10 SCC 639]
  • Right to proper legal representation [Imtiyaz Ramzan Khan v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 9 SCC 160]


Other advice you might like

Article 226: Constitution of India

Article 226: Power of High Courts to issue certain writs (1) Notwithstanding anything in Article 32, every High Court shall have power, throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction, to issue to any person or authority, including in...

Article 14: Constitution of India

Article 14 enumerates that all persons are equal before the law. The right to equality is a fundamental right and unequal or arbitrary action of the state is violative of Article 14. However, Article 14 does not forbid classification based on “intelligible differentia” for achieving the special purpose of the constitutional goal.

Article 19: Constitution of India

Freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right. This freedom alone makes it possible for people to formulate their own views and opinions on a proper basis and to exercise their social, economic and political rights in a free society.


Spring Greens Apartment
Ayodhya Road