17 July, 2021 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu

  • U.P. can’t proceed with Kanwar Yatra amid pandemic, says SC (Polity & Governance)
  • Bail orders will be sent instantly to jail authorities: SC (Polity & Governance)
  • Speed Test
  • Sedition (Reference) (Polity & Governance)
  • Question for the Day (Polity & Governance)

Prelims Quiz


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    . UPSC Current Affairs:  U.P. can’t proceed with Kanwar Yatra amid pandemic, says SC | Page – 01

    UPSC Syllabus: GS Paper II: Polity & Governance

    Sub Theme:  Article 21: Expanding & Ever-evolving | UPSC  


    Context - The Supreme Court has disagreed with the Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to conduct a “symbolic” Kanwar Yatra amid the pandemic for “compelling religious reasons”.


    Uttarakhand informed the court that it had completely banned the yatra in an order on June 30, keeping in mind the pandemic.


    Ruling of the Supreme Court


    • Article 21, right to life, has the pride of place in the Fundamental Rights Chapter of the Indian Constitution.
    • Health of the citizenry of India and the right to life are paramount.
    • All other sentiments, albeit religious, are subservient to this basic fundamental right.
    • Fundamental rights of citizens, right to life trumped religious sentiments.





    As said by Justice Field in the celebrated case “Munn v. Illinois” the word “life” is more than mere animal existence and it embraces within itself not only the physical existence but also the quality of life. The expression “personal liberty” not only means freedom from arrest, detention and false or wrongful confinement but also covers those rights and privileges that are essential to achieve happiness with freedom.


    A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras - Supreme Court of India since 1950 when it examined the “Right to personal liberty” under Article 21 in the case of A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras (Preventive Detention Act, 1950) has come a long way through a journey of various judicial pronouncements by the Supreme Court. In A.K. Gopalan case, the Supreme Court narrowed down the meaning and scope of “personal liberty” and held that the term “personal liberty” meant only freedom of the physical body and that Articles 19 (1) (d) and Article 21 have to treated separately.

    Thereafter and not agreeing with the ratio in A.K. Gopalan case, Supreme Court has expanded and widened the meaning and expression of “personal liberty” in many cases to reach an interpretation that could best protect the liberty and freedom of an individual.


    Kharak Singh v. State of UP: Supreme Court considered the U.P. Police Regulation as ultravires Article 21 and Article 19 (1) (d) of the Constitution and held that domiciliary visits by the police every night to check and monitor the doings of Kharak Singh were violative of his right to personal liberty and right to freedom of movement as “personal liberty meant much more than mere animal existence”.


    Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India­­­: Widest possible interpretation was given to words and expression “personal liberty” observing that the expression “personal liberty” in Article 21 is of widest amplitude and it covers variety of rights which constitute the personal liberty of a man and Article 21 and Article 19 go together and they mutually co-exist to the extent that if there is a law prescribing a procedure for depriving a person of his personal liberty and though there is no infringement of the fundamental right under Article 21 but any such law and procedure would have to meet the challenges of Article 19.


    Various rights under article 21

    1. Right to live with human dignity is the roadmap to several other rights that have been recognised under Article 21. It was the first right under Article 21 which received supreme consideration. Supreme Court held for the first time that any law that deprives a person of his/her life or personal liberty must pass the test of reasonability and the law should be just and fair and must provide for a procedure. The law must satisfy the requirements of Article 14, Article 19 read with Article 21. The Right to live with dignity includes adequate nutrition, clothing, shelter over the head with facilities of reading, writing and to express one self. (Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India­­­, Francis Coralie v. Union Territory of Delhi and Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India).
    2. Right to livelihood Right to life includes right to livelihood because no person can live without the means of living. It has been held by the Supreme Court that imposition of Tehbazari by the Municipal Corporation is in violation of rights of hawkers to carry on the business fetching them livelihood.(Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation and Sodan Singh v. New Delhi Municipal Corporation).
    3. Right to Education. Very recently, the Supreme Court recognised right to education as one of the key rights thus giving it place under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. The right to education is fundamental right of a person as it directly flows out from right to life. Earlier this right to education was covered under directive principles of state policy but with the change in needs and circumstances in the society, it has been now categorised as fundamental right (Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka and Unnikrishnan v. State of Andhra Pradesh)
    4. “Right of prisoners and right against illegal detention”. The Article 21 is available to each and every person and not only to the citizens of India. It recognises the rights of the arrested persons by providing a fair and reasonable mechanism to be followed in confinement of persons so that no person is illegally detained. Even a person convicted of any offence, though deprived of freedom, but he is well entitled to rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. Even solitary confinement of a person in jail was held to be violative of Article 21 (Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration).
    5. “Right to legal aid and right to speedy trial”. Supreme Court has provided liberty to poor persons to apply to the state for free legal services and it shall be the duty of the state to provide assistance to such poor persons and have their claims adjudicated without burden of legal fees and expenses. Right to free legal aid has been held to be the fundamental right and it is the duty and obligation of any trial court to inform the accused about his right to free legal aid. The right to speedy trial has also been held as inalienable right of every citizen of the country (Hussainara Khatoon v State of Bihar and Khatri v. State of Bihar)
    6. “Right against sexual harassment at work place”. The Supreme Court has laid down important guidelines to protect and prevent any kind of sexual harassment of a working woman at her workplace in the judgement reported (Vishakha v State of Rajasthan) where after the legislature has also promulgated Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
    7. “Right to choice of sex”. The 5 Judges Constitution Bench in the case of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India has declared ultravires section 377 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, thereby striking down criminalization in same sex relations between consenting adults. As a result of the above, the LGBT individuals are permitted to engage in consensual intercourse. This is said to be another milestone in the journey of Article 21.
    8. “Right to clean environment”. Article 21 includes right to live life of dignity in healthy environment with proper sanitation system and free of pollution (Vellore Citizens’ Welfare Forum v. Union of India).
    9. “Right to Privacy”. Under Article 21, the right to privacy is fundamental right as held by 9 judges constitution bench in the case (Justice K.S. Puttuswamy (Retd.) v. Union of India (2017))
    10. “Right to die with dignity”The Supreme Court has now allowed passive euthanasia under some exceptional circumstances and strict monitoring of the court. The court has permitted “Living Will” of a patient to withdraw medical support in case if the person concerned goes into irreversible state of coma. Though active euthanasia where something is done to end the life of the patient is not permissible but passive euthanasia when something is not done that would preserve the patient’s life is held to be the fundamental right under Article 21. (Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug v. Union of India and Common Cause v. Union of India: (2018))
    11. “Right to Disclosure of dreadful diseases”. Every person has been held entitled for all human rights including the right to be told about any dreadful and deadly disease. The lady proposing to marry a person is entitled to be informed about her fiancé suffering from HIV + from the doctor in whose treatment the husband is covered. There is no infringement of the fundamental rights under Article 21 if the doctor so informs the lady.
    12. “Right to choose life partner”Very recently, Supreme Court has held the right to choose his or her life partner as fundamental right under Article 21 and directions given to authorities to take all possible preventive steps to combat honour killings and related crimes (Shakti Vahini v. Union of India).


    Relevant PYQs


    Does the right to clean environment entail legal regulation on burning crackers during Diwali? Discus in the light of Article 21 of Indian Constitution and judgements of the apex in this regard. [ 2015]


    Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in the light of the latest judgement of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy. [2017]


    Which Article of the Constitution of India safeguards one’s right to marry the person of one’s choice? [2019]

    (a) Article 19

    (b) Article 21

    (c) Article 25

    (d) Article 29


    UPSC Current Affairs: Bail orders will be sent instantly to jail authorities: SC | Page – 01

    UPSC Syllabus: GS Paper II: Polity & Governance

    Sub Theme:  Constitutional Trinity – Equality, liberty and fraternity | UPSC  


    Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Friday said people given bail by courts, even by the Supreme Court, have to wait for days before prison authorities release them. “It is just too much,” he said.


    Supreme Court has expressed exasperation at prison authorities who insist on receiving by hand the “authentic” hard copy of the bail order regardless of the fact that the personal liberty of people suffers.


    So, as a solution, SC rolled out of a new scheme called ‘FASTER’ or ‘Fast and Secure Transmission of Electronic Records’ by which the Supreme Court would instantly, directly, securely and electronically transmit bail and other orders to jail authorities, district courts and High Courts.


    Delay in release of convicts after grant of bail affects the liberty and dignity of prisoners.



    Constitutional Trinity – Equality, liberty and fraternity


    Importance of liberty for citizens


    • It’s a fundamental constitutional promise.
    • Important part of social contract.
    • Protection against majoritarianism
    • Helps in realization of one’s full potential.
    • Social progress – gender equality, rights to transgender etc
    • Good governance can be ushered by constructive criticism
    • Liberty is the test of equality.
    • Liberty is essential for fraternity.
    • Creative freedom
    • Liberty is root of happiness and dignity.
    • Liberty is the root of all morality – Immanuel Kant


    Liberty comes with availability, accessibility, affordability of resources and having capacity to use it as per our choice. Liberty is a fundamental constitutional promise.



    • Preamble – Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.
    • 19(1)(a) – freedom of speech and expression.
    • Article 21 – Protection of Life and Personal Liberty.

    Importance of Liberty


    Importance of Liberty



    §  Helps in realization of one’s full potential.

    §  Liberty is the root of all morality – Immanuel Kant



    §  Poverty

    §  Discrimination

    §  Stereotyping

    §  Patriarchy

    §  Social contract

    §  Capability approach of Amartya Sen

    §  Manohar Pratap Vs UoI, 2019 case - SC observed that people have a basic right

    §  Fundamental duty of citizens

    §  Maintaining one’s individuality eg – LGBT rights

    §  Majoritarianism

    §  Right to privacy is a fundamental right (K. S. Puttaswamy case).


    §  Navtej Singh Johar case - An individual’s right to develop one’s individuality against the demand of social conformity must be recognised


    §  Individual freedom prevails over purported group rights, even in the matter of religion. (Shabrimala Judgement)



    §  Dignity – dignity to human beings come from ability to make choice

    §  Absence of Information

    §  RTI etc

    §  Choice in services – as allowed in Ayushman Bharat.

    §  Freedom of speech and expression (FoSE); creativity

    §  Majoritarianism

    §  Hecklers veto


    §  Ban on movie Padmavat


    §  Perumal Murugan book banned.


    §  Use of section 95 of CrPC that allows government to forfeit publications


    §  Parental governance – ban on alchohol; dance bar etc


    §  Rule of law

    §  Rangarajan Vs P. Jagjeevan Ram case  Mere threat to public order cannot be the ground to suppress freedom of expression

    §  Fraternity

    §  Defamations; apathy;

    §  Secularism;

    §  Subramanian Swamy Vs UoI, 2016 – SC upheld the constitutional validity of criminal defamation.


    §  Social progress – gender equality, rights to transgender; Interfaith marriage


    §  Shabrimala case

    §  Triple Talaq case

    §  Shafin Jahan Vs Ashokan case – right to marriage is central to constitutional liberty.

    §  NALSA case – recognition of third gender.

    §  Good governance can be ushered by constructive criticism


    §  Sedition charge (section 124-A of IPC)

    §  Shreya Singhal Case – SC struck down section 66A of IT act

    §  Common Cause Vs UoI (2016) – Comments against government, however strongly worded, if shun violence, are not sedition.


    Societies with stronger democratic rights are better placed to handle socio-economic crisis than those with fewer rights.