Reconstructing Constitutional theory of Right to life with special reference to Constitution of India

Article 21 of Constitution of India provides, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” Obviously, its mandate is both vertical and horizontal. However, it is not clear from its text whether the power of the State to enact the law and lay down procedure for deprivation of life and personal liberty of any person is subject to any qualification. The question is significant because under Article 19 , certain freedoms are conferred on the citizens and the power has been vested in the State to impose restrictions on such freedoms, the same is qualified by the principle of ‘reasonableness’ and the courts are empowered to take call. In absence of ‘like’ qualification under Article 21, should it be interpreted in the light of Articles 19 and 14 (Equality) is a crucial question, answered affirmatively by the courts. But the same lacks a sound jurisprudential and textual footing. In this paper I would try to provide the same