15 Supreme Court Decisions that Changed Life in India

The Supreme Court of India has by a long line of decisions given an expansive meaning and interpretation to the word `life’ appearing in Article 21 of the Constitution.

# Right to Life

# 1. Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, (1978) 1 SCC 248

The right to life does not mean mere animal existence alone but includes every aspect that makes life meaningful and liveable.

# 2. Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration, (1978) 4 SCC 494

The right against solitary confinement and prison torture and custodial death was declared to be a part of right to life.

# 3. Charles Sobhraj v. Suptd. Central Jail, (1978) 4 SCC 104

The right against bar fetters was declared to be a right protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.

# 4. Khatri II v. State of Bihar, (1981) 1 SCC 627

The right to free legal aid was held to be a right covered under Article 21 of the Constitution.

# 5. Prem Shankar Shukla v. Delhi Administration, (1980) 3 SCC 526

The right against handcuffing was declared to be a right under Article 21.

# 6. Rudal Shah v. State of Bihar, (1983) 4 SCC 141

The right to compensation for illegal and unlawful detention was considered to be a right to life under Article 21 and also under Article 14.

# 7. Sheela Barse v. Union of India, (1988) 4 SCC 226

Speedy trial to be an essential right under Article 21.

# 8. Parmanand Katara v. Union of India, (1989) 4 SCC 248

Right to emergency, medical aid was declared to be protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.

# 9. Chameli Singh v. State of U.P., (1996) 2 SCC 549

Right to shelter, clothing, decent environment and a decent accommodation was also held to be a part of life.

# 10. Shantistar Builders v. Narayan Khimalal Totame, (1990) 1 SCC 520

Right to shelter, clothing, decent environment and a decent accommodation was also held to be a part of life.

# 11. M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, (1997) 1 SCC 388

Right to clean environment was held to be a right to life under Article 21.

# 12. Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475

Right to marriage was held to be a part of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

# 13. Suchita Srivastava v. Chandigarh Administration, (2009) 9 SCC 1

Right to make reproductive choices was declared as right to life.

# 14. Sukhwant Singh v. State of Punjab, (2009) 7 SCC 559

Right to reputation was declared to be a facet of right to life guaranteed under Article 21.

# 15. Subramanian Swamy v. Union of India, AIR 2016 SC 2728

Reputation to be an inherent and inseparable component of Article 21.

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