Constitution of India and Human Rights

Adv Bhuneshwari Devi

The moment we use the term “human Rights” the first thing which comes to our mind is rights to equality. Human rights are moral principles that set out certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in national and international law.They are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being.Human rights are thus conceived as universal (applicable everywhere) and egalitarian (the same for everyone). Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 is considered as the backbone of Human Rights. Internationally, human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups. If we look at the Indian scenario our constitution can be taken as the protector of Human Rights.

One of the most important rights guaranteed under Indian Constitution is the Right to Life and personal Liberty. Article 21 of Constitution of India says: Protection of life and personal liberty – No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. I personally like this article as a lawyer and I am sure this will be personal favourite of other Human Rights lawyers and activist too for the reason that this article is complete and definition of this article can be interpreted very wide and positive. In a number of cases, Supreme Court of India has widened the scope of this article to include right to legal aid, speedy and fair trial, privacy, consulting lawyer, to have compensation under public law, human dignity, and right against use of handcuffs and chains, rights against custodial violence, against delayed execution, against solitary confinement, etc.

Human rights violations usually relates to violations of right to life and personal liberty at all levels. It covers issues likeprotection against police brutality, protection against illegal confinement,violence from armed forces, end of violence of any kind- including domestic violence, discrimination of any form and so on- the list is endless. In today’s scenario and age though we considered our self very modern but our action speaks otherwise. Till today caste-based violence exit and domestic violence and violence against female gender is on rise. Human Rights requires to be respected not only from the side of government but also from individual end.


The author is a Human Rights Activist and also the President of Wooden House Society an Island based NGO which works on legal awareness, legal aid and on women empowerment.