Fundamental Rights: Right To Freedom

Constitutional Law

Article 19 of the Constitution of India

Article 19(1) of the Constitution reads as under:

“19. Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc

(1) All citizens shall have the right

(a) to freedom of speech and expression;

(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;

(c) to form associations or unions;

(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;

(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and

(f) omitted

(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.”

Articles 19(2) to 19(6) contain reasonable restrictions on the rights enshrined under Article 19(1).

Article 20 of the Constitution of India

Article 20 of the Constitution is with respect to protection in respect of conviction of an offence. It imposes limitations on the powers of the State, which it otherwise possesses under Article 21, to enact and enforce criminal laws.

Article 20(2) is aimed at protecting an individual from being subjected to prosecution and conviction for the same offence more than once.

Article 20(3), which protects an individual against self-incrimination, has been termed a ‘humane’ Article. It gives protection to a person accused of an offence against compulsion to be a witness against himself.

This is in consonance with the expression ‘according to procedure established by law’, enshrined in Article 21, within the ambit of which just and fair trials lie.

Article 21 of the Constitution of India

Article 21 of the Constitution reads as under:

“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”

From the wording of the Article, it is obvious that the language is negative. However, Article 21 confers on every person the fundamental right to life and 9 personal liberty. It is the most fundamental of human rights, and recognizes the sanctity of human life.

Article 22 of the Constitution of India

Article 22 provides for protection against arrest and detention in certain cases. It is not a complete code of constitutional safeguards with respect to preventive detention. Points which are expressly or implicitly not dealt with by Article 22, are covered under Article 21.

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