Rights to freedom

Article 19: Right to freedom

  • It has six rights within it
  • Right to hold property was deleted by the 44th amendment act of 1978
  • These rights are not applicable to aliens, legal corporation
  • They are not available against private individuals
  • Reasonable restrictions can be imposed on enjoyment of these rights
  • Restrictions should be based on the grounds mentioned in article 19 and not on any other grounds


Freedom of speech and expression

  1. Includes freedom of commercial advertisements
  2. Right against bundh called by a political party
  3. Freedom of silence
  4. It does not include right to strike


Reasonable restrictions

  1. Sovereignty and integrity of India
  2. Security of the state
  3. Friendly relations with foreign states
  4. Public order
  5. Decency or morality
  6. Contempt of court
  7. Defamation and
  8. Incitement to an offence


Freedom of assembly

  • Can be exercised only on public land
  • Assembly must be peaceful and unarmed
  • Reasonable restriction: sovereignty and integrity of India and public order


Freedom of association

  • Right to obtain recognition of the association is not a fundamental right
  • Right to strike is not a constitutional right can be regulated by appropriate law


  • Reasonable restriction: interest of general public and protection of interests of any scheduled tribes
  • Article 19 does not deal with movement outside the country
  • Freedom of residence is complementary to the above right
  • Freedom of profession


Article 20: Protection in respect of conviction for offences

  • Grants protection against arbitrary and excessive punishment to an accused person
  • Applicable to almost everyone
  1. No ex-post facto law (not on civil or tax laws or even on criminal trials, preventive detention cases)
  2. No double jeopardy (not available in proceedings before departmental or administrative authorities)
  3. No self-incrimination (not applicable to civil proceedings)

Article 21: protection of life and personal liberty

  • “procedure established by law”
  • Gopalan case: not available against arbitrary legislative action
  • Maneka Gandhi case: wider interpretation of article 21 (just, fair and reasonable)
  • Various rights included under this are:
  • Right to live with human dignity.
  • Right to the decent environment including pollution-free water and air and protection against hazardous industries.
  • Right to livelihood.
  • Right to privacy.
  • Right to shelter.
  • Right to health.
  • Right to free education up to 14 years of age.
  • Right to free legal aid.
  • Right against solitary confinement.
  • Right to a speedy trial.
  • Right against handcuffing
  • Right against inhuman treatment.
  • Right against delayed execution.
  • Right to travel abroad.
  • Right against bonded labor.
  • Right against custodial harassment.
  • Right to emergency medical aid.
  • Right to timely medical treatment in a government hospital.
  • Right not to be driven out of a state.
  • Right to a fair trial.
  • Right of prisoner to have necessities of life.
  • Right of women to be treated with decency and dignity
  • Right against public hanging.
  • Right to hearing.
  • Right to information.
  • Right to reputation.
  • Right of appeal from a judgment of conviction
  • Right to social security and protection of the family
  • Right to social and economic justice and empowerment
  • Right against bar fetters
  • Right to appropriate life insurance policy
  • Right to sleep
  • Right to freedom from noise pollution
  • Right to electricity
  • Right to Privacy

Article 21A: Right to education

  • Free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years
  • Added by 86th constitutional amendment act


Article 22: Protection against arrest and detention

  • Two types of detention: punitive and preventive

First part of article 22

  1. Right to be informed on the grounds of arrest
  2. Right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner
  3. Right to be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours
  4. Right to be released after 24 hours unless the magistrate authorizes further detention

These are applicable to those acts which are of a criminal or quasi-criminal nature

These safeguards are not available to a person detained under preventive detention law and also to an alien

Preventive detection provisions are applicable to both citizens as well as aliens

  1. Detention of a person cannot exceed three months unless an advisory board recommends the same (the board is to consist of judges of a high court)
  2. Ground of detention should be communicated to Detenu. However, facts considered important may not be communicated
  3. Opportunity for representation should be provided.

Constitution has divided the legislative power with regard to preventive detention between Parliament (exclusively for defence, foreign affairs and security of India) and the state legislatures