What is the right to dignity and decency?


Human dignity can be highly rooted in morality and the law. In order to avoid creating a theoretical, standardizing, or disciplinary mess, associations between the rule of law and human dignity take action. The fundamental meaning of "rule of law" relates to equity, justice, and morality.

The Indian Constitution is one of the only ones in the world to address every aspect of the general population. The Constitution's authors understood the importance of treating people with respect and valuing them; therefore, they incorporated the phrase "human dignity" into the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

The Constitution established various rights, including the rights to equality, freedom, protection from exploitation, freedom of religion, freedom to cultural and educational opportunities, and constitutional remedies, which cover the most sacred, fundamental, common, and inalienable rights. The Constitution guarantees all people their fundamental rights without exception. Human dignity is upheld and preserved by the protection of fundamental rights.

The criminal equity framework makes recommendations based on social equity, which is the cornerstone of the Indian Constitution. All Indian citizens are equal, according to the preamble of the Indian Constitution, and this is the justification for everyone being treated equally under the law, including officials and adherents of the same legislation. Apart from their caste and religion, all Indians are guaranteed equal justice under the Indian Constitution.

The Indian Constitution's most fundamental and prominent article is Article 21. Because it can be used against the State, the citizens extensively use this article. Every human life is precious and lovely. One must show respect for one's human dignity. In this way, it is recognized by everyone and contributes to developing a moral vision for society.

Nature and Scope of the Rule of Law

The concept of the "Rule of Law" is the cornerstone upon which the contemporary democratic society is built. For the commonwealth to function effectively, all agreements are subject to the law, and legal authorization is essential. Laws are created to prevent social conflicts and ensure that public order is properly maintained. Maintaining lawfulness in the public eye and creating a tranquil environment for people to advance is one of the main goals of laws. In this process, the concept of the Rule of Law plays a significant role.  

The term "Rule of Law" is derived from the French phrase "La Principe de Legalité" (the principle of legality). It denotes the rule of law as applied by the government rather than by the individual. When we use the term "the rule of law" broadly, it might mean that the law is paramount, that no one is above the law, and that everyone should do their best to abide by the law of the State. The rule of law aims to shield the people from the government's arbitrary decisions.

The concept of the Rule of Law is quite traditional. Bracton, a judge during Henry III's reign in the thirteenth century, inadvertently introduced the concept of the Rule of Law. The idea of the Rule of Law is credited to Edward Coke, who asserted that the ruler must be subject to both God and the law, establishing the law's superiority to the executive branch's presumptions.

The Upanishad is the first source of the concept of the Rule of Law in India. Law is revealed to be the King of Kings. There is nothing more outstanding or superior to the law than the Kings. The weak will defeat the strong thanks to their abilities, and justice will triumph.

Right to life with human dignity

The most essential and fundamental right available to citizens and foreign non-citizens is the right to life. Everyone has a right to life, freedom, and personal safety. To try to sum up life in a single term or with a specific objective in mind is ludicrous. One can describe life experimentally, speculatively, or even insightfully.

Additionally, it is said that all of these aspects of life fall under the inherent purview of the law. According to the Oxford Dictionary, "Life" is a condition that distinguishes living things from inorganic problems, including the cap on reaction, development, multiplication, useful action, and continuous change before death.

Every culture has its own set of rules to protect both human life and an individual's dignity. Therefore, the right to life implies the importance of human existence. It is frequently referred to as the most significant fundamental right. Part III of our Indian Constitution safeguards fundamental rights, which are meant to guarantee and shield people's fundamental liberties from interference with their freedom to live with dignity.

Numerous fundamental rights are now guaranteed to both Indian citizens and non-citizens under the concept of the right to life with human dignity, as stated in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution's drafters' major objective was to improve social welfare and individual well-being. The most important fundamental human right of all is the right to life.

Human dignity is not explicitly addressed in the Constitution. According to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, the right to life and personal liberty includes the right to a life worthy of human dignity. It encompasses all aspects of life that contribute to making a man's life meaningful and deserving of life. It is the fundamental premise without which we cannot live as individuals. Life has a far broader meaning than merely going about daily business while physically active or relaxing; it also includes having the choice to live with dignity.

Every other right specified in the Indian Constitution is accorded fundamental importance by Article 21. The right to life, often known as the inalienable human right, is a well-known fundamental right and is not a gift from nature, according to Justice JS Verma. The rights that come naturally with being a human are known as human rights. These rights have their roots in natural law, which is supported by natural rights. These include the fundamental principles of a few rights, for instance, the right to be free from torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to practise one's religion as one sees fit, the freedom to move around, the freedom from slavery or servitude, and adequate access to food and shelter.

By referring to the Magna Carta case and emphasizing how the article protects life and liberty, Justice Krishna Iyer reaffirmed the same premise. This is regarded as the earliest text that declares the Crown possesses legal rights and has the power to bind the Monarch by enforcing those rights, just as those rights bind all men. It was determined in the case of AK Gopalan v. the State of Madras that the right to life is nothing more than fundamental freedom protected by Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

The important landmark decision that led to the expansion of the concept of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution was Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India. The word "individual freedom" is now covered by many more important rights, including the right to a speedy trial, the right to bail, the right against torture, the choice to live with human pride, and others. Some parts of the State are now required to uphold the concept of life and indisputability in many areas. It suggests that life is not stressed to the absolute limit. Therefore, no one can deny their existence without an equitable and legitimate legal process.

This case offered Article 21 a new perspective, and the supreme court ruled that the right to life extends beyond mere physical survival to include a life of defined human dignity. Justice Krishna Iyer explained the importance of the right to life. The right to life does not just require that there be life, but that life must be noble. The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Kharak Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh that the term "Life" was not limited to actual restriction or repression to prison only but rather something more than a little creature presence. Under Article 21 of the Constitution, a person has the right to be free from any restrictions or violations that are rightfully or subtly imposed upon them.

How the rule of law protects human rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states in Article 3, "Everyone enjoys the advantage of life, opportunity, and security of people." Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, adopted in 1950, also stated, "Everyone's entitlement to life will be guaranteed by law." Nobody will be willfully denied the right to live after being found guilty of a crime for which this punishment is mandated by law during the execution of a court sentence. All of these have regarded a person as a physical element and tried to shield him from excesses by rulers or the State alone, or on the other hand, lawbreakers.

However, only India has fully envisaged human beings and worked to ensure their overall prosperity, success, and opportunity from unhappiness while protecting life from any outside hostility. Our Constitution writers added Article 21 in the Indian Constitution: "No individual will be denied his life and individual freedom except as indicated by the technique set up by law" because they recognized the person as more than just a minor physical component. The right to life, individual freedom, and overall security and advancement of Indian citizens have all been guaranteed by a constitutional framework, which has received the most comprehensive translation possible under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The right to life and individual freedom is essential for character development.

This privilege implies a reasonable standard of comfort and tradition. The Preeminent Court of India has combined many more additional rights. India has developed a human rights law in response to this. It has enabled ordinary people to live honourable lives.

National security and human rights conflict with one another. Government officials frequently argue that protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms is compatible with maintaining national security. This justification underlies their arguments whenever they discuss national security.

The limitations on administrative forces were further upheld by the international human rights framework, declarations, and trials to which India was a signatory or confirming party. However, the reality of modern-day Indian chief administration demonstrates the shortcomings and inadequacies of the settlements and displays. Police, military, and paramilitary forces continue to violate human rights. This situation emphasizes the necessity to foster a culture among those in charge of enforcing the law where human rights are seen as a precondition for maintaining the rule of law. In India, laws that appear to protect national security are passed, providing a unique opportunity to examine the concept of human rights from a spiritual angle. This legislation granted the Indian leader significant power, providing him with a greater opportunity to abuse and violate fundamental rights.

Relationship between human dignity and legal systems

Moral orientation

Concerns with human philosophical studies create a state of flight from the moral inquiry. For instance, creature morality raises issues regarding the value of people relative to other nonhuman creatures, sometimes indisputably but always verifiably. Answers to these questions typically address whether humans have dominance over other creatures or whether people have an innate understanding of what other creatures need. These two investigations are dubious, and their relationship is far from obvious.

Supported by tradition, which has greatly influenced how we understand human pride, the central question can be interpreted in a variety of ways, including as the evolution of the human species, mankind's dominance over nature, the imago Dei, or the extraordinary value of humanity about all other natural wonders. Ultimately, human respect rises above human poise to measure a person's internal noteworthiness.

Holism and anthropology

The perspective on the human situation, known as a comprehensive quality, acknowledges the interconnectedness and characterizing nature of the human mind, body, people, society, and the world. Comprehensive quality in the humanities aims to include all that has been thought about people and their activities. From a broad perspective, attempts to divide reality into psyche and matter segregate and focus on particular aspects of a process that, by its very nature, resists restriction and analysis. For those seeking a concept of human instinct that is sufficiently complex to do justice to its perplexing subject, comprehensive quality retains tremendous interest.

To understand comprehensive quality more simply, consider the statement that the whole is more significant than the sum of its parts. Individual human beings are not only x per cent characteristics but also y per cent culture. Alternatively, people's unique characteristics are a direct outcome of the shared shaping of traits, culture, and experiences that come with existing on the planet. These new things are not reducible to the components that made them up. Be aware that shared social experiences shape people as they grow and live, shaping them into very different persons than they would have been if they had been created separately.

An anthropologist named Sally Engle Merry received a call from a radio programme seeking information on an ongoing incident that happened in Pakistan and resulted in the assault of a young woman authorized by a neighbouring ancestral committee. She informed them that it was an impermissible protest and that the attack was probably related to local political conflicts and class divisions. This is consistent with comprehensive quality because higher experts sanctioned the attack, and it is socially acceptable for men of socially higher classes to feel more empowered than women. This emphasizes the connection between human behaviour, health, and society.

Anthropology and the question of human rights

Human sciences are relevant to human rights logically and practically. Human rights are based on the premise of human instinct, and anthropologists can contribute to this by examining correlations across animals and cultures (D. Earthy coloured 1991). However, the concept of CULTURAL RELATIVISM, which Franz Boas and several anthropologists started (Herskovits, 1972) and some have criticized, may be the finest litmus test for inclusive human rights (Edgerton, 1992; Hatch, 1983). A few countries accused of violating human rights have tried to hide under social relativism and reproached their informants for being Western good settlers. Each culture has ideas about important things, but these ideas are rarely immediately shared outside its borders with other groups or designed as universals encompassing all of humanity. Anthropologists can assist in examining, comprehending, and intervening in the socially diverse range of perspectives on human rights (A Naim, 1992; K. Dwyer, 1991), as well as addressing the critical questions of inclusion vs relativity (Renteln, 1990).

It is necessary to acknowledge that human rights abusers frequently target individuals and groups based, at least in part, on their obvious organic, sociological, or etymological differences. Human sciences can handle this situation as the humanistic science that documents, explains, and extols humanity's social cohesion and respectable diversity. Additionally, anthropologists frequently have the extraordinary opportunity when conducting fieldwork to observe and document human rights; however, they should do so covertly owing to potential dangers.

Dignity, equality, and due process during the lockdown

In its preface, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights views people's natural pride in being part of the human race as the creation of opportunity, equity, and peace. The Supreme Court's ruling that the privilege to life included a stately life and not a minor creature presence clarified the significance of nobility in the discussion of rights in India.

Even more so, it has confirmed the previous Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel's conclusion that nobility is a factor that unites all human rights into a single whole. Surprisingly, the police appear to be maintaining the lockdown while brazenly disregarding the citizens' respect, raising the question of how socialized the police force is.

There have at least been two instances in Karnataka where the police have stripped off alleged lockdown offenders. A traffic police sub-inspector was observed in Bangalore directing a small number of men to publicly remove their shirts and fold them over their faces as masks. In Davanagere, a house watchman also detained a biker and forced him to take off his shirt and cover himself with it.

Both of these incidents were caught on camera by the media, and they were afterwards shown to praise the police for their "tough estimates" rather than condemn the protests. A person's dignity is genuinely attacked when they are stripped in public, and the embarrassment they experience may never leave them. It reflects how these police officers used the imposed irregularity between them and the persons in question to their ends. Section 355 of the Indian Penal Code, which forbids using authority to defame a person, gives these police officers the right to be charged. The media has been unreliable and heartless by reporting these incidents without hiding the identities of the people involved and by praising these human rights violations.

It may be helpful to remember that the Allahabad High Court instructed the Uttar Pradesh police to remove banners they had placed up to publicly shame those protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Disgraceful in that the accused is not allowed to defend himself in court while the police act as both informant and punisher. Consider the possibility that these men went shopping for necessities. If the police had determined that they lacked a valid reason to be outside, they should have made a case against them for breaking the lockdown and followed the procedure outlined in The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Section 355 of the Indian Penal Code is invoked when someone is made to keep a record of their apology written to embarrass them, just like when someone is stripped naked.

While the average person runs the risk of being attacked or humiliated even while venturing out to seek basic services or buy necessities, MLAs have blatantly flouted the lockdown. Over 500 people attended a birthday celebration that MLA Jayaram organized in Tumkur, Karnataka, on April 10. Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, an FIR has been explicitly filed against 3 of his supporters and not just the MLA. This is not a unique incident; another MLA celebrated the BJP's Foundation Day with his supporters during the lockdown.

In the city of Tumkur, MLA S R Srinivas was observed playing with his grandson while operating a toy automobile. Given that these violations occurred in broad daylight, it is likely that the neighbourhood police participated in allowing them to take place. Additionally, it raises concerns about the effectiveness and competence of the insight wings in the region, which should have alarmed the VIP about these violations. These incidents cast a negative light on the rule of law, which is pictured in our established plan as an unending supply of law and conformity under the watchful eye of the law.

Equity, respect, and fair treatment have all been abused throughout this lockdown. It has incited the police to behave like a regal authority ruling settlement subjects. The time is right for sentinels, such as the legal system and human rights commissions, to mediate and uphold protected and humane characteristics.

Issues and Challenges

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on March 11, 2020, that the COVID-19 virus outbreak, which was initially identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, has reached the level of a global pandemic. The WHO urged nations to take decisive and urgent action to curb the infection's spread, citing concerns about "the worrisome degrees of spread and seriousness." Everybody has the right to the highest standard of well-being that is reasonably attainable under international human rights law. Governments must take steps to prevent threats to public health and provide medical care to those who require it. Human rights law also recognizes that restrictions on some rights can be supported when they have a legal basis, are carefully necessary, are supported by logical evidence, and are neither discretionary nor oppressive in their application. They must also be limited in scope, mindful of human dignity, subject to review, and proportionate to the goal to be supported.

The COVID-19 pandemic's size and severity have reached the point where they pose a threat to the public's health that could justify limiting some specific rights, such as those brought on by isolation or separation that limits the chance for development. Simultaneously, prudence regarding human rights, such as non-separation, and human rights standards, such as straightforwardness and regard for human poise, can foster an effective response amid the conflict and disturbance that inevitably leads to emergencies and tip the scales the harm that can result from the weight of comprehensive estimates that do not adhere to the standards as mentioned above.


Human rights are meant to be understood. Human rights are meant to be universal, common, and defining. There should be equality between every person. The essential premise is that people possess rational and moral qualities that set them apart from other creatures on Earth and qualify them for individual rights and opportunities that other animals are not entitled to. The previous work was concerned with using respect for people in philosophical and moral concepts. The concept itself is ambiguous, and critical use in the modern period struggles with the challenge of attempting to act as an intermediary within and between regulatory sectors that are already immune to the concept of such intermediary ideas. There are good reasons why such a broad concept should be crucial to our intuition. Therefore, despite its dangerous characteristics, human poise is likely to remain a topic of regulatory discussion.