Right to life of a tourist visiting India.

Right to Life: Does a tourist visiting India from another country has any rights?

International law on right to life:

Right to life and dignity etc. are part of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948. The International Covenants and Declarations as adopted by the United Nations have to be respected by all signatory States and the meaning given to the above words in those Declarations and Covenants have to be such as would help in effective implementation of those Rights. The applicability of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and principles thereof may have to be read, if need be, into the domestic jurisprudence. This is the view of Supreme Court of India.

Right to life as per Constitution of India:

Article 21 of Constitution of India provides “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Right to life as interpreted by Supreme Court of India:

The term “life” indicates something more than mere animal existence.The inhibitions contained in Article 21 against its deprivation extends even to those faculties by which life is enjoyed.

[Source: Kharak Singh vs. State of U.P., AIR 1963 SC 1295:  1964 (1) SCR 332; See also : State of Maharashtra vs. Chandrabhan Tale, AIR 1983 SC 803: 1983 (3) SCR 337:(1983) 3 SCC 387].

The right to life under Article 21 means the right to live with dignity, free from exploitation.

[Source: Bandhua Mukti Morcha vs. U.O.I., AIR 1984 SC 802: 1984 (2) SCR 67: (1984) 3 SCC 161; See also: Maneka Gandhi vs.U.O.I., AIR 1978 SC 597: 1978 (2) SCR 621: (1978) 1 SCC 248 and Board of Trustees of the Port of Bombay vs. Dilip Kumar Raghavendranath Nadkarni, AIR 1983 SC 109: 1983 (1) SCR 828: (1983) 1 SCC 124].

Rape is violative of right to life:

Rape is a crime not only against the person of a woman, it is a crime against the entire society. It destroys the entire psychology of a woman and pushes her into deep emotional crisis. Rape is therefore the most hated crime. It is a crime against basic human rights and is violative of the victims most cherished right, namely, right to life which includes right to live with human dignity contained in Article 21.

[Source: Bodhisatwa vs. Ms. Subdhra Chakroborty (1996) 1 SCC 490]

Right to life includes human dignity for foreigners as well:

In case of a rape of a foreigner in India the Supreme Court reaffirmed and hels as under:

…….Smt. Hanuffa Khatoon, who was not the citizen of this country but came here as a citizen of Bangladesh was, nevertheless, entitled to all the constitutional rights available to a citizen so far as “Right to Life” was concerned. She was entitled to be treated with dignity and was also entitled to the protection of her person as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. As a national of another country, she could not be subjected to a treatment which was below dignity nor could she be subjected to physical violence at the hands of Govt. employees who outraged her modesty. The Right available to her under Article 21 was thus violated. Consequently, the State was under the Constitutional liability to pay compensation to her. …….
[Source: Chairman Railway Board v. Chandrima Das.]

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