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The Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016 is enacted on the basis of which of the Article of the Constitution of India?


1. 18
2. 19
3. 21
4. 24

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Correct Answer - Option 3 : 21

The correct answer is 21

  • Article 21: ​Protection of Life and Personal Liberty
    • Article 21 declares that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.
    • This right is available to both citizens and non-citizens.
    • In the famous Gopalan case11 (1950), the Supreme Court has taken a narrow interpretation of Article 21.
    • It held that the protection under Article 21 is available only against arbitrary executive action and not from arbitrary legislative action.
    • This means that the State can deprive the right to life and personal liberty of a person based on a law.
    • This is because of the expression ‘procedure established by law’ in Article 21, which is different from the expression ‘due process of law’ contained in the American Constitution.
    • Hence, the validity of a law that has prescribed a procedure cannot be questioned on the ground that the law is unreasonable, unfair or unjust.
    • Secondly, the Supreme Court held that ‘personal liberty’ means only liberty relating to the person or body of the individual.
    • But, in the Menaka case (1978), the Supreme Court overruled its judgement in the Gopalan case by taking a wider interpretation of Article 21.
    • Therefore, it ruled that the right to life and personal liberty of a person can be deprived by law provided the procedure prescribed by that law is reasonable, fair and just.
    • In other words, it has introduced the American expression ‘due process of law’.
    • In effect, the protection under Article 21 should be available not only against arbitrary executive action but also against arbitrary legislative action.
    • Further, the court held that the ‘right to life’ as embodied in Article 21 is not merely confined to animal existence or survival but it includes within its ambit the right to live with human dignity and all those aspects of life which go to make a man’s life meaningful, complete and worth living.
    • It also ruled that the expression ‘Personal Liberty’ in Article 21 is of the widest amplitude and it covers a variety of rights that go to constitute the personal liberties of a man.

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