A Case Commentary On Common Cause (A Registered Society) V. Union Of India (2018)

Paras Pradhan & Anuraj Pradhan, SRMS, College of Law, Bareilly


Writ Petition (C) No. 215 of 2005, decided on March 9, 2018


Prashant Bhushan, Rohit Kr. Singh, Amiy Shukla, Shakti Vardhan, and Sudhaker T. and Cyeryl, Advocates, P.S. Narasimha, Additional Solicitor General, A. Mariarputham, Advocate General, etc.

JUDGES (Constitutional Bench)

Dipak Misra, C.J., Dr A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, Dr D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, JJ.


This question was first raised up before the court in State of Maharashtra V. Maruti Sripati Dubal1, the Bombay High Court held that the right to life includes a right to die, and consequently, the court struck down section 309 of IPC which provides punishment for an effort to kill . On the other hand, the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Chenna Jagdeshwar V. State of A.P held that right to die is not a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 and hence 309 is not unconstitutional. After that, some issues were raised in the case of P. Rathinam V. Union of India that3, (1). Has Article 21 any positive content or is it merely negative in its reach? (2). Has a person who resided in India a right to die? Then, The division bench of the Apex Court in agreeing with the view of the Bombay High Court in the Maruti sripati Dubal case & held that a person has a right to die. The court held that that right to measure in Article 21 includes the right to not live. This view of the apex court was rightly corrected by the Five Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Gian Kaur V. State of Punjab4, the judge overruled the P.Rathinam's case and held that right to life under Article 21 of the Indian constitution doesn't include right to die or right to be killed.

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