The judgment revolves around the question of whether the State and Medical Practitioners have a legal obligation to save lives under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The petitioner in the present case is a non-governmental organization who filed a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution in public interest upon seeing a newspaper report where a person who was badly injured was refused medical care by doctors in few hospitals.
Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.
Whether the State and Medical Practitioners have a legal obligation to save lives under Article 21 of the Constitution?
The petitioners contended that, Article 21 not only guarantees right to life to the citizens but also cast an obligation upon the State to protect the same. Further the Code of medical ethics also specifies the Practitioners to take all measures to save a life.
Agreeing to the petitioner’s contention the respondents submitted that, there were no provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act or the Code of Criminal Procedure which prevented the doctors to take immediate action before the incident being brought to the notice of Police officials.
The Court on hearing the parties gave the following guidelines: