Posted in Criminal Law, Critical Analysis, Debatable topics

Legalising Euthanasia in India

This article has been written by Soma Sarkar. Soma is currently a second-year student at Chanakya National Law University.

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed-else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”

We, the citizens of the country have the freedom to put on the apparel which we like, move about freely in the country, choose our own life partners, follow any religious faith, get admitted in the University of our choice, take up the job that is pleasing to us, right to freedom of speech and expression and of course the right to lead our life on our own conditions. Then why is it that we are debarred from loosing our lives? According to Article 21, a person has the right to live a dignified life. So simultaneously “Right to die” should also gain ground. To all intents and purposes it is the death that marks the end of the process though the right to life may be howsoever important. This fact cannot fall on stony ground. If death is an integral part of life, should the individual’s decision to die, its time and manner, be protected from state intrusion? However the former would contradict the provision of IPC under sec 309 which reads “Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act toward the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year [or with fine, or with both]”. Lives of men not only form the upper strata but is also valuable to the State. This power has been questioned on grounds of morality as well as constitutionality.

     Right to life and personal liberty is in fact the most cherished and the pivotal fundamental human rights forming the backbone of all other rights bestowed upon the civilians of our country. Article 21 is the celebrity provision of the Constitution of India and has received the widest possible interpretation under the able hands of the judiciary and rightly so. The interpretation of this article in Maneka Gandhi’s case has ushered a new era of expansion of the horizons of the same. It is nothing but modern form of what has been known to us since ages as natural right. ‘Life’ here not only connotes the physical act of breathing or leading a dog’s life. Rather it includes the right to live with human dignity, right to livelihood, right to health, right to pollution free air etc in its purview.

 “Right to die” this term has misled every inch of the population. The general perception is that one can die with dignity. Yes, dignity but what kind of dignity is it? Most of the people are in the dark. It’s high time to clarify their misconception. It does not refer to any general right of able-bodied and healthy people to commit suicide. It is related to typical issues concerning physician-assisted suicide (passive euthanasia). The question whether and under what circumstances, an individual whose illness is incapacitating will be allowed to die or be assisted in dying is on the horns of dilemma.

Mental health bill 2013 and the 210th law commission report argued for making section 309 a dead letter. They were of the opinion that one who attempts suicide requires medical and psychiatric care rather than punishment.

 “Right to die” sought the attention of the Indians with State v Sanjay Kumar wherein, Delhi High Court criticized section 309 of IPC as ‘an anachronism and a paradox’. There were two set of cases: Maruti Sripati Dubal v State of Maharashtra and Chhena Jagadesswar v State of Andhra Pradesh, the judgment of these two cases were at logger heads. Controversy arose regarding the validity of Section 309. In the former case the Bombay High Court struck down the above section on grounds that it violates the right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Consitution of India while the latter held it constitutionally valid. In P. Rathinam v Union of India and another the court overruled Chhena Jagadesswar v State of Andhra Pradesh and held that, Section 309 of IPC deserves to be effacted from the statute book to humanize our panel. Standing to reason such provision is stone hearted and irrational and it may result in punishing a person twice. Firstly as he has suffered agony and secondly undergoing ignominy because of his failure to commit suicide. This kind of attempt causes no harm to other members of the society and so going by the rule of thumb the State’s interference is needless. Therefore, Section 309 violates Article 21 thereby void. Smt. Gian kaur v State of Punjab was the next landmark case that came in the lime light. Right to life is exclusive of right to die or right to be killed. The former is a natural right while suicide is unnatural termination or extinction of life and so incompatible with being inconsistent with the concept of right to life. Existence of such a right up to the end of natural life is the acid test of the right to life including the right to live with dignity. What forms the core element is dignified procedure of death.

However, passive euthanasia is one such issue that holds legal validity under this umbrella term on account of that these are not cases of extinguishing life but acts as a catalyst only for accelerating conclusions for the commencement of natural death that is already on cards meaning thereby that right to die with dignity is inclusive of right to live with dignity.

Aruna Ramchandra Shaunbaug v Union of India has not faded from our mind’s eye. A request was made to the court to stop giving food and water to this 59 year old woman who was in permanent vegetative state thereafter this ‘right to die’ is no more trembling or hanging in balance.

    Just the chance to be alive on this earth and play a part in the grand scheme of god’s eternal plan is a privilege indeed. Life is the most precious gift that the Almighty has given. Sanctity of life has won laurels all over the world. The belief that because people are made in God’s image, human life has an inherently sacred attribute that should be protected and respected at all times. Humanity is comparatively more sacred than the rest of the creation. In spite of knowing these we leave no stone unturned to disappear from the sight of the world. Is it the same that is expected from us? Is death the solution of all the problems that we encounter? What would happen to the greatest wealth of India – its manpower if the Court approves it? We would be loosing our treasure for which India is known. Demanding death is the act of a coward. Why to be chicken hearted and not martyr?  ‘Right to die’ may sometimes dress itself as ‘Duty to die.’  Think of a man who is on bread line and works all round the clock to earn his living. When he grows old and is incapable of sharing the burden of his son along with the expenses incurred upon him, would his duty be to end his life in order to raise his family from utter penury because it would reduce the expenditure to a certain extent? Moreover legalizing right to die for the hoi polloi would pour cold water on palliative care and medical research. Besides these, people from neighboring constituencies would be visiting our country. Not as tourists but with the motive to take undue advantage of this right i.e. the decisions that one country takes has an impact on the surrounding nations equally. Medical ethics is a strong opponent of ‘Right to die’.  Has India made a record in having no suicidal cases? No, not at all. We have the ones committing suicide despite of knowing the fact that it bears no legal validity. In any case not legalizing right to die wouldn’t prevent masses to take the law into their own hands.

Posted in Debatable topics, Marriage and family, Muslim Law, Personal Laws

Triple Talaaq: Religious empowerment or unjust vindicament

This article has been written by Soma Sarkar. Soma is currently a second-year student at Chanakya National Law University.

 

At-talaaqu marrataan: fa-imsaakum-bima`-ruufin `aw tasriihum-bi-ihsaan. Wa la yahillu lakum `an-ta`khuzuu mimmaa`aatay-tumuuhunna shay-`an `illaaa.

Talaq, Talaq and Talaq!!! Speak the three words in and the civil contract in the garb of Nikah comes to an end. Isn’t it a strange divorce without any justification to the other party and no judicial process requires to be ensued. One spouse enjoins his right, the other mourns over it. One exercises his freedom right at the cost of paralyzing the other with pain and agony, financial crisis and compelling her to lead a dog’s life. In a country where law is the king of kings and vox populi is of paramount importance, it is in the very same country such vindicament being practiced inducing us to believe that there is no Messiah of the victims. No, no not even law.

Talaq-i-Bid’ah, the sinful form of divorce or the best to say the innovated one can be defined as a divorce which is pronounced thrice in one sitting when the wife is in the state of purity (tuhr), i.e., when man says: “I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you.”  “The Affair of the Necklace” is a very popular episode said to be dealing with this talaq. Aisha who was Prophet’s wife, as the story goes on her way to the city lost her precious pearl necklace. While as a bee she was in search of it in the desert bushes, the caravan went ahead leaving her all alone. In this hour of need she was escorted by a stranger to the city. Seventeenth century was the time period so peoples’ whispering about the incident would not make anyone to bat an eyelid. In order to uproot the rumors along with the character assassination attempts from the grass-root level, the Prophet made a ruling that whoever raising an allegation on Aisha must produce 4 eyewitnesses to the misconduct or face punishment. Credit goes to the mullahs to twist a pro-women ruling into a whip to be cracked on the women themselves. So, today the existence of Sharia brings into light the perverted version of the episode.

 The Apex Court decisions too has been ambigious on the matter in question. Where a writ petition was filed to declare Muslim Personal Law, which enmpowers a Muslim male to give unilateral talaq to his wife without her consent and without resort to judicial process of courts, as void and offending Articles 13, 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India in the case of Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group (AWAG) and others v. Union of India[1]. The Court left the issue down in mouth on the ground that it involved State policies. So the remedy isn’t in form of judicial process that means it must be sought elsewhere. Simultaneously the efforts made by the court to inject some safeguards into the talaq process cannot be given cold shoulder. For a talaq to be effective, it must be pronounced. In Shamim Ara v. State of UP and another[2], a mere plea taken in a written statement of a divorce having been pronounced in the past was held not to be treated as effectuating a talaq. Instead, a talaq has to be ‘pronounced’, i.e. it has to be proclaimed, uttered formally and articulated. Therefore, the Court has introduced a condition precedent for the effectiveness of a divorce.

The approach of the Supreme Court in Danial Latifi v. Union of India[3] in the course of interpreting the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, the Court upheld that the validity of the Act would be unconstitutional if not construed to mean that women should get a reasonable and fair provision and maintenance.

It has taken 60 years of independence to make us realize that our constitutional values cannot be segregated from our cultural inheritance. Presently it has become the job of the courts to enforce constitutional values. When all forms of gender injustice has been overpowered and captured then why should this stand as a pillar of muslim society? The laws in Egpyt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, the Philippines, Sudan, Syria, the UAE and Yemen have  put down their feet. Why should the All India Personal Law Board be allowed to paade these inhuman and illegal practices in the 21st century?

[1] (1997) 3 SCC 573.

[2] (2002) 7 SCC 518.

[3] (2001) 7 SCC 740

 

Posted in Civil Law, Debatable topics, Marriage and family, Personal Laws

Centre To Abolish Triple Talaq, Polygamy

This article has been written by Plash Mittal. Plash is a student of BCom LLB at University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Validity of practices like triple talaq and polygamy needs to be seen in the light of gender justice. They go against the principle of gender equality and are unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory. Taking a firm stand against the controversial Muslim custom of triple talaq and polygamy officially for the first time, the Centre has told the Supreme Court through an affidavit that the practices need to be abolished.

A large number of Muslim countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Iran, where Islam is the state religion have undertaken reforms in this area and have regulated divorce law and polygamy. Why should India, a secular country, continue to deny Muslim women their rights under the Constitution? The fact that Muslim countries have undergone extensive reform and that the practices are not integral to the practice of Islam or essential religious practices. Under Muslim personal law based on the Sharia, a Muslim man can divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq thrice either consecutively or at three different stages in the presence of an elder male (Talaak-e-Bidat). Muslim men are also allowed to have four wives (polygamy).

The affidavit, drafted by advocate Madhavi Divan, recognized the essential role played by women in a country’s overall development and said it would not only be unconstitutional but a severe impediment in a nation’s development if women were denied equal rights in every sphere of life, including matrimony. It says:

 

  1. Issue of validity of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy needs to be considered in the light of principles of gender justice and the overriding principle of non-discrimination, dignity and equality.
  2. The fact that Muslim countries where Islam is the state religion have undergone extensive reform goes to establish that the practices in question cannot be regarded as integral to the practice of Islam or essential religious practices.
  3. Secularism being a hallmark of Indian democracy, no part of its citizenry ought to be denied access to fundamental rights; much less can any section of a secular society be worse off than its counterparts in theocratic countries, many of which have undergone reform.
  4. Gender equality and dignity of woman are non-negotiable, overarching constitutional values and can brook no compromise. These rights are necessary in letter and in spirit to realize aspirations.

These rights are necessary not only to realize the aspirations of every woman but also for the larger well-being of society and the progress of the nation, one-half of which is made up by women. Any practice (triple talaq and polygamy) which denudes the status of a citizen of India merely by virtue of the religion, she happens to profess is an impediment to that larger goal.

The Centre said triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy could not be regarded as essential or integral part of religion and would not be included under the ambit of Article 25 of the Constitution which guarantees a citizen the right to practice and profess a religion of his/her choice. It picked on the affidavit filed by All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which had defended the practice as part of religion-sanctioned custom even while terming them as undesirable.

Gender equality and dignity of women are non-negotiable overarching constitutional values. One section of women in society could never be worse off than the other. The Modi government took a veiled dig at its predecessors for not moving to reform Muslim personal law. The same has not happened for over six-and-a half decades and women who comprise a very sizeable proportion of the said community remain extremely vulnerable, both socially as well as financially.  There is no legal bar against abolishing polygamy and triple talaq, given the march of time and the need for social reform. The Centre feared that such a practice would impact her confidence and dignity.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) strongly batted in support of the unilateral right of Muslim men to pronounce oral divorce through triple talaq, saying that as men, they were better at controlling their emotions, unlike women. The Board has also said that polygamy prevents illicit sex and protects women.

It said “any practice that leaves women socially, financially or emotionally vulnerable or subject to the whims and caprice of men folk is incompatible with the letter and spirit of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution”. The government said Muslim women, merely by virtue of their religious identity and the religion they profess, cannot be relegated to a status more vulnerable than women of other religious faiths.

Behind the preservation of personal was the preservation of plurality and diversity among the people of India. The question arises as to whether the preservation of such diverse identities can be a pretext for denying to women the status and gender equality they are entitled to as citizens.

Bibliography:

Posted in Constitution of India, Debatable topics

When the Special Status is no more special!

This article has been written by Abhipsa Upasana Dash. Abhipsa is a third-year student at Symbiosis Law School, Noida.

 

 

Abrogation of Article 370 has been a controversial topic for debate which has been surfaced time and again as a political weapon. This was one of the main issue raised by the BJP during the 16th LokSabha Elections. The reason behind this being in controversy is that this provision provides for a Special Autonomous Status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, i.e.  all the provisions of 1the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K. However, this provision was supposed to be temporary in nature.[1]

To discuss the origin of this provision, we would first have to understand the circumstances it was developed in. In late 1947, Nehru was convinced to believe that Art. 370 is essential since Kashmir was a state with the Pakistanis being majority in population and also, considering the fact that the issue of the Right on Kashmir was referred to the UN. Therefore, understanding the sensitivity of administration of this state, the decision of providing the state with Special Autonomous Status was justified. The accession of Jammu and Kashmir into Union of India was approved by the state assembly in the year 1956.[2]

Since this provision is still valid, a lot of provisions of the Constitution applicable to other States of India are not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. This state is therefore, provided with respective Constitutional Features along with specific administrative functions. Also, the central government needs to have the consent of the State Assembly if they wish to implement any law in the state, giving them the veto power, except in the fields of finance, External affairs, communication and defense. Further, the power to impose emergency in the state is restricted to only in case of War or External Aggression.

According to the writer, this restriction in the power to impose emergency in the state by the centre is something that is acting adversely for the state. Considering the pattern of population the state follows, it has been witnessing numerable riots among the Hindus and Muslims. This fails its population to believe in Central Government, therefore not agreeing to be a part of In Union of India, as a whole. Other characteristic features or consequences of this provision are application of dual citizenship for the citizen of this state, restriction on purchase of property by anyone outside this state, and no application of Anti-Defection Laws.

This provision not only restricts the administrative influence of the Centre in the state but also curbs the implementation of beneficial laws pertaining to Tax, personal laws i.e. intermarriage with the citizens of other state, property law and laws related to urbanization of the state. Being deprived of such basic benefits or improvements, the citizens of this state must have settled with a deep dissatisfaction from the country.[3]

Article 370 is inscribed in Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which particularly deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions” implying it to be temporary in nature. However, 60 years down the line, this provision has proved to be more unfavorable to the nation as whole. Creating an analogy of this state with that of a person who is provided with special autonomous status but being deprived of the beneficial facilities that could have been availed when being put together in a group would automatically result in dissatisfaction in the mind of the person. In our case, this person can be related to each and every citizen of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, who do have a special status, but do they enjoy it is the main question. The writer does not question the existence of this provision, since its implementation was essential considering the sensitivity of the time and aggression among people during partition, however, now is the time that this temporary provision should be repealed. The state would do much better with the rest of the nation and vice-versa.

[1]Tremblay, R. C. (1996). Nation, identity and the intervening role of the state: A study of the secessionist movement in Kashmir. Pacific Affairs, 471-497.

[2]Tillin, L. (2007). United in diversity? Asymmetry in Indian federalism.Publius: The Journal of Federalism37(1), 45-67.

[3]Ganguly, S. (2003).The crisis of Indian secularism. Journal of Democracy,14(4), 11-25.

Posted in Debatable topics, Personal Laws

Are We Ready?

This article has been written by Abhipsa Upasana Dash. Abhipsa is a third-year student at Symbiosis Law School, Noida.

 

 

It’s not a term that rolls easily off the tongue or can be heard in the ongoing conversations around us. Yet, a ‘uniform civil code’, or more conveniently, UCC, has been gaining currency in recent months. Last week, the flurry of criticism rose again when the ruling government asked the Law Commission to appraise the feasibility of bringing about a UCC.

The actual concept of one nation, one law is more than a neat hashtag and goes back to the initial days of drafting of the Constitution, when the issue was hotly debated—while some members of the Constituent Assembly argued for a common personal law for marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption, others believed that this was a goal to be gratified in stages. The directive principle—“shall endeavour to secure for citizens a uniform civil code”—was a compromise since the time was not right.The legal merits for desirability of Uniform or Common Civil Code for every Indian, regardless of his or her religious identity, are indubitable. In fact, it is one of the “Directives” to State as enshrined in Article 44 of the Constitution of India. This “Directive” does not come in conflict with Article 25 of the Constitution of India.

The time of incorporating UCC has never been right since the day we adopted the Constitution. Yet, a new wave seems to be riding the country. It’s a wave that is looking with considerable less tolerance and more understanding at existing gender gaps, particularly where personal laws and religion are concerned. As women increasingly start questioning the established stereotypes and notions, storming male-only mosques and “pure” temples, the courts prepare to look at existing inequities, has the time finally come?

Historically, two seemingly opposed constituencies- women’s rights groups and the right-wing parties and organizations- have been the brand ambassadors of the idea of a UCC. Despite, the first stage of reform of the personal laws of Hindus—giving women the right to choose or divorce their partners, some rights in the property of their fathers and husbands, abolishing bigamy—faced considerable opposition from the then Jana Sangh—the precursor of the BharatiyaJanata Party (BJP) as well as the RashtriyaSwayamsevakSangh (RSS) making it ironic that the push for a UCC now comes from the BJP.

But with congress’s track record in kind, the speculation is ripe that it will never live down the shame of pushing back the rights of Muslim women by passing the perversely named Muslim Women (Protection of Rights under Divorce) in 1986. The passage of the Act by the Rajiv Gandhi government effectively reversed a Supreme Court judgement that granted maintenance to divorced Muslim women.

Where do we go from here, and how do we move forward? Can we put aside past acrimonies and suspicions?

Several issues remain.

The first of these is the argument that it’s still not the right time. Muslims all over the world are under siege. Moreover, this government’s true intentions are always doubtful among the minorities in this country. Controversies over beef, saffronization of school and college curriculums, love jihad, and the silence emanating from the top leadership on these controversies have done little to instill a feeling of confidence. Can confidence be instilled again?

Second, while a UCC has remained a wonderful principle, nobody has actually spelt out what this common code will look like. What are the nuts and bolts of this law? Is it to take the ‘best’ practices from all religions and, if so, which ones? How would it deal with polygamy not just among Muslims but also Hindus and tribals? What will happen to the tax exemptions and breaks granted to the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)?

One way forward is to look at the UCC in terms of gender reform, a line favoured by many, including myself. But there is a caveat here, too. Can you look at parity of law for all women without first looking at parity between men and women? For instance, says former additional solicitor-general Indira Jaising, will our law-makers consider a concept of shared labour in marriages that would necessarily mean an equal division of assets acquired in the life of a marriage in case of a divorce?

One argument in favour of a status quo and against a UCC is that secular laws are always given precedence over personal, religious codes. In the past 12 months alone, a two-judge bench ruled that Muslim women are entitled to maintenance beyond the iddat(roughly three months) period. It upheld a previous Allahabad high court judgement that “polygamy was not an integral part of religion”. It has questioned why Christian couples must wait for a two-year separation before filing for divorce when it is just one year for others. Earlier still, it gave Muslim women the right to legally adopt children even though this goes against their personal law. However, justice cannot be dealt on a case-by-case mode.

There is another alternative—change from within. An end to practices such as triple talaq is already being demanded by social organizations. Law Board has not, so far, responded favourably even though an online petition by the BharatiyaMahila Muslim Andolan demanding a ban has already attracted over 50,000 signatures.

And yet, there can be no turning back, no drowning out of voices demanding justice. This Eid, the three-century old AishbaghEidgah in Lucknow opened its doors to women to offer prayers for the first time in its history. It was a tiny step towards what could be a new beginning.

Posted in Critical Analysis, Debatable topics

India’s move towards Euthanasia – A well-played one?

This article has been written by Prarthana Nanda. Prarthana is currently a student of GLC, Mumbai.

 

 

Been in debate for a long time now, the Government of India has finally responded to the issue of Euthanasia through the Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of patients and medical practitioners) Bill, 2016. But does the bill talked about meet the needs of the people or not. Let’s have a look.

History

Euthanasia as a subject has been ignored by the legislative for many years now despite two major judgments on it. The Aruna Shanbaug case and the Common Cause case prodded the Government to formulate a law on it. Probably the reluctance shown by the legislature could be because of the various distinctions of faiths in India.[1] Until now, the guidelines of SC formulated in the Aruna Shanbaug case, the nurse who was in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) for 37 years, were followed for assisting passive euthanasia to terminally ill patients. These guidelines required the close relative or alternatively, a friend of the patient to put an application to the High Court for a request of termination of life by withdrawal of life-support system. The HC was then required to appoint a panel of three doctors who would prepare a report in accordance with which the Court declared a verdict.[2].

These guidelines were primitive in nature, and realizing this, Supreme Court refused to take up any stand on the matter and requested the Government to formulate a law on the matter when a PIL was filed by an NGO called Common Cause.[3]

 

The Draft Bill

The Terminally Ill Patients Bill which deals with the protection of patients and medical practitioners highlights the following points:

  • Competent patients above 16 years of age have a Right to decide whether they want to withdraw or continue medical treatment,
  • A Panel to be formed consisting of doctors/specialists on these matters,
  • Palliative or pain-relieving care to be administered to all terminally-ill patients,
  • Doctors will be relieved of any liability for administering passive euthanasia with regards to competent and incompetent patients,
  • Close relative/ friend/ doctor assigned to approach High Court with such a request,
  • Maximum time for disposal of application with HC is one month,
  • A confidentiality clause to conceal identity of patient is added,
  • Concept of Living Wills is declared void(Section 11),
  • Medical Council of India to issue guidelines on passive euthanasia.

Formulated on the guidelines of the 241st Law Commission Report, the Draft Bill has fallen short of meeting the expectations of the people. The Bill is un-hewn and seemingly raw in nature. There is hardly any addition to the bill by the Government on the 241st Law Report.

In addition, the bill has, disappointingly for many activists, declared living wills as void. Living wills are those instruments through which an adult can decide in advance to be or not be administered by any life-supporting system when they are terminally ill. This has been criticized as violative of Right to Choice and Right to Life and Liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Thirdly, many child activists are arguing on the Right given to minors to decide their termination of life. Any competent patient above 16 years has the Right to decide so, according to the Bill. Viewed in the light that when minors don’t have a Right to Vote or a Right to Marry before 18, how can they be given the Right to Die at such a precarious age.

 

Recommendations

The concept of Living wills, seemingly removed in fear of its mis-use, takes away a Right of the people for a frivolous argument that it could be mis-treated. On the issue of Living wills, a reference to the Australian laws of Euthanasia which issued the following safeguards for Living Wills can be made:

  • Patient has to direct for the life-support system to be withheld.
  • Independent doctors/experts agree patient is competent to take such a decision
  • The patient is given considerable time to rethink.[4]

Another issue raised is that the bill should also highlight on the method of treatment to be administered to a patient by a doctor. For instance, a senior doctor said, “The Bill doesn’t guide the doctor about how to handle a 90-year-plus patient with terminal complications from cancer or a patient suffering a third stroke. Should the doctor concerned take a chance by starting treatment or not offer any treatment at all?”[5]

However, the Bill was uploaded on the website of Ministry of Health and has sought recommendations from the citizens. Hopefully, a well-drafted bill shall soon be presented in the House of Representatives.

[1] “Faith takes nuance views”, The Telegraph, 8 March ,2011

[2] “India’s Supreme Court lays out euthanasia guidelines”. LA Times. 8 March 2011.

[3] Common Cause(A. Regd. Society) vs. Union of India, (2014) 5 SCC 338

[4] “Euthanasia-What is the law in Australia”, Holmann Web Lawyers, Sep 4, 2015

[5] Centre finally comes up with bill on passive euthanasia (TOI) May 15,2016