In grave circumstances can the fundamental rights of a citizen be compromised?



The flow of history and geography do not change because of wars alone. Epidemics and economic reasons also change the direction of the flow of history. The Plague of London of 1665 and the economic downturn of the 1930s have witnessed a change in the outlook of the world's thinking. Britain was the most powerful country in the world at that time. That epidemic affected everything from the Industrial Revolution to slavery. In the same way, the economic recession of the 1930s brought about a massive change in the economic-culture of the world.


Government control over the right to trade began. These events also influenced the legal framework and the philosophy of justice. In the US, two Supreme Court justices resigned because their conscience was not accepting the new government control and they believed there was no other way out of the recession.


No freedom can be social-neutral. When there is peace and stability in the society, the scope of freedom increases, but in times of calamity it decreases. In mathematical terms, freedom is proportional to social peace. Lawful restrictions can be imposed on him to protect social interests. Covid-19 is a dangerous combination of the ill effects of the plague of 1665 and the economic recession of 1930. It will affect every aspect of the society. The legal framework and judicial process will be completely changed and new avenues of freedom and justice will be created. The biggest impact will be on individual freedom. Since the first responsibility of the government is to protect the life and health of the people.


Today the circumstances are such that to prevent the spread of this virus, people's movement, social interaction, dress and other social behavior will have to be regulated. This will increase the rights of the state and reduce the extent of personal liberty of our Article 21.


The constitution gives us this fundamental right that no person can be detained for more than 24 hours without the permission of the magistrate, but this has to be done during the Corona crisis. Based on the apprehension of infection, the police can detain someone, force them to undergo a medical examination, and if necessary, can quarantine and for this the permission of the magistrate is not required. The impact of this pandemic is bound to be on religious freedom as well. Religious freedom has been given to every person in the constitution. Every person has the right to conduct and even propagate according to his religious beliefs. Collective worship is an integral part of this right. But in the circumstances created by Covid-19, this is not possible at all. Stricter sanctions have been needed. Mass worship has to be stopped and in the coming times, it will change according to the need.


This pandemic will have an unprecedented impact on the right to privacy. Every civilized society is insistent about its privacy. To stop the infection, we have to make some compromises with our freedom. There have been some objections, but the flow of time is such that there is no option but to compromise with the current extension of the right to privacy.


The impact of Covid-19 is bound to fall on the judicial process. An epoch-making change is knocking in the court process. The culture of debate that has developed over the past three hundred years may change for a long time. In view of the situation, the Supreme Court has changed the dress-code and issued a direction to appear in the court without coat and gown to reduce the risk of infection. However that alone is not sufficient. It is imperative to increase the use of virtual media for arguments and since virtual methods have their own technical and other problems, it is necessary to give their arguments in writing and, if necessary, to respond to the arguments of the opposing counsel and their explanations. A culture of giving has to be developed. Of course, this is a complex process that will require varying degrees of expertise. In this, not only the courts and advocates, but the common citizen seeking justice will have to be informed and trained. The common man will have to face serious difficulties immediately and a comprehensive strategy is needed to deal with this challenge.


We must note that all the restrictions imposed by the government on the Fundamental Rights have been imposed under the Epidemic Act of 1897 and the National Disaster Management Act of 2005, apart from the Constitution. Under the Epidemic Act 1897, every state has the right to make 'temporary rules' to deal with the circumstances. We are still far behind in this matter. When rules are clear, transparency increases and employees are less likely to abuse their powers.


The greatest feature of man is that he has the spirit to overcome every difficulty. Due to this specialty, he has emerged stronger than before every time. England became the world's biggest superpower after recovering from the London epidemic, and the efficient strategy to deal with the economic downturn brought America in the line of the biggest superpower. The national public of any country plays the biggest role in overcoming such extraordinary circumstances and converting them into opportunities. No country grows up only on the strength of its constitution or law. He becomes great by the spirit of his countrymen. When the society faces such challenges unitedly, then the flow of the society takes a positive attitude. Today, as a nation, we need to unite and give a positive direction to our present.

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