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Legal fraternity divided on passive euthanasia

delhi Updated: Mar 07, 2011 23:47 IST
Harish V Nair
Harish V Nair
Hindustan Times
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The legal fraternity is divided on the issue of permission for passive euthanasia.

While some hailed the SC verdict as the beginning of the “end of violation of one’s right to live with dignity”, others said no one had the right to take one’s life without a proper law on euthanasia in the country.

Former Delhi HC judge RS Sodhi asks: “India allows capital punishment and the state is allowed to take one’s life. Then why an individual who suffers extensively should not be allowed to say I have had enough?”

SC lawyer Anand Grover said, “Courts cannot decide such a sensitive issue. As per the Constitution, no one can take away anyone’s life without a procedure established by law. It means there has to be a proper statute on the issue...”

Senior SC lawyer KTS Tulsi said, “The SC ruling with in-built safeguards has made the right to live more meaningful.”

Welcoming the judgment, legal expert Subhash Kashyap said, “It is good that the apex court has laid down certain guidelines and each plea for mercy killing will be decided on a case-by-case basis. If there was a general rule, there would have been misuse.

Former judge of the Delhi HC, justice JD Kapoor expressed similar views. Expressing “grave apprehensions” about the judgment, advocate Pinky Anand said, “I cannot countenance a position where one is allowed to end one’s life. It’s an area which must be left alone. Courts cannot take on such a difficult task...”