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Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug vs Union Of India & Ors. on 7 March, 2011
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dead animal, and this has been the position for the last 36 years. The prayer of the petitioner is that the respondents be directed to stop feeding Aruna, and let her die peacefully. 4. We could have dismissed this petition on the short ground that under Article 32 of the Constitution of India (unlike Article 226) the petitioner has to prove violation of a fundamental right, and it has been held by the Constitution Bench decision of this Court in Gian Kaur vs. State of Punjab, 1996(2) SCC 648 (vide paragraphs 22 and 23) that the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution does not include the right to die. Hence the petitioner has not shown violation of any of her fundamental rights. However, in view of the importance of the issues involved we decided to go deeper into the merits of the case. 5 5. Notice had been issued by this Court on 16.12.2009 to all the respondents in this petition. A counter affidavit was earlier filed on behalf of the respondent nos.3 and 4, the Mumbai Municipal Corporation and the Dean, KEM Hospital by Dr. Amar Ramaji Pazare, Professor and Head

same manner till she succumbs naturally. They do not feel that Ms. Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug is living a painful and miserable life. III. Examination IIIa. Physical examination She was conscious, unable to co-operate and appeared to be unaware of her surroundings. Her body was lean and thin. She appeared neat and clean and lay curled up in the bed with movements of the left hand and made sounds, especially when many people were present in the room. She was afebrile, pulse rate was 80/min, regular, and good volume. Her blood pressure recorded on the nursing charts was normal. Respiratory rate was 15/min, regular, with no signs of respiratory distress or breathlessness. There was no pallor, cyanosis, clubbing or icterus. She was edentulous (no teeth). 10 Skin appeared to be generally in good condition, there were no bed sores, bruises or evidence of old healed bed sores. There were no skin signs suggestive of nutritional deficiency or dehydration. Her wrists had developed severe contractures, and were fixed in acute flexion. Both knees had also developed contractures (right more than left). A nasogastric feeding tube (Ryles tube) was in situ. She was wearing diapers. Abdominal, respiratory and cardiovascular examination