Landmark case Aruna Shanbhag vs Union of India (Passive Euthanasia)

The constitution of India guarantees the ‘ Right to life ’ to all its citizens. But questions whether the ‘ Right to Die ’ can also be read into this provision.
The solicitation was filed by Ms Pinki Virani, under composition 32 of the Indian constitution to allow for the termination of the life of ARUNA RAMCHADRA SHANBAUG, who was attacked for sexual assault and left to die for the coming 42 yrs. In an endless vegetative state (PVS) This case deals with unresistant Euthanasia.


Aruna Shanbaug was born in 1948, at Haldipur, Karnataka. She came to Mumbai in 1967 to become a nanny.
She worked as a nanny at the King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEM) in Mumbai. On the night of 27th Nov 1973, Shanbaug was sexually assaulted by Sonhanlal Valmiki, a sweeper
on contract at the KEM sanitarium.

Sohanlal attacked her while she was changing clothes in the sanitarium basement. He wrapped a canine chain around her neck and yanked her back with it.
He tried to force her but by changing that she was menstruating, he sodomised her. To immobilise her during this act he twisted the chain around her neck.

The following day on 28th November 1973 at 7:45 am a cleanser set her lying on the bottom with blood over in an unconscious state. It’s all contended that due to strangulation by the canine chain, the force of oxygen to the brain stopped and the brain got damaged.

Sohanlal was caught and condemned for assault and thievery. He served two concurrent 7 years of judgment but was released in the yr. 1980 He wasn’t condemned of rape, sexual botheration, or unnatural sexual offence, the last of which could have been penalized with life imprisonment.
36 yrs, had lapsed since the said incident, as she was surviving on the smashed food and couldn’t move her hands or legs.

It was contended that there was no possibility of any enhancement in the condition and that she was entirely dependent on the KEM hosp. staff. A solicitation was filed by Ms Pinki Virani, under composition 32 of the Indian constitution to allow for the termination of the life of


17th Dec 2010, the Supreme Court, admitting the plea to end the life made by the activist-intelligencer Pinki Virani, sought a report on shanbaug’s medical condition from the hospital in Mumbai and theGov. of MH.

On 24Jan. 2011, a three-member medical panel was established under the Supreme Court’s directive. After the examination, the panel concluded that she met the “ utmost of the criteria of being in an endless vegetative state ”(coma). Shanbaug failed on 18th May 2015 due to pneumonia
(42 yrs)


The decision was taken by 2 judges, a divisional bench by justice MARKANDEY KATJU and justice GYAN SUDHA MISHRA.

The Supreme Court in this case reckoned on the report of the croakers saying that Aruna Shanbaug wasn’t brain dead, she can breathe without machine support and can survive, and she had passions of which occasionally symptoms were shown by her, and as her condition was also stable.

The Supreme Court rejected Ms Pinki Virani’s desires and also declined to give Passive Euthanasia to Aruna Shanbaug.

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