Discrimination in housing

Print edition : July 08, 2016

Homeless people sleeping on a pavement in Hyderabad. Several cases in the Supreme Court established that the citizen’s right to a dwelling implies necessarily a duty on the part of the state to provide a dwelling. Photo: P.V. SIVAKUMAR

Unfinished buildings in Dharavi, Mumbai, part of slum redevelopment schemes. A 2004 picture. Budgetary constraints prevent the state from constructing dwellings for all. Builders of homes, therefore, perform a public function and constitute “the state”. Photo: SHASHI ASHIWAL

It is now firmly established that the meaning of the word “life” in Article 21 of the Constitution also explicitly includes the right to housing. Therefore, the law can provide redress against discrimination in housing, provided judges exert themselves.
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