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Había habido muertes por inanición en el estado de Rajastán a pesar de que se conservaban excedentes de cereales para períodos oficiales de hambruna; asimismo, diversos planes de distribución de alimentos implementados en todo el país no estaban funcionando. En 2001, la organización People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) solicitó a la Corte que exigiera el cumplimiento de los planes de alimentos y del Código de Hambruna, el cual permitía que se liberaran reservas de cereales en épocas de hambruna. Basó sus argumentos en el derecho a la alimentación, derivándolo del derecho a la vida.

The case involved a challenge by certain private professional educational facilities to the constitutionality of state laws regulating capitation fees charged by such institutions.  

Under Sections 20 and 21 of the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, 1976, the State Government exempted certain excess land from the provisions of the Act on the condition that the land be used by the builders for the purpose of providing housing for the ‘weaker sections of society.'  It was alleged that the builders had not done so. Although it found that the applicant's writ of petition had been rendered infructuous, the Bombay High Court gave some directions regarding future monitoring of the scheme sanctioned under Section 20.
 

The petitioner sustained serious injuries after falling off a train. He was refused treatment at six successive State hospitals because the hospitals either had inadequate medical facilities or did not have a vacant bed. 

Starvation deaths had occurred in the state of Rajasthan, despite excess grain being kept for official times of famine, and various schemes throughout India for food distribution were also not functioning. In 2001, the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) petitioned the court for enforcement of both the food schemes and the Famine Code, a code permitting the release of grain stocks in times of famine. They grounded their arguments on the right to food, deriving it from the right to life.

In 1981, the State of Maharashta and the Bombay Municipal Council decided to evict all pavement and slum dwellers from the city of Bombay. The residents claimed such action would violate the right to life, since a home in the city allowed them to attain a livelihood and demanded that adequate resettlement be provided if the evictions proceeded. The Court declined to provide the remedies requested by the applicants but found that the right to a hearing had been violated at the time of the planned eviction.