Updated: Jul 25, 2020

What are Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy ? -

Fundamental Rights are described as the basic rights guaranteed to both citizen and foreigners except enemy aliens according the Constitution of India. Fundamental Rights are present in Part – III of the Indian Constitution which ensures some rights to all the citizens except enemy aliens of the country so that they can live peacefully .

While most Fundamental Rights are available for citizens and foreigners alike e.g. Article 21, certain are exclusive only for Indian citizens e.g. Article 19.

No discrimination is made on the basis of race, caste, sex, creed, place of birth, etc. and if any person feels so that his fundamental rights are being infringe then he can surely approach to the court for the violation of his rights. There are seven fundamental rights mentioned under the Constitution of India :

  • Right to Equality.

  • Right to Freedom.

  • Right to Freedom of Religion

  • Right against Exploitation.

  • Right to Culture and Religion.

  • Right to Constitutional Remedies.Right to Privacy.

Directive Principle of State Policy emerged from Article 36 to 51 of the Irish Constitution and enumerated in Part – IV of the Indian Constitution. DPSP imposes a duty upon the state to protect and acknowledge the Fundamental rights of the individual but also to achieve social-economic goals.

DPSP are non–justifiable. These principles are recognized as an important role player in governing the state. These principles create a healthy environment by which a citizens can live peacefully.

  • Articles of Directive principles of state policy are given below :

  • Article – 36 Defines the “state”

  • Article – 37 Application of the principles contained in this part.

  • Article – 38 State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people.

  • Article – 39 Certain principles to be followed by the state.

  • Article – 39(A) Equal justice and free legal aid.

  • Article – 40 Organisation of village panchayats.

  • Article – 41 Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain areas.

  • Article – 42 Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.

  • Article – 43 Living wage, etc for workers.

  • Article – 43 (A) Participation of workers in management industry.

  • Article – 43 (B) Promotion of co – operative societies.

  • Article – 44 Uniform Civil Code.

  • Article – 45 Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years.

  • Article – 46 Promotion of education and economic interest of Schedule tribes and other weaker section of society.

  • Article – 47 Duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.

  • Article – 48 Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry.

  • Article – 48 (A) Protection and improvement of environment and safeguard of forest and wildlife.

  • Article – 49 Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance.

  • Article – 50 Separation of judiciary from the executive.

  • Article – 51 Promotion international peace and security.

However, it is already a controversial topic in the Constitution about the relationship of Fundamental rights and DPSP, as there would be conflict in the interest of individual at a micro level and benefit of the community at a macro level.

The Relationship Between DPSP’s And Fundamental Rights –

There is always a tiff between the DPSP’s and the Fundamental rights and the question always is that – to whom supremacy will be provided ?

With the help of a few case laws we will look into this matter –

· State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan [ AIR 1951 SC 226] –

Supreme Court said that if any law is in contravention to the provision mentioned in Part III of the constitution it would be held void but this is not applicable in case of DPSP’s. This shows that supremacy is given to Fundamental rights over DPSP’s.

· Re Kerala Education Bill [1957]-

The court said that if there is conflict between Fundamental rights and DPSP’s then harmonious construction will taken place. If harmonious construction is not possible then in that case Fundamental rights will prevail DPSP’s.

Harmonious construction – It is a principle of statutory interpretation used in the Indian legal system. It holds that when two provisions of legal text seem to conflict, they should be interpreted so that each has a separate effect and neither is redundant or nullified.

· Venkatraman v. State of Madras [1966 AIR 1089, 1996 SCR (2) 229] –

The Supreme Court of India held that the Fundamental rights will prevail over DPSP’s .

· I.C. Golakhnath v. State of Punjab [1967 AIR 1643,1967 SCR (2) 762)] –

In this case it was said that parliament cannot curtail the Fundamental rights in making any law or policy for the country. In this case it was mentioned that if a law has been made to give effect to Article 39(b) and Article 39 (c) of Part IV of the constitution and in doing so if Article 14, 19, 31 gets violated then it cannot be declared as void merely on the ground of such contravention.

· Keshavnanda Bharati v. State of Kerala [1973 (4) SCC 225] -

In this case the Supreme Court placed DPSP’s on a higher pedestal than Fundamental rights.

· Minerva Mills v. Union of India [AIR 1980 SC 1789] –

In this case Supreme Court held that no one is prevailing each other and doctrine of harmonious construction should be applied because both Fundamental rights and DPSP’s are complementary to each other and both needs to be balanced.

· Unnikrishnan v. State of Andhra Pradesh[1993] –

The Supreme Court held that the Fundamental rights and DPSP’s are not exclusive to each other they are mutually inclusive.

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