FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES: ARTICLE 51a Of THE CONSTITUTION

Our country India has the lengthiest written constitution in the world. In this, the rights of every person are kept in mind. However, the three organs of the State cannot make this country self-reliant until they get the proper support from the citizens as well. So there are certain fundamental duties which are expected from the citizens to be carried out. In this article, we will discuss the Fundamental Duties which are expected to be carried out by the citizens of our country. It is a moral obligation on the citizens to maintain the feeling of patriotism and unity among all the citizens of the country.

Need for Fundamental Duties

It is important to understand that no democratic system could ever succeed if the citizens are not willing to participate actively by discharging their duties which are expected to be done by them. 

Our Constitution has provided us with various rights and expects us to perform certain duties as a return. Article 51(A) talks about these Fundamental Duties and has 11 fundamental duties that are expected to be performed by the citizens (there were 10 earlier and 11th was added later by the 86th amendment). First, we will discuss these 11 fundamental duties and then we can move on to the next topic whether it is needed or not.

  • We need to follow our Constitution and should respect our national flag and national anthem.
  • Should follow the ideals of the freedom struggle.
  • Protect the sovereignty and integrity of our nation.
  • Protect our nation and provide national services when required.
  • Should have the spirit of a common brotherhood.
  • Preserve the culture of our country.
  • Protect the environment of our country.
  • Generate scientific rationale for every thought.
  • To protect public property.
  • Strive for excellence.
  • It is the duty of every parent to send their children between 6-14 years to school.  

In Chandra Bhavan Boarding And Lodging Bangalore v. State of Mysore And Another, the Supreme Court held that it is not possible for our constitution to protect all the rights of citizens without assigning certain duties to its citizens. However, this decision was taken before the insertion of fundamental duties in the Indian Constitution. It clearly explains the need for fundamental duties for making a welfare society.

Enforcement of Duties

Directive Principle of State Policy (which is given in Chapter IV of the Indian Constitution) and Fundamental Duties needs to be read together. Both have a moral obligation on the state and citizens respectively.

Fundamental Duties do not have any legal devour for its violation. There are six positive duties which are expected to be done by the citizens of our country and there are five negative duties which are not expected to be carried out by the citizens. There is no legal enforceability for its breach, it is because of the nature of the Fundamental Duties. We can clearly understand that it is practically impossible to enforce these duties.

It is important to know that Fundamental Duties are only enforceable for the citizens holding public offices. It is possible by way of departmental rules of conduct and by making suitable legislation. There are appropriate sanctions for the breach of Fundamental Duties in Public Offices.

There are many places in India where a person holding public office can be barred from departmental promotions, also their increment can be refused. An officer who takes part in strikes and organized a rally against the institution can be made to give up his salary for that day.

Aruna Roy v. Union of India, AIR 2002 SC 3176

In the very famous case of Aruna Roy v. Union of India PIL was filed in the Supreme Court. It has been contended that the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE) which was published by NCERT is against the constitutional mandate, anti-secular and without consultation with Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) and therefore it needed to be quashed. The implementation of NCFSE was challenged as it did not get the approval of CABE.  Also, NCFSE was found to be against the constitution as it violated the basic principle of secularism.

However, the petition was cancelled as the Supreme Court did not find any reason to cancel the framework (NCFSE). What is given in our constitution is that students should be taught that every religion is common/ equal? Further Article 51A (e) clearly explains this condition. According to this fundamental duty, it is the duty of the citizen to promote harmony and brotherhood among the people of a different religion. And in order to achieve these universal values like truth, right conduct, love, and peace should be the base of education.

Government of India v. George Philip, AIR 2007 SC 705

In this very famous case of Government of India v. George Philip, the purpose of compulsory retirement was challenged by the respondent. The respondent who was working in BARC was granted two years left at the starting of his service by the department. It was given to him to carry out advanced research training. After many reminders, the petitioner overstayed in the foreign and an inquiry was constituted for the same purpose and charge against him was proven. He was allowed (decision of the High Court) to join his service but no wages were decided to be given to him for those days which he was not able to attend the service. But the Supreme Court overruled this decision of the High Court. The reasoning given by the Supreme Court behind its decision was that the earlier decision i.e. the decision of the High Court was against Article 51A(j).

Article 51A(j) clearly says that it is the duty of one to always strive towards excellence in all spheres of life of an individual and it also talks about the collective activity so that the nation keeps rising higher in an endeavor and this can not be achieved until the employees maintain the discipline.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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