DPSP and Fundamental rights

Fundamental Rights are described as the basic rights guaranteed to every citizen of the country under the constitution. They are present in Part III of the Constitution which ensures some rights to all its citizens so that they can live their lives peacefully. They help in checking the activities of the Government so that it cannot curtail any of the basic rights granted by the Constitution in the form of Fundamental rights.

Fundamental Rights apply to all the citizens without any form of discrimination on the basis of race, caste, creed, sex, place of birth, etc. Violation of the fundamental rights may lead to punishment and can initiate proceedings against the government if it tries to curtail them.

The Indian Constitution recognizes 7 fundamental rights, they are as follows:

  • Right to Equality
  • Right to freedom
  • Right to freedom of religion
  • Right against exploitation
  • Cultural and Educational Rights
  • Right to constitutional remedies
  • Right to privacy (recently added)

Directive Principles of State Policy are some important guidelines given to the government so that it can work accordingly and refer to them while formulating the laws and policies, and to build a just society. 

These principles are mentioned in Part IV from Article 36 to 51 of the Constitution.

Directive Principles are non-justiciable. However, these are recognized as an important roleplayer in governing the State. These principles aim at creating such an environment, which can help the citizens to live a good life where peace and harmony prevails.

The directive principles conjointly gauge the performance of the state, in order to achieve the objectives stated in the preamble of the Indian Constitution.

Comparison between DPSP and Fundamental rights

BASIS FOR COMPARISONFUNDAMENTAL RIGHTSDIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES
MeaningThe essential or basic rights granted to all the citizens of the country.The guidelines which are considered while formulating policies and laws.
Defined In Part III of the Constitution.In Part IV of the Constitution.
NatureNegativePositive
EnforceabilityLegally enforceable.Not enforceable.
DemocracyPolitical democracy.Social and economic democracy.
LegislationNot required.Required.
PromotesIndividual welfarePublic welfare

The conflict between DPSP and fundamental rights

Fundamental Rights and the DPSP are supplementary to each other and are essential to meet the social and economic dimensions of a democratic government.

The conflict between Fundamental Rights and DPSP often arises as sometimes it has been seen, by various legislations, that DPSP have wider scope than the Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Rights are the rights which are enforceable by the Courts and any law that is in contravention to the provisions mentioned in Part III are ultra vires. 

On the other hand, the DPSP are not enforceable in any Court of Law and nothing can be declared as void merely because it is against the provisions given under the DPSP.

In the case of State of Madras v. Champakam, the Supreme Court held the Fundamental rights are superior to the DPSP saying that the Fundamental Rights under Part III prevails over DPSP in case of any conflict between them.

In the landmark judgment given by the Supreme Court in the Golak Nath caseit was held that the provisions mentioned under Part III as Fundamental Rights cannot be undermined just to implement the provisions given under Part IV which enlists some important guidelines for the State in the form of the DPSP.

The Constitution was amended in the year 1971 and through this amendment, Article 31C was incorporated in the Constitution. It confers wider importance on the DPSP. 

In the Minerva Mills case, the Supreme Court restricted this wide scope which was conferred on the DPSP under Article 31C by making the following changes:

  • It restored Article 31C to its pre-1976 position. A law would be protected by Article 31C only in the case if it has been made to implement the Article 39 (b) and Article39 (c) of the DPSP and not any of the other directive included in Part IV.
  • There is a fine balance in the Constitution between the DPSP and the Fundamental Rights, which should be adhered  by the Courts without placing any of them as superior. 

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.

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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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