The fundamental rights in the Constitution are given in Part 3 of the Constitution from Article 12 to Article 35. Fundamental rights are the rights which are granted by any country to its citizens. The Fundamental Rights are taken from the United States’ Constitution. These are the basic rights which are given to every citizen. Part 3 of the Constitution is also regarded as Magna Carta of the Constitution. The rights are for the moral development, political development, economic development and social development of a person.
Rights are mainly of two types which are guaranteed rights and non-guaranteed rights. Guaranteed rights are the rights which every citizen is been given by birth. These rights can be enforced by every citizen. Non-guaranteed rights are the rights which are written in the Constitution but are not guaranteed to be provided by the Government. These rights are not necessarily given to every citizen.
In the original constitution there were 7 fundamental rights, but now in the current constitution there are only 6 fundamental rights. The “Right to Property” has been removed from the Fundamental Right and has now become a Legal Right. This change has been made by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978. Earlier “Right to Property” was given in Article 31 and Article 19 (f), but with the Amendment Act of 1978, this right has been now given as a Legal Right under Article 300 (a).
Fundamental Rights are of the following 6 categories:-
- Right to Equality (Article 14 to Article 18)
- Right to Liberty (Article 19 to Article 22)
- Right against Exploitation (Article 23 and Article 24)
- Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25 to Article 28)
- Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29 and Article 30)
- Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)
Article 32 i.e. Right to Constitutional Remedies is also termed as the “Basic Structure” and “Soul and Heart of the Constitution”.
Features of Fundamental Rights
The characteristic features of the fundamental rights are as follows:-
- The rights are not absolute. There can be restrictions imposed on the rights by the Supreme Court. But these restrictions should be reasonable.
- Most of the fundamental rights are negative in nature.
- Fundamental rights are borrowed from the Constitution of United States
- Fundamental rights can be amended (the amendment can be made only by the Parliament).
- Fundamental rights can be suspended (suspension of fundamental rights can be done only by the President). All the fundamental rights can be suspended but Article 20 and Article 21 cannot be suspended. However, the fundamental rights can be suspended only in case of emergency.
- Fundamental rights are justiciable. This means that the fundamental rights can be challenged in any court.
- Some fundamental rights are available for only citizens, like Article 15, Article 16, Article 19, Article 29 and Article 30.
- Most of the rights are available against the actions of the State, but some are also available against the actions of any individual.
- Fundamental rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and hence an individual can approach the Supreme Court in case of violation of any right.
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