Fundamental rights though known as basic human rights then also governed by the Constitution in India and considered special rights for the people. Rights being cohesive, the citizens can comprehend the importance of all the members of the society, co-operate and adjust themselves accordingly, thereby maintaining cordial relationships among each other. These rights are enforceable and therefore possess characteristics of legal and educational value, assisted by the citizens to protect, respect, accept and fulfill the rule of law. They also uphold the equality and dignity of the individuals, taking into consideration the unity and integrity of the nation.
These rights not only ensure and guarantee basic civil, political, social, and economic rights and freedoms, rather also focuses on safeguarding the minority communities, castes, classes, and religious groups and removing the notion of discrimination of all kinds, and ensuring equality amongst all. These rights are the basic structure of the constitution and thereby cannot be contravened, abridged, or interfered with by any constitutional laws, provisions, or amendments, if anything so comes into effect then that particular law will be considered unconstitutional and void as it is against the constitutional norms.
Fundamental rights focus on protecting and ensuring the dignity of the individual and also to, create situations that help all to develop their character to its comprehensive extent. These rights provide an undesirable duty on the state, that is, of not encroaching on individual liberty in its various dimensions, it forms the base related to the concept of Human Rights. They are most indispensable for an individual’s accomplishment regarding his status be it intellectual, moral and spiritual
The primary reason for the inclusion of the fundamental rights in the Constitution of India was to institute a government of laws and not of man, where under the rule of man the society would be unsystematic and unrestrained, but with the rule of law, the peace and harmony will be maintained in the society, thereby, assuring Justice and Equality. Fundamental Rights aim to safeguard freedom have a life having dignity and personal liberty of the citizens against any incursion by the state, and henceforth, these liberties would play a role in preventing or foiling the rule of an authoritarian and undemocratic and therefore essential to assure an all-around burgeoning of individuals and the country.
The Supreme Court and High Courts have been provided with powers to issue writs regarding the enforcement of legal rights of an Individual, which are mentioned under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for the Supreme Court and Article 226 of the Constitution of India for High Courts.
Fundamental Rights: exceptions
Saving of Laws that mentions Acquisition of Estates :
Under Article 31A of the Indian Constitution, among various laws, five categories of laws have been defined as being challenged on the account of violation of Fundamental rights as mentioned under Articles 14 and 19 of the Indian Constitution. These categories relate to
- Estates Acquisition and the rights related to them by the State.
- Corporate actions are like an amalgamation of various corporations.
- Mining leases Modification and also aspects related to their extinguishment.
- State takeover regarding the maintenance of properties State.
- Alteration or Modification of t director’s rights of various corporations.
Saving of laws that provide effect to some Directive Principles :
Article 31C (which was Inserted by the 25th Amendment Act of 1971), highlights provisions that are two in number which is mentioned below :
- It provides that if there is a law that focuses on the implementation of the socialistic directive principles as mentioned under Article 39(b) or 39(c) then it shall not be considered void on account of violation of the fundamental rights as provided under the Article 14 and Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
- And, if there’s a law which provides for a declaration to give effect to such policy then it shall not be called in question in the Court of law.
Some Acts and Regulations: Their Validation
- Article 31B of the Indian Constitution, the Acts, and the Regulations which forms part of the Ninth Schedule have been protected from being challenged on the grounds of violation of Fundamental rights.
- Fundamental Rights: Criticism
Fundamental rights play a vital role in human development then also subject to criticism, few reasons on account of which these rights have been criticized are as under :
- The Fundamental rights as provided by the Constitution possess dual characteristics they are subject to restrictions though reasonable in nature and also have exceptions, so they have been criticized for having dual characteristics.
Lack of Social and Economic Rights
- Fundamental rights primarily focus on political rights, there are no highlights regarding social and economic rights like social security rights, work rights, employment rights, etc, however, countries like China have provisions for such rights in their constitutions.
- Many phrases and words as mentioned under the definitions of various fundamental rights lack clarity, they are found to be not clear or vague as their explanation is not provided anywhere in the Indian Constitution. Words such as, ‘Public order’, ‘minorities’, reasonable restrictions’, etc. are a few words that may be considered under this category.
- The Parliament has been provided with powers to curtail or abolish fundamental rights. Rights related to property may be considered as an example of this. These rights have been criticized for becoming a play tool in the hands of the politicians who possess majority support in the Parliament, lack of permanency is also a ground for criticism of fundamental rights.
Suspended during Emergencies
- Fundamental rights are criticized on account of their temporary suspension during the operation of a National Emergency subject to the exceptions of Articles 20 and 21 all fundamental rights are suspended during an emergency.
Fundamental Rights: Its Significance
- Creation of wall being defensive in nature of individual liberty.
- Minority interest is being protected.
- Assure about the dignity and respect of all.
- Construction of a base for the democratic system in the country.
- The secular fabric of the Indian State is strengthening.
- The fundamental rights as provided in Indian Constitution are for the reason that they have been considered to be essential for the development and existence of every individual and to preserve human dignity and respect. These rights possess the characteristics of enforceability out of which few are against the state and few are against both states as well as private individuals.
- Fundamental rights provide Judiciary clarity regarding how the regulation of relations between the citizens and the government will take place.
- As of the existence of these rights and also having their characteristics of being enforceable in nature the court people are free to enjoy their life and personal liberty, movement from one part of the country to another, have peaceful assemble, etc. However, these fundamental rights are also criticized on the grounds of lack of clarity in respect of words or phrases mentioned in defining these fundamental rights, they are found to be vague or their meaning is not provided anywhere else in the Indian Constitution. Words or phrases such as, ‘public order, ‘minorities’, etc. may be considered to be part of this class.
- Another positive aspect of the Fundamental rights is that it highlights about right to have free education for all children who have not attained the age of 14, which empowers the nation’s youth. The fundamental rights may have flaws but it does provide more protection to the citizens of the nation than a most flaw.
Constitution of India
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