Table of Contents
Fundamental Rights : Fundamental Rights Deals With Article 12-35 of Indian Constitution. Human rights are conferred upon the citizens of India for the constitution tells that these rights are inviolable
- Right to Life
- Right to Dignity
- Right to Education
It comes under one of the six main fundamental rights. It is a very important topic for the UPSC exam 2024 in Indian Polity section. It is a static syllabus but it is highly in the sense that it is featured on the news daily in some form.
We’re now on WhatsApp. Click to Join
6 Fundamental Rights of India
- Right to equality
- Right to freedom
- Right against exploitation
- Right to religious liberty
- Right to cultural and educational freedom
- Right to legal recourse
The Fundamental Rights originally also contained the right to property (Article 31). However, it was removed from the list of Fundamental Rights by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978 and made a legal right under Article 300A in Part XII of the Constitution.
What is Fundamental Rights ?
The Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution are meant for promoting the principle of political democracy by establishing the Doctrine of Limited Government. The fundamental idea of providing the Fundamental Rights to the citizen was to prevent the establishment of arbitrary laws of the government and also protect the liberties and freedom of the citizens. Establishment of Rule of Law instead of Rule of Men is the prime idea of Fundamental Rights. Features Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution have been mentioned below:
- Fundamental Rights as Article 15, 16, 19, 29, 30 are made available to the citizens only while others are available to both citizens and legal foreigners.
- Fundamental Rights are made available to the citizens with reasonable restrictions, hence they are not absolute but qualified in nature.
- Most of the Fundamental Rights are available against the arbitrary action of the state.
- They are justiciable in nature, as anyone can move to court for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights if violated.
- They are protected and guaranteed by the Higher Courts in India.
- They are not permanent as by the process of Constitutional Amendment, the Fundamental Rights can be repealed.
- During National Emergency all the Fundamental Rights can also be suspended except the rights provided under Article 20 and Article 21.
- The application of Fundamental Rights to the armed forces, para-military forces, police forces, intelligence agencies can be restricted by Parliament (Under Article 33).
List of Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution
The Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution are enshrined in Part III (Articles 12 to 35). These rights provide protection to all citizens and some are also available to non-citizens in certain cases. Here is the List of Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution:
|List of Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution
|Right to Equality
|Equality Before Law
|Prohibition of Discrimination
|Equality of Opportunity in Public Employment
|Abolition of untouchability
|Abolition of Titles
|Right to Freedom
|Protection of 6 Rights
|Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences
|Protection of Life and Personal Liberty
|Right to Education
|Protection Against Arrest and Detention
|Right Against Exploitation
|Prohibition of Human Trafficking and Forced Labour
|Prohibition of Child Labour
|Right to Freedom of Religion
|Freedom of Conscience, Profession, Practice and Propagation
|Freedom to Manage Religious Affairs
|Freedom from Taxation for the Promotion of a Religion
|Freedom from Attending Religious Instruction
|Educational and Cultural Rights
|Protection of Interests of Minorities
|Right of Minorities to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions
|Right to Constitutional Remedies
|Right to use five Writs of Indian Constitution as remedies for enforcing one’s fundamental rights:
|Provides the Parliament with the authority to limit or abolish the fundamental rights of “Members of the Armed Forces, paramilitary forces, police forces, intelligence agencies, and analogous forces”
|Provides for the restrictions on fundamental rights while martial law (military rule) is in force
|Empowers the Parliament to make laws on Fundamental Rights
Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution: Articles 12-35
The Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution are enshrined in Part III, specifically Articles 12 to 35. These rights are considered essential for the protection and well-being of citizens and are justifiable, meaning they can be enforced in courts. The United States Bill of Rights served as a major model for India’s creation of Fundamental Rights. These rights are protected by the Constitution because it is believed that they are necessary for each person’s personality to grow and for the preservation of human dignity. Part III of the Indian Constitution, sometimes referred to as the Magna Carta of the Indian Constitution, contains provisions for fundamental rights. Due to their justified nature, which enables people to petition courts for their enforcement if and when they are violated, these rights are known as basic rights. Read about: Salient Features of Constitution of India
Six Fundamental Rights (Articles 12 to 35)
Everyone’s moral and intellectual development depends on fundamental rights. Fundamental rights are necessary for a person’s development. The post-independence era in India has led to the inclusion of a number of crucial fundamental rights in the Indian constitution. The Constitution of India grants specific legal rights to each citizen. Knowing what they are is essential to prevent the violation of anyone’s rights.
1.Right to Equality (Articles 14 – 18)
- The right to equality entirely protects the equal legal rights of all citizens.
- The right to equality absolutely forbids discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, and religion, place of birth, race, or sexual orientation.
- It ensures that everyone has an equal chance to work for the government and prohibits the government from treating anyone differently at work just because of their religion, caste, race, gender, ancestry, place of birth, place of residency, or any other of these factors.
- Equality before the law is provided for in Articles 14 through 18. The Constitution ensures that everyone is treated equally in front of the law and guarantees equality before the law.
- The state is not permitted to treat citizens differently based on their caste, race, religion, gender, or place of birth. This is required to achieve equality. Read more about the Right to Equality here for detailed information.
2. Right to Freedom (Articles 19 – 22)
- It is also known as the right to liberty.
- The most cherished wish of every person is to be free.
- A few of the rights guaranteed by the right to freedom include the freedom of speech, the freedom of expression, the freedom of assembly without the use of force, the freedom of movement across the entire territory of our nation, the freedom of association, the freedom to practice any profession, and the freedom to live anywhere in the nation.
- These rights, however, are constrained in many ways. Read more about the Right to Freedom here for detailed information. Right to Education under Article 21A was added in our Indian Constitution by 86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002. Which ensures that “Every children between the age of 6 to 14 years have the basic right to a free and compulsory education”.
3. Right against Exploitation (Articles 23 – 24)
- Due to Indian society’s historical hierarchical structure, various forms of exploitation have occurred.
- It’s critical to understand that being exploited is equivalent to, if not worse than, being abused.
- This fundamental right is essential for preventing any citizen from being forced to perform forced labour of any kind.
- Even if money is offered, no one may be made to work against their will. Forced labour of any kind is forbidden by the Indian constitution.
- Forced labour is defined as work performed for less than the legal minimum pay. The article also cites human trafficking as a constitutional violation.
- Therefore, it is forbidden to buy and sell people for illegal or immoral reasons. Additionally, this paragraph declares that this “bound labor” is unconstitutional.
Read more about the Right against Exploitation here for detailed information.
4. Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25 – 28)
- One is completely free to practice whichever religion one chooses.
- Because India is a multireligious nation where Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, and many more religions live, the Constitution designates it as a “secular state.”
- It indicates that there is no “national” religion or “state religion” in India. However, it completely allows residents to practice any religion they like and to worship anybody they choose.
- This shouldn’t, however, obstruct another person’s religious beliefs and/or practices. Foreigners can also exercise this freedom.
Read more about the Right to Freedom of Religion here for detailed information.
5. Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29 – 30)
All members of society have the right to maintain their native language or script thanks to cultural and educational rights. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Indian society is its diversity. In such a diverse nation, our Constitution believes that variation is our strength. The freedom of minorities to maintain their culture is thus one of their fundamental rights. Minorities are ethnic or religious groups that are native to a certain area of the nation and who practice a similar language or religion. Minority linguistic and religious groups are also permitted to set up their own educational establishments. This will enable them to maintain and advance their own culture.
6. Right to Constitutional Remedies (32 – 35)
- A citizen in India has the option to appeal to the Supreme Court to have their fundamental rights upheld.
- This privilege is protected for the Supreme Court and the High Court, respectively, under Articles 32 and 226 of the Constitution.
- It is known as the constitutional remedy right. The Supreme Court and the high courts have the authority to impose fundamental rights under this Article.
- Local courts may also have the ability to extend the rights.
- However, because it is subject to military law, the court-martial is excluded from this safeguard.
Read about: Important Articles of Indian Constitution
Importance of Fundamental Rights
Fundamental rights are essential because they serve as the foundation of the nation. They are necessary to protect the interests of the populace. Article 13 states that all laws that violate basic rights are null and invalid. Here, judicial review is expressly provided for. Any statute may be declared unconstitutional by the SC and High Courts on the grounds that it violates basic rights. In addition to legislation, Article 13 also discusses ordinances, orders, rules, notifications, etc.
Amendability of Fundamental Rights
A constitutional modification that has the support of both Houses of Parliament is necessary before any fundamental rights can be altered. Parliament should vote with a special majority to enact the amending measure. No laws that restrict basic rights may be passed, according to Article 13(2) of the Constitution. Whether a constitutional amendment act qualifies as law or not is the subject of debate. In the Sajjan Singh case from 1965, the Supreme Court ruled that any provision of the Constitution, including fundamental rights, is subject to amendment by the Parliament. But in 1967, the SC changed its position from when it had previously stated that the fundamental rights could not be modified in the Golaknath case judgement. The Kesavananda Bharati case resulted in a landmark ruling from the SC in 1973, which stated that even though the Parliament could amend any part of the Constitution, including Fundamental Rights, the “basic structure of the Constitution could not be abrogated even by a constitutional amendment.” The judge may invalidate any amendment made by Parliament that conflicts with the Constitution’s fundamental principles on the basis of this principle in Indian law. The Supreme Court reaffirmed the Basic Structure concept in 1981. Additionally, it drew a line of demarcation on April 24, 1973, the date of the Kesavananda Bharati verdict, and concluded that it should not be applied retroactively to examine the legitimacy of any change to the Constitution that occurred before that day.
Doctrine of Severability
- The Constitution’s enshrined fundamental rights are safeguarded by this theory.
- The Doctrine of Separability is another name for it.
- It is stated in Article 13 that all laws that were in place in India before the start of the Constitution and were in conflict with the principles of fundamental rights will, to the extent of such conflict, be void.
- According to this, just the portions of the law that are in conflict should be regarded as void, not the entire law. The only clauses that violate fundamental rights are those that do so.
Doctrine of Eclipse
- It is a concept that upholds the Constitution’s core rights.
- As the Doctrine of Separability, it has another name.
- According to Article 13 of the Constitution, any laws that were in force in India prior to the implementation of the Constitution and were in conflict with the guarantees of fundamental rights are void to the degree of their conflict.
- This suggests that only the portions of the law that are in conflict should be regarded as void, not the entire law. The only clauses that are void are those that conflict with fundamental rights.
Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles
Fundamental Rights enjoys supremacy over the Directive Principle of State Policy, although it does not means that Directive Principle cant be implemented. Granville Austin has described the Directive Principle of State Policy and Fundamental Rights as the “Conscience of the Constitution”. The difference between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles have been discussed below: Highlighting the main differences between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy in the Indian Constitution:
|Directive Principles of State Policy
|Enshrined in Part III of the Constitution of India.
|Enshrined in Part IV of the Constitution of India.
|Rights guaranteed to citizens against the state.
|Principles and guidelines for the state in policy-making and governance.
|Citizens can directly approach the courts to enforce their fundamental rights.
|These principles are not legally enforceable by citizens in courts.
|Applicable to all citizens of India.
|Intended to guide the state and government actions.
|Right to equality, right to freedom of speech, right to life, etc.
|Promotion of social justice, protection of the environment, promotion of education, etc.
|Individual rights and liberties.
|Socio-economic and political objectives for the state.
|To protect individual freedoms from potential state encroachment.
|To provide a framework for state policies that promote the welfare of the people.
|Fundamental rights can be amended by the Parliament, subject to certain limitations.
|Directive principles are non-justiciable and cannot be enforced in court.
|Essential for upholding democratic values and individual freedoms.
|Provide a roadmap for the state to establish a just and equitable society.
|In case of conflict between fundamental rights, the courts intervene to strike a balance.
|Directive principles may have to be balanced against fiscal and administrative realities.
|Applicable to both citizens and the government.
|Applicable primarily to the government and its policies.
|Fundamental rights are generally enforceable immediately.
|Implementation of directive principles depends on the government’s discretion and resources.
|Fundamental Rights vs. Common Good
|Emphasize individual rights and liberties.
|Emphasize the common good and societal welfare.
Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties
Fundamental Duties are the responsibilities on the part of citizens, whereas Fundamental Rights are the rights available to the people of this country. The 42nd Constitution Amendment Act of 1976, passed by the Indira Gandhi administration, amended the Indian Constitution to include Fundamental Duties. The Indian constitution places a strong emphasis on both fundamental rights and duties. Fundamental duties are the obligations that citizens have to their country and fellow citizens; whereas fundamental rights are the entitlements that people have as a result of being citizens of a certain country. The highlighting the main differences between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties in India:
|Enshrined in Part III of the Constitution of India.
|Enshrined in Part IV-A of the Constitution of India.
|Rights guaranteed to citizens for protection from the state.
|Duties expected from citizens towards the state and society.
|Citizens can approach the courts for the enforcement of their rights.
|There is no legal mechanism to enforce fundamental duties through the courts.
|Originally, there were 7 fundamental rights, but after the 44th Amendment Act, 1978, there are 6 fundamental rights.
|Originally, there were 10 fundamental duties, but after the 86th Amendment Act, 2002, there are 11 fundamental duties.
|Right to equality, right to freedom of speech, right to life, etc.
|Duty to abide by the Constitution, duty to promote harmony, duty to protect the natural environment, etc.
|Focus on individual liberties and freedoms.
|Focus on individual responsibilities and obligations towards the nation and society.
|To protect citizens from potential state encroachment on their freedoms.
|To promote a sense of discipline, social harmony, and patriotism among citizens.
|Fundamental rights can be amended by the Parliament through a constitutional amendment, but not to the detriment of their core values.
|Fundamental duties can be amended by the Parliament through a constitutional amendment.
|Crucial for ensuring a democratic and just society.
|Important for fostering a sense of citizenship and social cohesion.
|Violation of fundamental rights can be challenged in court through writ petitions.
|There are no legal remedies or penalties for not performing fundamental duties.
|Applicable only to citizens of India.
|Applicable to both citizens and the government.
Check here the Major Differences Between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties that deals with every aspect of the Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties.
Fundamental Rights UPSC
- The Indian Constitution, which is the nation’s highest body of law, protects and guarantees fundamental rights.
- The Fundamental Rights are found in Articles 14 through Article 35 of Part III of the Indian Constitution.
- Each citizen’s complete physical, mental, and moral development is guaranteed by fundamental rights.
- The essential rights and freedoms that, by themselves, can make life worthwhile are included in them.
- Fundamental obligations and fundamental rights reinforce one another.
- It is both natural and authorized by law.
- In general, FRs shield individuals and minority groups against the State’s arbitrary and biased official action.
- UPSC Aspirants can go through this article to get all the details about Fundamental Rights.
- Fundamental Rights is an essential topic for the candidates preparing for UPSC/ IAS Exam.
- It is an important part of the Indian Polity Subject of the UPSC Syllabus 2024.