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This article is written by Illakiya, Sastra University


Part Ⅳ of the Indian Constitution states about the Directive Principle of State Policy which falls to be one of the distinctive features of the Indian Constitution. DPSP is stated between Article 36 to 51. DPSP focuses on the objectives to be taken by the State about the governance of the country and lays down the guidelines for the State. It lays down certain economic and social policies to have control over the welfare of people. Sri G.N. Joshi stated that “DPSP constitutes a very comprehensive political, social, and economic program for a modern democratic State”. At the time of formulating any policy or passing a law, DPSP acts as ideals for both Union and the State Government and they should make law by keeping DPSP in mind. This Article gives a general and clear view of DPSP.

History of DPSP:

The concept of DPSP was borrowed from the Ireland Constitution which had its origin from the Spanish Constitution. In the year 1945, the fundamental rights and the Directive principles found its origin. There are two parts of fundamental rights namely justiciable and non-justiciable. Under the Indian Constitution justiciable rights are incorporated in Part Ⅲ the Directive principle of the State incorporates non- justiciable rights.

Unique features of DPSP:

There are certain special features which result in DPSP’s uniqueness. They are,

  • The socio-economic development is achieved through the instructions given to the State by the Directive Principle of State.

  • The power and function of the state are increased through DPSP and it is not enforceable in the Courts.

  • The will of the people is reflected through DPSP. Its objective is to meet the aspirations of the people.

  • The progress of the country lies in following these principles.

  • The conscience of our Constitution is constituted by DPSP as it has great values.

The relation between Directive Principles and Fundamental Rights:

As discussed earlier directive principle is non- justiciable whereas fundamental rights are justiciable. Though Directive principles are fundamental under Article 37, it is applied only as principles in making laws by the State which makes them expressly non- justiciable. The Court cannot enforce nor declare any law which is valid on the ground of Directive principles as void. But on the next end under Article 32, the Courts are bound to declare any law as a void that is inconsistent with the fundamental right.

In-State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan[1], the Court held that the Directive policy is expressly made unenforceable by Courts cannot override the provisions found in Part Ⅲ, notwithstanding other provisions, are expressly made enforceable by appropriate writs, orders or directions under Article 32.

Classification of DPSP:

The principles can be classified into the following groups;

  • Social and Economic Charter (Arts. 38 & 39)

  • Social Security Charter (Arts. 39A, 41 to 43, 45 to 47) and

  • Community Welfare Charter (Arts. 40, 44, 48, 48A, 49, 50 & 51)

Social and Economic Charter:

The jurisprudential doctrine of “distributive justice” is embodied by Articles 38 and 39. The concept of distributive justice in the sphere of law-making connote, inter alia, the removal of economic inequalities rectifying the injustice resulting from dealings and transactions between unequal in society[2].

· Article 38- Social Justice:

Article 38(1) states that the State shall strive for the welfare of the people to be secured and protected. Social Justice is not a simple idea of a society but it is an essential part of complex social change to relieve the poor[3].

· Article 39:

The policies which should be followed by the State for securing economic justice are listed under Article 39. These principles state about giving equal rights to men and women; ownership distribution and control of material resources; equal pay for both men and women for their work; to ensure the protection of workers and children’s health; to make sure that the economic system does not result in the concentration of health and to protect the children from exploitation and other material abandonment.

It was held that the teachers employed in privately managed aided schools are entitled to the same salary and dearness allowance as is paid to teachers employed in the Government school[4].

Social Security Charter:

Under the Social Security Charter, the following provisions were made,

· Article 39-A:

Under Article 39-A free legal aid assistance is given to the people who are not able to afford legal representation. It provides equal justice and opportunities to every person and mainly provides free legal aid to people who are under the poverty line. Article 39-A makes sure that due to the reason for economic and other disabilities no citizen should be denied justice. Legal aid has been provided even to the prisoners as fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.

In the case of the Centre of Legal Research v. the State of Kerala[5], it was held that the state must encourage the participation of voluntary organizations or social action groups in operating the legal aid program.

The Supreme Court held that the State affords grants-in-aid to recognized private colleges that qualify for receipt of the grant under Article 39-A when reading with Article 21[6].

· Article 41:

Employment, education, and public assistance should be ensured by the State to the unemployed, sick, disabled people within the limits of the State’s economic capacity.

· Article 42:

The provision relating to securing the just human condition and for maternity relief should be directed by the State under Article 42.

· Article 43:

Under Article 43 all the workers, agricultural, industrial should be provided by the State with suitable legislation or economic organization a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full employment.

· Article 43 A:

By suitable legislation, the State has to take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings or other organizations engaged in any industry.

· Article 45:

Article 45 focuses to decrease illiteracy. Compulsory education should be provided by the State to every child who is under 14 years.

The Supreme Court has held that “Right to education” up to the age of 14 years is a fundamental right within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution[7].

This article was substituted in 2002 in the 86th Amendment which states that every child till age six will be endeavored with education by the State. This was necessitated to make the right to education to children up to 14 years as a fundamental right.

· Article 46:

Article 46 directs the State to take care of the education and economic interest of the weaker section. Under this section, the scheduled caste and tribes are protected from all forms of exploitation.

· Article 47:

The level of nutrition and living standards of people should be taken care of by the State. Other than drugs which are used for the medical purpose the State should keep a check on intoxicating drinks which are injurious to health.

Community welfare charter:

  • A Uniform Civil Code is provided to every citizen by the State under Article 44. The Court directed the Union Government to file an affidavit indicating the steps taken and efforts made, by the Government towards securing a uniform civil code for the citizens of India[8].

  • The State takes steps to organize agricultural and animal husbandry under Article 48.

  • As per Article 48- A the State ensures the protection of the environment and wildlife.

The Supreme Court gave directions to the Central and State Governments and various local bodies to take appropriate steps for the prevention and control of pollution of water[9].

The State Government was directed to give full effect to a centrally sponsored scheme for saving wild buffalo[10].

  • Under Article 49 every monument, place, and object of artistic and historic interest are protected by the State.

  • Under Article 50 the State makes sure in the separation of Judiciary and the Executive to promote the law.

  • Under Article 51 the State focuses on the following,

1. Promotion of international peace and security,

2. Maintaining just and honorable relation between the nations

3. The dealings of organized peoples with one another concerning international law and treaty.

4. Through arbitration settling international disputes.

Village Panchayats- organization:

The State is directed under Article 40 to take steps to organize village panchayats. This will enable them to work as units of self-government. This introduces democracy at root levels and it acts as a training ground for the development of democratic traditions.


According to Granville Austin, “Directive Principles put forth the humanitarian social precepts that were and are the aims of Indian Social Revolution”. It focuses on the welfare of the State. And it also guarantees social and economic democracy which helps the citizens of India to lead a good life.

[1] A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 228. [2] Central Inland Water Transport Corporation v Brojo Nath Ganguly, (1986) 3 S.C.C. 479. [3] Air India Statutory Corporation v. United Labour Union, A.I.R. 1997 S.C. 645. [4] State of Haryana v. Rajpal Sharma, A.I.R. 1997 S.C. 449. [5] A.I.R. 1986 S.C. 1322. [6] State of Maharashtra v Manubhai Pragaji Vashi, (1995) 5 S.C.C. 730. [7] Unni Krishnan v State of A.P, (1993) 1 S.C.C. 645. [8] Sarala Mudgal v Union of India, (1995) 3 S.C.C. 635. [9] M.C. Mehta v Union of India, (1998) 1 S.C.C. 471. [10] T.N. Godavanam Thiruulpad v. Union of India, A.I.R. 2012 S.C. 1254.



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