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Relationship Between Directive Principles Of State Policy And Fundamental Rights

INTRODUCTION

India got its freedom only after a long struggle on August 15, 1947. We struggled for independence because our citizens didn’t get the basic rights that they deserved. Our citizens also had the thirst to achieve cultural, human, economic, political, and social freedom. To accomplish it, The Indian National Congress demanded two types of rights: 1. political and civil rights and 2. social and economic rights, which was later termed as the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) respectively. The idea of fundamental rights originated from different sources like England’s Bill of rights, France Declaration of Rights of Man, and United States Bill of Rights. The Directive Principles of State Policy was adopted from Article 45 of the Irish Constitution.

Fundamental rights were embedded in Part III of the Constitution, that is, from Article 12 to Article 35. It provides six basic rights that every citizen deserves to have. The six basic rights are right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, and Constitutional remedies. These rights have always been directed at correcting the contradictions of pre-independence social traditions. The Directive Principles of State Policy is dealt with under Part IV of our Constitution, that is, from Article 36 to Article 51. It deals with topics such as the Uniform Civil Code, the right to education, Maternity benefit, etc. Both Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy were incorporated to protect human rights. Now let’s discuss the relationship between Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights.

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS VS DPSP

  1. The primary distinction between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy is its enforceability. Fundamental Rights have its enforceability against the High Court and Supreme Court through Article 32 and Article 226 respectively. But there are no express provisions related to the enforceability of Directive Principles of State Policy. Article 37 states that the regulations found in Part IV shall not be enforceable by any judge, but the principles laid down therein are still central in the country’s government and it is the responsibility of the State to follow such principles in the formation of laws [1]. So, DPSP can be considered in law-making, not at the cost of affecting any Fundamental Rights.

  2. In short, Fundamental Rights are justiciable but Directive Principles are non-justiciable.

  3. Fundamental Rights were incorporated to accomplish the political democracy of India whereas Directive Principles of State Policy were incorporated to achieve socio-economic regulations in India.

  4. Fundamental Rights explains those rights that are given by the Constitution to the people. DPSP are those policies that are given by the Constitution to the State.

  5. For the implementation of Fundamental Rights, there is no need for legislation but the interference of legislation is essential while implementing DPSP.

  6. Fundamental Rights are concerned while developing the welfare of an individual whereas DPSP is concerned with improving the welfare of the State as a whole.

These are a few basic differences between Fundamental Rights and DPSP.

CONFLICT

In the case of State of Madras v Srimathi Champakam[2], the conflict between Fundamental Rights and DPSP started. In that case, the college admissions were maintained based on ordinary ratio under the Madras Communal Government order. The petitioner challenged on the ground of Article 15(1) and Article 29(2). Though the order was based on Article 46 of the Constitution, the court invalidated the order. As Fundamental Rights are enforceable and DPSP is not, DPSP cannot take away the Fundamental Rights. DPSP should be implemented only when it conforms to the Fundamental Rights. As a result, the first Constitutional Amendment was passed. It includes clause 4 to Article 15 which states that Article 15(1) and Article 29(2) cannot interrupt the State from implementing any provisions for the development of socially and economically backward people.

THE DOCTRINE OF HARMONIOUS CONSTRUCTION

In the case of Mohd. Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar[3], the court invalidated the ban on slaughter of cows on the ground that it is violative of Article 19(1)(g). And the court held that DPSP could be implemented only if it conforms to the Fundamental Rights. Moreover, in the case of Re Kerala Education Bill[4], the State asked every educational institution to provide free education for all the children below 14 years on the ground of Article 45. But the court held that it is violative of Article 30. The court also held that the Directive Principles of State Policy should not be avoided completely. On the whole, this Doctrine of Harmonious Construction says that we need to implement both Fundamental Rights and DPSP in a way that one is not intervening in the progress of the other. And so, every Article of the Constitution should work harmoniously.

This judgment was overridden in the case of Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala[5], the Supreme Court held that amendment could be passed without destroying the basic structure. As concerning Article 31C, the Court decided that, if Parliament intends to change the Constitution to abolish a fundamental right in order to offer preference to the Directive Principles, the amendment cannot be stopped by the Court on the basis that what was supposed to be a subsidiary of the constitutional creators has become dominant. In this case, Fundamental Rights were subordinated to DPSP.

INTER-RELATION

In the case of State of Kerala V N.M. Thomas[6] the question was, “whether the Directive referred to in Article 46 could be invoked as an aid for the interpretation and reduction of the scope of the guarantee referred to in Article 16(1)”. The majority interpreted Article 46 of the Directive Principles as an exception to the law laid down in Article 16(1), but without Article 16(4). This repeated the concept of harmonious building, and any effort should be made to address the obvious differences between the two.

The inter-relation between Fundamental Rights and DPSP is clearly explained in the case of Minerva Mills V Union of India[7]. the court held that Article 31C would be preserved only if it was incorporated in the way that it implements the Directive in Article 39(b) and 39(c) but not to any other DPSP. The court also held that both Fundamental Rights and DPSP are the bed-rocks of the basic structure. There should be a balance between them but none should dominate the other. If happened so, the basic structure would be collapsed. Destroying Fundamental Rights in order to protect DPSP will create chaos in the basic structure. So, Section 4 of the 42nd Amendment which dominated DPSP over Fundamental Rights through Article 14, 19, and 31 were held unconstitutional by the majority.

In the case of Unnikrishnan. J.P and Ors v. State of Andhra Pradesh[8], the court held that Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy cannot be read individually by prohibiting one another and Fundamental Rights are the means to achieve those goals specified in Directive Principles.

CURRENT VIEW

  1. Now it is considered as a judicial strategy to read Fundamental rights with the Directive Principles of State Policy.

  2. The Directive Principles give a wide scope and depth for a few Fundamental Rights. This helps to implement more rights for people and to interpret Fundamental Rights in a proper way.

  3. The Supreme Court has extended a few more rights to the people by reading the Directive Principles along with Article 21.

  4. By reading Article 21 with Article 48A, the court has extended the scope of the right to life. It held that it also includes the right to have pollution-free water, air, and the environment.

  5. Right to live with dignity, right to health and social justice, right to education, right to shelter, and right to privacy also comes under the ambit of Article 21 while reading it with the Directive principles.

  6. In the case of Consumer Education and Research Centre V. Union of India[9], the court read Article 21 with Articles 39C, 41, 43 and 48A and held that the health and strength of an employee is an essential part of the right to life.

  7. Article 46 of the DPSP offers guidelines for affirmative action according to Articles 15(4) and 16(4) and offers clarification on the conflict between institutional and practical equity through stressing the transfer of power and ability to succeed by preparation and training to the weaker sections.

CONCLUSION

The Fundamental rights were considered to be higher in every case and Directive Principles was considered only as an obligation of the Government. Few judges suggested that the Directive Principles of State Policy should be considered to be dominant over Fundamental Rights. But after the landmark case of Kesavanandha Bharati, the Doctrine of harmonious construction was implemented. Therefore, both Fundamental Rights and DPSP are read together and have equal status. Fundamental Rights gives political freedom to the people and the Directive Principles of State Policy gives social and economic freedom to the people. So, reading both Part III and Part IV together in an appropriate way guides the citizens as well as the Government in a proper way. The relationship between the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy is inter-related. One Part gives strength and supports the other Part if it is read together despite their differences.

Case Laws:

[1] Article 37 in The Constitution of India, 1949

[2] State of Madras v Srimathi Champakam, [1951] SCR 525.

[3]Mohd. Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar, 1959 SCR 629: AIR 1958 SC 731,

[4] Re Kerala Education Bill, 1957 [1958] INSC 20 (15 March 1958)

[5] Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala, (1973) 4 SCC 225: AIR 1973 SC 1461

[6] State of Kerala V. N.M. Thomas, (1976) 2 SCC 310; 1976 (1) SCR 906

[7] Minerva Mills V. Union of India, AIR 1980 SC 1789

[8] Unnikrishnan. J.P. and Ors V. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1993 AIR 217, 1993 SCR (1) 594, 1993 SCC (1) 645, JT 1993 (1) 474, 1993 SCALE (1)290

[9] Consumer Education and Research Centre V. Union of India, 1995 AIR 922, 1995 SCC (3) 42

C.AMIRDHA VARSHINI

SASTRA DEEMED TO BE UNIVERSITY

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