Question: Are the Directive Principles of State Policy enforceable? [RJS 1984]   Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Are the Directive Principles of State Policy enforceable?]   Answer Part IV of the Indian Constitution sets out what may be seen as active obligations of the state and what is termed as the Directive Principles of… Read More »

Question: Are the Directive Principles of State Policy enforceable? [RJS 1984] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Are the Directive Principles of State Policy enforceable?] Answer Part IV of the Indian Constitution sets out what may be seen as active obligations of the state and what is termed as the Directive Principles of State Policy. As Dr. B.R. Ambedkar states, “In my judgment, the directive principles have a great value, for they lay down that our ideal...

Question: Are the Directive Principles of State Policy enforceable? [RJS 1984]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Are the Directive Principles of State Policy enforceable?]

Answer

Part IV of the Indian Constitution sets out what may be seen as active obligations of the state and what is termed as the Directive Principles of State Policy. As Dr. B.R. Ambedkar states, “In my judgment, the directive principles have a great value, for they lay down that our ideal is economic democracy.” Directive Principles of State Policy are mentioned from Article 37 to Article 51 of the Constitution.

It should be remembered that the Sapru Report of 1945, by which we had given very precious Constitutional proposals for India, had suggested dividing the fundamental rights into two categories: justiciable and non-justiciable. After a thorough discussion on this concept, Sir B.N. Rau, the constitutional adviser of the constituent assembly suggested accepting the approach of justiciable and non-justiciable fundamental rights, and the same was accepted by the Drafting Committee. As a result, we have fundamental rights which are justiciable in Part III and the Directive Principles of state policy that are non-justiciable in Part IV.

Meaning, the Directive Principles are not enforceable in any court, nevertheless, they are fundamental in the governance of the country, particularly to the well-being of society and individuals, therefore it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws.

Article 37 of the Constitution states that the provisions contained in this Part (IV) shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws. Hence, they impose a moral obligation on the state authorities for their application.

Following are the limitations on enforcement of Directive Principles in the Indian Constitution:

  • No Legal Force: The DPSP are non-justiciable in nature i.e. they are not legally enforceable by the courts for their violation.
  • Constitutional Conflict: DPSP leads to constitutional conflict between Centre and states, Centre and President, Chief Minister and governor.
  • Conflict with Fundamental rights: They can be amended to implement the fundamental rights.
  • Constitutional validity: A law cannot be struck down by courts for violating DPSP.

In Re Kerala Education Bill,[ AIR 1957 SC 956] the court observed that though the Directive Principles cannot override the Fundamental Rights, nevertheless, in determining the scope and ambit of Rights the court may not entirely ignore the Directives but should adopt the principle of harmonious construction and should attempt to give effect to both as much as possible.

The 25th Amendment Act of 1971 considerably enhanced the importance of Directives. It resulted in the addition of Article 31-C to the Constitution of India which provided that law for implementing Directives contained in Article 39(b) and (c) could not be stuck down on the ground that it contravened rights conferred by Article 14, 19, or 31.

The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 widened the scope of Article 31-C so as to cover all Directive Principles. Thus, it gave precedence to all the Directive Principles over the Fundamental Rights contained under Article 14, 19 or 31.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  3. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-II
  4. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-06-02T04:06:14+05:30
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