Write an essay on the Directive Principles of State Policy

By | June 2, 2021

Questions: Write an essay on the Directive Principles of State Policy. [Guj JS 2020]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Write an essay on the Directive Principles of State Policy.]

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 a very precious Constitutional proposal 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 and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws. Some of the important directive principles of state policy are:

  1. State to secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of the people, Article 38
  2. Certain principles of policy to be followed by the state as mentioned in Article 39.
  3. Equal justice and free legal aid, Article 39A
  4. Organization of village panchayats, Article 40
  5. Right to work, education, and to public assistance in certain cases, Article 41
  6. Uniform Civil Code for the Citizens, Article 44

Unlike, fundamental rights Directive Principles do not create any justifiable rights in favour of the individual. These directives however are instruments of instructions to the Government and they contain a command to the state to promote a welfare state. It is now settled that Directive Principle cannot override a fundamental right. In case of a conflict between the fundamental rights and the Directive Principles, the latter will give way to the former.

This question was settled in State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan, AIR 1951 SC 226. But in Minerva Mills Ltd. v. UOI, AIR 1980 SC 1789, the Court almost settled the controversy, holding that harmony and balance between fundamental rights and directive principles is an essential feature of the basic structure of the Constitution. It is now agreed by one and all, that the Fundamental rights are primarily aimed at assuring political freedom to the individuals by protecting them against excessive and arbitrary state action while the directive principles seek to secure social and economic freedom by appropriate action by the state. 


Important Mains Questions Series  for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

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