Question: Explain the significance of the Directive Principles of State Policy. Can Courts restrict Fundamental Rights with a view to attaining any objective included in the Directive Principles? [BJS 1975] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Explain the significance of the Directive Principles of State Policy. Can Courts restrict Fundamental Rights with a… Read More »

Question: Explain the significance of the Directive Principles of State Policy. Can Courts restrict Fundamental Rights with a view to attaining any objective included in the Directive Principles? [BJS 1975] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Explain the significance of the Directive Principles of State Policy. Can Courts restrict Fundamental Rights with a view to attaining any objective included in the Directive Principles?] Answer Fundamental Rights and...

Question: Explain the significance of the Directive Principles of State Policy. Can Courts restrict Fundamental Rights with a view to attaining any objective included in the Directive Principles? [BJS 1975]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Explain the significance of the Directive Principles of State Policy. Can Courts restrict Fundamental Rights with a view to attaining any objective included in the Directive Principles?]

Answer

Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy as enshrined in the Part III and Part IV of the Constitution of India respectively together comprise the human rights of an individual.

Part III deals with Fundamental Rights without which a human being cannot survive in a dignified manner in a civilized society. Fundamental rights are known as “basic rights”. They are also called individual rights or negative rights” and impose negative obligations on the state not to encroach on individual liberty.

Part IV deals with Directive Principles of State Policy. They are positive rights and impose positive obligations on the state to not only acknowledge the Fundamental Rights of an individual but also to achieve certain socio-economic goals.

Regarding the constitutional relationship between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles, the primary distinction between the two related to their enforceability in the court of law. Part III; Fundamental rights of the Constitution is enforceable against the state but Article 37 expressly provided that Part IV; directive principles are not enforceable in a court.

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 favor of the individual. These directives however are instruments of instructions to the Government and they contain commands 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.

In the landmark judgment of State of Madras v. S Champakam [[1951] SCR 525], Justice Das stated that directive principles were expressly made unenforceable by Article 37 and therefore could not override the fundamental rights found in Part III, which were enforceable pursuant to Article 32. The court opined that fundamental rights were sacrosanct and could not be curtailed by Directive Principles and asserted that the directive principles although important in their own respect were required to adhere to the Fundamental Rights and in the case of conflict Part III would prevail over Part IV.

However, in later decisions, the courts were of the view that Directive principles and fundamental rights cannot be isolated because there is an interrelation between the two. And to achieve the balance between the two, the court needs to resort to harmonious construction The Supreme Court in the State of Kerala v. N.M Thomas [(1976) 2 SCC 310], ruled that the Directive Principles and Fundamental rights should be construed in harmony with each other and every attempt should be made by the court to resolve any apparent inconsistency between them.


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 2021-06-03T18:06:44+05:30
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