This article is written by Shobhna Aggarwal, from Banasthali Vidyapith. This article will be dealing with the three major types of rights which are available to the citizens nationally and internationally. Those rights are human rights, fundamental rights, and legal rights.
For all human beings living in existence, the rights are necessary for their economic development and prosperity and harmonious living with other neighborhoods in the world. The three main rights available to the citizens of a country are – Human Rights, Fundamental Rights, and Legal Rights. Human Rights pertain to the rights through which an individual can enjoy a just, fair, and free life whereas Fundamental Rights are unique to any country which supports the democracy of a country. Legal rights, on the other hand, are those bestowed onto a person by acts and are statutory in nature and they can be repealed by another act subject to approval by parliament. All the human rights which are available are of indivisible nature whether they are civil rights or political rights. Human rights entail both rights and obligations. States assume the obligation and duties under international law to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights.
The obligation to respect means that the state must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires the state to protect individuals and groups of individuals from human rights abuse. The obligation to fulfill means that the state must take actions to ease the enjoyment of human rights to all the individuals and the group of individuals.
The importance of human rights which are mentioned in the Constitution of India is that every person has the right to enjoy his own mental and physical aspects. The concept of human rights is based on the principle of human solidarity, non-violence, and the mental respect of all the rights given by the Constitution of India. The universal rights that any human being should possess are human rights. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights charter, the United Nations describes human rights as the “rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.”
Some universal human rights include:
- The right to education and to reap the rewards of freedom of culture and of scientific advancement.
- The freedom to operate in equal and favorable terms.
- The right to social security, to an acceptable standard of living, and to the best attainable physical and mental well-being levels, etc.
Human rights, thus, are those which, considering their nationality, faith, age, race, are intrinsic to all human beings.
Human Rights under the Indian Constitution
The Human rights which are classified under the Indian constitution are as follows:
- The right to equality and freedom from discrimination.
- The right to life, liberty, and personal security.
- Freedom from torture and degrading treatment.
- The right to equality before the law.
- The right to a fair trial.
- The right to privacy.
- Freedom of belief and religion.
- Freedom of opinion.
- Right of peaceful assembly and association.
- The right to participate in government.
- The right to social security.
- The right to work.
- The right to an adequate standard of living.
- The right to education.
- The right to health.
- The right to food and housing.
Legal rights apply to a collection of rights formulated within a government’s legal structure. They are granted to the people of that specific state as privileges. Therefore, there are certain rights and privileges provided to citizens which are provided by the rules. According to the rules of the particular country, these rights are granted to the citizens of that country.
In short, the freedoms granted to people by their governments are legal rights. These freedoms/rights are thus established and upheld by the government’s legal framework, which therefore ensures that the same parties may also redefine or change them. Similarly, these rights are not universal, differing from state to state, country to country, individual to individual, and even from time to time. Judicial privileges are protected under the ordinary statute, but by amending the law, they may be changed or revoked by the legislature.
If violated, these rights will be dealt with by either of the ordinary courts that contradict the other two rights. In general, an ordinary right imposes a corresponding obligation on another person (and, in some circumstances, the state), but a constitutional right is a right that a citizen has against the state. Fundamental rights are protected by the executive, legislature, and judiciary from invasion. Limitations upon all the governmental authorities are related to all human rights. Laws and administrative orders are invalid and counterproductive that abridge or interfere with those rights. Our constitution provides that the Supreme Court has the power to enforce human rights. The remedy itself, thus, is a fundamental right. This differentiates it from other rights. The defender of human rights is the Supreme Court. In addition, these human rights are not universal rights, such as the right not to be subject to tax without the power of statute (Article 265), the right to land (Article 300A), and the freedom to exchange (Article 301). It is not possible to waive a constitutional right. A person may waive an ordinary legal right.
For a fundamental right to exist there must be human rights. Fundamental rights are those rights that are provided by some countries to their citizens to enjoy. These rights have a legal sanction. These rights can also be challenged in a court of law. Fundamental rights are equal to human rights but there is a small line of difference between both fundamental rights and human rights. The basic difference is that the fundamental rights have legal sanctity and they can be challenged in a court of law in case of violation but human rights are not recognized by the law so they can’t be challenged in a court of law. The basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution of India, which are granted to all people, are fundamental rights. They are enforced on the grounds of ethnicity, faith, gender, etc. without prejudice. Significantly, fundamental rights are enforceable by the courts, subject to certain conditions.
These rights are called fundamental rights because of two reasons:
- They are enshrined in the Constitution.
- They are justifiable. They are enforceable by courts. An individual may approach a court of law in the event of a breach.
Following are the six fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution:
- Right to Equality (Article 14-18)
- Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)
- Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24)
- Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28)
- Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30)
- Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)
Comparison between Human Rights, Fundamental Rights, and Legal Rights
Fundamental rights are the rights of a country’s citizens that are stated in the constitution and enforced by the law. Human rights, on the other hand, are the safeguards that a human being seeks in order to live in dignity and equality. Legal rights, on the other hand, are the government’s protections for residents of a particular state. Fundamental rights only include certain rights that are fundamental to a normal existence. Human rights, on the opposite, include certain rights that are fundamental to real life and that are unconditional, i.e. that can not be excluded. Legal rights, on the other hand, are neither fundamental to a normal life nor to absolute life.
While fundamental rights are nation-specific, i.e. these rights may differ from country to country. There is a worldwide recognition of human rights, which ensures that these rights are enjoyed by all individuals. The legal rights on the same note to the basic rights are state-wide, are open to the citizens of a specific region, and can even be altered by the government as necessary. Basic rights depend on the fundamental concept of the right to freedom. In comparison, human rights are founded upon the right to a dignified life.
Within the country’s Constitution, Constitutional rights are guaranteed, while human rights are recognized internationally. Legal rights are distinctly specified by various governments and are not present in the Constitution. In nature, all Constitutional and Human rights are enforceable, although the former is enforced by the court of justice, and while the latter is enforced by the United Nations Organisation. On the other hand in the case of enforceability, legal rights are enforceable by the government, but they can be taken away or modified at any time.
Fundamental rights are extracted from a free society’s opinions. Human liberties, on the other hand, derive from the ideas of civilized countries. It is necessary to adjudicate the human rights of counterparts as the rights resulting from the social growth and obligation of a certain area.
In an emergency situation, these privileges are forbidden by the Presidents of India, and these rights are given without implication or expense of privilege to all persons that come under the authority of the Constitution. Basically, these are the rights that are granted without restrictions to all people according to the country’s legal structure. In the certain determination of borders, the resident of the country possesses these protections and liberties. Human Rights are the rights that can be had by all global men and women. Fundamental rights are rights and independence as part of the constitution, guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, recommended by the Government of India and the Indian Parliament, passed by its people. These are the most fundamental rights that shield an individual from other people’s inhuman actions. There are many rights that are generally recognized as basic and necessary for the fulfillment of physical, mental, and emotional security needs. Thus for the life of a human being on this planet, these protections are more beneficial.
- Welch, E. Jr, and Leary, V.A (1990), Asian Perspective on Human Rights, Western Press, Oxford
- Rokeya, Begum. (1997). Human Rights- An Overview in Historical Perspective, Sociological Journal, J.S.D. Volume -12 No 1, Dhaka
- Z. I. Chaudhry. (1992). Introducing Human Rights: Concept and Practice, International Review of Humanism and Human Rights, Vol-1, p, 49
- M.P. Jain- Indian Constitutional Law, Wadhwa Publication Nagpur, 5th Edn. 2003, Rep 2004
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