This article is written by Niharika Singh, from Ansal University, Gurgaon and edited by Abanti Bose, from Amity University Kolkata, India. It is an exhaustive article studying statistics and dynamics of fundamental rights as well as directive principles of state policy.


The Fundamental Rights are consequently negative in character, rather than the Directive Principles, which are sure mandates, which the government should consistently follow to build up government assistance, egalitarian society, and preserve social and economic democracy. While the Fundamental Rights are justiciable and can be authorized by an official courtroom, the Directive Principles are non-justiciable. Despite the distinctions, both the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles were of basic origin. Along these lines, the two of them had comparable targets, to be specific to guarantee the objective of a government assistance society foreseen by the Preamble. While the Fundamental rights look to accomplish this objective by ensuring certain insignificant rights to the person as against State activity, the Directives order the State to guarantee the government assistance of the individuals on the whole. Whenever the state makes laws, they must be made reliably with these standards with a view to the foundation of a democratic society.

However, it is somehow possible that the State, although applying the Directive Principles, might pass legislation breaking the Fundamental Rights. The courts have spent a longer period in determining what happens in such a case problem, more importantly, which overcomes over the other. The main exertion of this article is to observe and discover the details of this inter-relationship between Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles, conserved in Part III and Part IV of the Indian Constitution. 

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The initial segment of the article will concentrate on the inception of the idea of Directive Principles and Fundamental Rights, and follow concerning how despite both having a typical starting point, they were separated by the Constituent Assembly. The following part of the article will manage how the judiciary in India has deciphered the relations between them. The legal choices have experienced different stages, beginning from the exacting strict understanding offering supremacy to the Fundamental Rights over the Directive Principles, to the principles picking up power over the Rights, to holding that the Rights and Principles are complementary to one another. This article looks to investigate these decisions which bring out the connection between Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles.

Beginning of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy 

Although the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy show up in various parts of the Constitution, truly both had a typical source. The leaders of the Independent Movement did not recognize the positive and negative commitments of the State. Both created as a typical interest, as results of national and social transformations, of their inseparable intertwining and character of the Indian legislative issues itself. The interest for certain irrelevant individual rights goes back to 1895 when the first Indian based party Indian National Congress was framed. India needed the same rights and benefits from that delighted in by the British in India. The principal unequivocal interest for the basic rights was made in the Constitution of India Bill, 1895. Article 16 of the Bill set out an assortment of rights including free speech, free-state education for people.

The objective of assuring certain undisputable rights or irrevocable rights against oppression was at the back of the purpose of Madras Congress in 1927 which provided setting up of a party to draft ‘a Swaraj Constitution of India’ based on Announcement of Rights and the Nehru Report, produced by the party headed by Motilal Nehru, in 1928. An origin of many requirements which have been involved under Directive Principles in the Constitution of 1949 originates its place in the Nehru Report, under the title of Fundamental Rights.

The ongoing pattern in such a manner is that however, the Directive Principles are unenforceable, and a state can not be constrained to embrace legislation to actualize a directive, the Supreme Court has been giving bearings to the State to implement them accordingly. 

Thus, different parts of Part IV are being upheld by the courts in a roundabout way. Today, accordingly, the Directive Principles, which typify the way of thinking of the Constitution, no longer remain only an ethical commitment of the Government.

Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution 

There are six fundamental rights documented by the Indian Constitution – 

  1. Right to equality (Articles 14-18 of the Indian Constitution)
  2. Right to Freedom (Articles 19-22 of the Indian Constitution)
  3. Right Against Exploitation (Articles 23-24 of the Indian Constitution)
  4. Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25- 28 of the Indian Constitution)
  5. Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29 – 30 of the Indian Constitution)
  6. Right to Constitutional Remedies (Articles 32 – 35 of the Indian Constitution)

The Right to Equality contains equality before the law, the prevention of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, gender or place of birth, equality of opportunity in matters of employment, the obliteration of untouchability, and the abolition of titles.

The right to freedom contains freedom of speech and expression, assembly, connotation or union or cooperatives, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation.

The right against exploitation forbids all forms of forced labour, child labour and trafficking of human beings. Children under the age of 14 are not allowed to work.

The right to freedom of religion includes freedom of integrity and free profession, practise, and propagation of religion, freedom to manage religious affairs, freedom from certain taxes and freedom from religious instructions in certain educational institutes.

The Cultural and Educational Rights reserves the right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script, and the right of minorities to establish and manage educational institutions of their choice.

The right to constitutional remedies is present for the execution of fundamental rights.

Importance of Fundamental Rights 

Fundamental rights are basic human rights yet are controlled by the Constitution in India. The Constitution additionally accommodates authorization of these legal values. They have to authorize a citizen to defend, regard and satisfy the standard of law. They maintain the correspondence by everything being equal, the respect of the individual and the country’s unity as well. It can be very clear from the below points:

1. Rule of Law

These rights are insurance for the residents against the Govt and are vital for having the standard of law and not of a government or a person. Since explicitly given by the constitution to the people, these rights are not to be violated by the authority. The government is completely responsible for the courts and is completely required to maintain these rights.

2. First fruits of the freedom struggle

After being independent for so long, the people of our country had forgotten what is implied by freedom. These rights give individuals trust and furthermore, a conviction that there is no stop to their development. They are liberated from the impulses of the rulers. In that sense, they are the first natural products of the long opportunity to battle and bring a feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction.

3. Quantification of Freedom

All Indian citizens are free to pray and practise the religion of their choice, but that is not so in the Gulf nations. Our right to speech and expression lets us freely criticize our government, but this is not possible in a country like China.

Case study – Golaknath & Ors. v. State of Punjab & Anrs. (1967)

In the year 1967, a very important case came. This was Golak Nath v. The State of Punjab (1967). In this case, 11 judges of the Supreme Court were formed for the first time on the same bench. The court, in this case, laid down that Fundamental Rights cannot be abrogated/diluted to implement the directive principles. This decision forced the government to amend the constitution. By the 24th Amendment Act 1971, the Parliament amended Article 13 and Article 366. This amendment made it clear that Parliament has the right and power to amend any part of the Constitution including Fundamental Rights and the term ‘law’ as used in Article 13 does not include a Constitutional Amendment Act.

In this case, the Supreme Court held that Article 37 explicitly says that the order standards are not enforceable by the court. The Supreme Court ordered that the section on Fundamental Rights in the constitution is holy and the mandate standards need to comply with and run auxiliary to the part on Fundamental Rights.

This implies that Fundamental Rights were given prevalence over the Directive standards. This proceeded for 10 years and a half and some different cases, for example, Qureshi v. State of Bihar (1958), Sajjan Singh v. the State of Rajasthan (1967) cases court confirmed this stand.

Features of Directive Principles of State Policy

  • It means the standards that the State should keep in mind while framing policies and enacting laws.
  • It looks like ‘Instrument of Instructions’ counted in the Government of India Act of 1935. In the words of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Directive Principles are like the instrument of instructions, which were delivered to the Governor-General and the Governors of the gatherings of India by the British (united kingdom) Government under the Government of India Act of 1935. What is known Directive Principles is just another name for the instrument of instructions. The only change is that they are instructions to the legislature and the executive.
  • It organizes a very broad economic, social and political program for a new democratic state which means realizing the high principles of justice, liberty, equality, and community as outlined in the introduction to the Constitution. They exemplify the concept of a ‘welfare state’ which was lacking during the colonial era.

Classification of Directive Principles of State Policy

The Constitution of India does not officially categorize the Directive Principles of State Policy but for well understanding and based on content and direction- they can be categorized into 3 types: Socialistic Principles, Gandhian Principles, and Liberal- Intellectual Principles.

  • Socialistic Principles

These principles expect the philosophy of socialism and lay down the agenda of a democratic communist state. The concept imagines providing social and economic justice, so that state should accomplish the optimum standards of the welfare state. They direct the state through- Article 38, 39, 39A, 41, 42, 43, 43A, and 47.

  • Gandhian Principles

These principles reproduce the program of rebuilding enunciated by Gandhi during the national program. To fulfil the ideas of Gandhi, some of his ideas were included in DPSP and they straight the state through- Article 40, 43, 43 B,46, 47, and Article 48.

  • Liberal – Intellectual Principles

These principles motivated towards the philosophy of liberalism and then straight the state through- Article 44, 45,48,48 A,49, 50 and Article 51.

New provisions of Directive Principles after Amendment 

  • Directive Principles were added in the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 to the original list.
  • A new clause was added in Article 39: To secure opportunities for the healthy growth of children.
  • A new clause was added to Article 39 as Article 39A: To encourage equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor.
  • A new clause was added to Article 43 as Article 43A: To take steps to secure the contribution of workers in the organization of industries.
  • A new clause was added to Article 48 as Article 48A: To defend and improve the environment and to protect forests and wildlife.


From the above information, it is evident that the improvement of law in regard to the contention and hopelessness between fundamental rights and the directive principles have gone through four unmistakable stages. Towards the start, an exacting strict interpretation was pushed and the Fundamental Rights would beat the Directive Principles. Later in the course of time, a recognizable and much-needed development came over the legal mentality and the courts however subjected the Directives to the Fundamental Rights, took the view that the system of agreeable development should be utilized to interpret the two parts.


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