Introduction – Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution

Fundamental rights of indian constitution – Among modern democratic states, the true nature of a state is known by the right which it makes available to its citizens. This is so because the rights are essential for the development of the individual.

The objective of the Indian Constitution would be to establish a democratic system of government that would ensure social, economic, and political justice to all the people of India.

The inclusion of Fundamental Rights in the constitution of India from Article-12 to 35 in Chapter 3 of the Indian Constitution is an important landmark in the process of making available to every Indian citizen –  social, economic and political justice. 

Before study –  fundamental Rights in the constitution of India, we have to understand the nature or characteristics of fundamental rights given below – 

Characteristics of Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution – 

a) Detailed and Comprehensive

The fundamental rights have been mentioned in detail from Article 12 to 35 of Chapter 3 of the Indian Constitution.

The chapter is the most detailed and lengthy of all other chapters of the Indian Constitution. Each right has been discussed in all possible details.

b) Rights have been classified

Fundamental rights in the constitution of India have been subjected to classification and sub-classification. These rights have been divided into 6 categories with their own turn have been further divided into subcategories.

c) Fundamental Rights are not absolute

Fundamental rights are not absolute or unlimited. A number of limitations have been tagged to these rights.

Our rights can be limited keeping in view the public interest and the security and integrity of the nation.

d) Rights are justiciable

The rights embodied in the Indian Constitution are justiciable and for the preservation of these rights, we can move to the various courts in the country.

Article-32 accords the rights to constitutional remedies and the courts can do issue writs for the protection of these rights.

e) Fundamental Rights can be suspended 

During the period of the declaration of emergency in the country, Under Article-352 of the constitution, the 6 fundamental rights in india enjoyable by the citizen Under-Article(19) automatically stands suspended.  

f) Fundamental Rights are equal for all the citizens

The various fundamental rights of indian constitution are equally enjoyable by all citizens of India without any discrimination of caste, color, religion, race, sex, etc.

g) Special Rights for Minorities

The constitution of India gives recognition to religious and lingual minorities.

Article-29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution grant certain rights to the minority for the purpose of the protection of their interests.

This gives the minorities, a sense of security in the country.

Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution

fundamental rights of indian constitution
fundamental rights of indian constitution

The fundamental rights included in the Indian Constitution are divided into 6 categories given below –

1. Right to Equality Article(14 to18)

 a) Equality before law (Article-14)

Article-14 of the Indian Constitution provides that “The state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of law within the territory of India”.

The right to equality before the law is the very basis of the rule of law in the country.

  •  Exceptions to this Right
  • The President of India and the governor of various states while performing the executive functions connected with their offices, cannot be held responsible for any such act nor can be tried before any court in a criminal case.
  • In order to file a civil case against the President of India or the governor of a state notice for a period of 2 months must first be served.
  • The executive head of foreign countries and their ambassador would be out of the purview of the Indian law.

 b) Prohibition of discrimination (Article-15)

Following provisions are mentioned in Article15 for the prohibition of discrimination –

i) No citizens in the state will be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste, birthplace, etc.

ii) No citizens will be denied access to a public place.

  • Exceptions to this right
  • The state will be empowered to undertake special measures in order to protect the interest of the children and women.
  • The state shall make provision of reservation for OBC for admission in institutions of higher learning.

 c) Equality of Opportunity (Article-16)

Each citizen will get equality or opportunity for appointment to any post under the state.

No discrimination will be made against any citizen of the country on the basis of religion, caste, etc.

  • Exceptions to this right
  • The Indian parliament is empowered to determine or fix residential qualification for appointment to any particular office.
  • Article-16 will not be applicable in case of appointment in religious or communal institutions.

 d) Abolition of Untouchability (Article-17)

Article 17 of the Indian Constitution states that “Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of disability arising out of untouchability shall be an offence and punishable in accordance with the law.

In order to take tough measures against those people who practice untouchability the Indian parliament first of all pass the Untouchability Offence Act,1955 – provide for the following measures to be  regarded as offence:

  • To prohibit a person to visit some public place with the underline idea of the practice of untouchability.
  • To propagate untouchability either directly or indirectly etc.

e) Abolition of Titles (Article-18)

Following ways have been adopted for the abolition of title Under Article-18

  • With the exceptions of military and educational titles, the state will not confirm any other title on an individual.
  • No citizen of India will get any title from any other foreign country etc. 

2. Right to Freedom (Article19-22)

a) Freedom Under Article-19

Article-19 of the Indian Constitution confers the following freedoms to the citizen of India –

i) Freedom of Speech and Expression

According to the Indian Constitution, every citizen has been given the right to freedom of speech and expression.

  • Limitations on this Freedom
  • Article 19 of the Indian Constitution empowers restrictions in the name of security of the state, friendly relations with foreign powers, public peace, morality, and ethics, etc.

ii) Freedom to Assemble peacefully without arms

All the citizens of India have been given the right to assemble peacefully without arms and rallies etc.

  • Limitations on this Freedom
  • Article-19(3) of the Indian Constitution limit the right of citizens of India to assemble peacefully with a view to protecting the unity and integrity of India and public order.

 iii) Freedom to Form Associations and Unions

In order to meet with the various necessities of life and for the protection of interest, the individual has been given the right to freedom to form associations and union.

  • Limitations on this Freedom
  • According to Article-19(4), the Indian government is empowered to limit the right to freedom to form the Association and Union in the name of the country, public-order, ethics, etc.

 iv) Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India

All the citizens of India have been given the right to move freely in any part or region of the country. They do not require any permit to go to any part of the country.

  • Limitations on this Freedom
  •  Under Article-19(5) the state can impose limitations in view of the common public interest and the interest of the scheduled tribes.

 v) Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India

The citizens of India have been given the right of freedom to reside and settle in any part of the country.

vi) Freedom to practice any profession or to carry any occupation, trade or business

Every citizen has been given the freedom to practice any profession of free his or her choice. No individual can be compelled against his will to adopt any particular profession.

  • Limitations on this Freedom
  • Under Article-19(6) the state is empowered to impose reasonable restriction such as – 
  • i) Common Public Interest
  • ii) The state is empowered to fix certain professional or technical qualification for any profession, trade or business.

b) Protection in Respect of Conviction of an offence

Under Article-20 of the Indian constitution and individual is given the following protections in respect of conviction of an offence – 

 i) No person shall be punished except for breach of law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.

 ii) No person shall be subject to a punishment greater than prescribed by law at the time of the commission of the offence.

 iii) No person shall be punished for the same offence for more than once.

c) Protection of Life and Personal liberty

Article-21 of the Indian Constitution provides that no individual will be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure published by law.

d) Right to Education Article-21(A)

Under the 86th Constitutional Amendment, Article-21(A) was included in the Constitution by which it was said: “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as the state may by law determine.”

e) Protection against Detention Cases

Under Article-22 following protection against arbitrary arrest have been provided – 

  • An arrested person immediately after his arrest shall be informed of the ground of his arrest.
  • The arrested person will have the right to get advice from an advocate of choice.

But the above-cited protection Under Article-22 will not be made available in the following cases – 

  • i)  Enemy Alien
  • ii)  A person detained under PDL(Preventive Detention Law)

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3.  Right Against Exploitation Article(23-24)

i) Prohibition of Traffic in Human beings and forced labour

Article-23 of the Indian Constitution prohibits traffic in human beings and forced labour(Begging).

No individual will be forced to do any job against his wishes.

ii) Prohibition of Child labour

Under Article-24 of the Indian Constitution, children below the age of 14 years will not be allowed to work in factories, mines or in other dangerous places, so, that their health was not adversely affected.

4. Right to Religious Freedom Article(25-28)

a)  Freedom to Profess and Propagate any Religion

Under Article-25, every individual has the right to freedom of conscience and to profess, practice and propagate any religion of his choice.

  • Limitations on Religious Freedom
  • The right to freedom of religion cannot be enjoyed against the public and the interest of the people at large.

b) Freedom to manage religious affairs

Under Article-26 of the constitution, the Indian citizens have been given the following rights – 

  • To establish an institution for religious and charitable purposes.
  • To manage their religious affairs themselves.

c) Freedom not to pay taxes for the promotion of any particular  religion

Under Article-27 of the Indian Constitution, no individual can be forced to pay any tax the proceeds of which may be used for the promotion of any religion.

d) No religious instructions in government educational institutions

Under Article 28(1) of the Indian Constitution, religious instructions in government educational institutions are completely prohibited.

e) In private educational institutions religious education not against the will

Article-23 of the Indian Constitution provides that no individual can be compelled to receive religious instructions against his will in privately manage educational institutions.

5.  Cultural and Educational Rights Article(29-30)

a) Protection of the Interest of Minorities

Under Article-29(1), the citizens of India living in any part of the country have been given the right to protect their interests regarding language, script, and culture.

b) Freedom to get admission in Educational Institutions

According to Article-29(2) of the Indian Constitution, it is provided that while giving admission in the state educational institutions, no discrimination on the basis of caste, color, religion, race, etc.. shall be made against any citizen of India.

c) Right of Minorities to establish Educational Institutions

Article-30(1), grants freedom to the minorities based on religion, culture or language to establish and administer their own educational institutions.

d) No Discrimination while giving grants

Article-30(2) prohibits the state from discrimination against educational institutions while making grants to them.

6. Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article-32)

The rights are given in our constitution become absolutely fruitless if adequate provisions are not provided for their protection. To fulfill this objective the following provisions have been made for the protection of the fundamental rights of indian constitution under Article-32:

  • Article-32(1) – a citizen can approach the Supreme Court of India by due process of law for the implementation of fundamental rights.
  • Article-32(3) – the Indian parliament can empower any court notice within its jurisdiction without influencing the powers of the supreme court.
  • Article-32(4) – the state cannot suspend the right to constitutional remedies except in case it is provided in the Indian Constitution. 

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