Fundamental rights of Indian constitution

Fundamental rights of Indian constitution UPSC IAS

 Fundamental rights of Indian constitution

The Constitution of India embodies an impressive list of Fundamental Rights and thus offers to all citizens individually and collectively those basic freedoms and conditions of life which alone can make life significant and democracy fruitful. Such rights are considered to be essential for the proper, moral and material upliftment of people. These rights are an integral part of the Constitution and hence cannot be altered or taken away by ordinary legislation. These rights are fundamental in the sense that any law passed by any legislature in the country would be declared as null and void if it is derogatory to the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. If any of these rights is violated, the individual affected is entitled to move the Supreme Court or High

Court for the protection and enforcement of his rights. However, during operation of emergency, the President may suspend all the Fundamental Rights and may also suspend the right of the people to move the High Courts and Supreme Court for the enforcement of these rights. Any such order may extend to the whole or any part of India.

The Fundamental Rights have been classified under the following main heads:

(1) Right to Equality :

It guarantees to all persons (citizens as well as others) equality before the law and equal protection of law. It prohibits discrimination between citizens on ground only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them. All citizens have equal access to shops, public entertainments and places of public resort, which are maintained wholly or partly by the State. However, special provisions may be made in respect of women, children, socially and educationally backward classes, and scheduled castes and tribes. The Constitution guarantees equal opportunities relating to public employment to all citizens, but some posts may be reserved for backward classes. It abolishes untouchability and also abolishes the system of conferring titles by the State, except military and academic distinctions.


(2) Right to Freedom :

(i) freedom of speech and expression;

(ii) freedom to assemble peaceably and without arms;

(iii) freedom to form associations or unions;

(iv) freedom of movement throughout India;

(v) freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and

(vi) freedom to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

These freedoms are subject to reasonable restrictions that may be imposed by the State in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or any other restrictions in the interests of the general public.


(3) Right to Freedom of Religion :

All citizens have been guaranteed freedom to profess, practise and propagate any religion. Every religious group has been given the freedom to manage its religious affairs and to own, acquire and administer property for religious or charitable purposes.


(4) Right against Exploitation :

The right seeks to ban traffic in human beings, begar or any other form of forced labour. Employment of children below 14 years of age in any factory or mine or other risky occupations is also prohibited by law.


(5) Cultural and Educational Rights :

This right guarantees to the minorities the right of conserving their language, script and culture, to receive education and administer educational institutions of their choice.


(6) Right to Constitutional Remedies :

It guarantees the right to move the Supreme Court for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights. This right can, however, be suspended during the operation of a proclamation of emergency by the President.


(7) Right to Education

This right has been granted by the 86th Constitutional Amendment carried out in 2002. The Amendment stipulates that the “government shall provide free and compulsory education to all children from the age of 6 to 14 in such a manner as the State may by law determine.” The Act also enjoins upon the parents to send their children to school by including it as a Fundamental Duty under Article 51 A. Further, it enjoins on the State to endeavour to provide early childhood care and education to all children until they complete six years of age. It may be noted that if a child is denied this right he can take the State to court.


The Right to Property,

Contained in Part III—Fundamental Rights—of the Constitution, has been repealed by the Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1978 with effect from June 20,1979.

You are requested to Read Right to Freedom – Article 19

Rights of the human and the duties of the human both are the correlative from the fundamental rights of the human

It is true that the rights cannot exist without the duties, the existence of one without other is just as meaningless. We cannot have a right without a corresponding duty or when one speaks of a right and a duty without corresponding right, we in reality refer to a ‘right and duty’ relationship between two persons.

Every legal system is made up of both rights and duties and for the smooth working of every country both rights and duty are essential, in the same light in our India also there are, fundamental rights and fundamental duties enumerated in the constitution.

Our constitution guarantees to its citizen’s variety of rights in part III of the constitution and in Part IV-A according to section 5specifies a code of ten fundamental duties for citizens. The preamble of our constitution secures to all the citizens “Liberty of thoughts, expression, belief, faith and worship.” There are fundamental rights of the citizens. The rest of the preamble emphasizes only the duties, “justice, and social economic and political”.

The Fundamental rights which is given in the only one Article that is 51-A. They are as follows:


(a) To abide by constitution and respect its ideal and institution, the National flag and National Anthem.

(b) To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.

(c) To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.

(d) To defend the country and render national service when called upon do so.

(e) To promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.

(f) To value and preserve the bright heritage of our composite culture.

(g) To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.

(h) To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.

(i) To safeguard public property and to abjure violence,

(j) To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises of higher Endeavour and achievement.


Out of above only the ten duties which are, clauses (a), (g) and (i) have been put in force in several statutes, and to make the people to abide them compulsory. The remaining duties cannot be implemented.


The fundamental duties are fine sentiments. They cannot be enforced legally except (a), (g) and (i), remaining duties enunciated in clauses (b), (f), (h) and (g) are merely ‘directory’ in nature and mandamus cannot be issued against the people for implementing these duties and they cannot signify the definite ideas or ideas. They are not capable of being legally enforceable.


Only (a), (g) and (i) shall be enforceable by law and Parliament by law, will provide penalties to be imposed for failure to fulfil those duties and obligations. But this is not also true in full sense because the controversy of implementation of duty arises in famous case of Bijoe Emmanuel v. State of Kerala 1986 (3) SCC 615 In this case a question arose that whether a citizen can refuse to stand and sing National Anthem that is the duty to respect our national anthem, on grounds of personal faith and religion.


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3 Replies to “Fundamental rights of Indian constitution”

  1. Article 51-A is about fundamental duties and not fundamental rights as you have written in the article. Please correct. Thanks

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