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DAMODARAM SANJIVAYYA NATIONAL LAW

UNIVERSITY
VISAKHAPATNAM, A.P., INDIA

RELATION BETWEEN FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DIRECTIVE


PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-I

(Mr. A. NAGESWARA RAO)

SUBMITTED BY:
SHUBHAM RAJ
ROLL 2013110
SEMESTER- V

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I feel highly elated to work on the Relation between Fundamental Rights and Directive
Principles of State Policy under the guidance of the faculty of Constitutional Law, Mr. A.
Nageswara Rao. I am very grateful to him for his exemplary guidance.
I have tried my best to pave the way for bringing more luminosity to this topic. Doing
the project was an experience where the knowledge was my best takeaway.
I would also like to thank my parents and friends who helped me a lot in finishing this project
within the limited time.
Once again, thanks to all who helped me in completing this project work.
Thanking you
Shubham Raj.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE

Page number
02

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

04

LIST OF CASES

05

ABSTRACT

07
08

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

AIMS OF THE STUDY


SIGNIFICANCE & BENEFITS
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
RESEARCH QUESTIONS

08
08
08
08

6. LITERATURE REVIEW

09

7. INTRODUCTION

09

8. COMMON ROOTS BUT DIFFERENT BRANCHES

12

09. ARTICLES 32 AND 37 (THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN

13

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES)


10. 25TH AMENDMENT 1971 (Article 31 C)

17

11. OTHER JUDICIAL PRONOUNCEMENT

18

CONCLUSION

23

BIBLIOGRAPHY

23
23
24
24

BOOKS
ARTICLES
STATUTES

24

WEBLIOGRAPHY

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

AIR

All India Reporter

Art.

Article

Arts.

Articles

Etc.

Etcetra

Id.

Ibid

SC

Supreme Court

SCC

Supreme Court Cases

v.

Versus

Vol.

Volume

www

World Wide Web

LIST OF CASES
State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan, AIR 1951 SC 226
Hanif Qureshi v. State of Bihar AIR 1958 SC 731
Mumbai Kangar Sabha v. Abdulbhai, AIR 1976 SC 1455
In re Kerala Education Bill, AIR 1958 SC 956; 1959 SCR 995.
Orient weaving mills v U.O.I., AIR 1983 SC 98
State of Bombay v. F. N. Balsara AIR 1951 SC 30
Bijoy cotton Mills v. State of Ajmer, AIR 1955 SC 33
Chandra Bhavan Boarding and Lodging, Bangalore v. State of Mysore, AIR 1970 SC 2042 at
2050; (1969) 3SCC 84
Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, AIR 1967 SC 1643
Kesavananda Bharti v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1461 at 1641; (1973) 4 SCC 225
Unnikrishna v. state of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1993 SC 2178, 2230; (1993) 1 SCC 645
Pathumma v. State of Kerala, AIR 1978 SC 771; (1978) 2 SCC 1
State of Kerala v. N.M Thomas, AIR 1976 SC 490; (1976) 2 SCC 310
Minerva Mills v. Union of India, AIR 1980 SC 1789
Sanjeev Coke Manufacturing Co. v. Bharat Cooking Coal Ltd., (1983) 1 SCC 147
State of Tamil Nadu v. L Abu Kavur Bai, AIR 1984 SC 626
Ashoka Kumar Thakur v. Union of India, (2008) 6 SCC 1, at page 515; (2008) 5 JT 1.
Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipa corpn, AIR 1986 SC 194; (1985) 3 SCC 545.
Dalmia Cement (bharat) ltd. V. Union of India, (1996) 10 SCC 104
Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India, AIR 1984 SC 802, 811-812; (1984) 3 SCC 161
State of Bihar v. Kameshwar AIR 1952 SC 352
Subhash kumar v. State of Bihar, AIR 1991 SC 420; (1991) 1 SCC 598
Consumer Education and Research Center V. Union of India, AIR 1995 SC 922

Chameli Singh v. state of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1996 SC 1051; (1996) 2 SCC 549
Unnikrishnan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1993 SC 2178; (1993) 1 SCC 645
Welfare Assn., A.R.P. v. Ranjit P. Gohil, (2003) 9 SCC 358, at page 381
I.R. Coelho v. state of T.N. (2007) 2 SCC 1, at page 98; AIR 2007 SC 861.

ABSTRACT
Both the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles were of common origin and both
of these had common objective. These have been enshrined in our Constitution to implement
the ideals, achieve the goals enshrined in the preamble and to establish the welfare state. The
Fundamental Rights have been enshrined in part III from Articles 12 to 35 and Directive
Principles of state policy in part IV, from Article 36 to 51.
Although these two appear in the Constitution as distinct entities, it was the Assembly that
separated these; the leaders of the freedom struggle had drawn no distinction between the
positive and negative obligations of the state. Both types of rights had developed as a
common demand, products of national and social revolutions, of their almost inseparable
intertwining and of the character of Indian polity itself.

1. AIMS OF THE STUDY


Over the course of this project, the researcher aims to find out the actual relationship between
Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy. The researcher endeavors to
find out why are the Fundamental Rights given more preference whereas, the Directive
Principles are not even enforceable at law, with the help of pre decided case laws.
2. SIGNIFICANCE & BENEFITS
After going through this research work, one will be able to understand the relation between
the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy, why Fundamental Rights are
preferred over Directive Principles and why are the Directive Principles not enforceable at
law. Also, the readers will get through the landmark judgments related to the topic.
3. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research work is limited only to the provisions of Fundamental Rights and the Directive
Principles of State Policy.
4. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The methodology that will be used by the researcher is non-empirical. The researcher would
rely primarily on secondary sources of data in the form of books, articles, journals, reports
and Internet resources. The researcher would follow a descriptive style throughout the project
while the analytical style would also be used wherever required. The Harvard Bluebook
Citation Guide will be followed.
5. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
5.1. What is the actual relationship between Fundamental Rights and Directive
Principles of State Policy?
5.2. If the roots and objectives of both the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principle
of State Policy are the same then why are these mentioned in different chapters?
5.3. Why are Fundamental Rights given more preference whereas, the Directive
Principles are not even enforceable at law?
5.4. How has the Indian Judiciary interpreted the relation between Part III and IV of
the Constitution?

06. LITERATURE REVIEW:


8

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OF INDIA by J. N. PANDEY: In the Indian Constitution a


successful attempt has been made to bring about a synthesis between the concepts of
individual freedom and social justice. It is for the reason that the attainment of social
economic and political along with the liberty and equality of the citizens is enshrined in the
preamble as the objective of the constitution.
INDIAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW BY M. P. JAIN: It is an authoritative and
comprehensive study on the constitution of India. The book critically examines the salient
features of this most unique of constitutions. The book provides the relevant facts of
important cases and a summary of the law laid down in them, have been given in the body of
the text so as to enable the readers to better understand the subject. The book provides the
complete text of crucial documents on the historical development of the Indian Constitution.
CONSTITUTION OF INDIA BY V N SHUKLA: The book includes the Constitutional
Amendments and Supreme Court decisions on issues as equality and affirmative action
education womens right and principles of constitutionalism and judicial review.
07. INTRODUCTION
Since the seventeenth century, if not earlier, human thinking has been veering round
to the theory that man has certain essential, basic, natural and inalienable rights or
freedoms and it is the function of the state, in order that human liberty may be
preserved, human personality developed. And an effective social and democratic life
prompted, to recognize these rights and freedoms and allow them a free play1
Both, the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy, have a common
grounding. In fact both these set of rights owe their origin to the freedom struggle waged by
the Indians against the British Regime to protect Indian culture, Philosophy and system. The
British system caused disintegration of all kinds of Indian system, society and economy. This
state of affairs led to the thinking in the minds of the Indians that the socioeconomic
conditions of the people cannot be improved unless there is change in Government and its
Administrative set up. It led the public to realize that the solution lies in Political freedom and
Indianisation of National set up.2 Hence, to fulfill the pledges and commitments, hopes and
aspirations of preindependence era, and to implement the ideals and achieve the goals
enshrined in the preamble to our constitution and to establish a welfare state, Fundamental
1M P JAIN, INDIAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, p. 897 (6th ed., LexisNexis, Haryana, 2010)
9

Rights and the Directive Principles of state policy have been provided for in the constitution
The Fundamental Rights have been enshrined in part III from Articles 12 to 35 and Directive
Principles of state policy in part IV, from Article 36 to 51.3
Before going to the relationship between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles
let us discuss about the two in brief:4
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: Fundamental Rights have been incorporated in the Part- III of
the Constitution. These are the necessary consequences of the declaration in the preamble to
the constitution that the people of India have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a
sovereign democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens justice, social and economic,
and political; liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; equality of status and
opportunity.5 A person can claim Fundamental Rights against the state subject to the state
imposing some permissible restrictions in the interest of social control. The ground for
imposing these restrictions on Fundamental Rights is expressly mentioned in the Constitution
itself and, therefore, these rights can be abridged only to the extent laid down.6
The Fundamental Rights in Indian Constitution have been grouped under seven heads as
follows:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.

Right to Equality comprising Articles 14-18.


Right to Freedom comprising Articles 19-22 which guarantee several freedoms.
Right against Exploitation consists of Articles 23 and 24.
Right to Freedom of Religion is guaranteed under Articles 25-28.
Cultural and Educational rights are guaranteed by Articles 29 and 30.
Right to Property which was guaranteed under Article 31 is now very much diluted.

2Dr. Gokulesh Sharma, An Evaluation of Relationship between Fundamental Rights and Directive
Principles Under Constitution, available at http://drgokuleshsharma.com/pdf/AN
%20EVALUATIONOF%20RELATION-SHIP%20BETWEEN%20FUNDAMENTALS
%20RIGHTS.pdf last visited September 22, 2015.
3QUEENCY PEREIRA, Inter-relation Between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State
Policy, p. 3 available at http://www.grkarelawlibrary.yolasite.com/resources/LLM-Const-1Queency.pdf last visited September 22, 2015
4Supra note 2
5Supra note 1 at 901
6Supra note 1 at 17
10

vii.

Right to Constitutional Remedies is secured by Articles 32-35.7

DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES: These have been incorporated in the Part IV of the


Constitution; the idea of incorporating the Directive Principles into our Constitution has been
borrowed for the Irish Constitution. These are of the positive aspect against the state and have
been held to supplement the Fundamental Rights in achieving welfare state. 8 The Directive
Principles are the ideals which the Union and the State governments must keep in mind while
they formulate policy or pass a law. They lay down certain social and economic programme
for modern democratic state.9 The Directive Principles are categorised into three following
groups:
(A) Social and Economic Charter: Articles 38 and 39 embody the doctrine of distributive
justice. The concept of distributive justice in sphere of law-making connotes, inter-alia, the
removal of economic inequalities rectifying the injustice resulting from dealings and
transactions between unequals in the society.10
(B) Social Security Charter: Article 43 provides for workers participation in management of
factories. Arts 45 insist on free and compulsory education to all children up to the age 14
years and Arts 39-A as inserted by the 42nd Amendment provides for equal justice and free
legal aid.11
(C) Community Welfare Charter: Article 44 requires the state to secure for the citizens a
Uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.12 Article 43-B requires the state to
7Supra note 1 at 902
8P M BAKSHI, THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, p. 85 (10th ed., Universal law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd.,
Delhi, 2010)
9DR. J. N. PANDEY, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OF INDIA, p. 443, (52ND Ed., Central Law Agency,
Allahabad, 2015)
10 Central Inland Water Transport Corporation v. Brojo Nath Ganguli, (1996) 3 SCC 156, Ct. id at
444
11 Supra note 2 at 4
12 Supra note 9 at 451
11

endeavour to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and


professional management of Co-operative Societies. 13 And, Article 48-A requires the state to
protect and improve the forest and wildlife.14

8. COMMON ROOTS BUT DIFFERENT BRANCHES


Although Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles appear in the Constitution as distinct
entities, it was the Assembly that separate them; the leaders of the freedom struggle had
drawn no distinction between the positive and negative obligations of the states. Both types
of rights had developed as a common demand, products of national and social revolutions, of
their almost inseparable intertwining and of the character of Indian polity itself. The Directive
Principles, though fundamental in the governance of the country, are not enforceable by any
court in terms of the express provisions of Article 37 of the Constitution, while Fundamental
Rights are enforceable by the Supreme Court and the High Court in terms of the express
provisions of Article 32 and 226 of the Constitution. This does not, however, mean or imply
any dichotomy between the two. Its social aspect can, however, be amended only by
legislation to carry out the objectives of the Directive Principles of state policy.15
Directive Principles are in the nature of instruments of instructions to the government of the
day to do something positive. They are not justiciable or enforceable in courts. On the other
hand, the Fundamental Rights are enforceable in the courts under Arts 32 and 226 of the
constitution and hence are justiciable.16

13 Id at 455
14 Id
15 Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles, lawteacher.net, available at
http://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/administrative-law/fundamental-rights-and-directiveprinciples-administrative-law-essay.php last visited- Sept. 25, 2015.
16 RANBIR SINGH, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, p. 323
12

During the proclamation of emergency the operation of the Fundamental Rights (except Arts.
20 and 21) can be suspended, but no such provisions is required to be made with regard to the
Directive Principle of State Policy. Article 32(2) prohibits the state to make any law which
takes away or abridges the right conferred by Part III of the constitution, but there is no such
categorical restriction on the power of the state regarding the Directive Principle of State
policy.
Fundamental Rights are facilities given by the state to the people, whereas Directive
Principles are directions given by the constitution to the state. Fundamental Rights aim at
establishing political democracy in India, while Directive Principles attempt to provide socioeconomic foundations to Indian democracy.17
The framers of the constitution gave primacy to Fundamental Rights by placing them ahead
of Directive Principles. However, Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles are not
contrary, but complimentary to each other. Both ultimately aim at the welfare and well-being
of the citizens.18
Although Directive Principles are non-justiciable, this does not imply that their
implementation has been left at the will and mercy of the state. Directive Principles are part
of the constitution, and the judiciary is under obligation to maintain the supremacy of the
same. The supreme court of India has resorted to provisions relating to the Directive
Principles while delivering its verdict is several cases.19
9. ARTICLES 32 AND 37 (THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FUNDAMENTAL
RIGHTS AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES)
The fundamental rights are enforceable and justiciable under Article 32 of the constitution
whereas the Directive Principles of State Policy are not justiciable under article 37 of the
Indian Constitution.

17 Supra note 3 at 5
18 id
19 Supra note 3 at 6
13

Fundamental rights are enforceable by the courts as per the Article 32 and the court are bound
to declare void any law that is inconsistent with the fundamental rights whereas, the directive
principles are not so enforceable by the courts nor can the courts declare as void any law
which otherwise is valid on the grounds that it violates the Directive Principles. According to
Article 37 the Directive Principles, though they are fundamental in the governance of country
and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making law, but they are
expressly made non-justiciable.
The question of relationship between the Directive Principles and t he Fundamental Rights has

caused some difficulty, and the judicial attitude has undergone transformation on this
question over time. What if a law enacted to enforce a Directive Principle infringes a
Fundamental Right? On this question, the judicial view has veered round from
irreconcilability to integration between the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles and
in some of the more recent cases, to giving primacy to the Directive Principles. Initially, the
courts adopted a strict and literal legal position in this respect. The Supreme Court adopting
the literal interpretative approach to Art. 37 ruled that a Directive Principle could not override
a Fundamental Right, and that in case of conflict between the two, the Fundamental Right
would prevail over the Directive Principle.20
This point was settled by the Supreme Court in State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan,21
where governments order in conflict with Art. 29 (2), a Fundamental Right, was declared
invalid, although the government did argue that it was made in pursuance of Art 46, a
Directive Principle. The court ruled that while the Fundamental Rights were enforceable, the
Directive Principles were not, and so the laws made to implement Directive Principles could
not take away Fundamental Rights. The Directive Principles should conform, and run as
subsidiary, to the Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Rights would be reduced to a mere
rope of sand if they were to be override by the Directive Principles. The court observed in
this regard.
The Directive Principles of the state policy, which by Art. 37 are expressly made
unenforceable by a court cannot override the provisions found in part III (Fundamental
Rights) which, notwithstanding other provisions, are expressly made enforceable by
20 Supra note 1 at 1490
21 AIR 1951 SC 226
14

appropriate writs, orders or directions under article 32. The chapter on Fundamental Rights is
sacrosanct and not liable to be abridged by any legislative or executive act or order, except to
the extent provided in the appropriate article in part III. The Directive Principles of state
policy have to conform to and run as subsidiary to the chapter on Fundamental Rights.
In course of time, a perceptible change came over the judicial attitude on this question. The
Supreme Courts view as regards the interplay of Directive Principles and Fundamental
Rights underwent a change. The Supreme Court started giving a good deal of value to the
Directive Principles from a legal point of view and started arguing for harmonizing the twothe Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.
The Supreme Court came to adopt the view that although Directive Principles, as such, were
legally non-enforceable, nevertheless, while interpreting a statute, the courts could look for
light to the lode star of the Directive Principles. Where two judicial choices are available,
the construction in conformity with the social philosophy of the Directive Principles has
preference.22 The courts therefore could interpret a statute so as to implement Directive
Principles instead of reducing them to mere theoretical ideas. This is on the assumptions that
the law makers are not completely unmindful or obvious of the Directive Principles.
Further the courts also adopted the view that in determining the scope and ambit of
Fundamental Rights, the Directive Principles should not be completely ignored and that the
courts should adopt the principles of harmonious construction and attempt to give effect to
both as far as possible. For example, as early as 1958, in Kerala Education Bill,23 DAS, C.J.,
while affirming the primacy of Fundamental Rights over the Directive Principles, qualified
the same by pleading for a harmonious interpretation of the two. He observed nevertheless,
in determining the scope and ambit of the Fundamental Rights relied upon by or on behalf of
any person or body, the court may not entirely ignore these Directive Principles of state
policy laid down in part IV of the constitution but should adopt the principle of harmonious
construction and should attempt to give effect to both as much as possible.24

22 Mumbai Kangar Sabha v. Abdulbhai, AIR 1976 SC 1455


23 In re Kerala Education Bill, AIR 1958 SC 956; 1959 SCR 995.
24 AIR 1958 SC at 966-67; 1959 SCR 995.
15

Without, therefore, making the Directive Principles justifiable as such, the courts began to
implement the values underlying these principles to the extent possible. The Supreme Court
began to assert that there is no conflict on the whole between the Fundamental Rights and
the Directive Principles. They are complementary and supplementary to each other.25
Since then, the judicial attitude has become more positive and affirmative towards Directive
Principles, and both Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles have come to be regarded
as co-equal. There is in effect a judicial tendency to interpret Fundamental Rights in the light
of, and so as to promote, the values underlying Directive Principles.
This aspect of the Directive Principles was stressed upon by the Supreme Court in Golak
Nath.26 The Supreme Court there emphasized that the Fundamental Rights and Directive
Principles formed an integrated scheme which was elastic enough to respond to the
changing needs of the society.
In Md. Hanif Qureshi v. State of Bihar27 the petitioner claimed that the sacrifice of cows on
the occasion of Bakrid was an essential part of his religion and therefore the state law
forbidding the slaughter of cows was violative of his right to practice religion, the court
rejected his argument and held that a state law that prohibits the slaughter of cows and other
cattle capable of work has been upheld because it was meant to give effect to article 48 of the
Constitution Supreme Court held that enactment of prohibition of cow slaughter Act
In Orient weaving mills v U.O.I.,28 exemption was granted for excise duty in small scale
industries. This was challenged on the grounds that the exemption was given only to the
small scale industries and not others. The Supreme Court held that Article 43 applies because
for the development of rural areas and also because it is the duty of government to promote
small scale industries.
According to Grain Ville Austin, the fundamental rights and the directive principles are the
conscience of our constitution.
25 Chandra Bhavan Boarding and Lodging, Bangalore v. State of Mysore, AIR 1970 SC 2042 at
2050; (1969) 3SCC 84
26 Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, AIR 1967 SC 1643
27 AIR 1958 SC 731
28 AIR 1983 SC 98
16

In Kesavananda Bharti v. State of Kerala,29 HEGDE and MUKHERJI,JJ., observed:


The Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles constitute the conscience of the
constitution there is no antithesis between the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles
and one supplements the other.
SHELAT and GROVER, JJ., observed in their judgment :
Both parts III (Fundamental Rights) and IV (directive principle) have to be balanced and a
harmonized then alone the dignity of the individual can be achieved they were meant to
supplement each other.
In Unnikrishna v. state of Andhra Pradesh,30 JEEVAN REDDY, J., said that the Fundamental
Rights and Directive Principles are supplementary and complimentary to each other, and not
exclusionary of each other, and that the Fundamental Rights are but a means to achieve the
goal indicate in the Directive Principles that Fundamental Rights must be construed in the
light of the Directive Principles.
The Supreme Court said in State of Kerala v. N.M Thomas,31 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 in consistency between them.
In State of Bombay v. F. N. Balsara32 the SC gave weight to Article 47 that directs the state to
bring about prohibition of consumption of intoxicating rink except for medical purposes- to
support its decision that the restriction imposed by the Bombay Prohibition Act was a
reasonable restriction on th right to engage in any profession or carry o any trade.
In Bijoy cotton Mills v. State of Ajmer,33 the supreme court upheld the constitutional validity
of the minimum wages Act 1948 because it was enacted to give effect to DPSPs in Art. 43 of
29 AIR 1973 SC 1461 at 1641; (1973) 4 SCC 225
30 AIR 1993 SC 2178, 2230; (1993) 1 SCC 645
31 AIR 1976 SC 490; (1976) 2 SCC 310
32 AIR 1951 SC 30
33 AIR 1955 SC 33
17

the Constitution. It was held that the fixation of wages for labourers did not violate freedom
of trade under the Art. 19 (5).
10. 25TH AMENDMENT 1971 (Article 31 C)
The 25th amendment to the constitution inserted a new article 31-C providing that the law
passed for giving effect to the DPSPs specified in (b) &(c) of article 39 could not be
challenged on the ground of being inconsistent with or taking away or abridging any of the
rights guaranteed in articles 14, 19 and 31. The validity of this amendment was upheld in
Keshavananda bharti case.34 But the second which backed the judicial scrutiny was struck
down as unconstitutional. Where Article 39 (b)35 and (c)36 comes in, Article 14 goes out.
This amendment considerably enhanced the importance of DPSPs. The object of the
amendment stated in the object was that, this was enacted to get over difficulties placed in the
way of giving effect to the DPSPs.
The article 31 C was again amended in 42 nd amendment 1976. This amendment further
widened the scope of article 31 C so as to cover all the DPSPs. For this purpose, the
amendment substituted the words, All or any principles laid down in part IV for words the
principles specified clause (b) or (c) in article 39 I Art. 31 C of the Constitution.
CHANDRACHUD, CJ., in Minerva Mills,37 said that the Fundamental Rights are not an end
in themselves but are the means to an end. The end is specified in the Directive Principles. It
was further observed in the same case that the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles
together constitute the core of commitment to social revolution and they, together, are the
conscience of the constitution. The Indian constitution is founded on the bedrock of
balance between the two. To give absolute primacy to one over the other is to disturb the
harmony of the constitution. This harmony and balance between Fundamental Rights and
Directive Principles is an essential feature of the basic structure of the constitution.
34 Supra note at 839
35 The means of production should be in hands of state.
36 Wealth should be not be concentrated on few private individuals.
37 Minerva Mills v. Union of India, AIR 1980 SC 1789
18

The Fundamental Rights are not an end in themselves but are the means to an end. The end
is specified in Directive Principles. On the other hand, the goals set out in Directive
Principles are to be achieved without abrogating the Fundamental Rights. It is in this sense
that Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles together constitute the core of our
constitution and combine to form its conscience. Anything that destroys the balance between
the two parts will ipso facto destroy an essential element of the basic structure of our
constitution.
In Sanjeev Coke Manufacturing Co. v. Bharat Cooking Coal Ltd.38 the SC expressed doubt on
th validity of its decision in Minerva Mills Case. But it has not overruled expressly by the SC
in this case and hence the judgment of SC in Minerva Mills case is valid.
In State of Tamil Nadu v. L Abu Kavur Bai,39 while upholding the validity of the state law,
enacted for nationalizing transport service in the state on the ground that it was enacted for
implementing the DPSPs contained in Aticle 39 (b) &(c). there is a reasonable nexus between
the Act and object mentioned in Article 39 (b) & (c) of the constitution the a five judge bench
of Supreme Court held that although the DPSPs are not enforceable yet the court should
make a real attempt at harmonizing and reconciling the DPSPs and the fundamental rights
and any collision between the two is avoided as far as possible.
11. OTHER JUDICIAL PRONOUNCEMENT
In Pathumma v. State of Kerala,40 the Supreme Court has emphasized that the purpose of the
Directive Principles is to fix certain socio-economic goals for immediate attainment by
bringing about a non-violent social revolution. The constitution aims at bringing about
synthesis between Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles.
Recently, in Ashoka Kumar Thakur v. Union of India,41 BALAKRISHNA, CJI said that no
distinction can be made between the two sets of rights. The Fundamental Right represents the
38 (1983) 1 SCC 147
39 AIR 1984 SC 626
40 AIR 1978 SC 771; (1978) 2 SCC 1
41 (2008) 6 SCC 1, at page 515; (2008) 5 JT 1.
19

civil and political rights and the Directive Principles embody social and economic rights.
Merely because the Directive Principles are non-justiciable by the judicial process does not
mean that they are of subordinate importance.
The Directive Principles and Fundamental Rights are not now regarded as exclusionary of
each other. They are regarded as supplementary and complementary to each other. In course
of time, the judicial attitude has veered from irreconcilability to integration of the
Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles. The Directive Principles which have been
declared to be fundamental in the governance of the country cannot be isolated from
Fundamental Rights. The Directive Principles have got to be read into the Fundamental
Rights. An example of such relationship is furnished by the right to education.
The Supreme Court has argued in Olga Tellis42 that since the Directive Principles are
fundamental in the governance of the country they must, therefore, be regarded as equally
fundamental to the understanding and interpretation of the meaning and content of
Fundamental Rights.
In Dalmia Cement,43 the Supreme Court has emphasized that the core of the commitment of
the constitution to the social revolution through rule of law lies in effectuation of the
Fundamental Rights and directory principles as supplementary and complimentary to each
other. The preamble to the constitution, Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles-the
trinity-are the conscience of the constitution.
It has now become a judicial strategy to read Fundamental Rights along with Directive
Principles with a view to define the scope and ambit of the former. By and large this
assimilative strategy has resulted in broadening, and giving greater depth and dimension to,
and even creating more rights for the people over and above the expressly stated,
Fundamental Rights. At the same time, the values underlying the Directive Principles have
also become enforceable by riding on the back of the Fundamental Rights. On the whole, a
survey of the case-law shows that the courts have used Directive Principles not to restrict, but
rather to expand, the ambit of the Fundamental Rights.

42 Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corpn., AIR 1986 SC 194; (1985) 3 SCC 545.
43 Dalmia Cement (bharat) ltd. V. Union of India, (1996) 10 SCC 104
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The theme that Fundamental Rights are but a means to achieve the goal indicated in the
Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights must be construed in the light of the
Directive Principles has been advocated by the Supreme Court time and again.
Thus, the integrative approach towards Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles, or that
Fundamental Rights must be construed in the light of the directive principle has been
advocated by the Supreme Court time and again.
Thus, the integrative approach towards Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles, or that
the both should be interpreted and read together, has now come to hold the field. It has now
become a judicial strategy to read Fundamental Rights along with Directive Principles with a
view to define the scope and the ambit of the former. Mostly, Directive Principles have been
used to broaden, and to give depth to some Fundamental Rights and to imply some more
rights there from for the people over and above what are expressly stated in the Fundamental
Rights. That biggest beneficiary of this approach has been Art 21. By reading Art. 21 with the
Directive Principles, the Supreme Court has derived there from a bundle of rights. To name a
few of these:
(1) The right to live with human dignity. The Supreme Court has stated in Bandhua Mukti
Morcha, that right to live with human dignity enshrined in Art. 21 derive its life breath from
the Directive Principles of state policy.44
(2) Right to life includes the right to enjoy pollution free water and air and environment.45
(3) Right to health and social justice has been held to be a Fundamental Right of the
workers. It is the obligation of the employer to protect the health and vigor of his
employee workers. The court has derived this right by reading Art. 21 with Arts.
39(e), 41, 43 and 48-A.46
(4) Right to shelter47
44 Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India, AIR 1984 SC 802, 811-812 : (1984) 3 SCC 161
45 Subhash kumar v. State of Bihar, AIR 1991 SC 420; (1991) 1 SCC 598.
46 Consumer Education and Research Center V. Union of India, AIR 1995 SC 922 .
47 Chameli Singh v. state of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1996 SC 105; (1996) 2 SCC 549.
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(5) Right to education implicit in Article 21 is to be spelled out in the light of the directive
principle contained in art. 41 and 45.48
(6) Right to privacy.
Accordingly, the Directive Principles are regarded as a dependable index of public purpose.
If a law is enacted to implement the socio-economic policy envisaged in the Directive
Principles, then it must be regarded as one for public purpose. Thus, in State of Bihar v.
Kameshwar Singh,49 the supreme court relied on Art. 39 to decide that the law to abolish
zamindari had been enacted for a public purpose within the meaning of Art. 31.
On the same argument, Directive Principles have also come to be regarded as relevant for
considering reasonableness of restrictions under Art. 19. A restriction promoting any of the
objectives of the Directive Principles could be regarded as reasonable. Thus, Art. 47 which
directs the state to bring about prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drinks except for
medical purposes, could be taken into account while considering the reasonableness of a
prohibition law under Art. 19. Art. 47 relate the idea of prohibition to public health.
Therefore, to enforce prohibition effectively, the law could define the word liquor broadly
so as to include all alcoholic liquids which might be used as substitutes for intoxicating
drinks to the detriment of health. But exemptions of medicinal preparations containing
alcohol would not be reasonable under Art. 19(6).
In Welfare Assn., A.R.P. v. Ranjit P. Gohil,50 the expression transfer of property in entry 6
and the term contrast in entry 7 of list III were widely interpreted relying on the Directive
Principles of state policy especially those contained in Article 38 and 39 of the constitution.
In brief, read with various Directive Principles, Art. 21 have emerged into a multidimensional Fundamental Right. Art. 14 and Art 39(d), read together, have led to the
emergence of the principle of equal pay for equal work.
Finally, reference may be made to Art. 31C. Art 31C as enacted in 1972, through the
constitution (twenty-fifth) amendment act sought to give primacy to Arts. 39(b) and (c) over
48 Unnikrishnan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1993 SC 2178; (1993) 1 SCC 645.
49 AIR 1952 SC 352.
50 (2003) 9 SCC 358, at page 381
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the Fundamental Rights contained in Arts. 14, 19 and 31. The Supreme Court held the
Amendment valid in the Kesavananda case51. The court emphasized that there is no
disharmony between the Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights as they supplement
each other in aiming at the same goal of bringing about a social revolution and the
establishment of a welfare state, which is envisaged in the preamble. The courts therefore
have a responsibility to so interpreting the constitution as to ensure implementation of the
Directive Principles and to harmonize the social objectives underlying therein with individual
rights. JUSTICE MATHEW went farthest in attributing to the directive principle, a
significant place in the constitutional scheme. According to him:
In building up a just social order it is sometimes imperative that the Fundamental Rights
should be subordinate to Directive Principles. Economic goals have an uncontestable claim
for priority over ideological ones on the ground that excellence comes only after existence. It
is only if men exist that there can be Fundamental Rights.
He thus came to the conclusions, as regards art. 31C, that if parliament, in its capacity as an
amending body, decides to amend the constitution in such a way as to take away or abridge a
Fundamental Right to give priority value to the moral claims embodied in part IV of the
constitution (i.e. Directive Principle) the supreme court cannot adjudge the constitutional
amendment as bad for the reason that what was intended to be subsidiary by the constitutionmakers has been made dominant.
The next step in the direction of giving primacy to all Directive Principles over the
Fundamental Rights was taken in 1976 when all Directive Principles were sought to be given
precedence over Arts. 14, 19 and 31 by the 42nd amendment. But the Supreme Court did not
uphold this Amendment as constitutional. The main theme of the courts pronouncement was
that the constitution is based on the bedrock of balance between the Directive Principles
and Fundamental Rights and to give absolute primacy to one over the other would disturb this
balance. Both can co-exist harmoniously. The goals set out in the Directive Principles are to
be achieved without abrogating the Fundamental Rights. Both can flourish happily together.
The principle was restated recently by the Supreme Court in I.R. Coelho v. state of T.N.52
51 AIR 173 SC 1461
52 (2007) 2 SCC 1, at page 98; AIR 2007 SC 861.
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by enacting Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles which are negative and positive,
obligations of then states, the constituent assembly made it the responsibility of the
government to adopt a middle path between individual liberty and public good. Fundamental
Rights and Directive Principles have to be balanced. The balanced can be tilted in favour of
the public good. The balance, however, cannot be overturned by completely overriding
individual liberty. This balance is an essential feature of the constitution.
On the whole, a survey of the case law shows that the courts have used Directive Principles
not so much to restrict Fundamental Rights as to expand their scope and content.
CONCLUSION
The inter-relation doctrine between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of state
policy is not only theoretical but also practical and rewarding. Fundamental Rights provide
political freedom to the citizens by protecting them against the excessive stste action while
Directive Principles are to secure social and economic freedom by appropriated action both
are inspiration of reform legislation.53 The recent trend in this regard, is that though the
Directive Principles are unenforceable, and a State cannot be compelled to undertake a
legislation to implement a Directive, the Supreme Court has been issuing directions to the
State to implement the Principles. Hence various aspects of Part IV are being enforced by the
courts indirectly. Today thus, the Directive Principles no longer remain merely a moral
obligation of the Government.54
In the recent judgments the court has declared many directives as Fundamental Rights and
have enforced them. Equal pay for equal work, Protection of children from exploitation,
Abolition of child labour in hazardous works, Free and compulsory education of children
below the age of 14 years (under Articles 39, 41, 45 & 47), Protection of working women
from secxual harassment, Free legal aid to poor, Speedy trial of under trial prisioner, ( Arts.
39-A), Right to work and medical assistance to workers (Art. 41) and Protection of ecology
and environmental pollution (Art. 48-A).55 It may be concluded by saying that, one should try
53 Jagadish, Relation Between Part III and Part IV of the India- Changing trend (March 13, 2013)
available at http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/article/relation-between-part-iii-and-part-iv-ofconstitution-of-india-changing-trends-1058-1.html last visited September 29, 2013
54 Supra not 36 at 6
55 Supra note 9 at 465.
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to establish harmony between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles, since


maintenance of harmony between them is a basic feature to the constitution.56
BIBLIOGRAPHY
BOOKS
1. M P JAIN, INDIAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, p. 897 (6th ed., LexisNexis, Haryana, 2010)
2. P M BAKSHI, THE CONSTITUTION

OF INDIA,

p. 85 (10th ed., Universal law Publishing

Co. Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, 2010)


3. DR. J. N. PANDEY, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OF INDIA, p. 443, (52ND Ed., Central Law
Agency, Allahabad, 2015)
4. RANBIR SINGH, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
5. V.N.SHUKLA, CONSTITUTION OF INDIA 11th edition, Easten Book Company, Lucknow.
6. DURGA DAS BASU, INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA , 20th edition,
Lexis Nexis Butter Worths Swadha, Nagpur.
ARTICLES
1. Dr. Gokulesh Sharma, An Evaluation of Relationship between Fundamental Rights
and

Directive

Principles

Under

Constitution,

available

at

http://drgokuleshsharma.com/pdf/AN%20EVALUATIONOF%20RELATION-SHIP
%20BETWEEN%20FUNDAMENTALS%20RIGHTS.pdf last visited September 22,
2015.
2. QUEENCY PEREIRA, Inter-relation Between Fundamental Rights and Directive
Principles

of

State

Policy,

p.

available

http://www.grkarelawlibrary.yolasite.com/resources/LLM-Const-1-Queency.pdf

at
last

visited September 22, 2015


3. Jagadish, Relation Between Part III and Part IV of the India- Changing trend (March
13, 2013) available at http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/article/relationbetween-part-iii-and-part-iv-of-constitution-of-india-changing-trends-1058-1.html last
visited September 29, 2013
56 Supra note 3 at 23.
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STATUTES
1. The Constitution of India, 1950
WEBLIOGRAPHY
1. http://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/administrative-law/fundamental-rightsand-directive-principles-administrative-law-essay.php
2. http://drgokuleshsharma.com/pdf/AN%20EVALUATIONOF%20RELATIONSHIP
%20BETWEEN%20FUNDAMENTALS%20RIGHTS.pdf
3. http://www.grkarelawlibrary.yolasite.com/resources/LLM-Const-1-Queency.pdf
4. http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/article/relation-between-part-iii-and-part-ivof-constitution-of-india-changing-trends-1058-1.html

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