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RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY: A


CRITICAL ANALYSIS
(Project Report)

Submitted To:
Ms. Madhurima De Sarkar
(Faculty Member, Constitutional Governance-I)
Submitted By:
Prashant Choudhary
Roll No: 110, Section C, Semester III
B.A. L.L.B. (HONS.)

Date of Submission: 18.10.2016

Hidayatullah National Law University


Uparwara Post, Abhanpur, New Raipur 492002 (C.G.)

DECLARATION
I hereby declare that the project work entitled Relationship Between Fundamental Rights and
Directive Principles of State Policy: A Critical Analysis submitted to Hidayatullah National Law
University, Raipur, is a record of an original work done by me under the able guidance of Ms.
Madhurima De Sarkar, Faculty-in-charge, Constitutional Governance-I, Hidayatullah National Law
University, Raipur.

Prashant Choudhary
Semester III
Roll No. 110
Section C

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I feel highly elated to work on the topic Relationship Between Fundamental Rights and Directive
Principles of State Policy: A Critical Analysis. This research venture has been made possible due
to the generous co-operation of various persons. To list them all is not practicable, even to repay them
in words is beyond the domain of my lexicon.
May I observe the protocol to show my deep gratitude to the venerated Faculty Member, Ms.
Madhurima De Sarkar, for her kind gesture in allotting me such a wonderful and elucidating research
topic. Her consistent supervision, constant inspiration and invaluable guidance have been of immense
help in understanding and carrying out the nuances of the project report.

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CONTENTS

Declaration.................................................................................................................... 1
Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................ 2
Introduction .................................................................................................................. 4
Objective Of The Study................................................................................................. 5
Scope Of The Study ...................................................................................................... 5
Research Methodology ................................................................................................. 5
Fundamental Rights And Directive Principles Of State Policy: About ................. 6
Fundamental Rights And Dpsp: The Relationship .................................................. 7
Purpose Of Insertion Of Part Iii And Part Iv .......................................................... 7
Tussle Between The Legislature And Judiciary ....................................................... 8
Fundamental Rights And Directive Principles Of State Policy: Conflicting Or
Complimentary .......................................................................................................... 11
Conclusions ................................................................................................................ 13
References .................................................................................................................. 14

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INTRODUCTION
The justiciability of Fundamental Rights and non-justiciability of Directive Principles on the one hand
and the moral obligation of State to implement Directive Principles (Article 37) on the other hand
have led to a conflict between the two since the commencement of the Constitution. In the Champakam
Dorairajan case (1951), the Supreme Court ruled that in case of any conflict between the Fundamental
Rights and the Directive Principles, the former would prevail. It declared that the Directive Principles
have to conform to and run as subsidiary to the Fundamental Rights.
But, it also held that the Fundamental Rights could be amended by the Parliament by enacting
constitutional amendments acts. As a result, the Parliament made the First Amendment Act (1951),
the Fourth Amendment Act and the Seventeenth Amendment Act

to implement some of the

Directives. The above situation underwent a major change in 1967 following the Supreme Court's
judgement in the Golaknath case (1967).
Whenever conflicts arise between fundamental rights and directive principles, fundamental rights
prevail over the directive principles because, in terms of Arts. 32 and 226, fundamental rights are
enforceable by the courts. If a law is in conflict with a fundamental right, it is declared void by the
Supreme Court. But no law can be declared void on the ground that it is violative of a directive
principle. In 1951, in Champakam Dorairajan vs. the state of Madras, the Supreme Court held The
chapter on Fundamental Rights is sacrosanct and not liable to be abridged by any legislative or
executive act. The Directive Principles of State Policy have to conform and are subsidiary to the
chapter on Fundamental Rights.

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OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

To analyze and understand the concepts of Fundamental rights and DPSPs individually.

To find out the relationship between the two concepts of Fundamental Rights and Directive
Principles of State Policy.

To study the tussle of the legislature and Judiciary regarding both the concepts

To study in brief some important court judgments which lead to the current situation of the
Fundamental Rights and DPSPs

To critically evaluate if Fundamental Rights and DPSPs are conflicting or complementary.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY


This project covers Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy as two individual
concepts. The project later sees the merging of both these concepts and the conditions that prevailed
in India when the tussles over Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State policy took place.
This project, though in brief also discusses some famous cases which were of utmost importance in
the formation of current laws and scenarios.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The research methodology adopted is descriptive analytical. Through my project I aim to describe and
analyze the relationship that exists between Fundamental Rights and DPSPs and also discuss the whole
development procedure which was followed to reach to the proper conclusion over Fundamental rights
and DPSPs' applicability and ambit. The sources of data in the project include - books, websites,
discussions on the topic with the subject teacher, seniors and friends.

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FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF


STATE POLICY: ABOUT
The Fundamental Rights in Indian constitution acts as a guarantee that all Indian citizens can and will
live their lives in peace as long as they live in Indian democracy. They include individual rights
common to most liberal democracies, such as equality before the law, freedom of speech and
expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom of religion, and the right to
constitutional remedies for the protection of civil right.
An important feature of the constitution is the Directive Principles of State Policy. Although the
Directive Principles are asserted to be "fundamental in the governance of the country," they are not
legally enforceable. Instead, they are guidelines for creating a social order characterized by social,
economic, and political justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity as enunciated in the constitution's
preamble.
The Forty-second Amendment, which came into force in January 1977, attempted to raise the status
of the Directive Principles by stating that no law implementing any of the Directive Principles could
be declared unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated any of the Fundamental Rights.

The

amendment simultaneously stated that laws prohibiting "antinational activities or the formation of
antinational associations could not be invalidated because they infringed on any of the Fundamental
Rights. It added a new section to the constitution on "Fundamental Duties" that enjoined citizens "to
promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India, transcending
religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities." However, the amendment reflected a new
emphasis in governing circles on order and discipline to counteract what some leaders had come to
perceive as the excessively freewheeling style of Indian democracy. After the March 1977 general
election ended the control of the Congress (Congress (R) from 1969) over the executive and legislature
for the first time since independence in 1947, the new Janata - dominated Parliament passed the Fortythird Amendment (1977) and Forty-fourth Amendment (1978). These amendments revoked the Fortysecond Amendment's provision that Directive Principles take precedence over Fundamental Rights
and also curbed Parliament's power to legislate against "antinational activities."

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FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DPSP: THE RELATIONSHIP


The important question is where there is a conflict between the fundamental rights and directive
principles, which should prevail? The Fundamental Rights are the rights of the individual citizens
guaranteed by the Constitution. The directive principles lay down various tenets of a welfare state.
The conflict arises when the State needs to implement a directive principle and it infringes/ abridges
the fundamental rights of the citizens. The chapters on the fundamental rights & DPSP were added in
order of part III and part IV of the constitution.
The Fundamental rights are justifiable and guaranteed by the constitution. The Directive principles
were directives to the state and government machinery. But they are not enforceable, by the law.

PURPOSE OF INSERTION OF PART III AND PART IV


The framers of the Indian constitution were aware that there were other constitutions which had given
expression to certain ideals as the goal towards which the country should strive and which had defined
the principles considered fundamental to the governance of the country. They were aware of the event
that had culminated in the charter of United Nations.
Universal declaration of Human rights had been adopted by the General Assembly of the United
Nations, for India was a signatory to it. It contained a basic and fundamental rights appertaining to all
men. These rights were born of the philosophical speculation of the Greek and Roman stoics and
nurture by the jurists of ancient Rome. These rights had found expression in a limited form in the
accords of 1188 entered into between King Alfonso IX and the Cortes of Leon, the Magna Carta of
1215 and the guarantees which King Andrew II of Hungary was forced to give by his Golden bull of
1822. The French National Assembly also included the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the
Citizen. The first ten amendments to the constitution of the United States of America contained
certain rights akin to Human rights. Constitution of Eire, Japan also contained similar rights and
Directive principles. Section 8 of the article 1 of the U.S constitution contained a Welfare clause
empowering the federal Government to enact laws for the overall general welfare of the people. U.S.A,
the U.K and Germany had passed social welfare legislation. The framers of the Indian constitution,
therefore, headed the constitution of India with a preamble which declared Indias goal and inserted
parts III and IV in the constitution.

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TUSSLE BETWEEN THE LEGISLATURE AND JUDICIARY


The question of relationship between the Directive Principles and the Fundamental rights has caused
some difficulty, and the judicial attitude has undergone transformation on this question over time.
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.

Champakam Dorairajan case, 1951


The Supreme Court in State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan, stated1. The Directive Principles should conform, and run as subsidiary, to the Fundamental rights.
2. 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 which, notwithstanding other provisions,
are expressly made enforceable by appropriate writs, orders or directions under article 32.
3. 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.
4. The Directive Principles of state policy have to conform to and run as subsidiary to the chapter on
Fundamental rights.

DOCTRINE OF HARMONIOUS CONSTRUCTION


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 two the Fundamental rights and Directive
Principles.

Where two judicial choices are available, the construction in conformity with the social
philosophy of the Directive Principles has preference. 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.

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Kerela Education Bill, 1958


In re Kerala Education Bill, SC observed
1. while affirming the primacy of fundamental rights over the directive principles, qualified the same
by pleading for a harmonious interpretation of the two.
2. that 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.
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.

Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, 1967


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.

Kesavanand Bharti v State of Ke rala, 1973


SC observed:
1. 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.
2. both parts III (fundamental rights) and IV (directive principle) have to be balanced and a
harmonized.

State of Kerala v. N.M Thomas, 1976


The Supreme Court said 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.

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Pathumma v. State of Kerala, 1978


The Supreme Court has emphasized that the purpose of the directive principles is to fix certain socioeconomic 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.

Minerva Mills v UOI, 1980


SC observed1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. the goals set out in directive principles are to be achieved without abrogating the fundamental
rights.
5. 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.
Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corp., 1985
The Supreme Court has argued in Olga Tellis 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.

Unnikrishna v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1993


SC said:
1. that the fundamental rights and directive principles are supplementary and complimentary
to each other, and not exclusionary of each other, and
2. 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.

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Ashoka Kumar Thakur v Union of India, 2008


Recently, in Ashoka Kumar Thakur v Union of India SC observed that no distinction can be made
between the two sets of rights.
The Fundamental right represents the 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.

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF


STATE POLICY: CONFLICTING OR COMPLIMENTARY
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.1
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.2
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
Kesavanand Bharti v. State of Kerala, HEGDE and MUKHERJI, JJ3., 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 re Kerala Education Bill, AIR 1958 SC 956: 1959 SCR 995


Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, AIR 1967 SC 1643
3
AIR 1973 SC 1461 at 1641: (1973) 4 SCC 225
2

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The Supreme Court said in State of Kerala v. N.M Thomas4, 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.

AIR 1976 SC 490: (1976) 2 SCC 310

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CONCLUSIONS
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. 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.
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. That biggest beneficiary of this approach has been Art 21.
At the same time, the values underlying the directive principles have also become enforceable by riding
on the back of the fundamental rights. Courts have used directive principles not to restrict, but rather
to expand, the ambit of the fundamental rights.
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.
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, 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.
It may be concluded by saying that, one should try to establish harmony between fundamental rights
and Directive Principles, since maintenance of harmony between them is a basic feature to the
constitution

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REFERENCES
1. http://www.facts-about- india.com/fundamental-rights- in-India.php
2. http://www.importantindia.com/2041/fundamental-rights-and-directive-principles-of-statepolicy/
3. http://www.vajiramandravi.in/conflict-between-fundamental-rights-and-directiveprinciples.html
4. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2478587
5. http://www.gktoday.in/conflict-between-fundamental-rights-and-directive-principles-of-statepolicy/
6. https://abhijeetgautam.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/inter-relationship-between- fundamentalrights-and-directive-principles/
7. http://www.iupindia.in/1401/Law%20Review/Evolution_of_the_Relationship.html
8. http://www.grkarelawlibrary.yolasite.com/resources/LLM-Const-1-Queency.pdf

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