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Fundamental Rights of Foreigners

Fundamental Rights

The Union government has requested the Supreme Court to establish a law with far-reaching and enduring implications for the country concerning the rights of foreigners to seek relief from local courts after violating their visa conditions.


  1. The Government raised a query about the extent of Foreigners’ right to access local courts, considering that Article 19 of the Constitution, which encompasses the right to free speech and expression and the holding of peaceful meetings, is not applicable to them.
  2. Unlike Article 19, which is restricted to citizens, Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees that “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law,” and this provision applies to both citizens and non-citizens.

Fundamental rights available to both citizens and foreigners except enemy aliens

  1. Article 14 – Equality before the law and equal protection of laws.
  2. Article 20 – Protection in respect of conviction for offences.
  3. Article 21 – Protection of life and personal liberty.
  4. Article 21A – Right to elementary education.
  5. Article 22 – Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
  6. Article 23 – Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.
  7. Article 24 – Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.
  8. Article 25 – Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
  9. Article 26 – Freedom to manage religious affairs.
  10. Article 27 – Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any religion.
  11. Article 28 – Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions.

Fundamental Rights Available Only to Citizens of India

  1. Article 15 – Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  2. Article 16 – Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
  3. Article 19 – Protection of six rights related to freedom – (a) of speech and expression; (b) to assemble peaceably and without arms; (c) to form associations or unions; (d) to move freely throughout the territory of India; (e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and (f) to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
  4. Article 29 – Protection of language, script and culture of minorities.
  5. Article 30 – Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.


  • Rights are the social claims without which, a man cannot give his best to the society.
  • The Fundamental Rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 20, 21, 21A, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 are available to all persons whether citizens or foreigners.

Read Also: Supreme Court Reference on Capital Punishment

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