What Are Fundamental Rights Of Indian Constitution ?

Part III of the Indian Constitution is described as the Magna Carta Of India. Article 14 to 35 deals with the fundamental rights of Indian Constitution. Originally the concept of fundamental rights is borrowed from the constitution of the U.S.A where it is originally known as the “Bill Of Rights”.

Let’s start with a brief overview of Indian Constitution before heading towards the fundamental rights(FRs) of Indian Constitution. Well, everyone is aware of the constitution but even after that people are hardly able to describe ‘What is Constitution ?’. So, let’s understand ‘what is constitution’. “The constitution is a set of fundamental principles according to which a state (Whole Country) or other organizations of the state are governed“.

When all the principles are noted down into a set of legal documents, It constitutes a Constitution.

Why Indian Constitution opted FRs?

Now, since the constitution is enacted and enforced, It will definitely give birth to some rights and liabilities. As we all know whenever society is organized, people set up rules, and making such rules gives rise to duties towards society to follow those rules. Breaking such rules gives rise to liabilities as well, which can be even considered as wrong. Therefore, the Indian Constitution opted for the concept of Fundamental Rights.

Fundamental rights of Indian Constitution are basically inherent human rights. They are guaranteed by the Constitution itself and this is the reason because of which they are also called Guaranteed Rights in layman language as it is guaranteed by the Indian Constitution Itself. These rights can’t be violated by anyone either it is a person, state government, or the Union itself.

According to Article 13 Of the Indian Constitution which states – “Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights”

(1) All laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this constitution, in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this part, shall to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.

(2) The state shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void.

Source: Bare Act, The Constitution Of India

Can Parliament make amendment in the FRs?

The answer is Yes, but The government cannot make any such laws that interrupt or overlaps the fundamental rights of Indian Constitution. Making such a law would be considered void. Fundamental Rights cannot be waived off in any situation whatever it may be, because these rights are in the constitution for the public at large (whole society) and not for an individual person. So, whenever we talk about the public at large or society, then it is not merely for the interest of an individual and so anything which is related in this context is considered keeping in mind for benefit of all.

Fundamental rights protect the liberties and freedoms of the people against violation by the state (Government). We can say that the fundamental rights aim at establishing “A government of laws and not of men”.

Fundamental rights of Indian Constitution are not absolute. It means that the Government can impose reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights. Like during an emergency some fundamental rights are suspended except Article 20 (Protection in respect of conviction for offenses) and Article 21 (Protection of life and personal liberty).

According to Article 358, when a proclamation of National Emergency is made, the six fundamental rights under article 19 are automatically suspended. Article 19 is automatically revived after the expiry of the emergency. The 44th Amendment Act laid out that Article 19 can only be suspended when the National Emergency is laid on the grounds of war or external aggression and not in the case of armed rebellion.

All the fundamental rights mentioned in the Indian constitution are in some relation with each other. So, none of the article distinct, separate in terms of relation with each other, and hence any of the Articles is not be read in isolation.

Originally, there were seven Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution provided to every citizen of India :

  • Right To Equality (Article 14-18)
  • Right To Freedom (Article 19-22)
  • Right Against Exploitation (Article 23-24)
  • Right To Freedom Of Religion (Article 25-28)
  • Cultural And Educational Rights (Article 29-30)
  • Right To Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)
  • Right To Property (Article 31)

However, Right To Property (Article 31) was deleted from Part III after the 44th amendment Act, 1978. So, now there are only six fundamental rights provided by the constitution. At present, the Right to property is made legal under Article 300 ‘A’ in part XII of the constitution.

For violation of Fundamental Rights, the aggrieved person can directly move to the Supreme Court with his plea. The Parliament can curtail or repeal the Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution, but only through a constitutional amendment and not by an ordinary act.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions for Fundamental Rights
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 6 fundamental rights?

The six fundamental rights are-

  1. Right to Equality
  2. Right to Freedom
  3. Right against Exploitation
  4. Right to Freedom of Religion
  5. Right to Constitutional Remedies
  6. Cultural and Educational Rights

There was an amendment to the Constitution of India in 1978. It was the 44th amendment of the Constitution of India which declared that the Right to Property will no longer be a Fundamental Right. Article 31 and Article 19(1)(f) were completely removed from Part III of the Constitution by 44th Amendment.

What is the fundamental right? Explain.

The Rights of the people which are listed in the Constitution and which need special protection are known as the fundamental rights. The word ‘fundamental’ is used because these rights are extremely important, the Constitution lists these rights separately, and the Constitution has made special provisions to protect them.

What is the difference between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy?

Fundamental Rights are human rights conferred on the citizens of India. Directive Principles of State Policies are ideals which are meant to be kept in mind by the state when it formulates policies and enacts laws.

What is the difference between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties?

The Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens. To help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India.

Are the Fundamental Rights absolute?

It must be noted that the fundamental rights are not unlimited or absolute. Reasonable restrictions can be put on fundamental rights by the Government. For example, in the name of fundamental rights, a citizen cannot endanger the sovereignty of the nation or work against the unity and integrity of the nation.

Vocab Check:

  • Enacted – To pass a law
  • Enforced – Execution of anything
  • Contravention – Coming into conflict with
  • Void – Not valid
  • Conviction – A final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed
  • Proclamation – Official declaration issued by a person of authority
  • Curtail – Reduce or shorten
  • Repeal – Officially making a law no longer valid

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