Dear readers, Recently, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday said
that Washington was "monitoring some recent concerning developments" in India,
including "a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison
officials." The aim of this paper is to provide an insight on the Indian
The constitution of India is generally based on the three pillars of liberty,
equality, and fraternity and justice. These three pillars are also known as the
three legs of the Indian constitution. To achieve the aim of the paper, I have
gone through a concise study of all the books and journals associated with
constitutional provisions that demonstrate a high respect for human integrity, a
commitment to equality and non-discrimination, and compassion for current
societal weaker ones.
Furthermore, the constitution of India requires the state to safeguard and
enhance liberties, as well as provide a good standard of living for all citizens
of the country. In those other utterances, the Indian Constitution provides
basic human rights to all Indian citizens. This paper here discusses general
Indian constitutional laws and amendments to the Indian Constitution.
The schemes for achieving the aforementioned goals, which are contained in the
Fundamental Rights enshrined in Parts III and IV of the Indian Constitution.
Some of the constitutional provisions ensuring human rights include the right to
freedom, the right against exploitation, the right to religious freedom,
cultural and educational rights, the right to constitutional remedies, and
special provisions relating to specific classes.
Any country's constitution when it is established, the basic structure of the
political system will always govern the citizens of the respective country. It
establishes its main organs of the state legislature, executive, and judiciary,
and defines their powers, delineates their responsibilities, and governs their
interactions with one another and with the people of the country.
Every constitution, however, represents the vision and values of its founders
and is based on the political and economic ethos and principles, as well as the
people's faith and aspirations on the drafting body. It is worth noting that the
people of India drafted the constitution of India of a sovereign democratic
nation in order to consider and adopt the draft in the constituent assembly. The
British Parliament passed the Independence of India Act, 1947, which declared
India's independence on August 15, 1947.
It provided and came through for the establishment of 2 autonomous dominions in
India, known as India and Pakistan. As a result, India and Pakistan have gained
a new international identity. Nevertheless, the Government of India Act of 1935
continued to govern both sovereign territories. The task of drafting the Indian
Constitution was assigned to the Transitional Government, ( congress working
committee), which happened to meet on December 9, 1946.
The assembly formed various committees to write the various articles of the
Constitution. The reports of these committees served as the foundation for the
preparation of a draught of India's new constitution in February 1948. Its final
form was given on November 26, 1949, and it went into effect on January 26,
The Constitution's Preamble declares India to be a "sovereign, socialist,
secular, and democratic republic." The term "democratic" refers to the fact that
the government derives its authority from the will of the people. The government
is a body of people's representatives that are elected by the people. The
citizens of India thus have the ability to exercise both legal and political
sovereignty. It gives the impression that they are all equal' regardless of
race, religion, language, sex, and culture'.
The whole work is based on doctrinal research studies. Where the researcher
tried to interpret the fundamental rights and D.p.s.p Research envisages a
critical review on the fundamental rights and directive principles of the state
policy of the Indian constitution. However, it determined the possibility of the
performance of the fundamental rights by the people in a sovereign state like
Human Rights Debate In The Constituent Assembly:
The Cabinet Mission recognized a written guarantee of fundamental rights in the
Indian Constitution in 1946, envisioning a Constituent Assembly for framing the
Indian Constitution. To that end, a recommendation was made to form an Advisory
Committee on Fundamental Rights to report to the Assembly. On January 24, 1947,
the Constituent Assembly voted to form the Advisory Committee in accordance with
the Cabinet Mission plan. Its chairman was Sardar Patel.
The committee was supposed to report to the Assembly on the list of fundamental
rights, the clauses for minorities' protection, and so on. The subcommittee on
fundamental rights, chaired by Acharya Kripalani, was one of the subcommittees
established by the Advisory Committee. On February 24, 1947, this sub-committee
met for the first time to discuss the drafted list of rights prepared by B.N.
Rau, K.T. Shah, K.M. Munshi, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Harnam Singh, and the Congress
Expert Committee, as well as miscellaneous notes and memoranda on various
aspects of rights.
These lists were lengthy and detailed, as they were accompanied by explanatory
memoranda, and they contained both negative and positive rights taken from
various sources, both within and outside the country. Balancing individual
liberty with social control, the former for individual fulfilment and the latter
for societal peace and stability, was a difficult problem. Despite disagreements
on technique, there was little disagreement on principles. As a result, it was
decided that the fundamental right would be justifiable.
The above lists seem to have been long and complicated and comprehensive,
because they were supplemented by informational internal memos and those that
contained both negative and positive rights taken from different sources, from
both within the country and outside. Balancing individual liberty with social
control, the former for individual fulfilment and the latter for societal peace
and stability, was a difficult problem. Despite disagreements on technique,
there was little disagreement on principles. As a result, it was decided that
the Fundamental Rights must be justifiable.
In The Declaration of Human Rights, provisions abolishing untouchability,
protection against double jeopardy, ex-post facto laws, equality before the law,
the right to freely practice religion, and minority protection were all adopted.
The English gadget of right and privilege writ petitions, or instructions in the
form of writs, was the legal mechanism used to secure the rights. The right to
rely was also established (Lutz and Burke, 1989).
Despite the acceptance of a few amendments, the subject matter of protection and
basic principles remained unaltered. The rights were deemed fundamental and
enforceable by the courts, but not absolute. They could be constrained by
attaching a provision to the specific right and offering a suspension of rights
in certain instances. Individual liberty, the right to equality, basic freedoms,
and other rights were granted with conditions.
The seven fundamental rights have a close resemblance with the human rights
enshrined in numerous international human rights treaties. Members such as K.M.
Munshi, Ambedkar, and K.T. Shah advocated a more robust social program. As a
result, they insisted on a time limit for making all of the directive principles
justiciable. During the debate on the Draft Constitution (November-December
1948), there were two types of opinions: that the directives did not go far
enough in establishing a socialist state, and that they should have placed more
emphasis on certain institutions and principles central to Indian practice and
Hindu thought, particularly those glorified by Gandhi's teaching.
The amendments for the development of village life and economy, as well as the
panchayat system of village organisation, making the promotion of cottage
industries a government responsibility, making it incumbent upon the government
to prevent cattle slaughter and to improve animal husbandry and agriculture
methods, and amendments calling for the nationalisation of various industries
are manifestations of these views.
However, the majority of these amendments were defeated or withdrawn by their
sponsors. As a result, the Assembly adopted the directive principles of state
policy as Part IV of the Indian Constitution. Fundamental human rights in the
sense of civil liberties, with their modern attributes and overtones, are a
development that is roughly parallel to the growth of constitutional government
and parliamentary institutions in India since the time of British rule.
The impetus for their development came clearly from opposition to foreign rule
when the British resorted to arbitrary acts such as brutal assaults on unarmed
poor Indians. The Indian National Congress and the Nationalist Movement were
direct outcomes. The freedom movement was largely aimed at combating racial
discrimination and securing basic human rights for all people, regardless of
race, colour, creed, gender, or place of birth, in terms of access to public
places, offices, and services.
Basic human rights in the context of personal freedoms, with their contemporary
characteristics and overtones, are a development that is approximately parallel
to the expansion of constitutional and national assembly organisations in India
since the time of British rule. The impetus for their advancement came clearly
from opposition to foreign rule when the British people resort to random acts
such as brutal violent attacks on defenceless Indians.
The Indian National Congress and the Nationalist Movement were direct outcomes.
The freedom movement was largely aimed at combating racial discrimination and
securing basic human rights for all people, regardless of race, colour, creed,
gender, or place of birth, in terms of access to public places, offices, and
The history of the national struggle for basic human rights can be traced back
to the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1895, when an unknown author
drafted the Constitution of India Bill, which attempted to formulate the
spectrum of human rights. The first formal document, however, appeared in 1928,
with Motilal Nehru's Report.
The rights enumerated in the Motilal Nehru Report-free elementary education,
living wages, motherhood protection, and child welfare-foreshadowed the
fundamental rights and directive principles of state policy enshrined in the
Indian Constitution 22 years later. The most important statement on human rights
was made in the pages of Objectives.
Jawaharlal Nehru proposed the resolution in 1946. It was pledged in the
Objective Resolution to draught a Constitution for the country that "shall be
guaranteed and secured to all the country, with adequate safeguards provided for
minorities, backward and tribal areas, depressed and other classes."
The Resolution also reflected the founding fathers' desire to incorporate and
implement the basic principles enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights; the Assembly incorporated the substance of most of these rights into the
Indian Constitution. Between them, the two parts-the Fundamental Rights as well
as the Directive Principles of the Indian Constitution-covered nearly the entire
field of the Convention on Human Rights. In a nutshell, the overarching goal is
The Preamble And The Human Rights:
The Constitution's Preamble is crucial, and the Constitution should be read and
understood in light of the grand and noble vision expressed in the Preamble. "We
the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a
sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic and to ensure security to all
Justice, social, economic, and political; Liberty of wanted to think,
expression, belief, faith, and worship; equality of status and opportunity; and
to promote among them all; Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and
the unity and integrity of the nation..." says the Preamble to the Constitution.
In summary, the Preamble succinctly states the Quintessence of Human Rights,
which represents the aspirations of the people who established the Constitution.
Fundamental Rights And Human Rights:
The Indian Constitution is notable for designating a large portion of human
rights as fundamental rights, as well as the right to enforce fundamental rights
as a fundamental right. The Indian Constitution's Fundamental Rights are the
Magna Carta of individual liberty and human rights. Individual rights based on
Articles 14-31 of the Constitution establish individual rights based on the
right to equality, the right to freedom, the right against exploitation, the
right to religious freedom, and the right to cultural and educational rights.
These are negative rights which are made enforceable against the state, if
These Rights Can Be Summed Up Into Different Categories:Right to equality:
The right to equality is the cornerstone of human rights in
the Indian Constitution. While Article 14 states that "the state shall not deny
to any person equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within
the territory of India," Article 15 goes into much more specific details.
"The state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of religion,
race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them be subject to any disability,
liability, restriction or condition with regard to (a) access to shops, public
restaurants, hotels, and places of public entertainment." Whereas, Article 16
states that "there shall be equal opportunity for all citizens in matters
relating to employment or appointment to any office under the state." Articles
17 and 18 direct the state to abolish un-touchability and titles, respectively.
Right To Freedom:
The rights to freedom, under articles 19-22, are the soul of human rights in
India. Significantly, Article 19 states that:
"All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and association."
expression; to assemble peacefully and without arms; to form associations or
unions: to move freely throughout the territory of India; to reside and settle
in any part of the territory of India; and to practice any profession or to
carry on any occupation, trade or business.
Whereas Article 20 says that:
"no person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law at
the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to
a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in
force at the time of the commission of the offence."
However, the most important article of human freedom is stated in Article 20,
which says that "no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty
except according to the procedure established by law."
Right Against Exploitation:
The Constitution, under Articles 23-24, enumerates a list of rights that
prohibits exploitation, human trafficking and similar such exploitations.
Article 23 prohibits traffic in human beings and beggars and other forms of
forced labour. Our Constitution, instead of using the word 'slavery' used a more
comprehensive expression "traffic in human beings
", which includes a
prohibition not only of slavery but also of traffic in women or children or
crippled, forimmoral or other purposes Article 24 of the Constitution prohibits
the employment of children below 14 years of age in any factory or mine or in
any other hazardous employment. Thus, forced labour is prohibited and children
have been protected as a matter of fundamental rights.
Right To Freedom Of Religion:
Part III of the Constitution under Articles 25-28 prescribe for certain
religious freedoms for citizens. They include freedom of conscience of free
pursuit of profession, practice and propagation of religion, freedom to manage
religious affairs, freedom to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular
religion and freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious
worship in certain educational institutions. In short, these are vital rights of
religious minorities in India
Cultural and Educational Rights:
Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution guarantee certain cultural and
educational rights to the minority sections. While Article 29 guarantees the
right of any section of the citizens residing in any part of the country to have
a distinct language, script, or culture of their own, and to conserve the same,
Article 30 provides that "all minorities, whether based on religion or language,
shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of
their choice". In short, these are important rights, as far the protection of
human rights of minorities.groups in a majority society as India.
Right To Constitutional Remedies:
Chapter III of the Indian Constitution pertaining to Fundamental Rights has a
measure of judicial protection and sanctity in the matter of enforcement of
these rights. Under Article 32, every person has been given a right to move to
the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights
conferred by Part III. Clause 2 of this Article empowers the Supreme Court to
issue directions, or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus,
mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and certiorari. This right cannot be
suspended except when a proclamation of emergency is in force
M.C.Mehta (2) v/s Union Of India (1983) 1 Scc 471: The Supreme Court has held that under art.51-A(g) it is the duty of the
central government to introduce compulsory teaching of lessons at least for
one hour in a week on protection and improvement of natural environment in
all the educational institution of the country. It directed central
government to get textbook written on that subject and distribute them to
the educational institute free of cost. In order to arouse amongst the
people, the consciousness of cleanliness of environment, it suggested the
desirability of organizing keep the city clean week, keep the town clean,
keep the village clean week in every city, town and village throughout India
at least once in a year.
Aruna Roy v/s Union Of India Air 2002 Sc 3176: In this case, the validity of the National Curriculum Framework for Primary
Education was questioned on the basis that it was 1. anti-secular and
violated Article 28 of the Constitution. It provides value development
education relating to the fundamentals of all religions. According to the
court, the NCFSE makes no mention of imparting "religious instruction,"
which is prohibited under art.28.
What was intended to be conveyed is
incorporated in art.51A(e), which states that "to advertise harmonious
relationship and the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of
India transcending religious, linguistic, regional or sectional differences;
to renounce practises derogatory to the "dignity of woman." And to see that
universal values like truth-related behaviour, peace, love, and nonviolence
serve as the foundation of education.
Dr. Dasarathi v/s. State of Andhra Pradesh (AIR: 1985 AP 136): It was held that under article 51A (j) of the Constitution, we all owe a
duty to ourselves to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual
and collective activity so that this nation may constantly rise to higher
levels of Endeavour and achievement. When the State undertakes to promote
excellence, it can do so only through the methods which our Constitution
permits to adopt. Rewarding of sycophancy only helps to retard the growth of
efficiency and excellence.
Government Of India v/s George Philip Air 2007 Sc 705: In this case the respondent has challenged his compulsory retirement from
service. He was granted leave by the department to pursue advanced research
training. He was granted leave by the department to pursue advance research
training. He was granted leave for two years. He over stayed in a foreign
country inspite of repeated reminders come and join his duty after the
expiry of his leave. An inquiry was instituted against him and the charge of
overstaying in a foreign country was proved.
He was compulsorily retired
from service. The tribunal and the high court granted him remedy of joining
his service without back wages. The Supreme court set aside the order of the
high court. The Supreme court held that art.51A(j) imposed a duty on citizen
to strive towards excellence in all sphere and it cannot be achieved unless
employees maintain discipline and devotion to duty.
The courts should not
pass orders which instead of achieving underlying spirit and object of part
IV A of the Constitution has tendency to negate or destroy the same.
Overstay of leave and absence from duty by government employee and granting
him six month's time to join duty amount to not only giving him premium to
indiscipline but wholly subversive of work cultures in organization
- Baxi, U (1981), The Right to be Human. India International Centre, New
- Desai A.R. (1986), Violation of Democratic Rights in India, Popular
- Kothari, R and Sethi, H (1987), Special Issue on the Politics of Human
Rights, Lokayan, Bulletin, 5/4/5, p.33.
- Lutz, P and Burke (1989), New Directions in Human Rights, University of
Pennsylvania Press, Phiiadelphia. Lokayan, Bulletin, 5/4/5, p.33.