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The Directive Principles are an amalgam of diverse subjects embracing the life of the nation and include principles which are general statements of social policy, principles of administrative policy, socio-economic rights and a statement of the international policy of the country.
The sanction behind the Directives is, of course, political and not juridical. Though these Directives are not cognizable by the court and, if the Government of the day fails to carry out these objectives, no court can make the Government implement them, yet, these principles have been declared to be “fundamental in the governance of the country”.
The purpose of the Directive Principles is to fix certain social and economic goals for immediate attainment by bring about a non-violent social revolution.
1. Welfare State: The Constitution envisages the establishment of a “Welfare State” at the federal level as well as the State level. In a Welfare State, the primary duty of the Government is to secure the welfare of the people.
2. Social Revolution: The Directive Principles of State Policy set forth the humanitarian socialist precepts that were the aims of the Indian social revolution, i.e., to work for an egalitarian society, where there is no concentration of wealth, where there is plenty, where there is equal opportunity for all, to education, to work, to livelihood and where there is social justice.
3. Emphasizes the ideals of Preamble: The Directive Principles emphasizes, in amplification of the Preamble, the goal of the Indian polity is not laissez faire, but a Welfare State, where the State has a positive duty to ensure to its citizens social and economic justice and dignity of the individual.
Part IV contains nineteen articles, from arts. 36 to 51. They could be broadly divided under four heads, namely, 1) Social Policy Directives, 2) Principles of Administrative Policy, 3) Socio-Economic Rights, and 4) Principles of International Policy of the country.
1. Social Policy Directives: The concept of “Social Justice” which the Constitution of India engrafted consists of diverse principles essential for the orderly growth and development of personality of every citizen.
1. Promotion of Social Order: The object of every government under Art. 38 is to secure and protect effectively a social order in which justice, social, economic and political-is provided to the people in the national life. This Article, read with Art. 41, which calls for right to work, education and public assistance for weaker sections, makes it a duty of the State to grant pension to retired Government servants as well as their dependents.
2. Better Industrial Relations: Art. 43A to better the industrial relations particularly relating to workers.
3. Right to free and compulsory education: Art. 21A was inserted by Constitution (Eighty-sixth) Amendment Act, 2002 to bring free and compulsory education as part of fundamental rights. InUnnikrishnan v. State of A. P., Supreme Court explicitly declared that Art. 45 has to be implemented by the Government. In 2005, Right to Education Bill was tabled in the parliament which was finally passed in 2009 as Right to Education Act, 2009.
4. Uniform Civil Code: Also provision [Art. 44] for Uniform Civil Code to harmonize social relations is also enshrined within Part IV.
§ In the famous cases Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum and Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India, Supreme Court lamented the failure of Government to fulfill the obligation imposed by Art. 44. However, in the case Lily Thomas v. Union of India, Supreme Court clarified that its lamenting did not amount to issuing the directive to the government to pass a Uniform Civil Code.
5. Right to Health: The right to health and raising the levels of nutrition has its beginning with Art. 47. During Constituent Assembly Debates, many members with Gandhian vision wanted to bring prohibition throughout India and it was at their insistence this article also places special emphasis on prohibition of liquor throughout India.
2. Principles of Administrative Policy: To foster the involvement of individuals throughout the nation in the processes of democratic government and to gather the villagers’ participation Art. 40 calling for village panchayats was inserted. Art. 50 on the other hand provides for complete separation of judiciary from executive.
Ø The ideas so evolved, culminated in the passing of the Constitution 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts, 1992, which inserted Parts IX and IXA in the Constitution. While Part IX relates to thePanchayats bringing “panchayati raj”; Part IXA relates to the Muncipalities.
3. Socio-Economic Rights: Directive Principles of State Policy were to build society on socialist pattern in the words of Pandit Nehru himself.
Ø Arts. 41-43A and Art. 48 specifically target the working sections of the nation and provide for the betterment of the workers and their living conditions.
Ø In the case Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar, Court held that the prohibition of slaughter of any of the species of cattle mentioned and held that such a prohibition is not an unreasonable restriction on right of individual to carry trade of his choice.
4. Principles of International Policy: Art. 51 clearly directs the state to maintain international peace and security, foster amicable solution of disputes and maintain just and honorable relations between nations.
1. Art. 36: Provides the definition of the word “state”.
2. Art. 37: Non-justiciability of any provision contained in this part of the Constitution.
3. Art. 38: Mandates the state to strive for the social welfare of the people.
4. Art. 39: Lists the principles to be followed by the state while carrying out its policy, notably, to provide adequate means of livelihood to people, distribution of resources and prevention of concentration of wealth in few hands.
5. Art. 39A: Secures equal justice and free legal aid for the people.
6. Art. 40: Provides for organization of Village Panchayats.
7. Art. 41: Provides work, education and public assistance to unemployed, sick and old age.
8. Art. 42: Provides for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
9. Art. 43: Provides for decent standard of life for all workers.
10. Art. 43A: Directs to provide participation of workers in management of industries.
11. Art. 44: Mandates a Uniform Civil Code for whole of the country.
12. Art. 45: Provides for free and compulsory education.
13. Art. 46: Directs to work for benefit for backward communities.
14. Art. 47: Mandates to raise the level of nutrition.
15. Art. 48: Directs to improve animal husbandry and agriculture.
16. Art. 48A: Provides for improvement for environment.
17. Art. 49: Provides for care of monuments.
18. Art. 50: Separation of Judiciary and Executive.
19. Art. 51: Lays down principles of International policy.
Article 31C: Art. 31C was inserted by the Constitution (25th Amendment) Act, 1971, with the object of getting over the difficulties placed in the way of giving effect to the Directive Principles in Part IV, by judicial decisions. The first of the two parts of Art. 31C was similar to Art. 31A to give protection of a law from challenge under Arts. 14, 19 to a give effect to the Directive Principles in Art. 39(b)-(c).
Rationale of Article 31C: This article was inserted to make possible the nationalization or the taking under public management and control, of all means of production, key industries, mines, minerals, public supplies, utilities and services.
Unconstitutionality of second part: The second part, which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court sought to oust the jurisdiction of the court to find out whether a law sought to be protected under Art. 31C really gives effect to the principles in Art. 39(b)-(c).
National Commission setup for reviewing the Constitution suggesting improvement in working of Constitutional mechanism stated that the State should derive appropriate mechanism for realization of Directive Principles. In view of the Commission, there must be a body of high status which first reviews the state of the level of implementation of the Directive Principles and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in particular, 1) the right to work, 2) the right to health, 3) the right to food, clothing and shelter, 4) right to education upto and beyond the 14th year, 5) the right to culture.
Origin of Fundamental Duties Art. 51A lists out the Fundamental Duties for every citizen of India. In the original Constitution of India of 1949, there was no provision relating to Fundamental Duties. Single article Part IVA has been added by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act 1976, in accordance with the recommendation of the Swaran Singh Committee. It brings our Constitution in line with the Art.29(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitutions of Japan, China, USSR.
Fundamental Duties Today: A good number of Fundamental Duties are enforceable today even without their being specifically incorporated in the Constitution. In this category fall the items to abide by the Constitution, respect to National Flag and National Anthem (through The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950), to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so and safeguard public property.