Revision Notes: Citizenship & the Fundamental Rights Notes | Study Indian Polity for UPSC CSE - UPSC

UPSC: Revision Notes: Citizenship & the Fundamental Rights Notes | Study Indian Polity for UPSC CSE - UPSC

The document Revision Notes: Citizenship & the Fundamental Rights Notes | Study Indian Polity for UPSC CSE - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Indian Polity for UPSC CSE.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC


According to the Constitution, the following threecategories of persons are entitled to citizenship:  Persons domiciled in India. Refugees who migrated to India from Pakistan. Indians living in other countries. Domiciled persons include— those with permanent homes in India; persons born in India; persons either of whose parents was born in India;and  persons ordinarily residing in India for at least fiveyears before the commencement of the Constitution.

Acquisition of Citizenship

According to Citizenship Act of 1955, a person canacquire citizenship of India through  (i) Birth; (ii) Descent; (iii) Registration; (iv) Naturalisation, & (v) Incorporation of territory

Termination of Citizenship

 If a person voluntarily renounce.

If a person acquires citizenship of other country.

The Central government can deprive a person’scitizenship if— citizenship was acquired by fraud, falserepresentation or concealment of material facts; or  the person shows disloyalty towards the IndianConstitution; or  the person indulges in trade with enemy countriesduring war; or  the person has been sentenced to imprisonment fora period of two years or more within five years of his registration of naturalisation; or  the person has been continuously residing out ofIndia for more than seven years.

Amendment of Citizenship Act, 1955

 In 1986 the Citizenship Act was amended. It providesthat persons born in India

(a) on or after 26 January 1950 but prior to 26  November 1986,
(b) on or after the commencement of the Amending Act, 1986, shall be Citizens of India by birth only if either of their parents is a Citizen of India at the time of his birth.  

It increased the period for acquisition of Citizenshipthrough registration from 6 months to 5 years.





Comprised of

Deals with


Art. 1-4

The territory of India


Art. 5-11



Art. 12-35

Fundamental Rights


Art. 36-51

Directive Principles of State Policy


Art. 51 A

Fundamental Duties


Art 52-151

The government at the Union level


Art. 152-237

The government at the State level


Art. 238

Repealed in 1956


Art. 239-241

Union Territories


Art. 243

Repealed in 1956


Art. 244-244 A

Scheduled and Tribal Areas


Art. 245-263

Relation between Union and the States


Art. 264-300 A

Finance, property, contracts and suits; Distribution of revenue between Union and States; Appointment of Finance Commission;

Borrowing by Government of India


Art. 301-307

Trade, commerce intercourse within India


Art. 308-323

Services under the Union and States


Art. 323 A-323 B

Administrative Tribunals


Art. 324-329



Art. 330-342

Special provisions for certain classes


Art. 343-351

Official languages


Art. 352-360

Emergency provisions


Art. 361-367

Immunities for the President and Governors


Art. 368

Constitution amendment


Art. 369-392

Special status of States



Art. 393-395

Short titles, commencement and repeal of the Constitution

Fundamental Rights

All citizens individually and collectively are guaranteed the following fundamental rights:

1. Right t o equality . (Art . 14- 18). T hi s consists of the following rights:

Equality before law and equal protection oflaws.  

Prohibition of discrimination on groundsonly of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.  

Equality of opportunity and prohibition ofdiscrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth or residence in matters of public employment.  

Abolition of untouchability and prohibitionagainst practice of untouchability.  

Abolition of titles.

No civil or criminal proceeding can be instituted against the President or the Governor in any Court during his term of office.

These immunities, however, shall not bar

(i) impeachment proceedings against the President,
(ii) suits or other appropriate proceedings against the Government of India or the Government of a State.

For any reasonable classification, under the Constitution, the legislature may

(i) exempt certain classes of property from taxation at all, such as charities and libraries;
(ii) impose different specific taxes upon different trades and professions;
(iii) tax real and personal property in different manner and so on.

The prohibitions against discrimination would not preclude the State from making special provision for women and children, or socially and educationally backward classes, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Facts To Be Remembered

The word ‘minority’ has not been defined in the Constitution.

The Supreme Court has, however, held that the word “minority” should refer to any community which is numerically less than 50% of the population of the State concerned, when the law which is impugned as violating Art 30, is a State law applicable to the territory of the State as a whole.

The Parliament enacted the Untouchability (Offence) Act, 1955 and later amended and renamed (in 1976) as the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955.

The word ‘untouchability’ has not been defined in the Constitution or, the Act of 1955, however, the Act declares certain acts as offences, when done on the ground of ‘untouchability’.

The amendments of the 1976 included following acts as offences:  insulting a member of a Scheduled Caste on theground of untouchability; preaching untouchability, directly or indirectly;  justifying untouchability on historical,philosophical or religious grounds or on the ground of tradition of the caste system.

The penal sanction has been enhanced by providing that (a) in the case of subsequent convictions, the punishment may range from one to two years imprisonment; (b) a person convicted of the offence of ‘untouchability’ shall be disqualified for election to the Union or a State Legislature.

Art 18 abolishes titles. However, the ban operates only against the State and does not prevent other public institution from conferring titles, honours, degrees etc. for recognising merit.

2. Right to freedom. It includes (a) the right to freedom of speech and expression, (b) the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, (c) the right to form asso-ciations or unions, (d) the right to move freely throughout the territory of India, and (e) the right to reside and settle in any part of India. It also ensures (f) the right to the acquisition, holding and disposal of property, and (g) the right to practise any profession or occupation, trade or business (Art 19).

The right to freedom is not an absolute right and reasonable restrictions can be imposed on its enjoyment in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

Originally, the Constitution guaranteed not only the right of private ownership but also the right to enjoy and dispose of property free from restrictions other than reasonable restrictions. Art. 31(1) guaranteed that no one could be deprived of his property by authority of law.

But, the Right of property has been removed by omitting Arts. 19(1) (f) and 31, by the (44th Amendment Act, 1978). The provision in Art. 31(1) has, by the same amendment, been transposed to a new article, Art. 300A, which is outside Part III of the Constitution and has been labelled as ‘Chap IV’ of Part XII (which deals with ‘Finance, Property, Contracts and Suits’), but that is not a ‘fundamental right’. Thus, at present, the right of property is no longer a fundamental right, leaving only 6 freedoms in that Article.

Freedom of the press has not been specifically mentioned in the fundamental rights, but it is included in the “freedom of expression” [Art. 19(1)].

3. Article 20 guarantees protection in certain respects against conviction for offences, by prohibiting (a) retrospective criminal legislation, commonly known as ex post facto legislation; (b) double jeopardy or punishment for the same offence more than once; (c) compulsion to give self-incriminating evidence.

4. Freedom of Person or Personal Liberty: Article 21 of the Constitution says that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.” Thus, the article impose restriction on the Executive but not on the Legislature.

Also, every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.

Personal freedom is secured by the Indian Constitution by the judicial writ of habeas corpus (Arts. 32 and 226).

The above safeguards are not, however, available to (a) an enemy alien; (b) a person arrested or detained under a law providing for preventive detention.

5. Right against exploitation. It includes (a) prohibition against forced labour, and trafficking in human beings, and (b) prohibition against employment of children below 14 years in dangerous and hazardous employment (Arts. 23-24).

6. Right to free-dom of religion. It includes (a) the right to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propag-ation of religion, (b) the right to freedom against forced religious instruction in any educational institution; and (c) the right to establish and maintain religious and charitable institutions. It also ensures that no tax or fund of the government is to be used for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion (Arts. 25-28).

Freedom of religion means the right of the individual to practise and propagate not only matters of faith or belief but also all those rituals and observances which are regarded as integral parts of a religion by the followers of its doctrines. But the court has the right to determine whether a particular rite or observance is regarded as essential by the tenets of a particular religion, and to interfere if a particular practice offends against public health or morality or, not being an essentially religious practice, contravenes any law of social, economic or political regulation.

7. Cultural and educational rights. In this category falls the right of minorities (a) to preserve their language, script or culture, and (b) to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice (Art. 29-30).

8. Right to constitutional remedies. It includes the right of the people to move the Supreme Court of India in appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights. The Supreme Court has the power to issue appropriate writs for the enforcement of these rights (Art. 32).

Facts to be Remembered

  • ­Antodaya is a plan to improve the lot of the poorest of the poor. ­
  • What will be the result in proportional representation? — parties will get seats in proportion to the votes polled by each of them. ­
  • Which right has been deleted from the list of fundamental rights? — right to property. ­
  • The President calls the joint session of the two houses of parliamnet when an ordinary bill is not passed by the Rajya Sabha. ­
  • If any act or amendment is included in the ninth schedule of the Constitution, what will be the result  — it become non-justiciable­
  • The correct nomenclature of India according to the preamble is sovereign, socialist, secular, Democratic, republic ­
  • When is the Rajya Sabha dissolved? —never ­
  • The Indian Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950 ­
  • Where are disputes regarding the election of the President and Vice President of India filed and settled? — Supreme Court.
  • The governor of a state is a head of that state. ­
  • In which part of the constitution is welfare state well defined? — Directive principles ­
  • If a no confidence motion is carried against a minister the council of ministers resign. ­
  • For union territories withoutlegislative assemblies, laws are passed by the parliament. ­
  • One of the main advantages of Panchayati Raj is that it gives a sense of political awareness to the rural masses.

Suspension of Fundamental Rights

The freedoms guaranteed under Article 19 are automatically suspended on the proclamation of national emergency.

During such a proclamation, no law or executive order issued by the State can be challenged on the ground that it is inconsistent with the rights guaranteed by Article 19.

The President may by order under Article 359 suspend the enforcement of other fundamental rights with the exception of Arts. 20 & 21 which cannot be suspended at all, but these orders must be approved by the Parliament.

Amendability of Fundamental Rights

In the Golak Nath case in 1969, the Supreme Court held by a majority of six to five that the word ‘law’ in Article 13 meant both statutory and constituent law. The implication was that our Parliament must respect Fundamental Rights and an amendment which took away or abridged them was void.

The 24th Amendment (in 1971) clarified that a constitutional amendment was not a law within the meaning of Art. 13 and hence Parliament could amend any part of the Constitution, including the Fundamental Rights.

But in the Kesavanand Bharti Case (in 1973) the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament could amend any and every part of the Constitution, but it could not destroy the basic structure. The Fundamental Rights were thus declared to be amendable subject to the retention of the basic structure or framework of the Constitution.

To make the Fundamental Rights easily amendable, the 42nd Amendment was enacted in 1976 declaring in unambiguous terms that Parliament had unlimited power to amend the Constitution.
The only obstacle in Parliament’s way is the judicial pronouncements on “basic features” of the Constitution—a doctrine that can be eliminated only if a bench larger than the 13-judge bench in Keshavanand Bharti case is prepared to overturn the case.

Constituent Assembly

  • Under the Presidentship of Dr Rajendra Prasad 389-membered  Constituent Assembly was set up, representing Provinces-292, Indian States-93, the chief commissioner provinces-3, and Baluchistan-1under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946, to frame the Constitution of India.
  • The Constituent Assembly, for undivided India, held its first sitting on the 14th August, 1947.
  • When the Constituent Assembly reassembled on 31st October 1947, its membership was reduced to 299.
  • On 29th August, 1947, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ambedkar a Drafting Committee was appointed.
  • Members of the Drafting Committee were N.G. Ayyangar, A.K. Ayyar, K.M. Munsi, Mohd. Sa’abdullah, B.L. Mitter (later replaced by N. Madhav Rao), Dr D.P. Khaitan (replaced on death by T.T. Krishnamchari).
  • On 26 November, 1949, the Constitution received the signature of the President.
  • Provisions relating to citizenship, elections, provisional Parliament were given immediate effect.


Directives in the nature of Ideals of the StateDirectives staping the Policy of the StatesNon- Justiciable Rights of Citizens
1. The state shall strive ot promote the welfare of the people by securing a social order permeated by social, economic and political justice [Art. 38 (1)] to minimise inequeality in income, status, facilities and opportunities, amongst individuals and groups [Art. 38 (2)]
2 . The state shall endeavour of secure just and humane conditions of work, a living and social and cultural opportunities for all workers. [Art. 43].
3 The state shall endeavour of raise the level of nutrition and standard of living and to improve public health [Art. 47].
4 . The State shall direct its polity towards securing equitable distribution of the material resources of the community and prevention of concentration of wealth and means of production [Art. 39 (b)- (c)].
5. The State shall endevour of promote international peace and amity [Art.51].
1. To establish economic democracy and justice by seruring certain economic rights.
2. To secure a uniform civil code for the citizens. [Art. 44].
3 . To provide free and compulsory primary deuction [Art 45].
4. To prohibit consumption of liquor and intoxicating drugs except for medical purposes [Art.47]
5. To develpe cottage industry [Art. 43].
6. To organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern lines [Art 48].
7. To prevent slaughter of useful cattle, i.e. cows, calves, and other milch & drought cattle [Art. 48].
8. To organise Village Panchayats as units of self government [Art.40].
9. To promote educational and economic interests of weaker sections and to protect them from social injustice [Art. 46].
10 . To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wild life [Art. 48A]**
11. To protect and maintain places of historic or artistic interest [Art. 49].
12. To separate the judiciary from the executive [Art. 50].
1. Right of adequate means of livelihood [Art. 39 (a)]
2. Right of both sexes of euqal pay for equal work [Art. 39 (d)].
3. Right against economic exploitation [Art. 39 (e)- (f)].
4. Right of children and the young tobe protected against exploitation and to opportunities for healthy development, consoant with freedom and dignity [Art. 39 (f)]**
5. Right to equal opportunity for justice and free aid [Art. 39A].**
6. Right of work [Art. 41].
7. Right to public assistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and other cases of undeserved wand [Art. 41].
8 . Right to human conditions of work and maternity relief [Art. 42].
9 . Right to a living wage and conditions of work ensuring decent standard of life for workers. [Art. 43A].**
10. Rights of workers to particaipate in management of industries [Art. 43A].
11. Right of children to free and compulsory education [Art. 45].
  • Added by the 44th Amendment Act, 1978
  • Added by the 42th Amendment Act, 1976

In 1980, in th e Minerva Mills ca se the Supr eme Court struck down some provisions of the 42nd Amendment which gave unlimited amending power to Parliament.
Though the court has not defined the features constituting the basic structure of the Constitution, its subsequent ruling indicate that Article 14 (right to equality) and Article 19 (personal freedom) are to be considered basic features of the Constitution; so Parliament is not authorised to limit the operations of these two Articles.

The document Revision Notes: Citizenship & the Fundamental Rights Notes | Study Indian Polity for UPSC CSE - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Indian Polity for UPSC CSE.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

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