What are the new DPSPs added by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976?
42nd Amendment Act, 1976 added four new Directive Principles in the list:
To read more on the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, aspirants may check the linked article.
Facts about Directive Principles of State Policies:
The 86th Amendment changed the subject of Article 45 in the DPSP and brought it within the ambit of the fundamental rights mentioned in Part III as Article 21-A has been made for the children between the age group of 6-14 years of age. The same article was previously a directive principle which says that the State should take care of the children who are below 6 years of age.
The 97th Amendment act of 2011 inserted Article 43-B in the list of DPSP. It says that the State shall endeavour to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of the co-operative societies.
Enforceability of DPSP
DPSP were not made enforceable by the Constituent Assembly which was formed to draft the Indian Constitution. But the non-enforceability of the Principles does not mean that they are of no importance.
There are some arguments which are in favor of its enforceability and some are against the making of DPSP enforceable. Those who favor the enforcement of the Principles argue that enforceability of DPSPs will keep a check on the Government and would unite India. For instance, Article 44 of the Indian Constitution talks about the Uniform Civil Code which aims for uniform provisions of civil law for all the citizens of the country irrespective of their caste, creed, religion or beliefs.
People who are against the enforcement of the DPSPs are of the view that these principles need not be separately enforced as there are already many laws which indirectly implements the provisions mentioned in DPSP. For instance, Article 40 of the Constitution which deals with Panchayati Raj system was introduced through a constitutional amendment, and it is very evident that there are numerous panchayats exist in the country today.
Another argument against DPSP is that it imposes morals and values on the citizens of the country. It should not be clubbed with the law as it is really important to grasp that law and morals area unit various things. If we impose one on the opposite that will generally impede the expansion and development of the society.
Importance of DPSP
DPSP covers the Articles 36-51 in Part IV of the constitution.
It mentions protection of women of the country, environmental conservation, rural growth and development, decentralisation of power, uniform civil code, etc. which are considered some of the essentials in making laws for a “welfare state”.
Although non-justiciable, they provide a set of guidelines for the Government for its functioning in the country.
Significance of DPSP
Thus, the inclusion of Part IV which contains the Directive Principles of State Policy proved to be very useful for the country. The Directive Principles provide good foundations for welfare state. The securing of Directive Principles helped in completing the requirements of a democratic system. It supplemented the Fundamental Rights of the people and built a State characterized by these four pillars – Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
Implementation of Directive Principles of State Policy
There are some acts and policies from 1950 onwards which had been implemented to give effect to these Directive Principles. They are as follows:
DPSP and Fundamental rights
Fundamental Rights are described as the basic rights guaranteed to every citizen of the country under the constitution. They are present in Part III of the Constitution which ensures some rights to all its citizens so that they can live their lives peacefully. They help in checking the activities of the Government so that it cannot curtail any of the basic rights granted by the Constitution in the form of Fundamental rights.
Fundamental Rights apply to all the citizens without any form of discrimination on the basis of race, caste, creed, sex, place of birth, etc. Violation of the fundamental rights may lead to punishment and can initiate proceedings against the government if it tries to curtail them.
The Indian Constitution recognizes 7 fundamental rights, they are as follows:
Directive Principles of State Policy are some important guidelines given to the government so that it can work accordingly and refer to them while formulating the laws and policies, and to build a just society.
These principles are mentioned in Part IV from Article 36 to 51 of the Constitution.
Directive Principles are non-justiciable. However, these are recognized as an important roleplayer in governing the State. These principles aim at creating such an environment, which can help the citizens to live a good life where peace and harmony prevails.
The directive principles conjointly gauge the performance of the state, in order to achieve the objectives stated in the preamble of the Indian Constitution.
Comparison between DPSP and Fundamental rights
Criticism of Directive Principles of State Policy
The following reasons are responsible for the criticism of Directive Principles of State Policy:
1. It has no legal force
2. It is illogically arranged
3. It is conservative in nature
4. It may produce constitutional conflict between centre and state.
What is the conflict between Fundamental Rights & DPSPs?
With the help of four court cases given below, candidates can understand the relationship between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy:
1. Champakam Dorairajan Case (1951) Supreme Court ruled that in any case of conflict between Fundamental Rights and DPSPs, the provisions of the former would prevail. DPSPs were regarded to run as a subsidiary to Fundamental Rights. SC also ruled that Parliament can amend Fundamental Rights through constitutional amendment act ti implement DPSPs.
Result: Parliament made the First Amendment Act (1951), the Fourth Amendment Act (1955) and the Seventeenth Amendment Act (1964) to implement some of the Directives.
2. Golaknath Case (1967) Supreme Court ruled that Parliament cannot amend Fundamental Rights to implement Directive Principles of State Policy.
Result: Parliament enacted the 24th Amendment Act 1971 & 25th Amendment Act 1971 declaring that it has the power to abridge or take away any of the Fundamental Rights by enacting Constitutional Amendment Acts. 25th Amendment Act inserted a new Article 31C containing two provisions:
3. Kesavananda Bharti Case (1973) Supreme Court ruled out the second provision of Article 31C added by the 25th Amendment Act during Golaknath Case of 1967. It termed the provision ‘unconstitutional.’ However, it held the first provision of Article 31C constitutional and valid.
Result: Through the 42nd amendment act, Parliament extended the scope of the first provision of Article 31C. It accorded the position of legal primacy and supremacy to the Directive Principles over the Fundamental Rights conferred by Articles 14, 19 and 31.
4. Minerva Mills Case (1980) Supreme Court held the extension of Article 31C made by the 42nd amendment act unconstitutional and invalid. It made DPSP subordinate to Fundamental Rights. Supreme Court also held that ‘the Indian Constitution is founded on the bedrock of the balance between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles.
Rulings by SC:
Conclusion: Today, Fundamental Rights enjoy supremacy over the Directive Principles. Yet, Directive Principles can be implemented. The Parliament can amend the Fundamental Rights for implementing the Directive Principles, so long as the amendment does not damage or destroy the basic structure of the Constitution.