Directive Principles of State Policy
The Directive Principles of State Policy constitute the 4th part of the Constitution and are unique and novel in so far as they depict the ambitions and aspirations of the fathers of the Constitution.
It was laid down that these provisions are not enforceable in any court but they are fundamental in the governance of the country and it was the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws.
The Directive Principles have not been properly classified in the Constitution, yet they can be conveniently divided into following categories:
Economic Principles: (i) Equal distribution of wealth and material resources among all classes of people so as to prevent its concentration in a few hands.
(ii) Provision of adequate means of livelihood to all citizens of the states.
(iii) Equal pay for equal similar work for both men and women.
(iv) To ensure just and human conditions of work, a decent standard of living, full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities.
(v) Maintenance and protection of health and strength of all citizens.
(vi) To make provision for public assistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness, disability and other cases of undeserved want.
(vii) To raise the level of nutrition and standard of living.
The enumeration of the above mentioned economic principles are comparable to fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of former U.S.S.R.
The principles are indicative of the desire of the framers of the Constitution to introduce socialism in the country.
The state has been directed to take steps within the limits of its economic resources for right to education, right to material security in old age, sickness and disability.
Gandhian Principles: (i) Prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs.
(ii) To establish village panchayats.
(iii) Free and compulsory education for children up to the age of fourteen.
(iv) The state shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and particularly scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
(v) Prohibition of the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattles and to promote animal husbandry for improving their breed.
(vi) To set up and promote cottage industries.
Principles for the Promotion of International Understanding:
(i) To promote international peace and security.
(ii)To maintain just and honourable relations between nations.
(iii) To foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in dealings of organised people with one another.
(iv) To encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.
Exceptions To The Fundamental Rights
Miscellaneous: (i) To separate judiciary from the executive. (ii) To protect monuments and historical buildings. (iii) The state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.
Conflict between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles
Art. 31 (c), introduced by the 25th Amendment, 1971 and expanded by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, says that though the Directives themselves are not directly enforceable in the courts, if any law is made to implement any of the Directives contained in Part IV of the Constitution, it would be totally immune from unconstitutionality on the ground of contravention of the fundamental rights conferred by Arts. 14 and 19.
This attempts to confer a primacy upon the Directives as against the Fundamental Rights has, however, been foiled by the majority of the Supreme Court in the Minerva Mills case in two respects:
It has struck down the widening of Art. 31C to include any or all of the Directives in Part IV, on the ground that such total exclusion of judicial review would offend the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution. As a result, Art. 31C is restored to its pre-1976 position, so that a law would be protected by Art. 31C only if it has been made to implement the Directive in Art. 39(b) and (c) and not any of the other Directives included in Part IV. Art. 39(b) and (c) contain some of the main objectives of a welfare society and egalitarian social order. Art. 39(b) provides for redistribution of material resources for common good while Art. 39(c) seeks to avoid concentration of wealth in few hands.
It has been also held that there is a fine balance in the original Constitution as between the Directives and the Fundamental Rights, which should be adhered to by the courts, by a harmonious reading of the two categories of provisions, instead of giving any general preference to the Directive Principles.
By the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1976, the ten fundamental duties have been incorporated in the Part IV of the Constitution.
These duties have been specified in Article 51A.
The ten fundamental duties are:
(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so; (e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India transcending religious,
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence; and
(j) to strive towards excell ence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.
There is no provision in the Constitution for direct enforcement of these Duties, or for any sanction to prevent their violation. These ‘Duties’, along with the exceptions to the Fundamental Rights, limit the operation of Fundamental Rights, even though they are not justifiable. Their inclusion has been justified on the basis that they would help to strengthen our democracy.