Both the fundamental rights and the directive principles constitute the conscience and core of the Constitution. They promote the pledged aim of the Preamble of the Constitution to establish the welfare state. While fundamental rights are 'primary' and 'fundamental', the directive principles are no less important than fundamental rights and they are binding on the various organs of the state (A.B.Soshit Karamchari Sangh vs Union of India, SC 1981).
Difference between Fundamental rights and directive principles The directives differ from the fundamental rights contained in part III of the Constitution or the ordinary laws of the land, in the following ways:
(i) Directives are not enforceable by the court (Art. 37) and do not create justiciable rights in favour of the individuals; but fundamental rights are enforceable by court (Arts. 32, 226).
(ii) Directives are positive inducements and the state is only expected to follow them. Fundamental rights are negative limitations on organs of the states.
(iii) Directives are implemented by the legislation sought from the legislative list contained in the 7th Schedule of the Constitution. Fundamental rights are incorporated in the Constitution and are within the jurisdiction of an individual.
(iv) The courts cannot compel the State to implement the directives. They can issue writs to enforce the violation of fundamental rights.
(v) The courts cannot declare any law as void on the ground that it contravene the directive principles.
- In State of Madras vs. Champakam (1951), the Supreme Court highlighted the unenforceable nature of the directive principles. It declared that no law could be declared void on the ground of contravening the directive principles.
- However, the 25th Amendment Act (1971) introduced Art. 31C, which was to protect a law seeking to implement a directive under 39 (b)-(c) (ownership and control on material resources for common good to avoid concentration of wealth) from being declared ultra vires on the ground of contravening.
- The Kesavanand Bharati case (1973) upheld the validity of 25th Amendment Act. The 42nd Amendment (1976) (section 4) further expanded the scope of the directive principles under Art. 31C. It sought to protect any law implementing any of the directive principles from judicial review on the ground of violating Arts. 14 and 19.
- However, the Minerva Mills case (1980) foiled the attempt to accord primacy to the directives over fundamental rights. It struck down the expansion 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 consequence, Art. 31C is restored to the 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)-(c) and not any of the other directives included in Part IV.
- It has also been 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. It is also held that when a law is challenged as constituting an invasion of the fundamental right specified in Art. 14 or 19 or 31, the court would uphold the validity of such law if it had been made to implement a Directive, holding that it constituted a 'reasonable classification' for the purpose of Art. 14, a 'reasonable restriction' under Art. 19 or a 'public purpose' within the meaning of Art. 31.
- As regards fundamental rights other than those under Arts. 14, 19 and 31, though the Directives cannot directly override them, the court may not entirely ignore the Directive Principles and should adopt the principle of harmonious construction so as to give effect to both as much as possible.
The directive in other parts of the Constitution
Besides the Directives contained in Part IV, there are certain other Directives addressed to the State in other parts of the Constitution, which are also nonjusticiable. These are:
(i) Art. 350A enjoins every State and every local authority within the State to provide facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups.
(ii) Art. 351 enjoins the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language and to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression of all the elements of the composite culture of India.
(iii) Art. 335 enjoins that the claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State. Though the Directives contained in Arts. 335, 350 A, 351 are not included in Part IV, Courts have given similar attention to them on the application of the principle that all parts of the Constitution should be read together.
- Adjourn, Prologue and Dissolve: Adjourn is suspension of a session everyday, a few days or indefinitely: discretion of the Speaker. Prorogue means the ending of a session: discretion of the President or the Governor. A ‘dissolve’ is ending the life of a legislature: discretion of the President or the Governor.
- Speaker Protem: When the Lok Sabha is summoned for the first time after the first time after the general election, the President appoints a member of Lok Sabha as the Speaker Protem (normally the senior most member). The Protem Speaker becomes ineffective, when new elected members take oath and elect their Speaker. For example, in the 10th Lok Sabha, Indrajit Gupta was the Protem Speaker.
- Half an Hour Discussion: It is arising out of the questions already answered. It can be held in Lok Sabha during the last half-an-hour on (Mon-Wed-Fri). In Rajya Sabha it is held generally from 5 P.M. to 5.30 P.M. on any day allotted by the Chairman. A member wishing to raise such a question should give a notice in writing at least three days in advance.
- Motion: It is a proposal brought before the house for eliciting decision or expressing the opinion of the House.
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN PARLIAMENT
- According to due recognition to the important role of the leader of the Opposition in a parliamentary democracy, the Government has given statutory recognition to the leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
- In addition to salary, certain liberal prerequisites have been provided to them, in order to enable them to discharge their functions efficiently in Parliament.
- Necessary legislation to this effect was passed by Parliament in 1977 and the Rules framed thereunder were brought into effect on November 1, 1977.
- The late Y. B. Chavan of the Congress (I) was given the official status of the Leader of the Opposition with the rank of a Cabinet Minister, in the Lok Sabha, by the Janata Government headed by Morarji Desai. Chavan was thus the first Opposition leader in the country to enjoy the status of a Cabinet Minister.