Here in this Blog, you will get to know about the Directive Principles of State Policy including some more parameters like Fundamental Rights, Gandhian Principles concept. So let us know, What do you look for in a candidate, before voting in elections? Their education, their Past- record, Criminal record, party manifesto, to name a few. Now, what is a manifesto?
Manifesto of a party includes kind of guidelines or promises, which are to be adhered to or fulfilled once that party comes to power. But, what can you do if a political party refuses to keep its promises as mentioned in the pre-election manifesto?
You cannot do anything about it. But this time something new happened in State elections at Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi’s party in Chhattisgarh (Chhattisgarh Janta Congress) issued their party manifesto on a stamp paper. So, in case the party wins and the promises are not fulfilled, people can sue the party on basis of their manifesto. But You might be wondering why we are talking about elections & manifestos today. The reason is that we are going to discuss the Directive Principles of State’s policy.
Fundamental Rights have been discussed in the constitution in part III from Articles 12 -35. While Article 36-51 have been discussed under Part IV of the constitution. DPSPs have been adopted in our constitution from the Irish Constitution. If we concise the Preamble to the Indian constitution, it has mainly 3 goals to achieve 1. social, 2. economic & 3. political justice. And the combined responsibility for meeting these goals is carried out by Fundamental rights & Directive Principles of State Policy.
Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy ( DPSP );
Lets first begin with understanding the difference between fundamental rights & DPSPs. Firstly, Fundamental rights are a kind of negative rights. . They lay down certain things that must not be done by the state if we wish to achieve justice e.g. inequality, arbitrariness etc. While DPSPs are a kind of positive rights, which lays down certain things that the state must do to meet the ends of justice.
Second difference: Fundamental rights are more concerned with political justice, while DPSPs are more concerned with social justice & economic justice. Third & the most important difference for whose sake I gave the example of elections, in the beginning, is that Fundamental rights are Justiciable rights.It means that if the States (Center & State) fail to respect Fundamental rights of an individual, there is a remedy to approach to the Courts, which can direct the State in doing so.
On the other hand, DPSPs are Non- Justifiable rights, i.e. if state odes not follow or adhere to them, an individual cannot approach to a court. So how do we know that DPSPs are Non-enforceable? From Article 37. Article 36 is a definition clause, which says that the definition of ‘state’ as given under Article 12 shall also be applicable in Part IV. You can find a detailed discussion regarding Article 12 here.
There are mainly 3 characteristics of Article 37:
Ist– it says that Directive principles are non-enforceable. Many students are lead to believe by this provision that Fundamental rights are very important, while DPSPs are not important at all. But this is just one characteristic, there are two more.
2nd– characteristic says that for the governance of our country, directive principles are a fundamental source.
3rd– characteristic is that a government must follow the DPSPs while making any law. You might feel that Directive Principles are a kind of moral obligations, but this is not true.
The greatest force behind the enforcement of Directive Principles is- Us i.e. the Public opinion. How? Let’s see. A government is based upon a popular vote. If a government does not bring good policies and does not respect directive principles, its possibility of continuing government after 5 years of its election get diminished. So, for sake of popular vote & improvement in public opinion, state & government are bound to respect & follow the DPSPs.
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Why the Directive Principles of State Policy are important?
The question arises, if DPSPs are so important, why are they non- justiciable? See, if you find out about any gold medal-winning sportsperson, you will see that they have taken a big journey before reaching the gold medal. Similarly, when our country gained independence and the constitution were written, with social, economical and political aspects in mind, some provisions were necessary to enforce Those provisions became our Fundamental Rights. And rest of the bundle of rights were such that were planned to be enforced in the latter-day as India develops.
E.g. Article 45 of the constitution. At the time when our constitution was drafted, we were not socially and economically developed enough to be able to declare Right to Education as a fundamental right. But As soon as we advanced economically Even though no classification has been made with respect to articles in Part IV in the constitution, on the basis of their content & principles on the basis of contents of these articles, they were classified into 3 categories: Socialistic, Gandhian & Liberal. Lets quickly have a look at these articles. These all articles (Socialistic) provide for the establishment of a welfare state, e.g. adequate means of livelihood, equal pay for equal work etc.
The objectives of these articles are to achieve social welfare, which includes articles 38, 39, 39A, 41, 42, 43, 43A & 47. To achieve the objectives of some of these DPSPs Some legislations have also been introduced e.g Land Ceiling Acts, Bank Nationalisation, Equal pay for equal work & Maternity Benefit Act. Article classified as Gandhian talk about those principles which were envisioned by Gandhiji during National struggle for independence e.g. to establish cottage industry, to empower village panchayats, etc.
So the focus of these articles is to advance Gandhi’s vision for India which include Articles 40, 43, 43B, 46, 47, 48 Some of the DPSPs which have been successfully enforced include the promotion of cottage industry, minimum wages act & a recent event of a ban on slaughter of cows which you all must be knowing and third, these Articles which belong to the liberal principle talk about liberalism e.g. establishment of Uniform Civil Code, respecting international principles etc.
The articles promote the idea of liberalism include Article 44, 45, 48, 48A, 49, 50 & 51. Legislation regarding the protection of environment like water pollution act, forest act, etc. finds their basis in these articles. In addition, Article 51 is also important which talk about international peace & security.
Firstly, the 42nd amendment of 1976 which lead to the addition of 4 articles vi. 39, 39A, 43A, 48A. Then we have 44th amendment act of 1978, whereby article 38 was added Then we have 86th amendment act of 2002 here, article 45 was added up. and finally, the 97th amendment act of 2011 which added article 43B.
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