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Fundamental Rights of India (Articles 12-35)

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  • Last Updated : 17 Dec, 2021

Fundamental Rights were included from the Magna Carta of England, the declaration of Rights of Man and Citizens (France), and the U.S. bill of rights. Fundamental rights are those rights that protect an individual from the atrocities of the State and these rights are protected and guaranteed by the constitution. These rights are regarded as ‘Fundamental’ because they are most essential for the attainment of certain basic liberties and freedom in order to live a dignified life and the Constitution also allow an individual to move directly to the Supreme Court for the reinforcement of his/her fundamental right as and when they are violated or restricted. 

Various Fundamental Rights: (Article 12-35)

Here is the list of various fundamental rights provided by the Indian constitution as follows:

State for the purposes of fundamental rights (Article 12):

State’ includes:

  • The government and parliament of India.
  • The government and legislature of states.
  • All local authorities within Indian Territory.
  • All other authorities within Indian Territory.
  • All other authorities are administered by the Government.

Violation of Fundamental Rights (Article 13):

It includes –

1. Pre Constitutional Law:

  • Doctrine of retrospectively
  • The doctrine of the eclipse
  • The doctrine of Severability;

2. Post Constitutional Law:

There are mainly six Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution: 

The Right to Equality [Articles 14-18]

Equality before the law (Article 14):

Traditional view- The state shall not deny- “Equality before the law” and “equal protection of the laws”.

Modern view- The doctrine of proportionality.

Non- discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, etc (Article 15):

  • No discrimination shall be made by the State on the grounds of religion, sex, caste, place of birth, race or any of them.
  • The state can make Special provisions for women and children, protection of backward classes,  Admission for Socially and educationally backward classes in public and private educational institutions, Advancement of any economically weaker section.

Equality of opportunity in public employment (Article 16):

  • It gives equality of opportunity in public employment,
  • Citizens shall not be discriminated against in respect of any employment,
  • The state can make reservations on the ground of residence,  S.C./S.T or O.B.C economically weaker sections.

Abolition of untouchability (Article 17):

  • It provides that untouchability and its practice in any form are forbidden in India.
  • People’s Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India.

Abolition of Title (Article 18):

  • It prohibits the State to confer any title except military or academic distinction,
  • Citizens of India have no right to accept any title from any foreign country,
  • Citizens for holding any office of profit under any foreign office shall have to take the consent of the President.

Right to freedoms [Article 19 to Article 22]

Protection of rights in relation to freedom of speech etc. (Article 19)

It gives the Concept of Reasonable Restrictions.

Every citizen shall have the following rights:

  • Freedom of speech and freedom of expression,
  • Freedom to assemble peaceably without arms,
  • Freedom to form any party or any association or co-operative societies,
  • Freedom to move freely in India anywhere,
  • Freedom of residence in any part of the country,
  • Freedom to practice any profession, or carry on any occupation, trade, or business.

Protection in Conviction for offenses (Article 20):

  • It gives protection against ex post facto laws, protection against double jeopardy, protection against self-incrimination.

Protection of life and liberty  (Article 21):

  • It states that law should embody the principle of natural justice.
  • The procedure established by law must satisfy the requirements of fairness and reasonableness.
  • Personal liberty includes human dignity.

Article 21 A: Right to education:

  • Inserted by 86th amendment act,
  • Free and compulsory education to all the children of the age of six to fourteen years by the State.

Protection against Arrest (Article 22):

  • Persons detained under ordinary laws have the Right to be informed of the grounds of arrest, the Right to be consulted and represented by a lawyer of choice, and the Right to be produced before a Magistrate within 24 hours of arrest.
  • Persons detained under preventive detention laws
  • No detention should be made for longer than three months ( two months by 44th amendment act),
  • The state shall communicate the grounds on which the order is made against such person and the opportunity of representation against such order.

Right Against exploitation [Article 23 – 24]

Prohibition of Human Trafficking and Forced Labour(Article 23):

  • Trafficking in human beings, beggar, and any other form of forced labour is made punishable under this provision Although the State can impose compulsory service for public purposes.

Prohibition of Child Labour, employment of a child in factories, etc. (Article 24):

  • No one can force any child below the age of fourteen years to work in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

Right to Freedom of Religion [Article 25 to Article 28]

Freedom of Conscience, Profession, Practice, and Propagation of religion (Article 25):

  • This Article empowers Secularism in India which means All persons have the right to freedom of conscience, and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion although any economic, financial, political, or other secular activity related to religious practices can be subject to regulation by the State.

Freedom to Manage Religious Affairs (Article 26):

  • Every religious denomination has the right to establish religious institutions, manage its own religious matters, affairs related to property in accordance with the law.

Freedom from Taxes to Promote any particular Religion (Article 27):

  • The state can not compel any person for taxation related to expenses of maintenance of any particular religion.

Freedom to attend religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions (Article 28):

When an educational institution is maintained out of State funds, no religious instruction can be provided therein [TMA Pai Foundation v. the state of Karnataka].

Educational and Cultural Rights [Article 29 -30]

Protection of Interests of Minorities to citizens residing in the territory of India (Article 29):

  • Every citizen has the right to conserve their distinct language, script, or culture of their own.
  • On the ground of religion, race, caste, language or any of them the State can not deny admissions to any citizen in the Institution maintained by State.

Right of Minorities to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions (Article 30):

  • All minorities have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice,
  • The state shall not discriminate against educational institutions on grounds of the minority in granting aid to them.

Note: Right to property [Article 31] Repealed by the 44th constitutional amendment Act 1978, ( Section 6, w.e.f. 20-06-1979).

Right to Constitutional Remedies [Article 32-35]:

Right to remedies for the enforcement of the fundamental rights to move the Supreme Court (Article 32)

  • Every person has the right to move to the Supreme Court if there is a violation of fundamental rights and that right can be enforced by using five writs: Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Quo Warranto, Prohibition, Certiorari.

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