* Part III of the Constitution (Article 12-35) deals with the Fundamental Rights granted to individuals.
* These rights were finalized by a committee of the Constituent Assembly headed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
* These rights are described as fundamental because they are superior to ordinary laws.
* These are vital for the full development of the human personality, promoting an individual's dignity and welfare.
* The Constitution guarantees 'six' fundamental rights and these form a very important part of the Constitution.
These fundamental rights as mentioned in the constitution are the following :
(A) Right to Equality
(B) Right to Freedom
(C) Right Against Exploitation
(D) Right to Freedom of Religion
(E) Cultural and Educational Rights
(F) Right to Constitutional Remedies
(A) Rights to Equality (Article 14 to 18) :
* The constitution guarantees that all citizens will be equally protected by the laws of the country.
* It means that the state cannot discriminate against a citizen on the basis of race, caste, sex, religion, or place of birth.
* The state also cannot discriminate against anyone in matters of employment. All citizen can apply for government jobs.
* Right to equality in our constitution has also abolished the practice of untouchability (Article 17).
* The Constitution has abolished titles except military and academic ones.
(B) Right to Freedom (Article 19 to 22) :
* The right to freedom is actually a cluster of the following six freedoms :
(i) the right to speech and expression;
(ii) the right to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(iii) the right to form associations or unions.
(iv) the right to move freely throughout the territory of India;
(v) the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of india; and
(vi) the right to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
(C) Right Against Exploitation (Article 23 &24) :
* Earlier, sometimes people were made to do work free of charge for landloards or other wealthy persons.
This was called begar or forced labour because it was labour done without any wage in return. Begar now is a crime and punishable by law (Article 23).
* The Constitution forbids employing of children below the age of 14 years in dangerous jobs like factories and mines (Article 24).
Right against exploitation is a legal weapon to protect today children. It is a legal weapon because, if this right is violated one can go to the court of law to get justice.
(D) Right to freedom of Religion (Article 25 to 28) :
* Right to freedom of religion provides religious freedom to all the citizens of India.
* All religions are equal before the state and no religion will be given preference over the other.
Citizens are free to practise their respective religions.
* Religious communities can set charitable institutions of their own.
* Again establishing a charitable institution can also be restricted in the interest of public order, morality and health.
(E) Culture and Educational Rights (Article 29 & 30) :
* India is a country of many religious , languages and cultures. The Constitution provides special measures to protect the rights of the minorities.
* Any community, which has a language and script of its own,
has the right to conserve and develop them. No citizen can be discriminate against for admission in State or Stat-aided institution because of religion or language.
* All minorities, religious or linguistic, can set up their own institutions. Indoing so they preserve and develop their culture.
(F) Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32) :
* Right to Constitutional Remedies is a very special right. This right empowers the citizens to go to court in case of denial of any of these fundamental rights.
The court of law stands as a guard against the violation of these by the government.
* The right to constitutional remedies in India is available to any person for enforcing any of the fundamental rights conferred on all persons.
* In case the government uses power against a citizen unjustly or if she /he is imprisoned or punished without reason, or unlawfully,
right to Constitutional remedies empowers the aggrieved person to go to the court and get justice against the government action.
* If the court finds that the government action is wrong, the person will have to be freed.
This procedure of asking the courts to preserve or safeguard the citizens fundamental rights can be done in various ways.
The court can issue various kinds of writs. These writs are -
(i) Habeas corpus :
It directs all individual private or executive to produce a detainee before the court.
(ii) Mandamus :
It directs public servant to perform some public duty refused to have been performed by him.
(iii) Prohibition :
It is issued by High Court, forbidding all inferior court from continuing proceedings in a particular case.
(iv) Quo warranto :
It enquires into the legality of the claim which a party asserts to a public office.
(v) Certiorari :
Is issued to a lower court quashing its decision in a particular case.
* As in other fundamental rights, rights to constitutional remedies also has one very important exception
. When an emergency is declared, this right is suspended by the Central Government. After the emergency is revoked this right come back into force.
(G) The Right to Information Act :
It came into force on the 12th October, 2005.
The Act extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It includes the right to
* Inspected works, documents, records
* Take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
* Take certified samples of material
* Obtain information in form of printouts, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.
(H) The Right to Education Act, 2005 :
It Extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. According to the Act
* Every child between the age of 6 to 14 years has the right to free and compulsory education (Article 45).
* The Government schools shall provide free education to all the children and the school will be manage by School
Management Committee (SMC). Private schools shall admit at least 25% of the children in their schools without any fee.
* The National Commission, for Elementary Education shall be constitute to monitor all aspects of elementarily education including quality.
* The Directive Principle are actually directions given by the Constitution to the central and
the state governments to adopt such policies which would help establish a just society in our country.
Some of these principles are in the form of social and economic rights.
* Directive Principles list out like the rights to work, right to free and compulsory education of children up to
the age of fourteen, right to equal wages for equal work for the right to an adequate livelihood.
These are very important rights and the Indian citizens of today need to enjoy these rights.
* All the Directive Principles, however, are not social and political in nature
. Some of them are instructions to the government in different matters. For instance the Constitution says that the state should try to prevent concentration of wealth,
it should ensure that workers in factories can have a share in decision -making
The state should promotes and develop the institution of Panchayati Raj.
The State should also promotes public health, animal husbandry, prevent cow slaughter and other milk giving animals and ban drinking.
Cottage industries need to be promoted, forest, wild life of the country and ancient monument need to be protected.
Last but not the least the state should always follow policies which will develop international understanding and maintain peace in the world.
* Fundamental duties are constitutional obligations imposed on every citizen of India. These are not justiciable.
These are, if fact, social and moral obligations meant to ensure peace and progress of the country.
* Fundamental duties were incorporated in the Constitution by the 42n constitutional Amendment Act in 1976.
* These duties require the citizens -
* To abide by and respect the Constitution, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
* To cherish and follow the noble ideas of freedom struggle,
* To uphold and protect sovereignty, unit and integrity of India.
* To defend the country and render national service when required.
* To promote common brotherhood of all people in India and renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of woman,
* To value and preserve the rich heritage of the nation's composite character,
* To protect and improve national environment and have compassion for living creatures,
* To develop scientific temper, humanism and spirit of inquiry.
* To safeguard public property and abjure violence, and
* To strive for excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity.
* The Eighty-Sixth Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2002, has inserted the event Fundamental duty in Article 51A, namely:
Who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, Ward between the age of six and fourteen years.