Directive Principles Of State Policy (DPSP) : Constitutional Law Notes
Directive Principles Of State Policy (DPSP) : Part IV of the Constitution of Indian contains Directive Principles of State Policy which extends from Articles 36 to 51 (both inclusive). The concept of Directive Principles under Part IV of Indian Constitution have been inspired by the Directive Principles given in the Constitution of Ireland and also by the principles of Gandhism; and relate to social justice, economic welfare, foreign policy, and legal and administrative matters.
In previous days, it was thought that the main duty of state is the maintenance of law and order and the protection of life, liberty and property of the subjects. This was rather a restrictive approach towards the concept of State.
The Directive Principles are certain active obligations or guidelines to State which lay down certain economic and social goal to be pursued by the State to attain a welfare State. These principles impose certain obligations on the state to take positive action in certain directions in order to promote the welfare of the people and achieve economic democracy. If we go through the 16 articles contained in Part IV, we will find that these directives extend to almost every field of life, i.e., economic, social, legal, environmental.
EXTENT TO WHICH THE EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATURE AND JUDICIARY IS OBLIGED TO FOLLOW THE DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY
According to Article 37, the directive principles shall not be enforceable by any court, but these principles are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply them in making laws.
Here, the word ‘State’ includes the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Hence a duty has been imposed upon the organs of the Government to apply these principles in making laws. It is the duty of the Judiciary to interpret the law in the light of these directive principles.
Supreme Court in many decisions has laid down the following two propositions–
- The directive principles run as subsidiary to the fundamental rights.
- The directive principles can also be taken into consideration in constructing the ambiguous provisions of the Constitution.
CHARACTERISTICS OF DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES
- They are not enforceable in any law courts and therefore if a directive is not obeyed or implemented by the State, its obedience or implementation cannot be secured through judicial proceedings.
- These are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.
VARIOUS PROVISIONS FALLING UNDER PART IV COMPRISING THE DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY
Despite being non-justiciable, the Directive Principles act as a check on the State; theorised as a yardstick in the hands of the electorate and the opposition to measure the performance of a government at the time of an election.
Article 37 while stating that the Directive Principles are not enforceable in any court of law, declares them to be “fundamental to the governance of the country” and imposes an obligation on the State to apply them in matters of legislation. Thus, they serve to emphasise the welfare state model of the Constitution and emphasise the positive duty of the State to promote the welfare of the people by affirming social, economic and political justice, as well as to fight income inequality and ensure individual dignity, as mandated by Article 38.
Article 39 lays down certain principles of policy to be followed by the State, including providing an adequate means of livelihood for all citizens, equal pay for equal work for men and women, proper working conditions, reduction of the concentration of wealth and means of production from the hands of a few, and distribution of community resources to “sub-serve the common good”.
These clauses highlight the Constitutional objectives of building an egalitarian social order and establishing a welfare state, by bringing about a social revolution assisted by the State, and has been used to support the nationalisation of mineral resources as well as public utilities. Further, several legislations pertaining to agrarian reform and land tenure have been enacted by the federal and state governments, in order to ensure equitable distribution of land resources.
Article 39A requires the State to provide free legal aid to ensure that opportunities for securing justiceare available to all citizens irrespective of economic or other disabilities.
Article 40 provides that the State shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-
Articles 41–43 mandate the State to endeavour to secure to all citizens the right to work, to secure
a living wage, ensure social security, render maternity relief, and a decent standard of living. These provisions aim at establishing a socialist state as envisaged in the Preamble.
Article 43 also places upon the State the responsibility of promoting cottage industries, and the federal government has, in furtherance of this, established several Boards for the promotion of khadi, handlooms etc., in coordination with the state governments.
Article 43A mandates the State to work towards securing the participation of workers in the management of industries.
Article 44 encourages the State to secure a uniform civil code for all citizens, by eliminating discrepancies between various personal laws currently in force in the country. However, this has remained a “dead letter” despite numerous reminders from the Supreme Court to implement the provision.
Article 45 originally mandated the State to provide free and compulsory education to children between the ages of six and fourteen years, but after the 86th Amendment in 2002, this has been converted into a Fundamental Right and replaced by an obligation upon the State to secure early childhood care to all children below the age of six.
Article 46 makes it mandatory upon the State to promote the interests of and work for the economic uplift of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and protect them from discrimination and exploitation. Several enactments, including two Constitutional amendments i.e. 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, have been passed to give effect to this provision.
Article 47 commits the State to raise the standard of living and improve public health, and prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs injurious to health. As a consequence, partial or total prohibition has been introduced in several states, but financial constraints have prevented its full-fledged application.
Article 48 makes it mandatory upon the State to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines by improving breeds and prohibiting slaughter of cattle.
Article 48A mandates the State to protect the environment and safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
Article 49 places an obligation upon the State to ensure the preservation of monuments and objects of national importance.
Article 50 requires the State to ensure the separation of judiciary from executive in public services, in order to ensure judicial independence, and federal legislation has been enacted to achieve this objective.
The State, according to Article 51, must also strive for the promotion of international peace and
security, and Parliament has been empowered under Article 253 to make laws giving effect
to international treaties.
CLASSIFICATION OF DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY
There is a classification of the Directive principles of State policy according to which the Constitutional draftsmen have classified the articles or the provisions falling under Part IV on the basis of their basic purposes or the legislative intent. There are three kinds of Directive Principles of State Policy as enumerated in the Constitution of India from Article 38 to Article 51. They are as follows:-
- DIRECTIVES IN THE NATURE OF THE IDEALS OF THE STATE
- DIRECTIVES SHAPING THE POLICY OF THE STATE
- DIRECTIVES IN THE NATURE OF NON-JUSTICIABLE RIGHTS OF EVERY CITIZEN
- The directives in the nature of ideals of the State are-
- The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing a social order permeated by social, economic and political justice (Art. 38).
- The State shall endeavour to secure just and humane conditions of work a living wage a decent standard of living and social and cultural opportunities for all workers (Art 43).
- The State shall endeavour to raise the level of nutrition and standard of living and to improve the health of the people (Art. 47).
- The State shall endeavour to promote international peace and amity (Art. 51)
- The State shall direct its policy towards securing equitable distribution of the material resources of the community and prevention of concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment (Art . 39)
- Directives in the nature of policy of the State–
- To establish economic democracy and justice by securing certain economic rights.
- To secure a uniform civil code for the citizen. (Art. 44)
- To provide free and compulsory primary education (Art. 45)
- To prohibit consumption of liquor and intoxicating drug except for medical purposes (Art. 47).
- To develop cottage industries (Art. 43).
- To organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern lines (Art. 48).
- To prevent slaughter of useful cattle i.e. cows, calves and other milch and draught, cattle (Art. 48).
- To organise village Panchayats as units of self-government (Art. 40),
- To protect and improve the environment and to safeguards forest and wild life (Art. 48A).
- To protect and maintain places of historic or artistic interest (Art. 49).
- To separate the Judiciary from the Executive (Art. 50).
- Directives in the nature of non-justiciable rights of every citizen-
- Right to adequate means of livelihood (Art. 39 (a))
- Right to both sexes to equal pay for equal work (Art. 39 (d))
- Right against economic exploitation (Art. 39(e),(f)).
- Right to work (Art.41)
- Right to education (Art.45).
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES
- The Directive Principles are fundamental in the smooth governance of the States
- The Directive Principles lay down the foundation of economic democracy.
- These are measuring rods to judge the achievements of the Government.
- The Directive Principles aim to establish a welfare state.
- These principles supplement the Fundamental rights.
- These principles also serve as guiding principles for courts.
- They bring stability and continuity in State policies.
WHY DID THE FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION MADE DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES NON-JUSTICIABLE IN NATURE?
- India as a country didn’t possess enough financial resources to implement the directions given in the directive principles.
- Moreover, vast diversity and backwardness in the country posed as a hurdle in the way of their implementation.
- India after independence had many preoccupations i.e. various regions had their unique set of problems which they needed to deal with them on priority. If these directive principles were made compulsory they would have added to the burden on these regions.
CRITICISM OF DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY
- Although very noble in thought but the Directive Principles are non-justiciable in nature.
- Directive Principles are nothing more than moral principles or obligations.
- Directive Principles are neither properly classified nor logically arranged.
- Some Directive Principles are not practicable.
- Directive Principles are foreign in nature.
- Directive Principles are actually against the principle of State Sovereignty.
- It is illogical to include these principles in the Constitution.
- These are responsible for Constitutional conflicts.
- No mention of methods to implement these has been provided.
WHAT IS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY?
|FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS||DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES|
OF STATE POLICY
|Part III—Arts. 12 to 35 deal with Fundamental|
|Part 1V—Arts. 36 to 51 deal with|
|Fundamental rights mainly aimed at assuring|
political freedom to the citizen by protecting against
|Directive principles are aimed at securing|
social and economic freedom by
appropriate State action.
|Fundamental rights are justiciable rights||Directive principles are justiciable rights.|
|Fundamental rights are sacrosanct and not liable to|
be curtailed by the State action.
|Directive principles are sacrosanct.|
|Fundamental rights are negative in character and|
the State not to do certain things.
|Directive principles are positive in|
character and the State is directed to take
certain positive steps.
|Fundamental rights described by the Supreme|
Court as transcended ‘inalienable’ and personal.
|Directive principles described by the|
Supreme Court as conscience or the
|Fundamental rights considered as means by which|
goals to be achieved.
|Directive principles prescribed the goals|
to be attained.
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