Relationship Between Fundamental Rights And Directive Principles Of State Policy

  • Champakam Dorairajan Case (1951)
    Supreme Court (SC) in its verdict said that in case of conflict between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles, Fundamental Rights would always prevail. It also said that Directive principles have to work as a supplement with Fundamental rights & Parliament can’t amend Fundamental Rights.
  • Golaknath Case (1967)
    SC held that Parliament cannot amend Fundamental Rights to give effect to the Directive Principles.
  • 24th Amendment Act, 1971
    This amendment was done in reaction to Golaknath Case judgement and to nullify the effect of the same. It declared that Parliament has the right to amend the Fundamental Right by use of a Constitutional Amendment.
    It was also done in reaction to Golaknath Case judgement. It inserted a new Article 31-C which contained the following two provisions:
  • 25th Amendment Act, 1971
    • (i) No law which gives effect to the directive principles can be declared invalid and unconstitutional on the grounds that it is violating fundamental rights namely Article 14 (equality before law and equal protection of laws), Article 19(protection of six rights in respect of speech, assembly, movement, etc) & Article 31(right to property).
    • No law containing a declaration for giving effect to such policy shall be questioned in any court on the ground that it does not give effect to such a policy. (Note: Right to Property was a fundamental right at this time.)
  • Kesavananda Bharti Case (1973)
    SC in its verdict held that the second provision mentioned in the Article 31-C is invalid & unconstitutional as it is taking away the power of court for judicial review. However, first provision of Article 31-C was held valid & constitutional.
  • 42nd Amendment Act, 1976
    Position of Directive Principles was made superior to Fundamental Rights
  • Minerva Mills Case (1980)
    SC in its decision declared that Directive Principles are subordinate to Fundamental Rights. But position of Fundamental Rights under Article 14 & Article 19 was made subordinate to Directive Principles. SC also said that Constitution demands to maintain balance between the Fundamental Rights & Directive principles. To give absolute primacy to one over the other is to disturb the harmony of the Constitution. [Note: Right to property (Article 31) was abolished as a fundamental right by 44th Amendment Act (1978)]
  • Present Position
    For now Fundamental Rights enjoy supremacy over Directive Principles (except Article 14 & Article 19). Parliament is entitled to amend Fundamental Right in order to give effect to the Directive Principles as long as it does not affect to the basic structure of the Constitution.

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: