DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY
The Directive Principles of State Policy, which are also called DPSP, are categorized in Part IV of the Constitution of India from Articles 36 to 51. The creators of the Constitution took this idea from the Irish Constitution of 1937, which had consecutively been taken from the Spanish Constitution. These principles of the Indian Constitution were determined as “novel features” by Dr B.R. Ambedkar. The Directive Principles, together with the Fundamental Rights, include the philosophy and essence of the Constitution. All the more, Granville Austin talks about the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles as the “Conscience of the Constitution.”
Importance Of Directive Principles of State Policy
The inclusion of the Directive Principles of State Policy within the sphere of the Indian Constitution has been constitutional on several grounds which are mentioned as follows:
Public opinion supports Directive Principles. The Directive Principles are indeed, non-justiceable. Legal sanctions do not back these. But these are backed by public opinion, which is, in actuality, also the actual sanction behind the law.
Provide for a welfare state. The Directive Principles establish the philosophical groundwork of a welfare polity and make it a liability of the state to protect it through welfare legislation. These also give that a welfare polity refers to the protection of Justice—economic, social, and political for all the people.
Importance as moral ideals. Directive Principles are real of the nature of moral principles. They establish an ethical code for the state. This does not decrease their value. Through these, the founding creators brought before the nation the ideals and goals which are to be attained through future legislation. The state is a human social organization. The government is always created and handled by the people. Just as people have an ethical code that directs their behaviour in society, likewise there is every explanation for a moral code created to lead the political behaviour of the men who created and govern the government of the state.
Directives establish a guide for the state. The inclusion of Part IV was ruled by the decision to give a direction to the government for forming policies and laws to protect justice. This was the reason which led the founding creators of the law down that these were “fundamental in the governance of the country”.
Source of continuity in Policies. The Directive Principles are a source of constancy in the policies of the government. In a democratic system, the government modifies after constant intervals and every new government have to form laws and policies. The presence of Directive Principles guarantees that each government, regardless of the fact whether it is created by a leftist or rightist or a neo-leftist or a neo-rightist party, will practise the law-making and executive authority established on the Directive Principles which each government has to grant these as fundamental principles in the control of the country.
Directive Principles are supplementary to the Fundamental Rights. Directive Principles are the optimistic and positive directions to the state for protecting and developing the socio-economic aspect of Indian democracy. These give for those socio-economic rights that the constitution-creators thought should have been given to the people but which could not be given due to the scarcity of resources.
As such, while forming these unenforceable, they made it a liability of the government to protect these from future law-making. Directive Principles focuses on the implementation of socio-economic democracy. These are supplementary to Fundamental Rights which give for civil and political freedoms and rights.
The criterion for calculating the worth of the Government. Directive Principles of State Policy establish a criterion with which the people can calculate the worth of the government. A government that overlooks the act of establishing the Directive Principles can be declined by the people in favour of a government by another political party that is believed to give the needed significance and value to the task of protecting the Directive Principles.
Helpful in the interpretation of the Constitution. The Directive Principles establish a list of the goals and aims of the ideal nation. These depict the wisdom of the founding creators, the goals of the freedom struggle and the needs of national public opinion. These determine into clear-cut goals and objectives given in the Preamble to the Indian Constitution. These depict the philosophy of the Constitution and thus provide beneficial help to the courts in their work of describing the Constitution.
An ambiguity of Directive Principles is useful. The Directive Principles have been expressed in words that are not very stringent and rigid in their meanings. This ambiguity has been helpful so far as it supports the state to construe and establish these principles according to the socio-economic environment, which prevails at a provided time. The Directive Principles are particular enough to direct the way of the state but simultaneously ambiguous enough to support the state in shaping these according to the changing times and social interests and needs.
Thus, the incorporation in the Constitution of Part IV including the Directive Principles of State Policy has been a welcome, useful and worthwhile decision.
Criticisms of the directive principles of state policy
Many critics have been very open in criticizing the presence of unenforceable pious declarations in the Constitution as continue to be incorporated in its Part IV (DPSP). They treat these as “superfluous high-sounding principles” with small scope for certain realization.
Lack of legal force. The critics established that as these principles are unenforceable directives, these principles do not hold any weightage. Their infringement or non-realization cannot be questioned in any court.
Mere declarations. The Directive Principles are a just declaration of intentions or tools of instructions that are to be noticed and protected by the state at their own wish. The Constitution does not form them justiciable and neither mends the time period within which these are to be protected. The legislature is to protect these as and when it may be possible for it. No question then, critics like T. Shah determine it as “a cheque payable by the bank at its convenience.”
Unsystematic enumeration. Another subject of criticism against the Directive Principles has been that these have not been systematically slated and properly classified. These occur to be a compilation of pious declarations noted in the Constitution.
Lack of clarity. Various Directives lack certainty while various have been repeated at distinct places. The Directive Principle with the purpose to help international peace and friendly cooperation between all the nations is a commendable declaration. But the actual issue/question is how to protect it? No understandable direction has been given for this purpose.
Reactionary in nature. Many critics laid down those various principles established as Directive Principles of state policy are reactionary. Drafted during the period of 1947-49, many of the Directives come to be reactionary in contemporary times. The ruling party at a specific time can utilize some of the directives for selfish and political ends. Furthermore, a list of these principles included an try to unduly bind the today with yesterday.
The Directive Principles give for an essential and ideal groundwork for the Indian polity as welfare and democratic polity. The protecting of Directive Principles alone can conclude our democratic system, supplement the Fundamental Rights and freedoms of the people, and create a welfare polity characterized by Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
Written by Parul Sharma