Friday, 18 February 2022

The Directive Principle of State Policy

 The Directive Principle of State Policy

The Directive Principle of State Policy or DPSP as enumerated in Part IV of the Constitution as discussed formerly in this article are the constitutional directives or recommendations to the State as far as the cases of Legislative, administrative and executive matters to keep in mind the ideals therein mentioned while formulating and enacting laws. The significance of these directives becomes evident from the fact that these Directive Principles at numerous instances help the court of law though having non-justiciable in nature, to determine the constitutional validity of a law. These Directives are often classified into three broad categories:

  • Socialistic Principles – For e.g. Article 38, to promote the welfare of the people by securing a social order permeated by justice – social, economic and political and thereby to minimize any types of inequalities be it income, status and opportunities. 

  • Gandhian Principles – These principles characterize the programme for reconstruction as enunciated by the father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi during the national movement and struggle. For e.g. – Article 40 to organize village panchayats and endow them with necessary powers and authority to enable them function as units of self – government.

  • Liberal–Intellectual Principles– These DPSPs entail in themselves some characteristics of the ideology of liberalism. For e.g. – Article 50 which further imposes an obligation upon the state to separate judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.

The classification of the Directive Principles as above stated in this article is not expressly present or made by the Constitution but however on the basis of its content the same has been classified into the three broad categories.

Article 36

Defines State as same as Article 12 unless the context otherwise defines.

Article 37

Application of the Principles contained in this part.

Article 38

It authorizes the state to secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of people.

Article 39

Certain principles of policies to be followed by the state.

Article 39A

Equal justice and free legal aid.

Article 40

Organization of village panchayats.

Article 41

Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases.

Article 42

Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity leaves.

Article 43

Living wage etc. for workers.

Article 43-A

Participation of workers in management of industries.

Article 43-B

Promotion of cooperative societies.

Article 44

Uniform civil code for the citizens.

Article 45

Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years.

Article 46

Promotion of education and economic interests of SC, ST, and other weaker sections.

Article 47

Duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.

Article 48

Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry.

Article 48-A

Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife.

Article 49

Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance.

Article 50

Separation of judiciary from the executive.

Article 51

Promotion of international peace and security.

Importance of DPSPs for an Indian citizen

Regardless of the non-justiciable nature of DPSPs, a citizen should be aware of them. As the Article 37 itself describes these principles as fundamental in the governance of the country. The objective of the DPSPs is to better the social and economic conditions of society so people can live a good life. Knowledge of DPSPs helps a citizen to keep a check on the government.

A citizen can use DPSPs as a measure of the performance of the government and can identify the scope where it lacks. A person should know these provisions because ultimately these principles act as a yardstick to judge the law that governs them. Moreover, it also constrains the power of the state to make a draconian law. Through various judicial pronouncements, it is settled principle now that balancing DPSPs and Fundamental rights is as important as maintaining the sanctity of Fundamental Rights. Non following a directive principle would directly or indirectly affect the Fundamental Right which is considered as one of the most essential parts of the Constitution.

The Directive Principle of State Policy



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