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The Relation Between the DPSP and Fundamental Rights

 The Relation Between the Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights

  • Introduction

Fundamental rights and DPSP as preserved in the Constitution of India together composes of the human rights of a person. The Constitution suggests fundamental rights as an idea that arose in India in 1928 itself. The Motilal Committee Report of 1928 apparently highlights inalienable rights originated from the Bill of Rights cherished in the American Constitution to be provided to a person. These rights were secured in Part III of the Indian Constitution.

Fundamental rights are also called Inherent rights since they are inherent to every individual by birth. These are the rights that give a person some essential rights for the aim of survival. No discrimination is done on the grounds of caste, religion, race, etc. and if any individual feels so that his fundamental rights are being violated then he can certainly approach the court for the infringement of his rights.

  • Relationship between Fundamental Rights and DPSP

Indian Constitution is a Grundnorm all the laws which are formed must agree to the constitution of India.

Fundamental Rights


Restricted scope.

Scope of DPSP is limitless.

Safeguard the rights of the people and work at a micro level.

Safeguard the rights of a citizen and work at a huge level.

If anybody feels that his rights are being infringed can approach the court of law.

DPSP are not applicable by law.

The difference between DPSP and FR are:

For more understanding about the conflict between Fundamental Rights and DPSP, let's study some of the essential case laws and then we can analyse what happens when a conflict occurs between the two of them.

The first case is Golak Nath vs the State of Punjab, A.I.R. 1976 SCR (2) 762. In this case, Apex Court established that fundamental rights cannot be abridged, diluted, diminished, taken, or finish away and then in response to it by producing Amendment Act of the Constitution and including Article 31 (C) in part III which states that by forming a law under Article 39 (B) which refers to about material resources of community and Article 39 (C) talks about the operation for an economic system. The court laid down that if any law is created with effect to DPSP and if it infringes Articles 14, 19, and 21 then the law should not announce the constitution as void barely on this basis.

In Champak Dorairajan vs. the State of Madras, the Apex Court held that DPSP cannot supersede the provisions of Part III of the Constitution of India i.e., the Fundamental Rights. Now DPSP has to run supplementary to the Fundamental rights and have to approve them and this was a very essential judgment where the parliament answered back by amending several fundamental rights which were in conflict with DPSP.

Moving to the next case, the Kerala Education Bill where the Doctrine of Harmonious Construction was established by the Apex Court.

But what is the Doctrine of Harmonious Construction? It states that one requires to establish the provision of the constitution in such a manner that fundamental rights and DPSP are consistent with each other so this was there to prevent the chance of conflict while applying DPSP and Fundamental rights. So, one should interpret each and every provision of the constitution in such a manner so they work consistently.

Now as per this doctrine the court established that if no inherent power is there then no conflict will come but if any conflict occurs in force just because the court is attempting to interpret a specific law so they should try to provide effect to both as far as possible.

So, to combine them together by doing something without doing any type of amendment. After all the attempts to put everything look balanced if any explanation is done then the court has to establish Fundamental rights over DPSP.

In the case of Kesavananda Bharathi (1973), Apex Court laid down that Parliament can modify any part of the Constitution without harming the primary framework of the constitution. Now, Article 31 (C) clause 2, was announced unconstitutional and void since that was against the primary structure. But, Article 31 (C) clause 1 was held as valid. In response, the parliament produced the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, and enlarged the scope of the provisions of Article 31 (C).

Now in the case of Pathumma vs. the State of Kerala, 1978, the Apex Court focused on the aim of DPSP which is to regulate some social-economic principles. The constitution focuses on introducing a combination between Fundamental Rights and DPSP which is depicted in various other cases as well.

In the Minerva Mills case, the Court stated that the law under Article 31 (C) would be secured only if it is made to enforce the directive in Article 39 (b) and (c) and not in any other DPSP. Prior protection was provided to all the DPSP but after this case, it becomes limited and was held that if protection is provided to all DPSP it will be announced as unconstitutional and void in nature.

In the State of Kerala vs. N.M.Thomas, 1976, the Apex Court stated that Fundamental rights and DPSP should be formed in such a manner so as to be with each other and every attempt should be done by the court to resolve the conflict between them.

In Olga Tellis vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation, 1985, the Apex Court has given that DPSP is fundamental in the enforcement of the country so equal significance should be given to the concept and meaning of fundamental rights.

In Dalmia Cement vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court said that DPSP and Fundamental rights are complementary and supplementary to each other and the preamble to the constitution which provided an introduction, fundamental rights, DPSP are the essence of the Constitution.

In Ashok Kumar Thakur Vs. Union of India, 2008, the Apex Court said that no distinction can be done between the two sets of rights. Fundamental rights handle Civil and political rights while DPSP holds social and economic rights. DPSP is not applicable in a court of law but that doesn’t mean it can't be a subordinate.

So, in all these cases, what is being explained is that DPSP and Fundamental rights go together. Neither of them is supreme to each other.

The government has done various acts for the implementation reason like panchayat were implemented by 73rd amendment, Nagar Palika under Article 41, compulsory education to each child who is below 14 years of age and it was put as Fundamental rights, to safeguard monuments of national prominence now this right was turned into a law which is Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological sites and remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951.

  • Conclusion

It can be settled by saying that the essential feature of the constitution is to sustain consistency between fundamental rights and DPSP. They are supplementary and complementary to each other. The theme of fundamental rights must be made in light of DPSP.


Written by Parul Sharma


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