Fundamental Rights: Part III of the Indian constitution

Fundamental Rights are guaranteed to the citizens of India so that they have dignified human life.
Fundamental Rights,
Source : India.com

Part III (Article 12 to 35)of the Indian Constitution contains certain rights that have been granted to its citizens. The concept of Fundamental Rights has been borrowed from the USA (Bill of Rights). These rights have been granted to ensure the dignified life of an individual. It ensures that every individual will have some Human Rights which will enable him to grow to his full potential.

      These FRs are not only mentioned in the constitution but also ensure by the constitution (Article 32). These Rights are the negative obligation on the state, which means it prevents the state from doing something.  These rights are enforceable in the court of law.

Fundamental Rights List

Broadly FR can be divided into six categories:

1. Right of Equality (Article 14-18).

Article 12: This article the meaning of ‘State’.

Article 13: This article provides for treatment if any law is inconsistent with Fundamental Rights.

Article 14: Right to Equality

Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on the ground of caste, religion, sex, race or place of birth.

Article 16: This article deals with provisions related to ‘Equal opportunity in the matter of public employment’.

Article 17: Abolition of Untouchability.

Article 18: Abolition of Title.

2. Right of Freedom(Article 19-22).

Article 19: Provides six freedoms including Freedom of Speech and Expression.

Article 20: Provides protection in case of Conviction for an Offence.

Article 21: Right to Life and Personal Liberty.

Article 22: Protection against arbitrary arrest and detention.

3. Right against Exploitation(Article 23-24)

Article 23: Right against Exploitation.

Article 24: Prohibition of Employment of Children

4. Right of Religious Freedom(Article 25-28)

Article 25: Freedom of Conscience, profess, practice and propagate the religion of his choice.

Article 26: Right to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes.

Article 27: State can not compel any citizen to pay any taxes for the promotion and maintenance of any particular religion or religious institutions.

Article 28: No religious instructions shall be imparted to any educational institution wholly funded by the state.

5. Cultural and Educational Rights of Minorities(Article 29-30)

Article 29: Protection of interests of Minority.

Article 30: Rights of Minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

Article 31: Right to Property(repealed).

6. (Article 32): Right of Constitutional Remedies

Article 33: Parliament can modify the Fundamental Rights in their application to armed forces.

Article 34: Restriction on Fundamental Rights if Martial Law is in force.

Article 35: Legislation to give effect to the provisions of this part notwithstanding anything in this constitution.

     Though most of the provisions are available to all the residents of India some of the Fundamental Rights are available to citizens of India only(Article 15,16,19,30.).

In case of violation of FR, the constitutional remedies are available under Article 32 i.e. An individual can approach the Supreme Court directly and it is the duty of the Supreme Court to ensure the FR of Individual. Supreme Court can not reject the petition under Article 32 because other remedies are available. Though an individual court can approach Lower Courts also.

Difference between Indian Fundamental Rights and USA’s Bill of Rights

While the declaration in the American Bill of Rights are absolute and the Power of the state to impose a restriction upon the Fundamental Rights of Individual in the collective interest had to be evolved by the Judiciary.

    In India, this power has been expressly conferred upon the Legislature by the constitution itself in major Fundamental Rights. Example Article 15(3): It enables the state to make special provisions for women and children.

Why Fundamental Rights was required?

Fundamental Rights are basically some core Human Rights which is required to have a dignified life of an individual. These Rights are given to allow an individual to grow full of his potential and enjoy life. These Rights are a negative obligation on the state. Most of these Rights are available against the state. 

Rights to Equality (Article 14) is one of the most important fundamental rights is granted to the citizen of India. The right to equality is very much required to have Rule of Law, Democracy, Egalitarian society.

Freedom of Speech and Expression [Article 19(1)(a)] another most important Right which has been granted under this part of the Indian Constitution. To flourish democracy it is very much required to have space for dissent.

Right to Life and personal liberty [Article 21]: This is called as the mother of all the Fundamental Rights. With the liberal interpretation of this article Supreme Court has added multiple rights in the preview of this. Like Right to Privacy, Right to the decent environment, Right to health..etc. 

Religious Freedom[Article 25]:  This article gives every individual the freedom of conscience, profess, practice and propagate the religion of his choice. Such freedom is required in modern-day society to promote secular value in society. 

Constitutional Remedies [Article 32]:  This article of the Indian Constitution makes provision for ‘enforcement of fundamental rights by Supreme Court’. As per this article any individual can approach the Supreme Court if he thinks that his FRs have been violated. And it is the duty of the Supreme Court to enforce his rights under Part III of the Indian constitution by issuing Writ. This article provides more teeth to Part III of the Indian constitution.

Part III of the Indian constitution can be amended or not?

Yes, Fundamental Rights can be amended but without altering the basic features of the Constitution. Part III can be amended as per Article 368 of the Indian Constitution. To amend these Right Special majority is required in Parliament.

Rights under Part III can be Suspended?

Yes, These Rights can be suspended but only during National Emergency [under Article 352]. But the two most important Rights[Article 20 and 21] can not be suspended even during National Emergency.

To suspend Rights under Part III, a separate presidential order is required which decides the duration and term of suspension. If National Emergency is imposed on the basis of War or External Aggression the Article 19 gets suspended automatically.

To revoke these Rights no separate presidential order is required. As soon as National Emergency ends FRs come into effect. 

Rights that have been guaranteed under Part III (to ensure basic human rights) of the Indian Constitution can be suspended during National Emergency.

Article 358 :

This article deals with the suspension of Fundamental Rights if National Emergency is imposed under Article 352 on the basis of war or external aggression only. As per this article if a national emergency is imposed due to war or external aggression operation of Article 19 gets suspended automatically.

1.No presidential order is required to suspend article 19

2. it deals with article 19 only.

Article 359 :

This article deals about the suspension of Fundamental Rights if National Emergency is imposed under Article 352 on any ground (Armed Rebellion, War or External Aggression)

As per this article, FRs can be suspended by separate presidential orders which contain terms of suspension.

This article gives power to the president to suspend any rights under part III of the constitution except Article 20 and 21.

No separate presidential order is required to revoke the suspension of FRs.

Restoration of Fundamental Rights

All the suspended Fundamental Rights during National Emergency under any ground get restored automatically as soon as the National Emergency ended. All the violation of FRs which has been done during the suspension period, can not be claimed.

If any fundamental right is suspended during the National Emergency then you can not approach for its enforcement. Even after the restoration of these rights when national emergency ended, you can claim the compensation for the damage during the suspension period.

How many Fundamental Rights are in India?

A total of 17 fundamental rights are available to the citizen of Indian. Other articles of Part III of the Indian constitution deals with the enforcement of FR.

Fundamental Rights are taken form?

The idea of fundamental rights in India is taken from the constitution of the USA.

Which Part of Indian constitution deals with Fundamental Rights?

Part III of the Indian constitution deals with the Fundamental Rights conferred to the citizens of India.

Why fundamental Rights are important?

Fundamental Rights are important for the security of basic human rights to the Indian citizen. All the rights aim to promote basic human rights which is very important for the dignified life.

Can fundamental Rights be amended?

The fundamental rights given in Part III of the Indian constitution can be amended. Provided the Basic Features of the constitution is not getting altered.

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