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Q. Need to amend Fundamental duties: Discuss the need to amend the fundamental duties enshrined in Constitution.
Dec 07, 2016 Related to : GS paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Part IVA of the Indian Constitution has envisaged certain duties, which are correlated to the rights, and those duties have been described as Fundamental Duties. Originally, the constitution of India did not contain any list of fundamental duties. Ten Fundamental Duties were introduced by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 by creating new article 51A. Another duty was added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002. Presently we have 11 Fundamental Duties. 

Need of new set of Fundamental Duties-

  • Since last decade the scope of Fundamental Rights under Part III of the Constitution has seen significant expansion through judicial pronouncements, like the right to free legal services to the poor, right to speedy trial and right to live in a clean and healthy environment etc.
  • As a result, an imbalance has been created between the current set of Fundamental Rights and Duties. Hence to balance the rights of its citizens and further make them more responsible towards the country’s development, India needs a new set of Fundamental Duties. 
  • For example duty to vote, we have witnessing low turn vote in elections, hence this voter apathy should be taken seriously and an attempt should be made to make voting a citizenship obligation.
  • Similarly duty to pay taxes, the tax gap continues to increase every year, it share to GDP was only 24.3% in 2012. The incorporation of the right to pay taxes as part of Fundamental Duties in the Constitution will shift the onus onto the taxpayer to pay taxes rather than the tax department to collect them.
  • Like above two, India needs other Fundamental Duties like duty to help accident victims, duty to keep the premises clean, reinvigorating civic responsibility, duty to prevent civil wrongs etc.

Conclusion-

Fundamental rights form the core of any democracy. Indian constitution has detailed provisions of Fundamental rights and our judiciary on expanded its scope considerably.  But Fundamental Duties are remain untouched since 2002, hence imbalance has been created.  Rights without any corresponding sense of duty, obligation or responsibility are not desirable and rights come with responsibilities. Hence to balance the rights of its citizens and further make them more responsible towards the country’s development, India needs a new set of Fundamental Duties. 

 


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