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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. What are the key differences between Fundamental rights (FR) and Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP). Discuss the associated cases which show the conflict between fundamental rights (FR) and Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP).

    13 Sep, 2022 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance

    Approach

    • Start your answer by giving a brief about Fundamental rights (FR) and Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP).
    • Discuss the difference between FR and DPSP.
    • Discuss the conflicts between FR and DPSP.
    • Conclude suitably.

    Introduction

    The Directive Principles along with the Fundamental Rights contain the philosophy of the Constitution and is the soul of the Constitution. Granville Austin has described the Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights as the ‘Conscience of the Constitution’.

    Main Body

    Difference Between Fundamental rights (FR) and Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP)

    • Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP) are positive as they require the State to do certain things while Fundamental rights (FR) are negative as they impose limitations on the working of the state.
    • Fundamental rights (FR) are justiciable, that is, they are legally enforceable by the courts in case of their violation but Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP) are non-justiciable.
    • Fundamental rights (FR) aim at establishing political democracy in the country but Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP) aim at establishing social and economic democracy in the country.
    • Fundamental rights (FR) have legal sanctions but Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP) have moral and political sanctions.
    • Fundamental rights (FR) promote the welfare of the individual. Hence, they are personal and individualistic while Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP) promote the welfare of the community. Hence, they are societarian and socialistic.
    • Fundamental rights (FR) do not require any legislation for their implementation. They are automatically enforced while Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP) require legislation for their implementation. They are not automatically enforced.

    Conflicts Between Fundamental Rights and DPSP: Associated Cases

    • Champakam Dorairajan v the State of Madras (1951): In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that in case of any conflict between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles, the former would prevail.
      • It declared that the Directive Principles have to conform to and run as subsidiary to the Fundamental Rights.
      • It also held that the Fundamental Rights could be amended by the Parliament by enacting constitutional amendment acts.
    • Golaknath v the State of Punjab (1967): In this case, the Supreme Court declared that Fundamental Rights could not be amended by the Parliament even for implementation of Directive Principles.
      • It was contradictory to its own judgement in the ‘Shankari Parsad case’.
    • Kesavananda Bharati v the State of Kerala (1973): In this case, the Supreme Court overruled its Golak Nath (1967) verdict and declared that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution but it cannot alter its “Basic Structure”.
      • Thus, the Right to Property (Article 31) was eliminated from the list of Fundamental Rights.
    • Minerva Mills v the Union of India (1980): In this case, the Supreme Court reiterated that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution but it cannot change the “Basic Structure” of the Constitution.

    Conclusion

    Nevertheless, the differences between Fundamental rights (FR) and Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP), are equally important for the full realization of the potential of an individual.

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