Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights

The fundamental rights are in part 3 of the Indian Constitution from article 12 to 35 and guarantee civil rights to all indians without any discrimination. Part 3 is the magna carta of the Constitution. The framers of the Indian Constitution had taken the fundamental rights from the US Constitution. They can be suspended during the emergencies except the articles 20 and 21. Fundamental rights are justiciable, aggrieved people can directly go to the supreme court if and when they are violated. The supreme court has the power to issue writs for the enforcement of the fundamental rights as the Guardian of Fundamental Rights.

The fundamental rights aims to establish political democracy in India and they are fundamental in its sense that they provide economic, social development for the citizens of India. Fundamental rights can be amended by the parliament with the special majority, but the basic structure of the Constitution should remain the same. Originally, the constitution provided seven rights. In 1978, by the 44th constitutional amendment act the right to property (article 31) was removed from fundamental rights and inserted in legal rights under article 300-A. So at present, there are six fundamental rights.

  1. Right to equality – Articles 14-18
  2. Right to freedom – Articles 19-22
  3. Right against exploitation – Articles 23-24
  4. Right to freedom of religion – Article 25-28
  5. Cultural and educational rights – Articles 29-30
  6. Right to Constitutional remedies – Article 32

Articles related to Fundamental Rights

Article 12 – definition of state.

Article 13 – laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights.

Article 14 – equality before law.

Article 15 – Prohibition and discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

Article 16 – equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.

Article 17 – abolition of untouchability.

Article 18 – abolition of titles.

Article 19 – protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.

Article 20 – Protection in respect of conviction for offences.

Article 21 – protection of life and personal liberty.

Article 21 A – right to education.

Article 22 – protection against arrest and detention in certain cases..

Article 23 – Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.

Article 24 – Prohibition of employment of Children in factories, etc.

Article 25 – Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

Article 26 – Freedom to manage religious affairs.

Article 27 – Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion.

Article 28 – Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction, or religious worship in certain educational institutions.

Article 29 – Protection of interest of minorities.

Article 30 – Right of minorities to establish and administer education instructions.

Article 31 – repealed.

Article 32 – Remedies for enforcement of rights conferred by this Part.

Writs

The Supreme Court has the power to issue writs, namely habeas corpus, prohibition, certiorari and quo warranto, for enforcement of Fundamental Rights. 

Habeas Corpus : means ‘to have the body of’. Implies that the person who has been imprisoned can enquire under what authority he has been imprisoned.

Mandamus : means ‘we command’. It is issued by the court to command a person or public body to do or forbear to do something in the nature of public duty.

Prohibition : means ‘to forbid’. It is issued by Higher courts to stop jurisdiction in a lower court on the grounds of overstepping jurisdiction.

Certiorari : means ‘to be certified’ or ‘to be informed’. It is issued by Higher courts to a lower court to transfer a pending case for speedy justice.

Quo Warranto : means ‘by what authority or warrant’. It is issued by court to enquire a person who claims the legality to a public office.

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