stock marketIntroduction:

Introduction: Here we begin a thorough examination of Part 3 of the Indian Constitution.We’ll embark on a quest to comprehend the nuances of the Fundamental Rights protected by the Indian Constitution in this blog.
This portion, which is sometimes recognised as the foundation of Indian democracy, is significant not only for Indian citizens but also for all people.

Understanding Part 3 of the Indian Constitution

Introduction to Part 3

We must first realise the historical setting in which Part 3 emerged in order to fully appreciate its significance.

Historical Context:

Post-independence India was faced with the monumental task of building a democratic nation. The framers of the Indian Constitution, under the able leadership of Dr. BR. Ambedkar, recognized the need to protect individual rights and liberties. Part 3, which comprises Articles 12 to 35, was meticulously crafted to achieve this goal.

 Significance of Fundamental Rights

The foundation of Indian democracy is the Bill of Fundamental Rights. No matter their caste, creed, religion, or gender, all Indian citizens are entitled to these rights.These rights include:

  • Right to Equality (Article 14-18): Ensures equal treatment before the law.
  • Right to Freedom (Article 19-22): Guarantees freedom of speech, expression, and movement.
  • Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24): Prohibits human trafficking and forced labor.
  • Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28): Upholds religious freedom.
  • Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30): Safeguards the rights of minorities.

Key Articles and Their Provisions

Article 14: Right to Equality

According to Article 14, every citizen is entitled to equal protection under the law and equality before the law.
Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, caste, sexual orientation, or country of origin is forbidden.

Article 19: Right to Freedom

Article 19 guarantees the following freedoms:

  • Freedom of speech and expression
  • Freedom to assemble peacefully
  • Freedom to form associations or unions
  • Freedom to move freely
  • Freedom to reside and settle in any part of India

Article 21: Right to Life and Personal Liberty

Article 21 is often considered the heart and soul of Fundamental Rights. It declares that no one may be robbed of their life or personal liberty until doing so in accordance with the legal process.

The Fundamental Rights Shaping Landmark Cases

  • Keshavananda Bharati Case (1973): This case established the doctrine of “Basic Structure of the Constitution,” which limits the amending power of the Parliament and ensures that certain core principles of the Constitution remain unaltered.
  • Maneka Gandhi Case (1978): It expanded the scope of Article 21, emphasizing that personal liberty could not be denied arbitrarily.
  • Indira Gandhi vs. Raj Narain Case (1975): This case upheld the principle that no one, not even the Prime Minister, is above the law.

Read : Understanding Part 1 of the Indian Constitution : A Deep Guide

Fundamental Rights in Detail

Let’s now study more deeply into the precise freedoms and rights that Part 3 of the Indian Constitution guarantees.

Right to Equality (Article 14-18)

Article 14: Equality Before the Law

Article 14 guarantees that no one will be denied equality before the law or equal protection under the law on Indian territory.

Article 15: Prohibition of Discrimination

Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, caste, gender, or place of birth is prohibited by Article 15.
It also gives the state the authority to provide for the needs of women, children, and economically and socially marginalised groups.

Article 16: Equality of Opportunity in Public Employment

Article 16 guarantees equality of opportunity and forbids discrimination in public employment based on race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, or residence.

Article 17: Abolition of Untouchability

Article 17 abolishes “untouchability” and forbids its practice in any form.

Article 18: Abolition of Titles

Article 18 prohibits the conferment of titles by the state and ensures that no Indian citizen can accept titles from foreign states.

Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)

Article 19: Freedom of Speech and Expression

Everyone has the right to freedom of speech and expression, subject to reasonable limitations, as stated in Article 19(1)(a).

Article 19(1)(b): Right to Assemble Peacefully

Citizens have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms.

Article 19(1)(c): Right to Form Associations or Unions

Article 19(1)(c) grants citizens the right to form associations or unions.

Article 19(1)(d): Right to Move Freely

Every citizen has the right to move freely throughout the territory of India.

Article 19(1)(e): Right to Reside and Settle

Citizens have the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.

Article 20: Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences

Article 20 provides safeguards against self-incrimination and double jeopardy.

Article 21: Right to Life and Personal Liberty

As mentioned earlier, Article 21 is a fundamental right that ensures the right to life and personal liberty.

Article 22: Protection Against Arrest and Detention

Article 22 safeguards individuals arrested or detained, ensuring that they are informed of the grounds of their arrest.

Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24)

Article 23: Prohibition of Traffic in Human Beings and Forced Labor

Article 23 prohibits human trafficking and forced labor.

Article 24: Prohibition of Employment of Children in Factories

Article 24 prohibits the employment of children under the age of 14 in factories.

Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28)

Article 25: Freedom of Conscience and Free Profession, Practice, and Propagation of Religion

Article 25 guarantees every person the freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice, and propagate religion.

Article 26: Freedom to Manage Religious Affairs

Article 26 grants religious denominations the right to manage their own affairs.

Article 27: Freedom from Payment of Taxes for Promotion of any Particular Religion

Article 27 ensures that no person can be compelled to pay taxes for the promotion of any particular religion.

Article 28: Freedom from Religious Instruction in Educational Institutions

Article 28 prohibits religious instruction in educational institutions wholly maintained by the state.

Read : Part 2 of the Indian Constitution : Citizenship Made Simple

Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)

Role of the Supreme Court

Article 32 empowers the citizens to directly approach the Supreme Court for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights. These rights are protected by the Supreme Court, which can also issue writs on their behalf.
By virtue of this clause, the Supreme Court is given final say in determining how to interpret and defend these rights.

Public Interest Litigations (PILs) and Fundamental Rights

Public interest lawsuits, sometimes known as PILs, are now a powerful tool for preserving fundamental rights.PILs allow people and organisations to file legal challenges over matters of public interest, guaranteeing that even the weakest and most vulnerable oppressed can seek justice.

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

Relationship with Fundamental Rights

While Fundamental Rights are justiciable and enforceable in a court of law, Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are non-justiciable guidelines for the government. The government must take them into account when creating laws and regulations because they are an important part of the Indian Constitution.

Using DPSP, rights balancing

The rights of its citizens and the welfare of society as a whole must be balanced by the Indian government.
To maintain individual freedom while without compromising societal growth, this balance must be struck.

Challenges and Contemporary Relevance

Amendments to Fundamental Rights

The Indian Constitution has undergone numerous revisions to address new issues and the changing demands of the country.
The modification of fundamental rights has been the focus of debate, with some arguing for a stronger protection of rights while others highlighting the necessity for government flexibility.

Addressing New-Age Issues

As it addresses current issues like digital rights, privacy concerns, and environmental protection in India and around the world, the Indian Constitution is evolving.

Summary

In this exhaustive exploration of Part 3 of the Indian Constitution, we have journeyed through the history, significance, and specific provisions of Fundamental Rights. We have seen how the Supreme Court defends these rights and how significant decisions have shaped them.We looked at the tense balance between fundamental rights and guiding principles of state policy, as well as the challenges posed by amendments and new-age concerns

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