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Relationship between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles


Fundamental rights are the core human rights contained in the Indian Constitution and guaranteed to all people. They are applied without regard to race, creed, or gender. Significantly, basic rights are enforceable by the courts under particular situations. These rights are referred to as basic rights for two reasons: they are incorporated in the Constitution, which guarantees them, and they are justiciable, which means that if a violation occurs, a person can seek redress in a court of law.

The goal of Directive Principles is to create a welfare state. Article 40 of the constitution, which enshrines one of the Directive Principles, states that the State shall take efforts to create village panchayats and invest them with such rights and authority as may be required to allow them to operate as units of self-government. There are three sorts of directive principles: 1. Socialist Gandhianism; 2. Intellectual Liberalism; and 3. Liberalism. 1. socialist Gandhianism; 2. Intellectual Liberalism; and 3. Liberalism. Directive Principles are listed in Part IV of the Indian Constitution; from Articles 36 to 51 DPSPS are derived from the Irish Constitution. 

To further comprehend the tension between basic rights and directive principles, we will now investigate a few situations.

 Champakam Dorairajan Case (1951)

In the event of a dispute between basic rights and DPSPs, the Supreme Court held that the former’s provisions would take precedence. DPSPs were viewed as a complement to basic rights. In addition, the Supreme Court declared that Parliament might change basic rights through the constitutional amendment act in order to enact DPSPs.

As a result, the First Amendment Act (1951), the Fourth Amendment Act (1955), and the Seventeenth Amendment Act (1964) were enacted by Parliament to implement parts of the Directives. 

Golaknath Case (1967)

The Supreme Court concluded that Parliament cannot modify Fundamental Rights in order to achieve Directive Principles of State Policy.

Held: The 24th and 25th Amendment Acts of 1971 declared that Parliament has the authority to abridge or take away any of the Fundamental Rights by introducing Constitutional Amendment Acts. The 25th Amendment Act included a new Article 31C comprising two provisions: No law that seeks to implement the socialistic Directive Principles specified in Article 39 (b)22 and (c)23 shall be declared void on the basis of a violation of the Fundamental Rights conferred by Article 14 (equality before the law and equal protection of the laws), Article 19 (protection of six rights in respect of speech, assembly, movement, and so on), or Article 31 (protection of six rights in respect of speech, assembly, movement, and so on) (right to property).

No law including a statement for carrying out such a policy shall be challenged in any court on the grounds that it does not carry out such a policy. 

Kesavananda Bharti Case (1973)

During the Golaknath Case in 1967, the Supreme Court struck down the second clause of Article 31C inserted by the 25th Amendment Act. The clause was deemed ‘unconstitutional’ by the court. It did, however, find the first section of Article 31C to be constitutional and legitimate.

Held: Parliament expanded the scope of the first clause of Article 31C by the 42nd amendment act. It gave the Directive Principles legal authority and superiority over the Fundamental Rights given by Articles 14, 19, and 31.

Minerva Mills Case (1980)

The Supreme Court ruled that the 42nd Amendment Act’s expansion of Article 31C was illegal and unlawful. It subordinated DPSP to Fundamental Rights. In addition, the Supreme Court stated that “the Indian Constitution is established on the cornerstone of the balance between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.”

Supreme Court’s rulings following the case were:

  • Fundamental Rights and DPSPs are crucial to the commitment to social transformation.
  • The harmony and balance of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy is a fundamental component of the Constitution’s core framework.
  • The Directive Principles’ aims must be met without sacrificing the means afforded by the Fundamental Rights.


Fundamental Rights now take precedence over Directive Principles. However, Directive Principles can be put into action. The Parliament may alter the Fundamental Rights to achieve the Directive Principles as long as the amendment does not harm or destroy the Constitution’s core framework.

Written by Akash Singh

Hello, My name is Akash Singh, and I work as a content writer at Asian Reads. When I start writing a blog or an article, I do a lot of research on the subject. I also frequently try new and imaginative writing techniques, which intrigue me. I like learning about a subject through reading reliable books as well as published research and reporting from respected news organizations, journals, and other sources.

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