Political Science: Fundamental Rights Meaning and Importance of Fundamental Rights: Meaning and Importance of Fundamental Rights

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Meaning and Importance of Fundamental Rights

  • The rights, which are enshrined in the Constitution, are called ‘Fundamental Rights’.

  • They are important because they:

    • Provide freedom and conditions which make life worth living

    • Generate a feeling of security amongst the minorities in the country

    • Establish the framework of ‘democratic legitimacy’ for the rule of the majority

    • Provide standards of conduct, citizenship, justice and fair play

    • Serve as a check on the government

  • Fundamental Rights are enumerated in Part III from Article 14 to 32. These rights are justiciable but not absolute (that means government can impose some restrictions for public good).

  • Some of the Fundamental Rights are also enjoyed by foreigners◊ the Right to Equality before Law and Right to Freedom of Religion are enjoyed by both i.e. citizens as well as foreigners.

  • Seven Fundamental Rights were enshrined in the Constitution of India. However, the Right to Property was removed by the 44th Amendment Act in 1976. Since then, it has been made a legal right.

  • There are now six Fundamental Rights. They are: -

    • Right to Equality

    • Right to Freedom

    • Right against Exploitation

    • Right to Freedom of Religion

    • Cultural and Educational Rights, and

    • Right to Constitutional Remedies.

  • Recently by the 86th Amendment Act, the Right to Education has been included in the list of Fundamental Rights as part of the Right to Freedom by adding Article 21(A).

Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights
Category Consists of Right to Equality (Articles 14-18) a) Equality before law and equal protection of laws (Article 14) b) Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth (Article 15) c) Equality of opportunities in matters of public employment (Article 16) d) Abolition of untouchability and prohibition of its practice (Article 17) e) Abolition of titles except military and academic (Article 18) Right to Freedom (Articles 19-22) a) Protection of six rights regarding freedom of: speech and expression, assembly, association, movement, residence and profession (Article 19) b) Protection in respect of conviction for offences (Article 20) c) Protection of life and personal liberty (Article 21) d) Right to elementary education (Article 21A) e) Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases (Article 22) Right against Exploitation (Articles 23-24) a) Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour (Article 23) b) Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc. (Article 24) Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25-28) a) Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion (Article 25) b) Freedom to manage religious affairs (Article 26) c) Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any religion (Article 27) d) Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions (Article 28) Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29-30) a) Protection of language, script and culture of minorities (Article 29) b) Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions (Article 30) Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32) Right to move Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights including the writs of: a) Habeas corpus b) Mandamus c) Prohibition d) Certiorari e) Quo Warranto

Category

Consists of

Right to Equality

(Articles 14-18)

Equality before law and equal protection of laws (Article 14)

Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth (Article 15)

Equality of opportunities in matters of public employment (Article 16)

Abolition of untouchability and prohibition of its practice (Article 17)

Abolition of titles except military and academic (Article 18)

Right to Freedom

(Articles 19-22)

Protection of six rights regarding freedom of: speech and expression, assembly, association, movement, residence and profession (Article 19)

Protection in respect of conviction for offences (Article 20)

Protection of life and personal liberty (Article 21)

Right to elementary education (Article 21A)

Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases (Article 22)

Right against Exploitation

(Articles 23-24)

Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour (Article 23)

Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc. (Article 24)

Right to Freedom of Religion

(Articles 25-28)

Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion (Article 25)

Freedom to manage religious affairs (Article 26)

Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any religion (Article 27)

Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions (Article 28)

Cultural and Educational Rights

(Articles 29-30)

Protection of language, script and culture of minorities (Article 29)

Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions (Article 30)

Right to Constitutional Remedies

(Article 32)

Right to move Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights including the writs of:

Habeas corpus

Mandamus

Prohibition

Certiorari

Quo Warranto

If the Fundamental Rights are the cornerstone of our democracy, then the Right to Constitutional Remedies is the soul of the part III of the Constitution.

Fundamental rights

Fundamental Rights

Fundamental rights

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