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Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Part III of Indian Constitution: Source, Mandate and Key Features

Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Indian Constitution- Historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Part III of Indian Constitution: Source, Mandate and Key Features_40.1


Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Background

  • Definition: Fundamental rights are a group of rights that have been recognized by the Supreme Court as requiring a high degree of protection from government encroachment.
    • Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35) are applied without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, etc.
  • About: The Fundamentals rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India are fundamental as they have been incorporated into the Fundamental Law of the Land.
    • Rights literally mean those freedoms which are essential for personal good as well as the good of the community.
  • Key Mandate of Fundamental Rights: Fundamental Rights are provided in the Indian constitution with an aim to promote the ideals of political democracy in India.
  • Part of Indian Constitution: Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35) are mentioned under Part-III of the Indian Constitution.
    • Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35) are also described as the Magna Carta of India.
  • Source of Fundamental Rights: Fundamental Rights (FRs) of the Indian Constitution derive their origin from the US Constitution (United States Bill of Rights).

Fundamental Rights: List of Fundamental Rights, Definition of State (Article 12) and Judicial Review (Article 13)


Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Key Features

  • Constitutional Protection: Fundamental Rights of people unlike other Ordinary rights are protected by the constitution of India itself.
  • Justiciable in Nature: Fundamental rights are justiciable in nature and enforceable in a court of law unlike Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs).
    • A concerned individual can directly approach Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution if his/her Fundamental Rights are violated.
  • Scope of Fundamental Rights: Few Fundamental Rights are available to Indian Citizens only while others are available to all persons whether citizens, foreigners or legal persons like corporations or companies.
  • Flexible in Nature: Constitutional Makers have ensured that FRs are in sync with the changing time and evolving society.
    • Fundamental Rights can be amended, repealed or added in the Constitution by Parliament through a constitutional amendment act.
  • Acts as Limitations on the State Powers: The Fundamental Rights (FRs) operates as limitations on the tyranny of the executive and arbitrary laws of the legislature.
  • Reasonable Restrictions: Fundamental Rights are not absolute in nature rather constitution itself provides a certain limitations on the enjoyment of Fundamental Rights by People.
    • Reasonable restrictions can be imposed on the Fundamental Rights by the State. H
    • However, the proportionality and reasonability of the restrictions on Fundamental Rights is decided/judged by the courts.
  • Exclusion from Fundamental Rights: Constitution under Part-III (Article 33) itself provides that the applicability of FRs to the members of armed forces, paramilitary forces, police forces, intelligence agencies and analogous services can be restricted or abrogated by the Parliament.
    • Application of Fundamental Rights can also be restricted while martial law is in force in any area of the country.
  • Fundamental Rights During National Emergency Situations:
    • All fundamental Rights except rights guaranteed under Articles 20 and 21 can be suspended during the imposition of a national Emergency.
    • Six rights guaranteed under Article 19 can only be suspended when National Emergency is imposed on the grounds of war or external aggression (and not on the ground of armed rebellion).

Fundamental Rights: List of Fundamental Rights, Definition of State (Article 12) and Judicial Review (Article 13)

Fundamental Duties (Article 51A) | Part IVA | Indian Constitution

List of Fundamental Rights

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