Rights are the essential situations for the personal, social, monetary, political, mental and moral development of guy. Rights are not most effective required for the improvement of man but are vital for the improvement of society and social values. Rights are the social requirement of a social guy for the improvement of his character and society at large.



Part III of the Constitution of India deals with the Fundamental Rights. Fundamental rights are the basic rights which are being provided by the constitution to all the citizens irrespective of caste, colour, race, sex etc. These rights are Justiciable in nature it means that the person can also file the case if his/her fundamental rights are violated. No person or state can take away or curtail the fundamental rights of any individual. Article 14 to 32, describes following fundamental rights:

  1. Right to Equality[1] (Article 14 to 18)

  2. Right to Freedom[2] (Article 19 to 22)

  3. Right to Life[3] (Article 21)

  4. Right against Exploitation  (Article 23[4] & 24)

  5. Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25 to 28)

  6. Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29 & 30)

  7. Right to Constitutional Remedies[5] (Article 32)



Part IV of the Constitution of India deals with directive principles of state policy. As the title explains that these are only principles or norms which are to be followed or kept in mind by the state before making any law or policy. These principles provide direction to state in order to make policies. These principles are non-justiciable in nature it means they are not enforceable in the court if the state is unable to provide that. It means state has its own discretion whether they are able to follow these principles or not. The concept of Directive principles of state policy has been derived from Ireland.  Article 36 to 51 discuss the following Principles:

  • Economic and socialist

  • Political and administrative

  • Legal and Justice

  • Environmental

  • Peace and Security.



Though there is no inherent conflict between the “fundamental rights and directive principles of state policy” in the total scheme of the constitution yet such a conflict becomes inevitable by the virtue of the fact that “state” that shall discharge its duty as per the Article 37 may make a law keeping in with the spirit of directive principles (which are non-justiciable) which may be violative of fundamental rights (which are justiciable). This conflict then boils down to conflict between legislature and executive authority on one hand and judicial authority on other. Question then arises “who is right”. Both are rights in their respective places. Therefore, the harmony between the two is most essential to bring change in the socio-economic and political structure.

The first case that came before the Supreme Court regarding the conflict between fundamental right and directive principles of state policy was Champakam Dorarijan’s case[6]. In this case, madras communal govt order was being challenged by the petitioner on the grounds that it was violative of Article 15(1). The order was related to admission of students in college through ordinary ratio. The state govt. took the plea that their discrimination is justified as Article 46 gives them duty to promote educational and economic interest of weaker sections of society. The justice Rajamanner C. observed that state has liberty to do anything as long as the fundamental rights of citizens are not infringed. So, the order was declared void by the court. This decision was challenged in various cases and as a result of it the parliament enacted the 1st Amendment, 1951.[7] This amendment added clause 4 in the Article 19 of the constitution. This amendment shows enforcement of Directive principles is more important than the fundamental rights in certain aspects.

Similarly, in the case of, Jagwant kaur Kesardang & others. V. State of Bombay[8] the Hon’ble Court declared the actions of Bombay govt., which discriminated in favour of harijans as void and inconsistent with Article 15. In Ajaib Singh v. State of Bombay[9] once again the court emphasized the importance of fundamental rights over Directive Principles of State Policy. In G.M. Thomas v. State of Madras,[10] the petition is in regards to Article 46. Here, the Supreme Court ordered that Article 46 is non-justiciable in nature and cannot infringe the fundamental rights.


In Mohd Hanif Quereshi Versus State of Bihar,[11] SC says that as per Article 13(2), the state cannot make any law which infringe the fundamental rights of the citizens so by harmonious interpretation, state has to implement Directive Principles in such a way so that it does not infringe the Fundamental Rights.


In 1973 Keshavanand Bharti v. State of Kerala[12] case came up before the Supreme Court. This case raises the importance of Fundamental Rights and Directive principles. In this case, SC introduces the Doctrine of Basic Structure and held that Fundamental rights of citizens are the basic structure of Constitution and thus can’t be infringed. At last, in Minerva Mills Case[13], the constitutional validity of 42nd Amendment had been challenged and SC declares it void as it is inconsistent with the basic structure of the constitution. Moreover, Supreme Court declares that fundamental rights and directive principles of state policy are supplementary to each other and to preserve the basic structure of constitution the harmony and balance between two is very much essential. Therefore, the court adopted the view that it should not ignored the directive principles completely and exercise the principle of harmonious interpretation and give effects to both as far as possible.




After discussing various cases, it is ample clear that judiciary is able to implement various directive principles not directly but indirectly through the expansion of Fundamental rights especially Article 21. Our constitution makers did not ponder any disharmony between the fundamental rights and the directive principles. It is stated that the directive prescribed the goal to be attained and the essential rights laid down the method by which that intention was to be executed.


                                                                                                                                                                          MAMTA JAIN                                                                                                                                                                                    GEETA INSTITUTE OF LAW



[1] The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

[2] (4) Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.]

[3] No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

[4] (1) Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. (2) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from imposing compulsory service for public purposes, and in imposing such service the State shall not make any discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste or class or any of them

[5] The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed.

[6] State of Madras v. Champakam Dorarijan, case AIR 1951 SC 226.

[7] “Nothing in this Article or Article 29(2) shall prevent the state from making any special provisions for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward classes of citizens for the scheduled caste and scheduled tribes

[8] Jagwant kaur Kesardang & others. V. State of Bombay AIR 1952 Bombay 461.

[9] Ajaib Singh v. State of Bombay, AIR 1952 Punjab 309.

[10] G.M. Thomas v. State of Madras, AIR 1953 Madras 92.

[11] Mohd Hanif Quereshi Versus State of Bihar AIR 1958 SC 731

[12] Keshavanand Bharti v. State of Kerala AIR 1973 SC 1461.

[13] Minerva Mills v. Union of India AIR 1980 SC 1789.