Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution: The Fundamental Rights are named so because they are protected and guaranteed by the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of India. The Fundamental Rights are included in Part 3 of the Indian Constitution from Articles 14 to Article 35. All the Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution are taken from or inspired from the Constitution of the USA i.e., the Bill of Rights. Part 3 is also described as the Magna Carta of India. It carries a very comprehensive and long list of ‘justiciable’ Fundamental Rights. The fundamental duties and fundamental rights are complementary to each other. For a successful democracy, both fundamental rights and fundamental duties must co-exist.
Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution
The Fundamental Rights in Indian Constitution are more detailed than those found in the Constitution of any other country in the world. These are guaranteed by the Constitution without any discrimination against all persons. These are intended for promoting the idea of political democracy. They protect the freedoms and liberties of the people against invasion by the State authority. They aim at establishing a government not of men but of laws.
6 Fundamental Rights of Indian Citizen
Originally, the Indian Constitution provided 7 Fundamental Rights which have now been revised to 6 Fundamental Rights which are as follows-:
- Right to equality (Articles 14–18)
- Right to freedom (Articles 19–22)
- Right against exploitation (Articles 23–24)
- Right to freedom of religion (Articles 25–28)
- Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29–30)
- Right to constitutional remedies (Article 32)
The right to property was deleted from the list of Fundamental Rights by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978 and made a legal right under Article 300-A in Part 12 of the Indian Constitution. At present, there are only 6 Fundamental Rights. These are as follows with proper explanation:
|1. Right to equality|
(a) Article 14 - Equal protection of laws and Equality before law.
(b) Article 15 - Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, sex, place of birth or race.
(c) Article 16 - Equality of opportunity in terms of public employment.
(d) Article 17 - Abolition of untouchability and prohibition of its practice.
(e) Article 18 - Abolition of titles except military and academic.
|2. Right to freedom|
(a) Article 19 - Protection of six rights regarding freedom of:
(i) speech and expression,
(v) residence, and
(b) Article 20 - Protection in a conviction for offences.
(c) Article 21 - Protection of life and personal liberty.
(d)Article 21A - Right to elementary education.
(e) Article 22 - Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
|3. Right against exploitation|
(a) Article 23 - Prohibition of traffic in forced labour and human beings.
(b) Article 24 - Prohibition of employment of children in Companies and factories, etc.
|4. Right to freedom of religion|
(a) Article 25 - Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
(b) Article 26 - Freedom to manage religious affairs.
(c) Article 27 - Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any religion or religious affairs.
(d) Article 28 - Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions
|5. Cultural and educational rights|
(a) Article 29 - Protection of language, script and culture of minorities.
(b) Article 30 - Rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.
|6. Right to constitutional remedies|
Article 32 - Right to move the Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights including the writs of
(i) Habeas corpus,
(v) Quo war-rento
6 Fundamental Rights
Read about all 6 Fundamental Rights discussed in the Indian Constitution in detail from the below section.
Right to equality (Article 14 - Article 18)
It is guaranteed Equality before Law and Equal Protection Laws, also the prohibition of discrimination on certain grounds such as religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth gives equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. Abolish the untouchability and prohibit its practice, Abolition of all titles except military and academic.
Right to freedom (Article 19 - Article 22)
Protection of six rights regarding freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association, movement, residence, and profession. These six rights are protected against only state action and not private individuals. These rights are not available to foreigners but available only to the citizens. Grants protection against excessive and arbitrary punishment to an accused person. It is available for both citizens and foreigners. Right to Freedom also states that no person shall be underprivileged of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. It also provides that the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years. It grants protection to persons who are arrested or detained.
Right against exploitation (Article 23 - Article 24)
It prohibits human trafficking, forced labour and other similar forms of forced labour. It also prohibits the employment of minor children below the age of 14 years in any mine, factory or other hazardous activities like construction work or railway.
Right to freedom of religion (Article 25 - Article 28)
All persons are equally allowed freedom of conscience and the right to freely practice, propagate and profess religion. Every religious section shall have the following rights:
1. Maintain and establish institutions for religious and charitable purposes
2. Manage its own affairs in matters of religion
3. Acquire and own movable and immovable property
4. Administer such property in accordance with law
Gives Freedom from Taxation for Promotion of a Religion it means no person shall be compelled to pay any taxes for the maintenance or promotion of any particular religious denomination or section.
Cultural and educational rights (Article 29- Article 30)
Any section of the citizens in any part of India having a definite script, culture or language of its own, shall have the right to conserve the same.No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of caste, language, religion or race. All minorities shall have the right to administer and establish educational institutions of their choice.
Right to constitutional remedies (Article 32- Article 35)
The right to remedies for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of an aggrieved citizen(if any person violated the Fundamental Rights is mentioned in article 32 of the Indian Constitution. It is also called the right to get the Fundamental Rights protected is in itself a fundamental right. Article 32 makes the fundamental rights real.
Fundamental Rights for Indian Citizens and not for Foreigners
|Article 15||Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth|
|Article 16||Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment|
|Article 19.||Protection of six rights regarding freedom of : (i) speech and expression, (ii) assembly, (iii) association, (iv) movement, (v) residence, and (vi) profession|
|Article 21||Protection of life and personal liberty|
|Article 30||Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions|
Fundamental Rights for both Indian Citizens and Foreigners
|Article 14||Equality before the law and equal protection of laws|
|Article 20||Protection in respect of conviction for offences|
|Article 21||Protection of life and personal liberty|
|Article 21A||Right to elementary education|
|Article 22||Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases|
|Article 23||Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.|
|Article 24||Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.|
|Article 25||Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion|
|Article 26||Freedom to manage religious affairs.|
|Article 27||Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any religion|
|Article 28||Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions)|
Fundamental Rights- Features & Characteristics
1. Some Fundamental Rights are available only to the citizens while others Fundamental Rights are available to all persons whether citizens, legal persons like corporations or companies or foreigners.
2. Fundamental Rights are not absolute but qualified.
3. The state can impose reasonable restrictions on them.
4. Some of them place limitations on the authority of the State because they are negative in character.
5. If and when they are violated they allow persons to move the courts for their enforcement.
6. Fundamental Rights are justiciable.
7. They are guaranteed and defended by the Supreme Court.
8. During the operation of a National Emergency they can be suspended except the rights guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21.