Fundamental Rights


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

These rights ensure the fullest physical, mental and moral development of every citizen.

These Rights generate a feeling of security amongst the minorities in the country.

They establish the framework of ‘democratic legitimacy’ for the rule of the majority.

The rights provide standards of conduct, citizenship, justice, and fair play.

Various social, religious, economic and political problems in our country make these Rights important.

In our Constitution, Fundamental Rights are enumerated in Part III from Article 14 to 32.

These rights are justiciable.

Justiciable –

Justiciable means that if these rights are violated by the government or anyone else, the individual has the right to approach the Supreme Court or High Courts for the protection of his/her Fundamental Rights.

 

Our Constitution does not permit the legislature and the executive to curb these rights either by law or by executive order.

The Supreme Court or the High Courts can set aside any law that is found to be infringing or abridging the Fundamental Rights.

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

These Rights though justiciable are not absolute.

The Constitution empowers the government to impose certain restrictions on the enjoyment of our rights in the interest of public good.

Seven Fundamental Rights were enshrined in the Constitution of India.

However, the Right to Property was removed from the list of these Rights by the 44th Amendment Act of the Constitution in the year 1976.  Since then, it has been made a legal right.

 

There are now six Fundamental Rights.

[1] Right to Equality

[2] Right to Freedom

[3] Right against Exploitation

[4] Right to Freedom of Religion

[5] Cultural and Educational Rights

[6] 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).