Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

•DPSPs resemble the ‘Instrument of Instructions’ enumerated in the Government of India Act of 1935.

•If Fundamental Rights ensure ‘political democracy’ then DPSPs ensure ‘social and economic democracy’. DPSPs embody the concept of ‘welfare state’.

•Dr Ambedkar described these principles as novel features of Indian Constitution.

•Preamble, DPSPs and Fundamental Rights contain the philosophy of Constitution.

Granville Austin has described DPSPs and Fundamental Rights as the ‘Conscience of the Constitution’.

Article 36 – Definition

  In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, the “State” has the same meaning as in Part III. •Remember Article 12 in Fundamental Rights.

Article 37 – Application of the principles contained in this Part

  DPSPs shall not be enforceable by any court, but these principles are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.

•DPSPs are non-justiciable in nature. But court can use DPSPs in examining the constitutional validity of a law.

Article 38 – State to secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of the people

•State to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting a social order in which justice – social, economic and political – shall inform all the institutions of the national life.

•The State shall strive to minimise the inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people.

Article 39 – Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State

The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that— (a)citizens have the right to an adequate means of livelihood; (b)ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to serve the common good;

(c)operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;

(d)there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;

(e)health and strength of workers and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength;

(f)children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

Article 39A – Equal justice and free legal aid

 The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities. •

Article 40 – Organisation of village panchayats

 The State shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.

Article 41 – Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases

 The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of under-served want.

Article 42 – Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief

The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.

Article 43 – Living wage, etc., for workers

 The State shall secure to all workers – a living wage, a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operative basis in rural areas. •

Article 43A – Participation of workers in the management of industries

 The State shall secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organisations engaged in any industry.

Article 43B – Promotion of co-operative societies

 The State shall promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of co-operative societies.

Article 44 – Uniform civil code for the citizens

 The State shall secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the ‘territory of India’.

 “Uniform civil Code” is a proposal to have a generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion.

Benefits of UCC

•A secular republic needs a common law for all citizens.

Gender justice: The rights of women are usually limited under religious law, be it Hindu or Muslim. The practice of triple talaq is a classic example. •Many practices governed by religious tradition are at odds with the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution.

•Courts have also often said in their judgements that the government should move towards a uniform civil code including the judgement in the Shah Bano case.

Issues

Practical difficulties: It is practically tough to come up with a common and uniform set of rules for personal issues like marriage due to tremendous cultural diversity India across the religions, sects, castes, states etc.

Perception of UCC as encroachment on religious freedom especially that granted under Fundamental Rights.

Interference of state in personal mattersSensitive and tough task: It might turn out to be more disastrous in a form of communal violence.

Conclusion

•It will be better if UCC emerges through an evolutionary process.

•Major sensitization efforts are needed to reform current personal law which should first be initiated by the communities themselves.

•Sincere efforts towards women empowerment have to be taken for all women of all religions.

•Efforts should be focused on ‘harmony in plurality’ than blanket uniformity for flourishing Indian democracy.

Article 45 – Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years

 The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.

Article 46 – Promotion of educational and economic interests of SCs, STs and other weaker sections

 The State shall promote educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of SC and ST, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

Article 47 – Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health

  The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.

Article 48 – Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry

  The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

Article 48A – Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life

 The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.

Article 49 – Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance

 It shall be the obligation of the State to protect every monument or place or object of artistic or historic interest, declared by Parliament to be of national importance, from spoliation, disfigurement, destruction, removal, disposal or export.

Article 50 – Separation of judiciary from executive

  The State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive. •

Article 51 – Promotion of international peace and security

  The State shall endeavour to—

(a)promote international peace and security;

(b)maintain just and honourable relations between nations;

(c)foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organised peoples with one another; and

(d)encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.

DPSPs versus Fundamental Rights

Champakam Dorairajan case (1951): In case of conflict between Fundamental Rights and DPSPs, former will prevail. But Fundamental Right could be amended by Parliament u/a 368.

•Thus, Parliament enacted various CAA to give effect to DPSPs.

Golaknath case (1967): SC ruled that Parliament cannot take away or abridge any of the Fundamental Right. Thus, Fundamental Right cannot be amended to implement DPSPs.

Parliament responded with:

24th CAA: Parliament can take away any Fundamental Right.

25th CAA: New Article 31C was enacted. According to this article, if DPSPs u/a 39(b) and (c) are implemented through a law then that law shall not be void even if it is in contravention with rights u/s 14 and 19. Moreover, such law cannot be questioned in any court of law i.e. power of judicial review would not applicable.

Kesavanand Bharti Case: SC ruled that power of ‘judicial review’ is basic feature of Constitution, thus, above provision is unconstitutional and void. But, DPSPs u/a 39(b) and (c) can be given prominence over rights u/a 14 and 19.

42nd CAA: It increased the scope of article 31C to include all DPSPs. Thus, Parliament gave prominence to all DPSPs over rights u/a 14 and 19. •Minerva mill case: The above extension was declared as unconstitutional and invalid.

•Thus, Fundamental Rights are supreme over DPSPs, but Article 39(b) and (c) under DPSPs are supreme over Fundamental Right u/a 14 and 19. •Moreover, Parliament can amend the Fundamental Rights for implementing the DPSPs, so long as the amendment does not damage or destroy the basic structure of the Constitution.

Directives outside Part IV

Article 335 – Claims of SCs and STs to services and posts

•The claims of SCs and STs shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to union and state services and posts.

•State can also make any provision in favour of SCs and STs for relaxation in qualifying marks in any examination or lowering the standards of evaluation, for reservation in matters or promotion to Union or state services or posts.

Article 350A – Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage

•It shall be the endeavour of every State and of every local authority within the State to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups; and

•President may issue such directions to any State under this article.

Article 351 – Directive for development of the Hindi language

•It shall be the duty of the Union:

•to promote the spread of the Hindi language;

•to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India;

•to secure its enrichment by in Hindustani and in the other languages of India specified in the Eighth Schedule, and

•by drawing for its vocabulary, primarily on Sanskrit.

The fundamental rights and the directive principles find common origin in the Sapru Report of 1945, which had divided the fundamental rights into two parts viz. Justifiable and non-justifiable rights. While justifiable rights were incorporated in the Part III; non-justifiable rights were incorporated as directive principles to the state without any guarantee to be enforced via court.

Thus, the directive principles are guidelines by the constitution to the state as defined in article 12 (central, state, local government and bodies). Basic idea is that the “state” should keep these principles while framing laws, policies, ordinances etc.

Sources of DPSP

India borrowed the DPSP from Irish Constitution of 1937 which itself had borrowed it from Spanish Constitution. Further, the Government of India Act had some “instruments of Instructions” which became the immediate source of DPSP.

Key Features

DPSPs are not enforceable in a court of law. They were made non-justifiable keeping in view that the state may not have resources to implement them. All of them are novel principles which call upon the state to provide a welfare government which can bring live ideals of the constitution. The directive principles are as follows:

Social, Political and Economic Justice

Article 38 directs the state to secure a social order with economic, political and social justice for the promotion and welfare of the people. Article 38(2) says that state shall strive to minimize the inequalities of income, status, facilities, opportunities etc.

Principles of Policy

Article 39 says that while framing policies, state would strive to provide adequate means of livelihood, equal pay for equal work, resource distribution, safety of citizens and healthy development of Children.

Article 39-A says that then state will try to make legal system fair and would provide free legal aid by means of some scheme or law etc.

Organization of Panchayats

Article 40 says that the state shall take steps to organize Panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self government. The 73rd and 74th amendments of the constitution later culminated as constitutionally backed framework for this DPSP.

Welfare Government

Article 41 says that state shall (within its limits of economic capacity & development) will make effective provisions for securing right to work, education etc. and to Public Assistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness, disablement or any other case of undeserved want. This article is used as a guiding principle for various social sector schemes such as social assistance programme, right to food security, old age pension scheme, schemes for sick and disabled, MGNREGA etc.

Securing just and humane work and maternity relief

Article 42 says that state shall make provisions for securing just and humane conditions for work and for maternity relief.

Fair wages and decent standard of life

Article 43 says that the state will endeavor to secure by suitable legislations or economic organizations or in other way to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure & social cultural opportunities and in particular promote cottage industries on an individual or cooperative basis in rural areas.

Worker’s participation in management

Article 43 A says that the state shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way, to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organizations engaged in any industry. Government had launched various schemes on workers participation in PSUs to fulfill this directive.

Promotion of Cooperatives

Article 43-B inserted by 97th amendment act in 2011 says that state shall endeavor to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of the co-operative societies.

Uniform Civil Code

Article 44 says that the State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.

Infant and Child Care

Article 45 says that State shall endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years. The ICDS programme and other related schemes try to achieve this ideal.

Protection of SCs, STs, weaker sections from exploitation

Article 46 says The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

Nutrition, Standard of living and public health

Article 47 says that the State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health. Most of the social development programmes such as National Health Mission, Mid Day Meal scheme, ICDS etc. which target the women, children, weaker sections of the society are inspired by Articles 45, 46 and 47.

Scientific agriculture and animal husbandry

Article 48 says that the State shall endeavor to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

Article 48A says that shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.

Environment and wildlife Protection

Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance

Article 49 says that state will be obliged to protect every monument or place or object of artistic or historic interest, declared by or under law made by Parliament to be of national importance, from spoliation, disfigurement, destruction, removal, disposal or export, as the case may be.

Separation of judiciary from executive

Article 50 says that State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.

Promotion of international peace and security

Article 51 says that state shall endeavor to promote international peace and security, maintain just and honorable relations between nations, foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another; and encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.

Gandhian Principles as DPSP

Most of the DPSPs reflect the ideology of socialism and welfare state. Some of them are directly inculcating the Gandhian principles for example:

Article 40: Organization of village Panchayats

  • Article 43: Promotion of cottage industries
  • Article 46: Promotion and protection of interests of educational and economic interests of SCs, STs, and other weaker sections of the society and to protect them from social injustice and exploitation
  • Article 47: Prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health
  • Article 48: Prohibition of slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught cattle and to improve their breeds
  • DPSPs added by Amendments of Constitution

42nd Amendment 1976

Four Directive Principles were added by 42nd amendment as follows:

To secure opportunities for healthy development of children (Article 39)
To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor (Article 39 A)
To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Article 43 A)
To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wild life (Article 48 A).

44th Amendment 1978

The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 added article 38(2) which said that state shall, in particular, strive to minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.

97th amendment 2011

Article 43-B inserted by 97th amendment act in 2011 says that state shall endeavor to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of the co-operative societies.

Further, the 86th amendment changed the subject of article 45 and brought it among fundamental rights as article 21-A for children of 6-14 age. The same article was now a directive principle to state to take care of the children below 6 years.

Significance of DPSP

The directive principles place an ideal before the legislator of India which shows that light while they frame the policies & laws. They are basically a code of conduct for the legislature and administrators of the country. The show the path to the leaders of the country which takes the country to achieve the ideal of the constitution embodied in the Preamble “Justice, Social, Economic, Political; liberty, equality and fraternity”.

The Distinction between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

The basic objective of the fundamental rights is to protect an individual from encroachment of his basic rights. The basic objective of the directive principles is to create a “welfare” state.


The fundamental rights limit the state action towards an individual while the directive principles are positive instruction to the state to establish a just socioeconomic and political order.


The Fundamental rights are justifiable i.e. a person can approach the court on their infringement, the directive principles are non-justifiable and one cannot approach to the court if they are not enforced by the state.
The Fundamental rights are directly guaranteed by the Constitution, but the directive principles are only some guidelines and they require legislation for their implementation. For example Panchayati Rat Act was passed to implement the directive of article 40.
Amendment of DPSP

The Directive Principles of State Policy are subject to amendments via Article 368 only.

Comparison of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

Following are the key comparisons of FRs and DPSPs:

While most FRs have some negative connotation i.e. they prohibit the state from doing something, the DPSP direct the state for doing something.
While FRs are enforceable in court, DPSPs are not enforceable in court.
While objective of FRs is to establish political democracy, objective of DPSPs is to establish a social and economic order.

While FRs have legal sanction, DPSPs have moral sanction rather.
While FRs are individualistic, DPSPs are collectivistic i.e. they promote the welfare of entire community.

FRs don’t need separate legislations as such because they are enforceable in court. To implement DPSPs, government needs to make separate laws.
Conflict between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

The conflict between fundamental rights and DPSPs has been subject to numerous litigations in the Supreme Court. After the Minerva Mills Case, Supreme Court gave the view that there is no conflict between the Fundamental Rights and the DPSP and they were complimentary of each other. There was no need to sacrifice one for the sake of the other. If there is a conflict it should be avoided as far as possible.