Here is an essay on ‘Fundamentals Rights’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Fundamentals Rights’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Fundamentals Rights
Essay # 1. Introduction to Fundamentals Rights of the Citizens of India:
The constitution of India is the most significant document which is fundamental to the governance of the state. Fundamental Rights constitute a salient feature of Indian constitution. These are the basic rights of the individual which are contained in Part III of the constitution and these rights ensure an effective guarantee against any antidemocratic action of the state.
The inclusion of Fundamental rights from Article 12 to 35 in chapter III of Indian constitution is an important landmark in the process of making available to every Indian citizen social, economic and political justice. Pt. Nehru described it as the conscience of the constitution. Constitution of India provides for both the Fundamental Rights to safeguard the individuals liberty and dignity, — and the Directive Principles to ensure social, economic and political justice to every member of the community. Therefore Indian Constitution provides all the people of India; social, economic and political justice.
The Courts (Supreme Court and High Court) have the power to declare the laws as void which contravenes the fundamental rights. So, fundamental rights are protected from any state or any law which infringes on them or takes away any of them.
Essay # 2. Fundamental Rights of the Citizens of India:
Originally the Indian constitution described seven fundamental rights. But after the 44th Constitutional Amendment of 1979, their number has come down to six. Right to property under Article 31 has been deleted from the list of fundamental rights and it has been made a legal right under Article 300 A.
The six fundamental rights of an Indian citizen are as:
I. The Right to Equality (Article 14-18)
II. The Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)
III. The Right against Exploitation (Article 23, 24)
IV. The Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28)
V. The Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30)
VI. Right to Constitution Remedies (Article 32)
Recognising fully the importance of right to equality in a democratic country, the constitution assigns first place to the right to equality in the list of fundamental rights. Infact right to equality is the very basis of a democratic state. Before political independence of Indian people were discriminated against on the basis of caste, religion, colour and race etc. But after the attainment of political independence of the country it became essential to abolish all these discriminatory measures. With this objective the flight to equality was incorporated in the Indian constitution from Article 14-18.
Its description is as under:
I. Right to Equality:
1. Equality before Law—Article 14:
The Right to Equality before law is the very basis of the ‘rule of law’ in the country. This right is also enjoyable by the foreigners living in India.
Article 14 of the Indian Constitution provides that “The state shall not deny to any person equality before law or the equal protection of law within the territory of India.”
Equality before law, however, does not mean absolute equality or equality among the un-equals. It means equality among the people similarly situated. It does not prohibit the classification of persons into different groups. It also admits the right of the state to establish special courts for trying cases involving specific offences by certain persons.
The exceptions to this Right are as under. The President of India and Governors of various states while performing their executive functions connected with their respective offices, cannot be held responsible for any such act nor can they be tried before any court, in a criminal case. In order to file a civil suit against the President of India or the governors of states, a notice for a period of two months must be served.
The executive heads of foreign countries and their ambassadors would be out of the purview of the Indian law.
2. Prohibition of Discrimination—Article 15:
Article 15, prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. No person on any of these grounds can be denied access to shops, hotels, public restaurants and places of public entertainment or the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly by the state funds or dedicated to the use of general public.
The State will be empowered to undertake special measures in order to protect the interests of children and the women. The State will be empowered to undertake special measures in order to protect the interests of the citizens of the socially or educationally backward classes or those of the members of Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. The constitution nowhere, defines the socially and educationally backward classes of citizens. By implication it gives this Right to define them to the State.
3. Equality of Opportunity—Article 16:
The constitution provides for equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the state. Article 16 further states that no citizen shall on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, residence or any of them ineligible for or discriminated against in respect of any employment under the state.
i. Article 16 will not be applicable in case of appointments in religious or communal institutions.
ii. It is also laid down that this right shall not prevent the state from making provision for reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which in the opinion of the state, is not adequately represented in the services under the state. The expression ‘Backward Classes of Citizens’ in this Article includes scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other weaker sections of society.
iii. The Indian Parliament is empowered to determine or fix residential qualifications for appointment to any particular post.
4. Abolition of Untouchability—Article 17:
The centuries-old malady of untouchability has been abolished. Article 17 of the Indian Constitution states that “Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of inability arising out of untouchability shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. ”
In fact, it is a solid measure undertaken to abolish untouchability. Article 17 of the Indian Constitution is an Article of Deliverance for crores of Indian people. M.V. Pylee has rightly said that “It is a charter of deliverance to one sixth of the total population of India from perpetual subjugation and despair, from perpetual humiliation and disgrace.”
For the realisation of this Right, the Government passed ‘The Untouchability Offence Act-1995’ and ‘The Protection of Civil Rights Act 1976.’ By these Acts discrimination against Scheduled Castes has been held unlawful. The provision has been made that whatever facilities will be available to the Hindus of high caste will also be available to the members of scheduled castes.
Under the Act of 1976, to practice untouchability or to propagate it directly or indirectly, or to justify it on historical, philosophical, religious and traditional basis has been declared a crime. Anybody found guilty of practicing it can be imprisoned from six months to 2 years and fined rs 100/- to rs 1000/-. Any person who has been punished under the above-cited acts for the abolition of untouchability will be disqualified for the purpose of seeking elections to the Indian Parliament or State Legislature.
5. Abolition of Titles—Article 18:
The conferment of titles creates unnatural classes in the society which is against the principle of social equality. By abolishing titles, our constitutional fathers have tried to establish democratic equality in the true sense of the term. It has been done so before in other countries. Titles of nobility were abolished in U.S.A. in 1787.
Under this Article following provisions have been made:
1. The state shall not confer any other title except the military and academic ones.
2. No Indian citizen will accept any title from a foreign State.
3. Mo person who is not an Indian citizen but holds an office of profit under the state will accept any title from a foreign state without the permission of the President.
4. No person who is occupying an office of profit under the state shall accept any gift, salary or title of any kind from any foreign state.
The Govt. of India began to confer in 1954 titles of Bharat Ratna, Padam Vibhushan, Padam Bhushan and Padam Shri. The critics were of the opinion that this act of the Government do not conform with Article 18 of the Constitution. In July 1977, by an ordinance issued by the President, conferment of these titles was stopped but with the Congress (I) coming into power in January 1980, the Government has once again started conferring these titles.
II. Right to Freedom—Article 19 to 22:
Right to Freedom is the most important of all fundamental rights. The freedoms granted to citizens from Article 19—22 have been called ‘soul and spirit of the constitution. ‘Herein, the constitutional fathers have tried to strike a compromise between personal liberty and public authority.
1. Freedom under Article 19 – Article 19 of the constitution confers the following six freedoms to the citizens of India:
(i) Freedom of speech and expression.
(ii) Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms.
(iii) Freedom to form associations or unions.
(iv) Freedom to move throughout the territory of India.
(v) Freedom to reside and settle in any part of India.
(vi) Freedom to practice any profession, occupation, trade or business.
(i) Freedom of Speech and Expression:
Indian Constitution grants freedom of speech and expression to every citizen of India. Every citizen can express himself by writing or speaking. The freedom of the press has not been separately mentioned but this freedom comes under the freedom of expression. Dr. Ambedkar was of the view that newspapers are a means for man to express his opinion and the freedom of press need not to be separately mentioned.
Freedom of speech and expression is not absolute. Keeping in view the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, morality, contempt of the court, activities which incite crimes—the state has the power to impose reasonable restrictions on this right.
During internal emergency, restriction was imposed on the publication of the proceedings of Parliament and State Legislatures by the Press but by the 44th Constitutional Amendment 1979, a provision was made that the Press has full freedom to publish the proceeding of Parliament and State Legislatures. No restriction in this matter shall be imposed on the press.
(ii) Freedom to Assemble Peacefully without Arms:
By this freedom, the citizens can assemble to express themselves and hear the views of others, but the assembly should be peaceful and the people should attend such meetings or rallies without arms. Indian Constitution like the U.S.A. Constitution does not give the right to bear arms. The people cannot keep unlicenced arms. The Sikhs have been made special exception because to bear ‘Kirpan’ (sword) comes under their religious principles.
(iii) Freedom to form Associations or Unions:
Indian constitution grants to its citizens the right to form associations or unions so that they may achieve their economic, political, social, religious and cultural objectives. A citizen may or may not become the members of any association or union. No one can force him against his will to become member of a particular union or association.
All the citizens do not have the equal right to form associations or unions. Government servants cannot enjoy this right like other citizens of the country because they are governed by government rules and regulations. Indian Government is empowered to limit the right to freedom to form associations or unions in the name of the country’s public order and ethics etc.
(iv) Freedom to Move Freely throughout the Territory of India:
All the citizens of India have been given the right to move freely in any part or region of the country. They do not require any permit to go to any part of the country.
The state can impose restrictions on the Right of the citizens to move freely in any part of the country in view of the common public interests and the interests of scheduled tribes.
(v) Freedom to Reside and Settle in any Part of the Country:
The India citizens have been given the right to freedom to reside and settle in any part of the country.
The state can impose reasonable restrictions on the right of the citizens to reside or settle in any part of the country in the name of common public interest and the interests of the members of Scheduled Tribes.
(vi) Freedom to Practice any Profession or to Carry on any Occupation, Trade or Business:
In India, for quite a long time people have been adopting professions on the basis of caste and religion. Therefore a progressive and prosperous society could not be evolved. The makers of Indian Constitution deemed professional dynamism necessary for the establishment of progressive democracy and gave it a place in the form of fundamental rights in the constitution. According to the constitution of India every citizen has been given the freedom to practice any profession of his or her choice. No individual can be compelled against his will to adopt any particular profession.
The state can impose restrictions on this right for public interest.
The state can fix professional or technical qualifications for profession, job, trade or business.
The state can make provision to give business, trade or industrial services by itself or by corporation made under its ownership or control.
2. Protection in Respect of Conviction of an Offence—Article 20:
Under Article 20, the constitution provides protection against arbitrary conviction in respect of offences committed by the people.
It lays down that:
i. Do person can be convicted of an offence except for the violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence. This provision prevents ex-post- facto legislation which makes an innocent act an offence, which when committed was not an offence.
ii. No person can be subjected to a penalty greater than the one which might have been indicated under the law in force at the time of commission of an offence.
iii. No person can be arrested and punished for the same offence more than once.
iv. No person accused of an offence can be forced to be a witness against himself.
This Article provides protection against arbitrary and excessive punishment, prevents double prosecution and punishment and it warrants against the forcible securing to statements/confessions from an accused.
44th Amendment to the constitution has laid down that the executive will have no power under Article 359 to suspend Article 20 during the emergency. The provision highlights the importance attached to this right.
3. Protection of Life and Personal Liberty—Article 21:
Article 21 provides protection to the life and liberty of citizens as well as non-citizens. It states “No person shall be deprived of his life and liberty except according to procedure established by law.” It provides the right not to be subjected to imprisonment, arrest or physical coercion in any manner without legal jurisdiction. The term ‘procedure established by law’ means the awarding of punishment in accordance with law and according to the set procedure.
The 44th Amendment of the constitution has made the right of life and personal liberty inviolable even during an emergency. It means that Article 21 of the Indian Constitution cannot be suspended even during emergency. However, 59th Amendment of the constitution has laid down that this right can be suspended by the President.
4. Protection against Arrest and Detention—Article 22:
This Article of the constitution provides for protection against arbitrary arrest and detention.
It lays down that a person who is arrested and detained shall be:
i. Informed of the ground of his arrest and shall have the right to consult and be defended by a legal practioner of his choice.
ii. Produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of 24 hours of his arrest. He cannot be detained in custody beyond 24 hours without the authority of the state.
These safeguards do not apply.
i. To any person who for the time being is an enemy alien.
ii. To any person who is arrested or detained under any law providing for preventive detention.
In other words, the constitution authorises preventive detention which involves arrest, detention and imprisonment without trial and before any crime has actually been committed. The provision of preventive detention is required in the interest of national unity and integration.
III. Right against Exploitation (Article 23, 24):
Articles 23 and 24 of the Constitution provide against human exploitation.
1. Prohibition of Traffic in Human Beings and Forced Labour—Article 23:
Under Article 23, the constitution prohibits traffic in human beings, beggar and similar forms of forced labour. This Article makes the selling and buying of men and women and exploitation of people by forcing them to work as bonded labourers or work without remuneration, an offence. For protecting women against selling and buying for immoral purposes, the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act (SITA) has been in operation since 1956.
2. Prohibition of Employment of Children (Article 24):
Article 24 provides that no child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment. This Article provides protection to children from exploitation which can adversely affect their health.
IV. Right to Freedom of Religion—Article 25-28:
Right to freedom of religion ensures the positive aspect of secularism as it gives to the people the right to freely adopt and propagate any religion.
The freedoms granted under these Articles are as under:
1. Freedom of Conscience—Article 25:
This Article guarantees to all persons, the freedom of conscience and the right of profess, practice and propagate any religion. Forcible conversions stand prohibited in India. There is no state religion in India. All religions are equal.
2. Freedom to Manage Religious Affairs—Article 26:
Under Article 26 of the Constitution, the Indian citizens have been given the following rights in managing their religious affairs subject to the public health and morality.
(a) To establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes.
(b) To manage its own affairs in matters of religion.
(c) To own and acquire movable and immovable property in name of religion.
(d) To administer such religious property in accordance with law.
3. Freedom for Paying Taxes for the Promotion of any Religion —Article 27:
Under Article 27, the constitution lays down that no person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religious denomination.
4. No Religious Instructions in Government Educational Institutions— Article 28:
Article 28 prohibits the imparting of religious instructions in any educational institution which is wholly maintained out of state funds or receiving aid from the state.
According to Article 28 (3) in private educational institutions which are recognised by the government or which receive financial aid of any kind from the state, no person shall be compelled to get religious education or attend religious worship against his will.
The right to religious freedom, like other fundamental rights, has certain limitations. This right can be exercised subject to public order, morality and health. It also provides that the state shall have the right to regulate or restrict any economic, financial, political or other secular activity that may be associated with a religious practice or to provide for social welfare and reform or the throwing open Hindu religious institutions of public character to all classes and sections of the Hindus. The term Hindus, include person professing the Sikh, Jain and Buddhist religions. The Constitution recognises the right of the Sikhs to wear and carry Kirpan as a part of professing the Sikh religion.
V. Cultural and Educational Rights—Articles 29, 30:
The Constitution provides special protection to the minorities. Articles 29 and 30 of the Part III of the constitution guarantee to the minorities cultural and educational rights.
1. Right to Protect Language, Script and Culture—Article 29:
The Constitution lays down that any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same. This right is absolute as the constitution does not lay down that state can impose reasonable restrictions on it. The objective of this right is to protect the minorities in maintaining their language and culture and to prevent the majority from imposing its language and culture on the minorities.
2. Right to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions—Article 30:
Under Article 30, the Constitution admits that all minorities whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. They have the right to admit students to their institutions and to have their own governing bodies. The State Universities cannot impose a particular medium of instructions on the minority institutions. Further, the state while providing grant-in-aid to educational institutions cannot discriminate against such minority institutions. The minority character of such institutions cannot be destroyed by the state.
VI. Right to Constitutional Remedies—Article 32:
The Rights given in the constitution become absolutely fruitless if adequate provisions are not provided for their protection. With this objective, the following four provisions have been made for the protection of Fundamental Rights under Article 32.
1. Article 32 (1) of the Constitution provides that a citizen can approach the Supreme Court of India by the process of law for the implementation of Fundamental Rights included in chapter III of the Indian Constitution.
2. According to Article 32 (2) of the Constitution, the Supreme Court of India has the right to issue writs in the nature of the Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo-warranto and Certiorari.
3. According to Article 32 (3) of the Constitution, the Indian Parliament can power any court to issue notice within its jurisdiction without infringing or influencing the powers of the Supreme Court of India.
4. According to Article 32 (4) of the constitution, the state cannot suspend the right to constitutional remedies except in cases provided in the Constitution.
Essay # 3. Importance of the Fundamental Rights of the Citizens of India:
The Fundamental Rights given in Part III of the Constitution mark the beginning of a new era in the constitutional history of India. They are the foundation stone of democratic system in India. They defend individual’s freedom from the autocracy of executive and legislature. They give to the people the trust that state is an instrument of social welfare but individual is not a means for the state.
They create for man an atmosphere in which he may get economic, social and political justice and fully develop his life. They determine relations between man and state. Fundamental Rights protect the interests of minorities and provide them constitutional guarantees to preserve their language, script and culture. They establish the rule of law in India. Fundamental Rights have psychological importance which no government can undermine.
The importance of Fundamental Rights is as under:
1. Foundation of Democracy:
India earns the privilege of being the most populous democracy in the world. Fundamental Rights create an atmosphere of freedom and democracy. In Chapter III of the Constitution such rights and liberties are given to the Indian citizens which are the sheet anchor of democracy in the country.
2. Establish Relations between the Individual and the State:
The inclusion of the long list of Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution is a sure indication that the main aim of the state is to protect the interests of the people. With the help of Fundamental Rights an attempt is made to establish balance between the rights of the citizens and the state because a citizen can enjoy freedom only in a state.
3. Check on the Arbitrariness of the Government:
The Fundamental Rights impose checks on the government and thus limits the arbitrary attitude of the government. Article 15 of the constitution prohibits the government to discriminate against people in respect of color, caste, religion, race etc. All such provision tries to limit the dictatorial attitude of the government.
4. Create Proper Conditions for the Development of Man:
Fundamental Rights create congenial and appropriate conditions for the development of the personality of the individual. These rights provide to the citizens the right to life and liberty etc. A person can choose any profession, trade or service according to his bent of mind. He can live, reside, settle and move about in any part of the country. The state services are open to all people of the country. All these conditions create favourable environment for the development of personality of the individual.
5. Foundation of Social Democracy:
The Fundamental Rights embodied in the Indian Constitution abolish all types of discriminations based on color, caste, creed, race, religion and sex etc. The citizens have been given the right to go to public places like hotels, shops, entertainment houses, wells, tanks, and public baths etc. without any sort of discrimination. According to Article 17 untouchability has been regarded as a punishable crime. Similarly Article 18 of the Indian Constitution puts limitation on the bestowal or receipt of titles and prizes etc.
6. Protection of the Interests of Minorities:
The Fundamental Rights make adequate provisions for the protection of the interests of various minorities. These minorities enjoy all the rights which the majority community enjoys and in addition to these they also enjoy certain other rights and privileges. The Indian Constitution provides these minorities the right to establish and administer their own educational institutions. The government cannot discriminate against such institutions while giving grants to them. In addition to this, the minorities also enjoy the right to preserve their own language, script and culture.
7. Foundation of Rule of Law:
Article 14 of the constitution provides equality before law to all people living in the Indian territory. It implies that no discrimination will be made on the basis of the status or title of an individual. In case of violation of the laws of the land every individual is subject to the same punishment. None can be deprived of his life, liberty or property except by the rule of law established in the country. The administration of the country is being run not according to will of some individual but according to the law of the land.
8. Establishment of Secular State:
The Fundamental Rights embodied in the Indian Constitution also provide for the establishment of a secular state. According to Article 25 to 28 of the Constitution, the individual is given the right to adopt, profess and profess any religion which he likes. These Articles also make provision for the establishment and administration of educational rights by the various minorities. The Indian citizens cannot be forced to pay any box in the name of any religion. Besides this, there is a ban on religious education being imported in government educational institutions. The State has no religion of its own but the individual possesses religious freedom.
Thus fundamental rights mentioned in the constitution ensure several economic rights to the citizens. Also at the same time state has the power to impose certain reasonable restrictions on such rights in the public interest. This power which has been vested with state has enabled the government to impose numerous statutory controls over business.