Directive Principles of State Policy is my main topic today, but before that, there are some points which you should understand first. we will understand it with one example of the election.
what do you look for in a candidate, before voting in elections? Their education, their past- record, Criminal record, party manifesto, to name a few. Now, what is a manifesto? Manifesto of a party includes kind of guidelines or promises. Which are to be adhered to or fulfilled once that party comes to power. But, what can you do if a political party refuses to keep its promises as mentioned in the preelection manifesto? You can not do anything about it. But this time something new happened in State elections as Chhattisgarh.
Ajit Jogi’s party in Chhattisgarh issued their party manifesto on a stamp paper. So, in case the party wins and the promises are not fulfilled, people can sue the party on basis of their manifesto. But you might be wondering why I am talking about elections and manifestos today. The reason is that we are going to discuss the Directive Principles of State’s Policy.
Fundamental Rights have been discussed in the constitution in Part III from Articles 12-35. While Articles 36-51 have been discussed under Part IV of the Constitution. Directive Principle of State Policy has been adopted in our Constitution from Irish Constitution. If we concise the Preamble to Indian Constitution, it has mainly 3 goals to achieve.
3. Political Justice
And the combined responsibility for meeting these goals is carried out by Fundamental Rights & DPSPs. Let’s first begin with understanding the difference between Fundamental Rights & DPSPs.
Difference between Fundamental Rights & DPSPs.
Firstly:- Fundamental rights are a king of negative rights. They lay down certain things that must not be done by the state if we wish to achieve justice e.g. inequality, arbitrariness, etc. While DPSPs are a kind of positive rights, which lays down certain things that the state must do to meet the end of justice.
Secondly:- Fundamental rights are more concerned with political justice, while DPSPs are more concerned with social justice & economic justice.
Thirdly:- The third & most Important difference for whose sake I gave the example of elections, in the beginning, is the Fundamental rights are Justiciable rights. It means that if States ( Centre & States ) fail to respect the fundamental rights of an individual, there is a remedy to approach the Courts, which can direct the State in doing so. On the other hand, Directive Principles of State Policies area Non-Judicial rights, i.e. if the state does not follow or adhere to them, an individual cannot approach the Court.
So how do we know that DPSPs are Non-Justiciable?
From Article 37. Article 36 is a definition clause, which says that the definition of ‘State’ as given under Article 12 shall also be applicable in Part IV.
There are 3 characteristics of Article 37.
1st- It says that DP is non-enforceable. Many students rea leads to believe by this provision that Fundamental rights are very important, while Directive Principles of State Policies are not important at all. But this is just one characteristic, there are two more.
2nd- It says that for the governance of our country, directive principles are a Fundamental Source.
3rd- It says that a government must follow the DPSPs while making any law. You might feel that Directive Principles are a kind of moral obligation, but this is not true.
The greatest force behind the enforcement of DPs is -the US i.e. the Public Opinion.
How? Let’s see.
A government is based upon a popular vote. If a government does not bring good policies and does not respect directive principles, it’s the possibility of continuing government after 5 years of its election gets diminished. So, for sake of popular vote & improvement in public opinion, states & governments are bound to respect & follow the DPSPs (Directive Principles of State Policy).
The question arises, if DPSPs (Directive Principles of State Policy) are so important, why are they non-justiciable?
See, if you find out about any gold medal-winning sportsperson, you will see that they have taken a big journey before reaching the gold medal. Similarly, when our country gained independence and the constitution were written, with social, economic, and political aspects in mind, some provisions were necessary to enforcement. Those provisions became our Fundamental Rights. And rest of the bundle of rights were such that were planned to be enforced in the latter-day as India develops, E.G. Article 45 of the Constitution.
At the time when our constitution was drafted, we were not socially and economically developers enough to be able to declare Rights to Education as a Fundamental Right. But as soon as we advanced economically, we inserted it by 86th Amendment, in Article 45. Even though no classification has been made with respect to articles in Part-IV in the constitution, on the basis of their content & principles.
The contents of this article, DPSPs were classified into 3 categories:
Socialistic, Gandhian & Libera.
Let’s quickly have a look at these Articles.
Socialistic- These all articles (Socialistic) provide for the establishment of a welfare state, e.g. adequate means of livelihood, equal pay for equal work, etc. The objectives of these articles are to achieve social welfare, which includes articles 38, 39, 39A, 41, 42, 43, 43A, & 47. To achieve the objectives of some of these DPSPs some legislations have also been introduced, e.g. Land Ceiling Acts, Bank Nationalisation, Equal pay for equal work & Maternity Benefits Act.
Gandhian- Article classified as Gandhian talks about those principles which were envisioned by Gandhiji during National Struggle for Independence e.g.cottage industry, to the empowerment of village panchayats, etc. So the focus of these articles is to advance Gandhi’s vision for India which includes Articles 40, 43, 43B, 46, 47 & 48. Some of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs) which have been successfully enforced include promotion of cortege industry, minimum wages act & recent event of a ban on slaughter of cows which you all must be knowing.
liberal:- And third, these Articles which belong to the liberal principle talk about liberalism e.g. establishment of the Uniform Civil Code, respecting international principles, etc. The articles promote other the idea of liberalism include Article 44, 45, 48, 48A, 49, 50 & 51. Legislation regarding the protection of the environment like the water pollution act, forest act, etc. finds its basis in these articles. In addition, Article 51 is also important which talks about international peace & security.
Let’s see some Amendments of DPSPs.
Firstly– 42nd amendment of 1976 which leads to the addition of 4 Articles vi. 39, 39A, 43A ,48A.
Secondly-we have the 44th amendment act of 1978, where Article 38 was added.
Thirdly-86th amendment act of 2002. Here, Article 45 was added up.
Fourthly– 97th amendment act of 2011, which added Article 43B.