• October 6, 2017
  • 11:15 pm
  • lexnayanshi


Tej Bahadur Sapru

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.

Free Legal Aid

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.

Environment and Wildlife Protection

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

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.

DPSPs added by Amendments of Constitution

42nd Amendment 1976

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

1) To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor (Article 39 A)

2) To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Article 43 A)

3) To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wild life (Article 48 A).

4) To secure opportunities for healthy development of children (Article 39)

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”.