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CHAPTER 11 - Directive Principles of State Policy (PART-IV)

  • The Directive Principles of State Policy are enumerated in Part IV of the Constitution from Articles 36 to 51. The framers of the Constitution borrowed this idea from the Irish Constitution of 1937.
  • Granville Austin has described the Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights as the ‘Conscience of the Constitution’.
  • The Directive Principles are non-justiciable in nature, that is, they are not legally enforceable by the courts for their violation. Therefore, the government (Central, state and local) cannot be compelled to implement them.

Article No.

Definition of State

Application of the principles contained in this part
State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people 
Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State
Equal justice and free legal aid
Organisation of village panchayats
Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases
Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief
Living wage, etc., for workers
Participation of workers in management of industries
Promotion of co-operative societies
. Uniform civil code for the citizens
. Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years
Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections
Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health
Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry
. Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife
Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance
Separation of judiciary from executive
Promotion of international peace and security

New Directive Principles added under
i. 42nd Amendment (1976)
  • Article 39
  • Article 39A
  • Article 43A
  • Article 48A
ii. 44th Amendment (1978)
  • Article 38
iii. 86th Amendment (2002)
  • changed the subject-matter of Article 45 and made elementary education a fundamental right under Article 21 A.
Conflict Between F.R. and D.P.

Champakam Dorairajan case (1951)
The Supreme Court ruled that in case of any conflict between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles, the former would prevail.

Golaknath case (1967)
The Court held that the Fundamental Rights cannot be amended for the implementation of the Directive Principles.

Kesavananda Bharati case (1973)
Judicial review is a basic feature of the Constitution and hence, cannot be taken away.

Minerva Mills case (1980)
The Supreme Court also held that ‘the Indian Constitution is founded on the bedrock of the balance between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles. They together constitute the core of commitment to social revolution. They are like two wheels of a chariot, one no less than the other.

Present Position
Fundamental Rights enjoy supremacy over the Directive Principles. Yet, this does not mean that the Directive Principles cannot be implemented. The Parliament can amend the Fundamental Rights for implementing the Directive Principles, so long as the amendment does not damage or destroy the basic structure of the Constitution.


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