What do you understand by the term ‘Fundamental Rights’ as given in our constitution?

Fundamental rights in the Constitution of India

Fundamental rights are a very important component of our Constitution. They are a unique feature of our Constitution. It guarantees civil liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace & harmony as a citizen of India. These include individual rights common to most liberal democracies, such as equality before the law, freedom of speech & expression and peaceful assembly, freedom to practice religion and the rights to constitutional remedies for the protection of civil rights by means of writs such as habeas corpus. Violation of these rights results in punishments as prescribed in the Indian Penal code or other special laws, subject to the discretion of the Judiciary.

The fundamental rights are defined as basic human freedoms which every Indian citizen has the right to enjoy for a proper & harmonious development of personality. These rights universally apply to all citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste or gender. The rights have their origins in many sources, including England’s bills of rights, the United States bill of rights & France’s declaration of the rights of man. The various fundamental rights recognized by the Indian Constitution are:-

Right to Equality
Article 14: Equality before law & equal protection of law.
Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Article 16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
Article 17: End of untouchability.
Article 18: Abolition of titles etc.

Right to Freedom
Article 19: It has 6 fundamental freedoms:- 1. Freedom of speech & expression 2. Freedom of assembly 3. Freedom of form associations 4. Freedom of movement 5. Freedom of residence & settlement 6. Freedom of profession, occupation, trade & business.
Article 20: Protection in respect of conviction for offenses.
Article 21: Protection of life & personal liberty.
Article 22: Protection against arrest & detention in certain cases.

Right to against Exploitation
Article 23: Traffic in human beings prohibited.
Article 24: No child below the age of 14 can be employed.

Right to Freedom of Religion
Article 25: Freedom of conscience & free profession, practice & propagation of religion.
Article 26: Freedom of religious affairs.
Article 27: Prohibits taxes on religious ground.
Article 28: Freedom as to attendence at religious ceremonies in certain educational institutions.

Cultural & educational Rights
Article29: Protection of interests of minorities.
Article 30: Right of minorities
Article 31: Omitted by the 44th Amendment Act.

Right to Constitutional Remedies
Article 32: The right to move the Supreme court in case of their violation (called soul & heart of the Constitution by B R Ambedkar).
The form of writ check.
Habeas corpus: Equality before law & equal protection of the law.

The right to property was also included in the Fundamental rights, however, the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act passed in 1978, revised the status of property rights by stating that “No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law”.

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