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Current Affairs

Fundamental Rights

Date: 03 December 2019 Tags: Constitution

Issue

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has told the visiting Swedish Foreign Minister that the right to life is the most basic and fundamental human right.

 

Background

Some members of the European Union community and US had raised the issue of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian position will be that cross-border terrorism would lead to loss of life, a violation of the right to life which is the most basic human right.

 

Fundamental Rights

  • Part III and article 12 to 35 of the constitution guarantees certain basic rights to the citizens of India known as the Fundamental Rights, which are justifiable.

  • The Fundamental Rights has been classified under the six categories- Right to Equality, Right to Freedom, Right against Exploitation, Right to Freedom of Religion, Cultural and Educational rights and Right to constitutional remedies.

 

1. Right to Equality (Art. 14-18)

  • (Article 14): represents the idea of equality, which states that the state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

  • (Article 15): Non-discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth 

The Article 15 states that the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them and would not be subject to any disability, liability, restriction, or condition.

  • (Article 16): Equality of opportunity in public employment 

Article 16 states that no citizen shall on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence, or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of any employment or office under the state.

  • (Article 17): Abolition of Untouchability 

Article 17 abolishes Untouchability and forbids its practice in any form.

  • (Article 18): Abolition of Titles

Article 18 abolishes all titles and prohibits the state to confer titles on anybody whether a citizen or a non-citizen. However, military and academic distinctions are exempted from the prohibition.

 

  1. Right to Freedom ( Art. 19-22)

  • (Article 19): Right to Freedom 

The Right to Freedom guarantees to the citizens of India six Fundamental Freedoms: 1) Freedom of Speech and Expression, 2) Freedom of Assembly, 3) Freedom to form associations, 4) Freedom of Movement, 5) Freedom to reside and to settle, and 6) Freedom of profession, occupation, trade, or business.

  • (Article 20): Protection in respect of Conviction for Offences 

Article 20 provides protection against arbitrary and excessive punishment to any person who commits an offence.

  • (Article 21): Protection of Life and Personal Liberty 

Article 21 states no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

  • (Article 22): Safeguards against Arbitrary Arrest and Detention 
    Firstly, Article 22 guarantees the right of every person who is arrested to be informed of the cause of his arrest; secondly, his right to consult, and to be defended by a lawyer of his choice. Thirdly, every person arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest Magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours and shall be kept in continued custody only with his authority.

 

  1. Right against Exploitation (Art. 23 and 24)

  • Article 23 prohibits traffic in human beings, women, children, beggars or other forced labour militate against human dignity.

  • Article 24 prohibits employing children below the age of 14 years in any hazardous profession. This right followed the human rights concepts and United Nations norms.

 

  1. Right to Freedom of Religon( Art. 25-28)

  • Article 25 offers freedom of Conscience and Free Profession, Practice and Propagation of Religion.

  • Article 26 helps to manage religious affairs, which is subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section.

  • Article 27 provides freedom not to pay taxes for religious expenses on promotion or maintenance of any particular religion.

  • Article 28 prohibits religious instructions in educational institutions wholly maintained by the state.

  1. Cultural and Educational Rights (Art. 29 and 30)

  • Article 29 provides protection of interests of minorities. A minority community can effectively conserve its language, script, or culture by and through educational institution.

  • Article 30 states rights of minorities whether based on religion or language to establish and administer educational institutions.

 

  1. Right to Constitutional Remedies (Art. 32- 35)

  •  Article 32 guarantees the right to move Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights and deals with Supreme Court’s power to issue order or writs for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

  • Article 33 empowers Parliament to modify the application of Fundamental Rights to the armed forces or forces charged with maintenance of public order.

  • Article 34 puts restriction on this part while martial law is in force in any area.

Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part, Parliament may by law indemnify any person in the service of the Union or of a State or any person in respect of any act done by him in connection with the maintenance or restoration or order in any area within the territory of India where martial law was in force. 

  • Article 35 lays down that the power to make laws to give effect to certain specified Fundamental Rights shall vests only with the Parliament and not with State Legislatures.