Relation Between Fundamental Rights And Directive Principles Of State Policy


The great landmark in the annals of the history of India is 26th January 1950. For on that day the Republic of India was born and the constitution of free India in to force. The constitution of India, a long and detailed document is the fundamental rights and directive principles of state policies etc. It describes the functions and inter-relations of the major governmental institutions. It also defines the political philosophy of our people and their society’s economic details and aspirations.

The Indian constitution was adopted by the constituent assembly on 26th November 1949 and signed by the president, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950, which is the date of constitution of the constitution.


Part 3 otherwise known as S Magna Carta of the Indian constitution.

The Magna Carta of 1215 is the 1st written document mentioned Fundamental Right to the people.

These rights are the most fundamental of the whole rights and represent the basic values enriched by the people. The Indian constitution has adopted a compromise between the doctrines of parliament sovereignty and judicial supremacy.

The Fundamental Rights can be used against the state itself the object is to establish rule of law.

The Fundamental Rights are incorporated in the Indian Constitution can be classified under the following six groups:-

  1. Right to Equality                                        ( Article 14 to Article 18)
  2. Right to Freedom                                        ( Article 19 to Article 22)
  3. Right Against Exploitation                         ( Article 23 to Article 24)
  4. Right to Freedom of Religion                     ( Article 25 to Article 28)
  5. Cultural and Educational Rights                (Article 29 to Article 30)
  6. Right to Constitutional Remedies             ( Article 32 to Article 35)

The 44th amendment has abolished the right to property as a fundamental right as guaranteed by Article 19(1)(f) and Article 31 of the constitution and hence Article 19(1)(f) and Article 31 have been omitted. However, the right to property is a legal constitutional right under Article 300A.

The right to education is made a fundamental right by the constitution (86th amendment) Act 2002. Article 21A, which has been incorporated by the 86th amendment, provided for free and compulsory education to children of the age of six to fourteen years.


1. University of madras vs santhabai

Court held that the university of madras being a co-operate body created by madras in 1923 cannot be charged with the execution of any government function. Hence it will not come under the definition of the state. It is only a state-aided institution purely to promote education, but it is not mentioned by the state so as to be regarded as an instrumentality of the government .this result was achieved by using the doctrine of ejus dum jeneris.

2. Sugdev Singh vs Bhagath Ram

Whether public co-operations of the nature of oil and natural gas Commission, LIC, where state within the meaning of Article 12. The question which really fails for the decision was whether regulations framed under these statutes like the oil and Natural Gas Commission Act 1959. Life insurance commission Act 1956 has the force of law.

There is a difference between the power to enforce its own rules regulations or directions under which the co-operations are established. In both, case disobedience being punishable .so the conclusion is that a corporation created by a statute and making it an agency or instrumentality of the state.

3. M.P. Singh vs Union of India

Declare that the classification of officers into two groups is that direct recruits & deputation officers and for paying different rates of special payment are violative under Article 14.

4. State of Rajasthan  vs  Prathab Singh

Supreme Court Intelligrated a notification under the police Act 1851. Which declares certain areas as disturbed and made an inhabitance of those areas to bear the cost of additional police station established but excepted all Harijans and Muslims the exception was given on the basis only of caste or religion and hence contrary to Article 15(1)

5. P.G institute of medicine and research vs Faculty Association

Supreme Court held that there cannot be any reservation in a single post

6. State of West Bengal  vs  committee for the protection of democratic rights (2010) 3 SCC 571

It was held that fundamental rights are inherent and cannot be extinguished by any constitutional or statutory provision. Any law, which in its actual effect and impact abridges or abrogates fundamental rights, would be violative of the basic structure of the constitution. The actual effect and impact of the law on the rights guaranteed under part 3 has to be taken Into account in determining whether or not it destroys the basic structure

Directive principles of state policy Article 36  to Article 51

Part 4 of the constitution Article 36 to Article 51 deals with Directive principles of state policy.

The Directive Principles are the ideals which the union and state governments must keep in mind while they formulate policy or pass a law. The directive principles lay down certain economic, social and welfare policies which are to be followed by the state in the governance of this country. These Directive Principles impose a duty on the state to take positive action in certain directions in order to promote the welfare of the people and achieve economic democracy.

Though the state is under a positive duty to apply these directive principles in the making of laws, they are not enforceable by any court. In other words, the court cannot compel the state to enact a law.

Relation Between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy

Part 3 of the constitution ( Article 12 to Article 35 ) provides for Fundamental Rights. Part 4 of the constitution (Article 36 to Article 51) Directive principles of state policy.

The Fundamental Rights guaranteed in part 3 of the constitution are enforceable through the court of law. If the state violates any of the Fundamental Right the aggrieved person can approach the Supreme Court or High Court for enforcement of the fundamental rights.  Any law enacted by the legislature or made by the executive will be ultra vires the constitution if it is violative of the Fundamental Right.

The Directive Principles of state policy contained in part 4 of the constitution are not enforceable through court of law. If the state fails to enact a law to implement directive principles, a citizen cannot approach a court of law to give direction to the state to enact a law. If the legislature enacts a law in violation of a directive principle the court cannot declare it unconstitutional.

When the state makes a law to implement a directive principle, it may sometimes violate fundamental rights. In such a case the question arising is: whether such a law can be justified on the ground that it is made to secure the directive contained in part 4 of the constitution.


1. State of Madras vs  Champakam Dorairahan

The supreme court observed that a law which violates fundamental right cannot be justified on the ground that it is made to implement a directive contained in part 4 of the constitution. In other words, directive principles cannot override fundamental rights. The directive principles have to run as subsidiary to the chapter of fundamental rights. In case of any conflict and relation between fundamental rights and directive principles, the fundamental right would prevail.

2. In-re Kerala education bill

The Supreme Court observed that through the directive principles cannot override the fundamental rights, the court may not entirely ignore the directive principle in determining the scope and ambit of fundamental rights. The court should adopt the doctrine of harmonious construction and should give effect to both as much as possible.

3. Keshavananda Bharathi  vs state of Kerala (AIR 1973 SC 1461)

The Supreme Court had said that the relation between fundamental rights and directive principles is meant to supplement one another.

4. Unni Krishnan vs  state of Andra Pradesh (1993) 1 SCC645

The Supreme Court held that the relation between fundamental rights and directive principles are supplementary and complementary to each other and provisions in part 3 should be interpreted having regard to the preamble and directive principles of the state policy.

5. State of Bombay  vs Balsara (AIR 1951 SC 318)

The validity of the Bombay Prohibition Act which prohibited manufacturing and sale not liquor in the state was challenged as being violative of the fundamental right to engage in any profession or carry on any trade. The court gave weight to Article 47 which directs the state to bring about prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drink except for medical purpose and held that the restriction imposed by the Act was reasonable.

Implementation of Directives

A Large number of laws have been enacted to implement the directives contained in part 4 of the constitution.

The banking companies (Acquisition and transfer of undertakings) Act 1969, The Equal Remuneration Act 1976, The Employees Provident Funds Act 1952, the maternity Benefit Act 1961, The Bonded Labor System Abolition Act 1976. The payment of Bonus Act 1965, The  Kerala Land Reforms Act 1963, etc… are examples of laws enacted for implementing the directives contained in Part 4 of the Constitution.


Part 3 of the constitution gives a long list of fundamental rights. it is deemed to be a distinguishing feature of a democratic state. These rights are prohibitions against the state. The state cannot make a law which takes away or abridges any of the rights of the citizens guaranteed in part 3. if a law violates any of the Fundamental Rights, The Supreme Court and High Court declared as unconstitutional.

This Article is Authored by Sreelakshmi. B, 5th Year BBA LLB Student at Nehru Academy of Law.

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