August 01, 2017

Article 15 prohibits the discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

a)    The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
b)   No citizen shall on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to-

1.     access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
2.    The use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of general public.

The general exceptions for this rule are, 1. Special provision for women and children:- Article 15 clause (3) says that nothing in article 15 shall prevent the state from making any special provision for women and children. The reason is that “women’s physical structure and performance of maternal functions place her at a disadvantage at the struggle for subsistence and her physical well-vigor of the race.

3.    Special provision for advancement of backward class: - Clause (4) of Article 15 constitutes another exception for the general rule laid under Article 15 of the Constitution. Under this clause, the State is empowered to make special provisions for the advancements of any special provisions for the advancements of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The provision made in clause (4) of article 15 is only an enabling provision and does not impose any obligation on the State to take any special action under it. It merely confers a discretion to act if necessary by way of making special provision for backward classes.

Article 16 deals with the rule of equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
1.     (1)There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.

2.    (2)No citizen shall, on grounds 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.

The following are the exceptions for the general rule;

1.     Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Government of, or any local or other authority within, a state or union territory, any requirement as to residence within that state or Union territory (1) prior to such employment or appointment.
2.    Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for reservation in matters of promotion with consequential seniority, to any classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes which, in the opinion of the state, are not adequately represented in the services under the state.

Article 51 A of the constitution specifies a code of ten Fundamental Duties for citizens. It was added to the constitution by the 42nd Amendment act, 1976. Article 51 states that, it is the duty of every citizen of India

a.    To bide by constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and National Anthem;
b.    To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
c.    To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
d.    To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
e.    To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
f.     To value and preserve the right heritage of our composite culture;
g.    To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creature;
h.    To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
i.     To safeguard public property and abjure violence;
j.     To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievements

The Fundamental Duties are intended to serve as a constant reminder to every citizen that while the Constitution specifically conferred on them certain Fundamental rights, it also requires citizens to observe certain basic norms of democratic conduct and democratic behavior. However there are contentions that this view is wrong. The performance of one’s duties even in partial disregard of one’s rights and privileges has been traditional in this country.

The duties incorporated in the Constitution by the 42nd amendment are statutory duties and shall be enforceable by law. Parliament, by law, will provide penalties to be imposed for failure to fulfill those duties and obligations. For the proper enforcement of duties, it is necessary that it should be known to all. This should be done by a systematic and intensive education of the people that is by publicity or by making it a part if the syllabi and curriculum of education.

In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, the Supreme Court has held that it is the duty of the central government to teach compulsory lessons at least for 1 hour a week on protection and improvement of natural environment in all the educational institutions in the country.

The Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Part IV of the Constitution set out the aims and objectives to be taken up by the States in the governance of the country. The State must keep in mind these directive principles while formulating laws. They lay down certain social, economic and political principles, suitable to our peculiar conditions prevailing in India.

These principles should be pursued by the various governments in India and these principles thereby imposes certain obligations on the state to take positive action in certain directions in order to promote the welfare of the people and achieve economic democracy.

The main object in enacting the directive principles appear to have been to set standards of achievements before the legislature and the executive, the local and other authorities, by which their success of failure can be judged. It was also hoped that those failing to implement the directives might receive a rude awakening at the polls.

They however does not impose any pattern of economic or social order. They lay down the goals which may be achieved through various means which have to be devised from time to time.
The State may impose reasonable restrictions on freedom of movement on two grounds:

1.     In the interest of general public,
2.    For the protection of the interest of scheduled Tribes.

In State of M.P. v. Baldeo Prasad, the Court held – A law providing for experiment of ‘dangerous character’ from a particular locality cannot be called reasonable if it does not specially define as to what is meant by dangerous character as it gives the administrative authority arbitrary power to determine as to whether a citizen is of dangerous character.

The right of a citizen to move freely may also be restricted for the protection of the interest of “Scheduled Tribes”. As the tribes have their own culture, language, customs and manners, it is necessary to impose restriction upon the entry of outsiders to these areas.

In Rajneeh Kumar v. Union of India, it has been held that the requirement of wearing helmet is not a restriction on freedom of movement of citizen. The paramount objective of wearing helmet is to save his life.

Journal Archive

Related Queries

Your Email is safe with Us

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Popular Posts