Sunday, 2 September 2018

What is relation between fundamental right and directive principles of state policy?

Development of law regarding the conflict and irreconcilability between fundamental rights and the directive principles, has passed through four distinct stages. At the beginning, a strict literal interpretation was advocated and the Fundamental Rights were would prevail over the Directive Principles. Later in course of time, a perceptible, and a welcome change came over the judicial attitude, and the courts though subordinated the Directives to the Fundamental Rights, took the view that the mechanism of harmonious construction should be used to interpret the two Parts. The next stage came with the case of Sajjan Singh, and Golak Nath, where the judiciary began expanding the Directive Principles and interpreted the two Parts as being co-equal, and without any conflict.

 Kesavananda Bharti, was a turning point in the history of Directive Principles Jurisprudence, where for the first time the court held that the Directive principles should be given primacy over the Fundamental Rights. This was the third stage. However, in Minerva Mills the judiciary again went back to stating that there should be balance and harmony between Part III and Part IV, and that none should be given a primacy over the other. Since then this has been the view taken by the courts in the subsequent cases.
The recent trend in this regard, is that though the Directive Principles are unenforceable, and a State cannot be compelled to undertake a legislation to implement a Directive, the Supreme Court has been issuing directions to the State to implement the Principles. Hence various aspects of Part IV are being enforced by the courts indirectly. Today thus, the Directive Principles no longer remain merely a moral obligation of the Government.
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