- Directive Principles of State Policy are instructions/guidelines to both the federal and state governments. Though these principles are not legally enforceable, they are critical to the country’s governance.
- Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) originated in the Spanish Constitution and were incorporated into the Irish Constitution.
- Article 45 of the Irish Constitution inspired the concept of DPSP.
- The DPSP establishes socio-economic democracy.
- They were an ‘instrument of instruction’ as defined by the Government of India Act of 1935.
- Their violation is not legally enforceable by the courts.
- The concept behind the DPSP is to create a ‘Welfare State’.
- The Sapru Report of 1945 established both fundamental rights (justiciable) and DPSP(s) (non-justiciable).
- According to Article 37 of the Indian Constitution, “DPSPs are fundamental in the country’s governance, and it shall be the state’s duty to apply these principles in making laws.”
Provisions of the Constitution
- The Directive Principles of State Policy are in Part IV of the Indian Constitution (Articles 36-51). (DPSP).
- The application of the Directive Principles is specified in Article 37 of the Indian Constitution.
- These principles seek to ensure people’s socioeconomic justice and to establish India as a Welfare State.
Quotes about DPSP:
- ‘No ministry responsible to the people can afford light-heartedly to ignore the provisions in Part IV of the constitution: Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar
- ‘A government which rests on popular vote can hardly ignore the DPSP while shaping its policy
- ‘DPSP are life-giving provisions of the constitution’- LM Singhvi
- ‘DPSP are aimed at furthering the goals of the social revolution or to foster the revolution by establishing the conditions necessary for its achievements’- Granville Austin
- ‘DPSP are moral precepts for the authorities of the state’- Sir BN Rau
- DPSP is not legally enforceable.
- They were made unjustifiable because the state may not have enough resources to implement all of them or may even pass more progressive legislation.
- It is made up of all the ideals that the state should adhere to and keep in mind when developing policies and enacting laws for the country.
- The DPSPs are a collection of instructions and directions issued to the Governors of India’s colonies under the Government of India Act, of 1935.
- It is a very comprehensive set of economic, social, and political guidelines or principles and recommendations for a modern democratic state aimed at instilling the preamble’s ideals of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. The Preamble outlines all of the goals that the Constitution must accomplish.
- Adding DPSP was all about creating a “welfare state” that works for the people of the country, something that was missing during the colonial era.
Classification of Principles:
- The Directive Principles are classified according to their ideological source and goals. These are Directives that are based on:
- Principles of Socialism
- Gandhian Fundamentals
- Principles of Liberalism and Inquiry
Directives based on Socialist Principles
- Article 38: The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by ensuring social, economic, and political justice and by reducing inequalities in income, status, facilities, and opportunities.
- Articles 39: In particular, the State shall direct its policies towards ensuring:
- All citizens have the right to an adequate means of subsistence.
- The ownership and control of material resources must be organized to benefit the common good.
- The state must prevent the concentration of wealth in a few hands.
- Men and women should be paid equally for equal work.
- The protection of workers’ strength and health.
- Childhood and adolescence are not to be exploited.
- Article 41: To guarantee the right to work, education, and public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness, or disability.
- Article 42: The State shall make provisions for just and humane working conditions and maternity leave.
- Article 43: The State shall make every effort to ensure that all workers receive a living wage and a decent standard of living.
- Article 43A: The State shall take steps to ensure worker participation in industrial management.
- Article 47: To improve people’s nutrition and living standards, as well as public health.
Directives based on Gandhian Principles
- Article 40: The State shall take steps to establish village panchayats as self-government units.
- Article 43: The State shall make every effort to promote individual or cooperative cottage industries in rural areas.
- Article 43B: To encourage cooperative society formation, autonomy, democratic control, and professional management.
- Article 46: The State shall promote the educational and economic interests of the people’s weaker sections, particularly the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and other weaker sections.
- Article 47: The State shall take measures to improve public health and prohibit the use of intoxicating beverages and drugs that are harmful to one’s health.
- Article 48: Prohibiting the slaughter of cows, calves, and other milch and draught cattle, as well as improving their breeds.
Directives based on Liberal-Intellectual Principles
- Article 44: The State shall make every effort to secure for its citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout India’s territory.
- Article 45: All children must receive early childhood care and education until they reach the age of six.
- Article 48: Modern and scientific agricultural and animal husbandry organization.
- Article 48A: To protect and improve the environment, as well as to protect the country’s forests and wildlife.
- Article 49: Every monument or place of artistic or historic interest must be protected by the state.
- Article 50: The State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the State’s public services.
- Article 51 states that the State shall strive to maintain just and honourable relations with the nations in order to establish international peace and security.
- Encourage adherence to international law and treaty obligations.
- Encourage the use of arbitration to settle international disputes.
- 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976: It made some changes to Part IV of the Constitution by adding new directives:
- Article 39A: Free legal aid for the poor.
- Article 43A: Workers’ participation in industry management.
- Article 48A: To safeguard and enhance the environment.
- 1978 Constitutional Amendment 44: It inserted Section-2 to Article 38 which declares that; “The State, in particular, shall strive to minimise economic inequalities in income and eliminate inequalities in status, facilities, and opportunities not amongst individuals but also amongst groups”.
- The Right to Property was also removed from the list of Fundamental Rights.
- The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 amended Article 45 to make elementary education a fundamental right under Article 21 A.
|42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976||Added four new DPSPs Article 39: To secure opportunities for the healthy development of children Article 39A: To provide free legal aid to the poor. Article 43A: Participation of workers in the management of Industries.K1M Article 48A: To protect and improve the environment.|
|44th Constitutional Amendment, 1978||Article 38: to minimize inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities|
|86th Amendment Act of 2002||changed the subject matter and made elementary education a fundamental right under Article 21A. The amendment directed the state to provide early childhood care until the completion of six years|
|97th Amendment Act of 2011||Article 43B: cooperative societies|
DPSPs were rendered non-justiciable for the following reasons:
- The country lacked the financial resources to carry them all out.
- Their implementation may be hampered by diversity.
- Instead of a blanket imposition by the constituent assembly, the newly independent state should be free to decide its implementation based on the state of society.
Conflicts Between Fundamental Rights and the DPSP: Case Studies
- Champakam Dorairajan v. State of Madras (1951): In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that if the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles conflicted, the Fundamental Rights would take precedence.
- It stated that the Directive Principles must be consistent with and run in tandem with the Fundamental Rights.
- It also held that Parliament could amend the Fundamental Rights by enacting constitutional amendment acts.
- Golaknath v. State of Punjab (1967): In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament could not amend Fundamental Rights even to implement Directive Principles.
- It was contradictory to its own judgment in the ‘Shankari Parsad case’.
- Kesavananda Bharati v the State of Kerala (1973): In this case, the Supreme Court overruled its Golak Nath (1967) verdict and declared that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution but it cannot alter its “Basic Structure”.
- As a result, the Fundamental Right to Property (Article 31) was removed from the list of Fundamental Rights.
- Minerva Mills v. Union of India, 1980: The Supreme Court reiterated in this case that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution but cannot change the “Basic Structure” of the Constitution.
DPSP Implementation: Related Acts and Amendments
- Land Reforms: Almost all states have passed land reform laws in order to bring about changes in agrarian society and improve the rural masses’ conditions. Among these measures are
- Elimination of intermediaries such as zamindars, jagirdars, inamdars, and so on.
- Tenancy reforms such as security of tenure, fair rents, and so on
- Imposing limits on land holdings
- Distribution of surplus land to landless workers
- Farming cooperatives
- Labour Reforms: The following acts were enacted to protect the interests of the Labour section of the society.
- The Minimum Wages Act (1948), Code on Wages, 2020
- The Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act (1970)
- The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act (1986)
- Renamed as the Child and Adolescent Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986 in 2016.
- The Bonded Labour System Abolition Act (1976)
- The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
- The Maternity Benefit Act (1961) and the Equal Remuneration Act (1976) have been made to protect the interests of women workers.
- Panchayati Raj System: The government fulfilled the constitutional obligation stated in Article 40 by passing the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1992.
- In almost every part of the country, a three-tier ‘Panchayati Raj System’ was implemented at the Village, Block, and District levels.
- Cottage Industries: In order to promote cottage industries in accordance with Article 43, the government has established several Boards, including the Village Industries Board, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, All India Handicraft Board, Silk Board, Coir Board, and others, which assist cottage industries with finance and marketing.
- Education: In accordance with Article 45, the government has implemented provisions for free and compulsory education.
- Elementary education has been recognized as a fundamental right of every child aged 6 to 14 years old, thanks to the 86th Constitutional Amendment and the Rights to Education Act 2009.
- Rural Area Development: As stated in Article 47 of the Constitution, programmes such as the Community Development Programme (1952), the Integrated Rural Development Programme (1978-79), and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA-2006) were launched to raise the standard of living, particularly in rural areas.
- Health: Central Government-sponsored schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Gram Swasthya Yojana (PMGSY) and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) are being implemented to fulfill the Indian state’s social sector responsibility.
- Environment: To protect wildlife and forests, the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980, and the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 were enacted.
- The Central Pollution Control Board was established by the Water and Air Pollution Control Acts.
- Heritage Preservation: The Ancient and Historical Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (1958) was enacted to protect monuments, places, and objects of national significance.
Difference between FR and DPSP
|Negative since they prohibit the state from doing certain things||Positive since they compel states to take actions|
|Justiciable in nature||Non-justiciable in nature|
|Aim: establishing political democracy||Aim: economic and social democracy|
|Legal sanctions||Moral and political sanctions|
|Do not require legislation for their implementation||Requires legislation for their implementation|
|Courts are bound to declare a law as invalid if they violate FRS||Courts cannot declare a law invalid if they violate FRds|
- There is no legal force: They were described as “pious superfluities,” and were compared to a blank check, New Year’s resolutions, and the manifestation of goals and dreams.
- In an illogical order: DPSP has been chastised for being arranged illogically and lacking a consistent philosophy.
- Conservative and traditional: Some provisions are antiquated and contradict 21st-century philosophies. For example, prohibiting alcoholic beverages.
- This could lead to confusion and conflict.
- DPSP implementation may result in conflicts between the center and the states.
- During the early stages of the conflicts between FRs and DPSP, the number of constitutional cases was high.
- Conflicts between the President and his cabinet, as well as between the center and the state, are possible. For example, states may be dismissed for noncompliance; the President may refuse assent if laws enacted to implement the DPSP violate FRs.
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