Relationship Between DPSPS And Fundamental Rights

By Mansi Chahar


The terminology of Directive Principles inserted in the Constitution was taken from and is based on Article 45 of the Irish Constitution .The Directive Principles urged a duty upon the state to not only concede the Fundamental Rights of an individual but also to attain definite socio-economic objectives Directive Principles were catalogued in Part IV of the Constitution. The major and the most important difference between Fundamental Rights and DPSPs is that Part III is enforceable whereas Part IV unenforceable.


In the Scenario so far various judgments have been laid down in respect of deciding the supremacy of Part III and Part IV of Indian Constitution. The previous judgments kept on signifying which one would prevail over other. The significant series of the Judgments and Amendments is as follows-

· State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan AIR 1951 SC 226

Which significantly led to the 1stConstitutional Amendment in the year 1951 where 15(3) was inserted in Article 15 of the Indian Constitution. , Justice Das acknowledged that directive principles were subsequently made unenforceable by Article 37 and Further-more could not overule the fundamental rights enumerated in Part III, which were enforceable in consideration to Article 32. The court declared that fundamental rights were sacred and could not be lessened by Directive Principles and stated that the directive principles although salient in their own respect were required to cling to the Fundamental Rights and if therefore conflict arises Part III would prevail over Part IV of Indian Constitution.

· In Re: The Kerala Education Bill v. Unknown 1959 1 SCR 995

If in DPSPs and Fundamental rights there will be contradiction. Then, there would be set-ting of Harmonious Construction and Moreover, if Harmonious Construction would not be possible then Fundamental Rights will prevail over Part IV of the Indian Constitution.· K.S. Venkata Raman & Co, v. State of Madras AIR 1966 SC 1089In this case it was held that in case where disputes arises between Part III and Part IV of the Constitution. Then, Part III will prevail over Part IV of the constitution.

· I.C Golaknath v. State of Punjab 1967 AIR 1643

The judgment override Supreme Court’s previous decision which had upheld Parliament’s power to amend or alter all organs of the Constitution, consisting Part III related to Fundamental Rights. The judgement left Parliament with no power or authority to lessen Fundamental Rights.

· 24th Amendment Act, 1971

Parliament passed the 24th Amendment Act in 1971 to repudiate the Supreme Court judgment. It amended the Constitution to and support expressly that Parliament has the immence power to amend any part of the Constitution consisting the provisions relating to Fundamental Rights. This was assured by amending articles 13 and 368 to exclude or overrule amendments made under article 368, from article 13’s prohibition of any law taking away any of the Fundamental Rights conferred in Part III of Indian Constitution. Also, Article 39B and 39C will be supreme in respect of Article 14 and 19.

· 42nd Amendment Act, 1976

The 42nd amendment Act provided the Parliament unconstrained power to revise any part of the Constitution, without judicial review or court intervention. The objective was to make any law passed in implementation of a Directive Principle resistant from perusal by the Supreme Court. The 42nd Amendment Act inserted new Directive Principles, which are Article 39A, Article 43A & Article 48A.The 42nd Amendment gave supremacy to the Directive Principles, by declaring that “no law enacting any of the Directive Principles could be declared unconstitutional or void on the grounds that it violated or contradictory of any of the Fundamental Rights conferred in Part III of Indian Constitution.

Fundamental Rights conferred in Part III of Indian Constitution.

· Kesavananda Bharati v.State of Kerala AIR 1973 SC 1461

The Parliament was given unrestricted power to alter any part of the Constitution of India, without judicial review or court interference. This significantly contradicted the Supreme Court’s Judgment in Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala in 1973. The amendment to article 368, preserved any constitutional amendment from being “asked in question in any Court on any matter”. It also stated that there would be no restriction whatever on the constituent power of Parliament to alter the Constitution. The 42nd Amendment also restrained the power of the courts to issue stay orders, The Supreme Court therefore, placed DPSPs on higher pedestal than Fundamental Rights.

· Minerva Mills v. Union of India AIR 1980 SC 1789

The Supreme Court said that no question arises of supremacy in actual terms they are complementary. Hence, no one is prevailing. The Court declared that, the doctrine of Harmonious Construction would apply in case where disputes arises between Fundamental Rights and DPSPs because these parts are complementary to each other and both needs to be balanced effectively. The Supreme Court declared void two provisions of the 42nd Amendment which prevent any constitutional amendment from being “called in question in any Court on any ground or matter” and grant supremacy to the Directive Principles of State Policy over the Fundamental Rights respectively.

· Unni Krishnan,J.P v. State of Andhra Pradesh AIR 1993 SC 2178

The Court held that Fundamental Rights and DPSPs are not exclusive to each other they are mutually inclusive. The Court also inserted Article 21A that is Right to Education up-to 14 years of age. In respect of the Right to Education, the contents is to be determined or decided in rights of Article 41,45 & 46. It signifies that free Education upto 14 years of age and after 14 , the right get circumscribed by limits or boundaries of economic capacity of State.


The significance of Part III and Part IV is supreme. Both of these can be considered as the integral part of the Constitution with the emergence of time. These two parts should work in collaboration. Its important to promote these parts at a great extent. They form a base for the Constitution of India.

Leave a Reply