Fundamental Rights provide standards of conduct, citizenship, justice and fair play. They
serve as a check on the government. Various social, religious, economic and political
problems in our country make Fundamental Rights important. In our Constitution,
Fundamental Rights are enumerated in Part III from Article 14 to 32. These rights are
Justiciable: Justiciable means that if these rights are violated by the government or
anyone else, the individual has the right to approach the Supreme Court or High
Courts for the protection of his/her Fundamental Rights.
Seven Fundamental Rights were enshrined in the Constitution of India. However the Right
to Property was removed from the list of Fundamental Rights by the 44th Amendment Act
of the Constitution in the year 1976. Since then, it has been made a legal right. There are
now six Fundamental Rights.
The Fundamental Rights are: –
1. Right to Equality
2. Right to Freedom
3. Right against Exploitation
4. Right to Freedom of Religion
5. Cultural and Educational Rights, and
6. Right to Constitutional Remedies.
Recently by the 86th Amendment Act, the Right to Education has been included in the list
of Fundamental Rights as part of the Right to Freedom by adding Article 21(A).
The Constitution guarantees the following six Fundamental Freedoms:
(i) Freedom of speech and expression.
(ii) Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms.
(iii) Freedom to form associations or unions.
(iv) Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India.
(v) Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.
(vi) Freedom to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
Our Constitution guarantees certain rights to the arrested person. As per the provision, no
person can be arrested and/or be detained in custody without being informed of the grounds
for detention. He /she has the right to consult and be defended by a lawyer of his/her
choice. The accused has to be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of
twenty-four hours of arrest.
These safeguards however are not available to foreigners as well as to those citizens
detained under Preventive Detention Act.
Preventive Detention: When the State feels that a person is likely to commit
crime or is a threat to the security of the State, he/she may be detained without trial
for a limited period. However, no person can be kept under detention for more than
three months until permitted by an Advisory Board consisting of persons who are
qualified to be appointed as judges of the High Courts. Such a board is presided over
by a sitting judge of a High Court.
Our Constitution also provides safeguards for children. It bans the employment of children
below the age of fourteen years in any factory , mine or hazardous occupations.
Part III of our Constitution provides for legal remedies for the protection of these rights
against their violation by the State or other institutions/individuals. It entitles the citizens of
India to move the Supreme Court or High Courts for the enforcement of these rights. The
State is forbidden from making any law that may be in conflict with the Fundamentals
The Constitution empowers the Supreme Court and High Courts to issue orders or writs
as mentioned in the box given below.
HABEAS CORPUS; (Latin term) It is an order by the court to the state to produce
the person physically before it justify the confinement or release of the person.
MANDAMUS: (Latin term) It is a command or an order from a superior court to a
subordinate court or tribunal or public authority to perform its duty in case it is not
PROHIBITION: It is an order issued by the Superior Court to forbid a subordinate
court or tribunal from proceeding with a case which is beyond its jurisdiction.
QUO WARRANTO: This writ is issued to restrain a person from acting in a public
office to which he /she is not entitled.
CERTIORARI : The term certiorari means “to be informed of what is going”. It is
an order to a lower court from a superior court to transfer the matter to it or to any
other court for deciding the matter.