DPSP – Directives Principles of State Policy
The idea of Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) has been borrowed from Irish constitution and enumerated in Part IV (Article 36-51) of our constitution. The concept behind DPSP is to establish a ‘Welfare State’ rather than a ‘Police State’ such as of colonial era. In other words, motive behind inclusion of DPSP is to establish social and economic democracy rather than Political democracy. These are the basic principles or instructions to government while formulating laws/policies and executing them.
- To promote welfare of people through social, economic and political justice and try to minimize inequalities in area of income, status and opportunities (Article 38).
- Article 39 – a) secure adequate means of livelihood for all citizens, b) equal distribution of material and resources, c) prevention of concentration of wealth and means of production, d) equal pay for equal work for all, e) right against economic exploitation and f) healthy development of children.
- To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to poor (Article 39A).
- To secure right to work and public assistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness (Article 41).
- Right to Just and humane conditions for work and maternity relief (Article 42).
- To secure minimum wage, social & cultural opportunities, equal participation, healthy work environment etc. for sake of workers (Article 43 & 43A).
- To raise level of nutrition, improve standard of living and public health (Article 47).
- To build concept of Self government with necessary powers by organising village panchayat (article 40).
- To develop cottage industries (Article 43).
- To promote educational and economic interests of weaker sections (SC’s, ST’s etc.) and protect them from social injustice and exploitation (Article 46).
- To prohibit use of intoxicants such as liquors, drugs, opium etc (Article 47).
- To organise agriculture, animal husbandry on modern lines and prohibit slaughter of cows, calves and improve their breeds (Article 48).
- To secure a uniform civil code for citizens (Article 44).
- To provide early childhood care till age of 6yrs (Article 45).
- To protect environment, wild life and forests by taking appropriate safeguards (Article 48A).
- To protect and maintain artistic/historical monuments and places (Article 49).
- To separate judiciary from executive (Article 50).
- To promote international peace and amity (Article 51).
Conflict b/w DPSP and Fundamental Rights
- The DPSP are non justiciable in nature or not enforceable by courts and doesn’t create any justiciable rights in favour of the Individuals while Fundamental Rights are justiciable (i.e. any law can be declare void if in violation of fundamental rights). But article 37 says that it shall be duty of state to apply provisions of DPSP in formulation of laws and policies.
- Article 31C added by 25th constitutional amendment, 1971 and include following two provisions:-
- Any law which is enacted to give effect to directives or DPSP included in Article 39 (b) and (c) can’t be declared void or ultra vires on grounds that it is in contravention of Fundamental Rights conferred by Article 14 and 19.
- No law (enacted on above provisions) can be challenged in any court that it doesn’t give effect to such as policy.
- But SC declared above second provision unconstitutional as judicial review is basic structure of constitution but uphold supremacy of directives or DPSP under Article 39 (b) and (c) over fundamental rights described under article 14 and 19. Example – Any law that restricts to choose a profession to prevent concentration of wealth (article 39(c)) in some hands can’t be declared void on basis of freedom to practice any profession (Article 19).
- Also in Minerva case (1980), SC held that DPSP and Fundamental Rights are two wheels of a chariot. So supremacy of one on another can disturb the harmony of the constitution.
While describing significance of DPSP Chairman of Constituent Assembly, Dr B.R. Ambedkar said that DPSP are not enforceable by law but if any govt ignores them then they will have to answer for them before electorate at time of elections and called DPSP a patent weapon for the opposition.