Indian Polity : Fundamental Rights

 

The Constitution offers all citizens, individually and collectively, some basic freedoms. These are guaranteed in the Constitution in the form of six broad categories of Fundamental Rights which are justiceable. Article 12 to 35 contained in Part III of the Constitution deal with Fundamental Rights.

 Right to equality including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and equality of opportunity in matters of employment;

 Right to freedom of speech and expression; assembly; association or union; movement; residence; and right to practice any profession or occupation (some of these rights are  subject to security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency or morality);

 Right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labour, child labour and traffic in human beings;

 Right to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion;

 Right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice; and

 Right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

CEASED FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT  PROPERTY RIGHT

The Right to Property, which used to be one of the Fundamental Rights under Article 31, ceases to be a Fundamental Right and has become only a legal right according to the Constitution 44th Amendment, 1978. It is, however, ensured that the removal of the Property Right from the list of Fundamental Rights would not affect the right of the minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. Besides, a provision has been made, as before, that no person will be deprived of his property except in accordance with law.

RIGHT TO EQUALITY

Equality before the law is one of the most important fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Article 14 states that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of laws within Indian territory. Article 15 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. No citizen can, on any of these grounds, be subjected to any disability or restriction with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment or the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained out of State funds. Article 16 guarantees equality of opportunity in matters of public appointment.

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