Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights


Right to equality (Articles 14 – 18)

  • The right to equality guarantees that everyone is treated equally before the law, that discrimination on numerous grounds is prohibited, that everyone is treated equally in terms of public employment, and that untouchability and titles are abolished.

Article 14

  • Equality before the law and equal protection of the law
  • The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
  • The word person includes legal persons, viz, statutory corporations, companies, registered societies, or any other type of legal person.

Article 15

  • Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • No citizen shall, on the ground only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition 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 resorts maintained whole or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.

Article 16

  • Equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters of employment or appointment to any office under the state.
  • No citizen shall be ineligible for or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State on grounds of only religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence.

Article 17

  • Abolition of untouchability
  • The enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offense punishable in accordance with the law.

Fundamental Rights provided by Indian Constitution

Fundamental Rights Article Provisions
Right to Equality 14 Equality Before Law
15 Prohibition of Discrimination
16 Equality of Opportunity in Public Employment
17 Abolition of Untouchability
18 Abolition of Titles
Right to Freedom 19 Protection of 6 Rights

  • Right to freedom of speech and expression.
  • Right to assemble peaceably and without arms.
  • Right to form associations or unions or co-operative societies.
  • Right to move freely throughout the territory of India.
  • Right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.
  • Right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
20 Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences
21 Protection of Life and Personal Liberty
21-A Right to Education
22 Protection Against Arrest and Detention
Right Against Exploitation 23 Prohibition of Human Trafficking and Forced Labour
24 Prohibition of Child Labour
Right to Freedom of Religion 25 Freedom of Conscience, Profession, Practice and Propagation
26 Freedom to Manage Religious Affairs
27 Freedom from Taxation for Promotion of a Religion
28 Freedom from Attending Religious Instruction
Educational and Cultural Rights 29 Protection of Interests of Minorities
30 Right of Minorities to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions
Right to Constitutional Remedies 32 Right to remedies for the enforcement of the fundamental rights using five writs:

  • Habeas Corpus – to direct the release of a person detained unlawfully.
  • Mandamus – to direct a public authority to do its duty.
  • Quo Warranto – to direct a person to vacate an office assumed wrongfully.
  • Prohibition – to prohibit a lower court from proceeding on a case.
  • Certiorari – the power of the higher court to remove a proceeding from a lower court and bring it before itself.
33 Empowers the Parliament to restrict or abrogate the fundamental rights of the ‘Members of the Armed Forces, paramilitary forces, police forces, intelligence agencies and analogous forces
34 Provides for the restrictions on fundamental rights while martial law(military rule) is in force
35 Empowers the Parliament to make laws on Fundamental Rights

Article 18

  • Abolition of titles
  • Except for academic or military titles, the state shall not confer any titles.
  • The article also prevents Indian nationals from accepting titles from other countries.
  • The title Rai Bahadur, Khan Bahadur, and other titles bestowed by the British Empire are abolished in this article.
  • This category does not include awards such as the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Bharat Ratna, and military honors such as the Ashok Chakra and Param Vir Chakra.

Right to freedom (Articles 19 – 22)

The right to freedom ensures citizens’ ability to live a dignified life, among other things.

Article 19

It guarantees to all citizens the six rights

  1. to freedom of speech and expression
  2. to assemble peaceably and without arms
  3. to form associations or unions or co-operative societies
  4. to move freely throughout the territory of India
  5. to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India
  6. to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

Article 20

  • Protection in respect of conviction for the offense.
  • No ex-post-facto law – No person shall be convicted of any offense except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, not be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offense.
  • No double jeopardy – No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offense more than once.
  • No self-incrimination – No person accused of any offense shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

Article 21

  • Protection of life and personal liberty
  • No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law
  • This right has been labeled the “heart of fundamental rights” by the Supreme Court.
  • Article 21A declares that the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of 6 to 14 years in such manner as the State may by law determine. ( 86th constitutional amendment act 2002 )

Article 22

  • Protection against arrest and detention
  • Its purpose is not to punish a person for a past offense but to prevent him from committing an offense in the near future.

Right against exploitation (Articles 23 – 24)

These are crucial Fundamental Rights that ensure that no citizen is subjected to any form of forced labor.

Article 23

  • Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labor.
  • It prohibits other similar forms of forced labor like bonded labor.

Article 24

  • Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc.
  • No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

Right to freedom of religion (Articles 25–28)

Article 25

  • Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion
  • Article 25 guarantees the freedom of conscience, the freedom to profess, practice, and propagate religion to all citizens.

Article 26

  • Freedom to manage religious affairs
  • Article protects collective freedom of religion.

Article 27

  • Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion.
  • The state should not spend the public money collected by way of tax for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion.

Article 28

  • Freedom from attending religious instructions.
  • No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of state funds.

Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29 – 30)

Article 29

  • Protection of interests of minorities
  • Any section of the citizens residing in any part of India having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have the right to conserve the same.

Article 30

Rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)

  • The Constitution establishes legal remedies to protect these rights from violations by the state or other institutions/individuals. It allows Indian citizens to petition the Supreme Court or High Courts to have their rights enforced.
  • Parliament can also empower any other court to issue similar writs under Article 32.

Types of writs are:

  • Habeas Corpus
  • Certiorari
  • Prohibition
  • Mandamus
  • Quo Warranto

Article 33

  • Armed force and fundamental rights
  • It empowers the parliament to restrict or abrogate fundamental rights of the members of police force, paramilitary, armed force, intelligence agencies and analogous forces.

*To read more on this topic click on this link Article 33

Article 34

  • Martial law and fundamental rights
  • Restriction on fundamental rights while martial law is in force.

*To read more on this topic click on this link Article 34

Article 35

  • The article lays down that the powers to make laws, to give effect to certain specified fundamental rights, shall vest only in parliament, not in state legislatures.

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