Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

Directive Principle of state Policy

The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) is explained in PART IV of Indian Constitution through Articles 36-51. The Directive Principles are the needs of the community. The DPSP was borrowed from Irish Constitution of 1937 (which were copied from Spanish Constitution). In short DPSP are the recommendations to the state in Legislative, Executive and Administrative matters. (State means Legislative and Executive organs of the Central and State governments, all local authorities and all other public authorities in the country).
The “Instruments of Instructions” was enumerated in the GOI (Government of India) Act of 1935 and they are called Directive Principles of State Policy in the Indian Constitution.

  • DPSP embody the concept of a welfare state.
  • The Directive Principles are the operative part of the Constitution.
  • The Directive Principles of State Policy constitute a very comprehensive economic, social and political program for modern democratic state.
  • The idea of the principles is that realising the high ideals of Justice, liberty, equality and Fraternity as outlined in the Preamble.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy are non-justifiable in nature. (They are not legally enforceable by the courts for their violation).

Article 36
It defines the state. It has the same meaning as given in Article 12 of Part III (fundamental rights) of the Indian Constitution.
Article 37:
The Directive Principles are “fundamentals in the governance of the country”. It shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws.
This article also contains a clause of that mentions the non-justiciability of the Directive Principles. It made it clear that the Judiciary should not compel the state to perform a duty under the directive principles of state policy.
Article 38:
The state shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of social life. Article 38 is the keystone or the core of the Directive principles.
Article 39:
The Right to adequate means of livelihood for all citizens, equal Pay for equal work for both men and women.
Article 40:
To organise Village Panchayats.
Article 41:
The right to work, Public Assistance in the event of unemployment.
Article 42:
The provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity leave.
Article 43:
The living wage for workers.
Article 44:
Uniform Civil Code for the whole country.
Article 45:
Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of 6 years.
86th Amendment of 2002 changed the subject matter of Article 45 and also made elementary education a fundamental right under Article 21 A. (This came into effect on April 1, 2010). With this, the Children between the age group of 6 and 14 are entitled to free education.
Article 46:
Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other backwards classes.
Article 47:
To prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs. It is the duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living to improve public health.
Liquor Ban in India: Gujarat, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Lakshadweep prohibited the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol. In Gujarat, the law is in force since May 1, 1960. Gujarat is the only state in India that has the death penalty for those who found guilty of making and selling spurious (fake) liquor which causes death. This was done by amending the Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment) Bill 2009. The Bombay Prohibition Act 1949 is still in operation in both Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The Bangaram Island is the only place in Lakshadweep where the consumption is permitted.
Liquor Ban in Haryana: The impact of Prohibition in Haryana: After the 1996 assembly elections the HVP (Haryana Vikas Party) imposed a ban on liquor by the CM Bansilal and it had a very bad impact in the 1998 Lok Sabha elections where it won only 1 Lok Sabha seat from the state (Out of 10). In the year 1998, the government lifted the ban.
Article 48:
Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry and prohibition of cow slaughter.
Article 49:
Protection of monuments, places and objects of National importance.
Article 50:
Separation of Judiciary from Executive.
Article 51:
To promote international peace and security, just and honourable between nations, respect for international law.
Important Points:

  • B N Rau (Constitutional advisor) recommended that the rights to be divided into justifiable and non-justifiable. Accordingly, Part III and Part IV came into the picture.
  • In Champakam Dorairajan case (1951) the Supreme Court ruled that in the case of any conflict between Fundamental Rights and DPSP, the Fundamental rights would prevail.
  • In Golaknath case (1967) the Supreme Court held that Fundamental Rights cannot be amended for the implementation of DPSP.
  • In Keshavananda Bharati case (1973): The Supreme Court declared that there is no essential dichotomy between the Fundamental rights and the Directive principles. They complement and supplement each other.
  • 42nd amendment of 1976 accorded supremacy to Directive Principles of State Policy over Fundamental rights.
  • In Minerva Mills (1980) case the status of Directive Principles of State Policy was made subordinate to the Fundamental rights.

DR B R AMBEDKAR: The Directive Principles are the novel feature of the Indian Constitution. The Directive Principles along with the Fundamental rights contain the Philosophy of the Constitution and is the soul of the Constitution. A state just awakened from freedom with its many preoccupations might be crushed under the burden unless it was free to decide the order, the time, the place and the mode of fulfilling them.
Granville Austin: He described the DPSP as “Conscience of the Constitution”
JAWAHARLAL NEHU’S STATEMENT IN 1951: The DPSP represent a dynamic move towards a certain objective. The Fundamental rights represent something static, to preserve certain rights which exist. Both are right. But, somehow and sometime it might so happen that dynamic movement and that static standstill do not quite fit into each other.
About Uniform Civil Code:
– Dr B R Ambedkar was strongly in favour of Uniform Civil Code.
– In S R Bommai vs Union of India case in 1994 the Supreme Court urged the government to enact a Uniform Civil Code to promote National Integration.
– The Supreme Court (1994) stated that the Article 44 had remained a dead letter.
– The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and the DPSP are the integral parts of the Indian Constitution. All the three are meant for building an egalitarian (equal) society and in the concept of socio-economic justice.
– If The Fundamental Rights represent the don’ts, the DPSP represents the Do’s of the executive and legislature then there is conflict.
JAWAHARLAL NEHU’S STATEMENT IN PARLIAMENT IN 1955: The responsibility for economic and social welfare policies of the nation should lie with the Parliament and not with the Courts. In the case of contradiction, it was for Parliament to remove the contradiction and make Fundamental rights subserve the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP).
Distinction between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

Distinction between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles
Fundamental RightsDirective Principles
1.They are negative as they prohibit the State from doing certain things.These are positive as they require the State to do certain things
2.These are justiciable, that is, they are legally enforceable by the courts in the case of their violation.These are non-justiciable, that is. they are not legally enforceable by the courts for their violation
3.They aim at establishing political democracy in the country.They aim at establishing social and economic democracy in the country.
4.They have legal sanctionsThese have moral and political sanctions
5.They promote the welfare of the individual. Hence they are personal and individualistic.They promote the welfare of the community. Hence they are societarian and socialistic
6.They do not require any legislation for their implementation. They are automatically enforced.They require legislation for their implementation. They are not automatically enforced.
7.The courts are bound to declare a law violation of any of the Fundamental Rights as unconstitutional and invalidThe courts cannot declare a law violative of any of the Directive Principles as unconstitutional and invalid. However, they can uphold the validity of a law on the ground that it was enacted to give effect to a directive.

Source: Indian Polity by M Laxmikant

Others Directive Principles

There are few other Directive Principles apart from those in Part IV

  1. Claims of SCs and STs to Services (Article 335, Path XVI)
  2. Instruction in Mother Tongue (Article 350-A, Path XVII)
  3. Development of the Hindi Language (Article 351, Path XVII)

Articles related to Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

Part IV: Directive Principles (Article 36-51)
ArticleImportance
36Definition
37Application of the principles contained in this Part.
38State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people
39Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State.
39AEqual justice and free legal aid
40Organisation of village panchayats
41Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases
42Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
43Living wage, etc., for workers.
43AParticipation of workers in management of industries.
44Uniform civil code for the citizens.
45Provision for free and compulsory education for children.
46Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections
47Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health
48Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry.
48AProtection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife.
49Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance.
50Separation of judiciary from executive
51Promotion of international peace and security.

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