Fundamental Rights:The issue of Fundamental Rights had been on the national agenda long before the actual task of Constitution-making was taken in hand. In 1931, the Indian National Congress at its Karachi session, presided over by Sardar Patel, had adopted a resolution on Fundamental Rights. Article 12 to 35 of Part-III from Constitution of India describes six (06) Fundamental rights for the Citizen's of India. Article 19 guarantees to all citizens freedom of speech and expression but with reasonable restrictions. Constituent Assembly of India.

Fundamental Rights of India (Article 12 -35 ): Complete study materials for competitive exams like UPSC, SSC, WBCS, PSC, NTPC, IBPS, NDA Exams. In this article we have provided whole topics on Fundamental Rights of India from constitution of India as details. All General awareness questions from Indian polity for competitive exams must get here.

Difference between Fundamental Rights and Legal Rights: 

    ⦁ While an ordinary legal right is protected and enforced by the ordinary law of the land (i.e. in cases of violation of legal rights, the aggrieved person may have his relief by filing  an ordinary suit in the subordinate courts or by a writ application to the High Court, which are subjected to appeals), a Fundamental Right is one in which Supreme Court can be approached directly.

    ⦁ While ordinary legal rights may be changed by the legislature in its ordinary process of legislation, a fundamental right, being guaranteed by the Constitution, cannot be amended by any process shorter than that required for amending the Constitution itself.

Nature of Fundamental Rights:

    ⦁ The Fundamental Rights provide protection only against the state action and do not safeguard against the action of private indivituals, except the right pertaining to untouchability and the right against exploitation. In these two cases, fundamental rights are available both against the state and the individuals.

    ⦁ The state may deny some of the fundamental rights to a class of people as armed forces, pare-military personnel, police, etc., in the interest of administrative efficiency or national integrity.

    ⦁ Except the rights mentioned in Articles 20 and 21, President has the power to suspend the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

Fundamental Rights of Indian Citizen : Article 12 to Article 35(Part-III)

1. Right to Equality (Article14 to 18)

Article 14: Equality before 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. Equality before law implies that no one is above the law of the land.

Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth - also, nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making any special provision for women and children and also for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Article 16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment - There shall be quality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relation to employement or appointment to any offfice under the State.

Article 17: Abolition of untouchability - Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden.

Article 18: Abolition of titles - No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State.

It is to be noted that there is no penalty prescribed for the infringement of the above prohibition. Article 18 is merely directory. It is, however, open to the Parliament to make a law for dealing with such a person who accepts a title in violation of the prohibition prescribed in Article 18.

2. Right to Freedom (Article19 to 22)

Article 19: Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc - It guarantees the citizens of India the following six fundamental freedoms:

i. Freedom of Speech and Expression

ii. Freedom of Assembly.

iii. Freedom to form Associations

iv. Freedom of Movement

v. Freedom of Residence and Setllement

vi. Freedom of Protection, Occupation, Trades or Business

Freedom of Press: The Indian Constitution does not provide for the freedom of press separately. It is implicit in Article 19. The restrictions that limit the freedom in the case of individuals apply to the press also.

Article 20: Protection in respect of conviction for offences. No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of the law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence,  nor 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 offence. Thus the legislature is prohibited to make criminal laws having retrospective effects.

    ⦁ No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once (double jeopardy).

    ⦁ No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Under the frame of criminal jurisprudence, a person is presumed to be innocent and it is for the presecution to establish his guilt. Again, a person accused of an offence need not make any statement against his will.

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.

    ⦁ Personal freedom is secured by the Constitution by the judicial writ of Habeas corpus (article 32 and 226).

    ⦁ The 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002, has inserted in the Constitution a new article 21-A. It states that the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.

Inferred Rights: They are the rights of the citizens which are not explicitly provided by the Constitution but have been derived by liberal interpretation of the various provisions of the Constitution. Some of the Inferred rights from article- 21 are:

i. Right to health of the workers.

ii. Right to privacy

iii. Right to live with dignity.

iv. Right  against denial of wages and arbitrary dismissal of workers.

v. Right to speedy trial for under trials.

vi. Right against cruel punishment.

vii. Right to shelter

viii. Right to free legal aid.

Article 22:  Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases. It states that: (a) no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed of the grounds for such arrest nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice; (b) every person who is arrested and detained shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the cofufrt of the magistrate and no such person shall be detained ijn custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.

Right to Information Act: 

    ⦁ On Oct 12, 2005 Right to Information was made a constitutional Act with the hope of an era of better, more transparent, accountable and responsive governance. It marks a significant shift for Indian democracy with greater access to citizens to information and the greater responsiveness of the government to the society.

    ⦁ Right to Information is a corollary of the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Speech and Expression, Art 19(a)

    ⦁ A strong and independent information commission has been set up at the centre on the pattern of Central Vigilance Commission.

    ⦁ The Central Information Commission shall consist of one Chief Information Commissioner and not more than ten Central Information Commissioners. They shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a Committee consisting of the PM, the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the PM.

    ⦁ The Central Information Commission can fine an official Rs. 250 per day, with a maximum of Rs. 25,000, if information is delayed beyond stipulated 30 days.

3. Right against Exploitation (Article23 to 24)

Article 23: Prohibition of traffic i n human beings and forced labour - Traffic in human beings and begar (involuntary work without payment) and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.

Article 24: Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc - No child below the age of 14 can be employed in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

4. Right to Freedom of Religion (Article25 to 28)

Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

Article 26: Freedom to manage religious affairs.

Article 27: Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion

Article 28: Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions.

5. Cultural and Educational Rights (Article29 to 31)

Article 29: Protection of interests of minorities

Article 30: Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

Article 31: omitted by the 44th Amendment Act, 1978.

6. Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article32 ):  The right to move the Supreme Court in case of the violation of Fundamental Rights (called soul and heart of the Constitution by Dr. B R Ambedkar). To enforce the Fundamental Rights, the Supreme Court is empowered, under article 32, to issue writs of various form.

Suspendability of Fundamental Rights

    i. When the President proclaims a National Emergency under Article 352, on ground of war or external aggression (but not armed rebellion), the rights guaranteed by Article 19 are automatically suspended.

   ii. As regards with the suspension of any or all the other Fundamental Rights, the Constitution further empoerrs the President to issue a separate proclamation under Article359.

  iii. By the 44th Amendment Act, 1978, the suspension of Article 20 and 21 has been prohibited under any circumstances.

   iv. Therefore, the present position is that during the operation of National Emergency, the right to move the Court for the enforcement of any or all the Fundamental Rights, excepting those guaranteed by rticle 20 and 21, can be suspended by a Presidential 

Fundamental rights of indian constitution pdf