Directive Principle of State Policy

Directive Principle of State Policy provides guidelines to central & state government in India, to
be kept in mind while framing laws & policies & mentioned in part 4 of the constitution.
Aim of DPSPs is to set up social & economic goals before the law makers

• To bring socio-economic change in the country
• To fulfil the basic needs of the common man
• To reshape the structure of Indian society in direction of greater socio-economic equality.
• DPSPs are fundamentals in governance of the country & shall be considered dutifully by
the state while making laws, but DPSPs are not enforceable in court of law
• If state fails to fulfil these obligations, one cannot go to court of law
• DPSPs only provides a yardstick for measuring success or failure of the government
Articles 36 to 51 deals with the provisions of the Directive Principles & are broadly classified into 3 types.
• Socialist principles
• Gandhian principles
• Liberal intellectual principles
Socialist Principles
• A-38 -To secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people.
• To strive to minimise inequalities of income i.e. operation of the economic system does
not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common
• ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as
best to subserve the common good;
• A-39A – Equal justice and free legal aid.
• Equal pay for equal work.
• Health & strength of workers, and the tender age of children must not be abused.
• Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases.
• Provision of just and humane conditions for work and maternity relief.

• A-43A- Participation of workers in the management of the industries.
• Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve
public health.
• Children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in
conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against
exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
The Western Liberal Principles
• A-44- Uniform Civil Code for the citizens.
• A-45 – Provide free and compulsory education for children below 14 years.
• A-50- Separation of Judiciary from Executive.
• To promote international peace and amity.
• Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance
• Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life.
The Gandhian Principles
• Organization of Village Panchayats & to promote cottage industry.
• Promotion of educational and economic interests of the SCs, the STs and the other
weaker sections of the society.
• To bring about the prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs that is injurious to health.
• Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines to
prohibit the slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught animals.
97th Amendment: Promotion of cooperative societies
Directives in other parts of the Constitution (Except part IV)
Article 350 A: It enjoins every State and every local authority within the State to provide
adequate facilities for the instructions in the mother tongue at the primary stage to children of
linguistic minority areas.
Article 351: It enjoins the Union to promote the spread of Hindi Language so that it may serve as
a medium of expression of all the elements of the composite culture of India.
Article 335: It says that the claims of SC/ST shall be taken into consideration, consistently with
the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and
posts in connection with affairs of the Union or of a State.

Under the implementation of DPSP, Zamindari, Jagirdari & inamdari systems were abolished & actual tillers of the soil were made owner of the land.
 DPSPs  v/s FRs
 DPSPs spell out the character of social & economic democracy in India  FRs provide the foundation of political democracy in India
 DPSPs are positive / moral obligations of state towards the citizens  Lays down negative obligation / restriction on the state i.e. FRs are prohibitive in nature
 DPSPs are laid in general terms and are sort of moral obligations  FRs have been laid down in clear legal language in constitution
 DPSPs represents a dynamic move towards the betterment of the citizens  FRs represent something static i.e. to preserve certain rights which already exist
 DPSPs are non-justifiable in nature & cannot be enforced in court of law  FRs are justifiable in nature & can be enforced in court of law

What if laws made by state giving effect to DPSP’s violates FR, can they be valid? This question was raised before SC in 1951 in Champakam Dorairajan case!

SC held that they are supplementary to each other & no as such inherent conflict is between them, thus, as far as possible, should be interpreted harmoniously. However, if it is not possible, FRs will prevail over DPSPs means DPSPs cannot override FRs; hence such a law is void.

On this ground, SC held Bank nationalisation act & Privy Purse (abolition) act unconstitutional
In 1971, 25th amendment introduced a new article 31-c, which states that “if state enacts any law giving effect to two directive principles viz. Equitable distribution of wealth (article 39-b) & Prevention of concentration of wealth in fewer hands (article 39-c), & in that process if the law violates FRs (article 14, 19 & 31), it cannot be held void merely on this ground.

Article 31-c further states that such a law giving effect to 39 – b & 39 – c, cannot be questioned in court of law.

25th amendment was challenged in Kesavananda Bharati case (1973), in which SC held that only first part of the article 31-c (overriding article 14, 19 & 31) is valid, but second part which bars judicial review held unconstitutional.

42nd amendment, 1976 further amended article 31-c & widened its scope & gave precedence for all DPSPs over article 14, 19 & 31 & hence made them immune to judicial review.

Minerva Mills case, 1980: SC struck down the changes introduced by 42nd amendment in article 31-c & held them unconstitutional on grounds that total exclusion of judicial review would offend the basic structure of the constitution.

Presently, only article 39-b & 39-c can be given precedence over articles 14 & 19

Fundamental Duites

The fundamental duties which were added by the 42 nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1976, in addition to creating and promoting a culture, also strengthen the hands of the legislature in enforcing these duties vis-a-vis the fundamental rights. Since the duties are imposed upon the citizen and not upon the State legislation is necessary for their implementation.

Even though brought in by the Constitution (Forty Second Amendment) Act 1976 during the operation of the proclamation of Emergency, Part IV-A, laying down certain duties of the citizens, is one of the most valuable parts of the Constitution. It is also the most neglected.


1. They serve as a source of inspiration for the citizens and promote a sense of discipline and commitment among them. They create a feeling that the citizens are not mere spectators but active participants in the realisation of national goals.

2. They serve as a warning against the anti-national and antisocial activities like burning the national flag, destroying public property and so on.

3. They serve as a reminder to the citizens that while enjoying their rights, they should also be conscious of the duties they owe to their country, their society and to their fellow citizens.

Article 51A, Part IVA of the Indian Constitution, specifies the list of fundamental duties of the citizens.

It says “it shall be the duty of every citizen of India:

1. To abide by the constitution and respect its ideal and institutions;

2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

3. To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;

4. To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;

5. To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional diversities,

6. To renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;

7. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

8. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures;

9. To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

10. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

11. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity, so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement. “
Further, one more Fundamental duty has been added to the Indian Constitution by 86th Amendment of the constitution in 2002, who is a parent or guardian , to provide opportunities for education to his child, or as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years