Fundamental Duties: Nature of Fundamental Rights | Difference between FRs and FDs | Are Fundamental Duties enforceable?


1. What are Fundamental Duties?

Fundamental Duties are the moral obligations or code of conduct for all citizens of India to uphold the unity of India and promote patriotism.

The original Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950, and there was no mention of citizen duties. The residents of independent India were expected to perform their duties voluntarily. However, things did not go as planned.

In 1976, the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act was passed by the Parliament through which fundamental duties were added. Fundamental Duties are mentioned under Article 51 'A' of Part IV A of the Constitution. It was enacted during the emergency when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India.

There are 11 fundamental duties described in Article 51 (A). 10 fundamental duties were added by the 42nd Amendment Act. 11th fundamental duty was added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India.

The concept of fundamental duties was derived from the Russian Constitution.

2. Swaran Singh Committee

The Swaran Singh Committee had recommended adding Fundamental Duties in 1976. The committee was constituted by Indira Gandhi.

The government implemented various amendments to the Constitution based on the recommendations of Swaran Singh Committee, including amendments in the Preamble, the fundamental duties through the 42nd CAA.

Some of the recommendations of the committee like making Fundamental duties punishable offence, addition of fundamental duty to pay taxes, etc., were not accepted by the government.

3. Are fundamental duties enforceable by court of law?

Like Directive Principles of State Policy, Fundamental Duties are not enforceable by law. This means that citizens cannot be punished for violating fundamental duties, or for failing to perform these duties.

However, a court may consider them while making a decision.

These can be made enforceable by if an act is passed by the Parliament regarding their implementation.

For Example:

If there is a violation of the fundamental duties related to a country's honour, such as the national anthem or flag, then it is a punishable offence under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971. Other acts like the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Forest Conservation Act 1980, Protection of Civil Rights Act, etc. are the existing acts through which some of the fundamental duties have been made enforceable.

4. Features of Fundamental Duties

  • These are both civic and moral in nature.
  • They emphasize on Indian way of living.
  • The fundamental duties are limited to Indian citizens only unlike Fundamental Rights of which few are extended to foreigners also.
  • These are non-justiciable and non-enforceable.

5. Difference between Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Duties are defined in Part IV A of the Constitution of India.

Part III of India's Constitution contains the Fundamental Rights, which are guaranteed to all people of the country.

Article 51-A of the Indian Constitution deals with Fundamental Duties.

Article 12-35 of the Indian Constitution deals with fundamental rights.

The concept of fundamental duties was derived from the Russian Constitution.

Fundamental Rights was adopted from the United States Constitution.

These are moral obligations. These are political, social and economic in nature.

These are rights of an individual and communities. These are political and social in nature.

The fundamental duties are non-enforceable. This means that citizens cannot be punished for violating fundamental duties, or for failing to perform these duties.

Fundamental rights are enforceable in the sense that they can be lawfully enforced by the courts if they are violated.

Fundamental Duties are not suspended during emergency.

During a national emergency, fundamental rights can be suspended. However, Articles 20 and 21 protect rights that cannot be suspended.

Fundamental Duties are only limited to Indian Citizens.

Some of the fundamental rights are available for foreigners also.

Fundamental Duties are absolute in nature.

Fundamental rights are subjected to reasonable restrictions.

6. 11 Fundamental Duties

The list of 11 fundamental duties mentioned in the Constitution is given below. 

Every Indian citizen has the duty to:

  1. To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
  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 or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
  7. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
  8. To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
  9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
  10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement;
  11. 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.

7. Significance of Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Duties have ethical, social and economic significance. They can help in achieving human development of society. The Supreme Court said that Fundamental Duties were intended to regulate the behaviour and to inspire citizens to strive towards excellence. It will help in promoting the spirit of nationalism.

Need to Know Facts about Fundamental Duties

  • Proper upbringing of the children and maintenance of the parents in their old age was part of the Fundamental Duties in the USSR Constitution of 1977.
  • Fundamental Duties like educating the children, not interfering with public welfare, paying taxes and right to work are included in the Japanese Constitution.
  • Constitutions of countries like Albania, USSR, Yugoslavia, made Fundamental Duties legally enforceable.
  • In 1993, Verma committee headed by Justice J S Verma was set up on Fundamental Duties of the Citizens to examine operational aspects of Fundamental Duties and recommend steps which can teach and educate people about the need to obey Fundamental Duties.

Summary

  • Fundamental duties were added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment in 1976 under Article 51 'A' of Part IV A of the Constitution.
  • There are 11 fundamental duties described in Article 51 (A).
  • The concept of fundamental duties was derived from the Soviet Union (USSR).
  • The Swaran Singh Committee had recommended adding Fundamental Duties in 1976.
  • The fundamental duties are not enforceable by law.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fundamental Duties

Which article of the Indian Constitution contains the fundamental duties of citizens?

Article 51-A of the Indian Constitution contains the fundamental duties of citizens.

Which committee recommended the inclusion of fundamental duties?

Swaran Singh committee recommended the incorporation of fundamental duties.

In which year Fundamental Duties were added in the Constitution of India?

Fundamental Duties were added in the Constitution of India in 1976.

How many Fundamental Duties are there in the Constitution of India?

There are 11 Fundamental Duties in the Constitution of India.

Which amendment to the Constitution was passed to mandate that children between the ages of 6 and 14 attend school?

86th Constitutional Amendment Act was passed in 2002 to mandate that children between the ages of 6 and 14 attend school.

In which year was the "Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act" passed?

Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act was passed in 1971.

From which country was the concept of fundamental duties adopted?

The concept of fundamental duties was adopted from the Russia (former USSR).

Which Constitutional Amendment Act added fundamental duties?

Fundamental duties were added through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act passed in the year 1976.

How many fundamental duties were added through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act?

10 fundamental duties were added through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act.

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raj
3 months ago

nice article

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