Today's blog is all about "Directive Principles of State Policy" which is contained in Part IV of the Constitution of India and the aims and objectives to be taken up by the state in the governance of the country. 


The Directive Principles of State Policy can be classified as follows:-

A- Social and Economic Charter

1). Social order based on justice - 

The State shall strive to minimize inequalities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in a different area, in income, and in status, facilities and opportunities is provided by Article 38(1) a new directive principle which is inserted by The Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978.

2). Economic Justice - 

Article 39 requires that the State shall direct its policy towards securing the following principles : 
(a) Adequate means of livelihood equally to men and women.
(b) Ownership distribution and control of the material resources of the community.
(c) To make sure that the economic system should not result in concentration of wealth. 
(d) For both men and women equal pay for equal work.
(e) Protection of health of workers and tender age of children and to make sure that they do not enter avocations unsuited due to economic necessity. 
(f) Protection of children against exploitation, moral and material abandonment and they are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner. 

In M. C. Mehta v. State of Tamil Nadu, (1991) 1 SCC 283, it has been held that the employment of children within the match factories cannot be allowed as it is hazardous in view of Article 39. 

In M. C. Mehta v. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 1997 SC 699, the Supreme Court has held that in any hazardous industry, or mines, or other work, children below the age of 14 years cannot be employed. 

B- Social Security Charter 

1). Participation of workers in the management of industries- 

Article 43-A directs the State to take necessary steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organisations engaged in any industry. 

2). Employment, education and public assistance - 

Article 41 requires the State to ensure employment, education and public assistance within its economic capacity in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and in other cases of underserved want. 

3). Conditions of work - 

Article 42 requires the State to take necessary steps or to make provision for securing just human conditions and for maternity relief. 

4). Minimum wage for workers - 

Article 43 directs the State to make suitable provision for ensuring a living wage, standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities to all workers. 

5). Care and education to children below the age of six years - 

Article 45 directs the State to take necessary steps by suitable legislation for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years. 

In Unni Krishnan v. State of A. P., (1993) 1 SCC 645, the Supreme Court has held that within the meaning of Article 21 the "Right To Education" up to the age of 14 years is a fundamental right. Right to life also includes the right to education. 

6). Standard of living and improvement of health - 

Article 47 requires the State to raise the standard of living of its people and the improvement of their health. 

7). Educational and economic interests -

Article 46 directs the State for the promotion of educational and economic interests of the weaker sections and in particular of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. 

8). Equal justice to economically backward classes - 

Article 39-A imposes duty upon the State to provide free legal aid and to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

In Hussainara Khatoon v. Home Secretary, AIR 1979 SC 1360, 'legal aid' and 'speedy trial' have now been held to be fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution available to all prisoners and enforceable by the courts. 

C - Community Welfare Charter 

1). Uniform Civil Code -

Article 44 of the Constitution enjoins the State to secure a uniform civil code for the citizens throughout the territory of India. 

2). Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry -

Article 48 requires the State to take necessary steps to organise agriculture and animal husbandry.

3). Protection of forests and wildlife -

Article 48-A enjoins the State to take necessary steps to protect and improve the environment, forests and wildlife of the country. 

4). Protection of monuments and places -

Article 49 directs the State to take necessary steps to protect every monument or place or object of artistic or historic interest or to be of national importance. 

5). Separation of Judiciary from Executive -

Article 50 enjoins the State to take necessary steps to separate the Judiciary from the Executive in the public services of the State. 

6). Promotion of International Peace and Security -

Article 51 requires the State to promote international peace and security, maintain just and honorable relations between nations. 

7). Organisation of Village Panchayats -

Article 40 enjoins the State to take necessary steps to organise village panchayats and to empower them as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government. 

So, the Judiciary has now taken itself the responsibility of enforcing the Directive Principles. The Court has declared in its recent judgements many directives as fundamental rights and have enforced them.

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