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ESSAY : Directive Principle of Sate Policy
Sunday, 16 June 2013 06:33


Directive Principle of Sate Policy

“The Directive principles are in the form of assurances to the people as to what they expect from the government as well as are directives to the government both Central and State, to establish and maintain a new social order in which justice social, economic and political; liberty, equality and fraternity, as embodied in the preamble, are granted to the people.”

The Directive Principles lay down a code of conduct for the governments in discharge of their duties and responsibilities. They place an ideal before the legislators and bureaucrats of the nation, while they frame new laws and policies for the country’s governance.

Taken together these principles are the guiding parameters that a new democratic India should follow while framing rules and regulations to administer the people. They also represent the minimum of the ambitious and aspirations cherished by the people of India and set as goal to be achieved within a reasonable period of time.

The Supreme Court of India in various decisions, affirms that the objective of Directive principles is to employ the concept of a welfare state. However the directives do not confer any enforceable rights and their alleged breach does not invalidate a law, nor does it entitle ia citizen to complain of its violation by the State so as to seek mandatory relief against the State.

There are sixteen Articles of the Constitution from Article 36 to Article 51, which deal with the Directive Principles. These comprise wide range of State activates, embracing economic, social, legal, educational and international fields. Some of the important directives are as per following:-

1. To ensure and protect a social order which stands for the welfare of the people. (Art. 38)

2. In particular, the State shall direct its policy towards securing:

(A)   Adequate means of livelihood to all citizens;

(B)   A proper distribution of the material resources of the community for the common good;

(C)   The prevention of concentration of wealth to the common detriment;

(D)   Equal pay for equal work for both men and women

(E)   The protection of the strength and health of workers and avoiding circumstances which force citizens to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength; and

(F)   That children are given opportunities an facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and the protection of childhood and youth against exploitation or moral and material abandonment.

The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity and shall in particular provide free legal aid by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities (Art. 39A)

3. To organize village panchayats as units of self-government (Art.40)

4. To secure the right to work, education and public assistance in cases of underserved want, such as unemployment, old-age sickness, etc. (Art.41)

5. To secure just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. (Art.42)

6. To secure work, a living wage, a decent standard of life, leisure and social and cultural opportunities for people and in particular to promote cottage industries. (Art.43)

7. The state shall take steps by suitable legislation or in any other way to secure the participation of workdrs in the management of undertaking, establishments or other organizations engaged in any industry. (Art.43A)

8. To secure a uniform civil code applicable to the entire country. (Art.44)

9. To provide within ten years from the commencement of the Constitution, free and compulsory education to all children upto the age of fourteen years. (Art.45)

10.  To promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, especially, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. (Art.46)

11.  To secure the improvement of public health and the prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs. (Art.47)

12.  To organize agriculture and animal husbandry on scientific lines and preserve and improve the breeds and prohibit the slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught cattle. (Art.48)

13.  The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forest and wildlife of the country. (Art.48A)

14.  To protect all monuments of historic interest and national importance (Art.49)

15.  To bring about the separation of the Judiciary from the Executive (Art.50)

16.  To endeavour to secure:

(a) The promotion of international peace and security;

(b) The maintenance of justice and honorable relations between nations and

(c) The settlement of international disputes by arbitration. (Art.51)

Though Directive Principles are not enforceable by the court of law, yet it should be clearly understood, that these are not to be treated merely platitudes, but are to be put into application systematically in order to transform Indian Society and bring about a social order in conformity with these principles.

The efforts of the government to realize the goal set though the Directive Principles can be seen in the five year plan priorities and various welface acts passed by the State. The central objective of government policies and national efforts, as envisagd through the five years plans has been the promotion of speedy and balanced economic development which in turn raise the economic status of the people thus raise their standard of living. Such development is intended to expand the society’s purchasing and productive capacity and to open the various new opportunities for the welfare of the society. It simply means that the pattern of development should be linked and related to the basic objectives, enshrined under the Directive Principles.  The basic objective many be sum up in a phrase “Socialistic pattern of Society”.

How far the Sate moved towards the realisation of these principles, is a point of analysis and discussion? Nevertheless, an impartial observer can see the directions towards which the policy of State is directed. It may be slow in pace but positive in directions.

It is true that the State could not achieve fully the objectives, laid down under these principles, yet a lot of efforts are made to realize the theme set out under these principles. It is a good sign that every new government pledges in their election manifestoes to achieve the goal of a welfare State.

During the debate, at the time of introducing the fourth amendment to the constitution, the then prime Minister, Pandit Jawarhar Lal Nehru, observed that where there was conflict between a fundamental Right and Directive principles the latter should prevail. So far nature of directive principles is concerned from udicial point of view these are not enforceable but this a judicial point of view. Whenever the court is called upon to resolve a conflict between a fundamental right and a Directive Principle, it is the duty of the Court to decide in favour of the fundamental right.

The significance and importance of Directive Principles in relation to Fundamental Right can be seen only by making a reference to the object of constitutional makers, in making these principles as integral part of the constitution. These are not simply the pious wishes of the constitution makers. Every endeavour must be made by the State to transfer these principles into reality. Nothing be allowed to come in their way, not even the fundamental rights. The theme of the arguments as is that the progress and welfare of society as a whole must not be hampered and obstructed by the rights of an individual even if it is the fundamental rights. That’s why most of the fundamental rights are subjected to reasonalble restriction and exceptions. Generally, there can be no real conflict between the two; they are intimately related and in fact complementary to establish a welfare state. Welfare of a state means welfare of its people, welfare of the people over all results in welfare of the state.

The real importance and value of embodying these principles as an integral part of the Constitution lies in the fact that they contain a positive obligation on the part of State and for the achievement of goal of a welfare State, these are the guiding principles which are pious and sacred in nature.