Why are Fundamental Rights in India included in Part III?

The independence of many Asian and African nations did not result in the establishment of democracy and liberal institutions in all countries. The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December 1948 which stressed providing basic rights to humans. The Constitution of India incorporated the basic human rights from the French Revolution and the American Constitution. Fundamental rights are included in the Constitution of India in Part III, Articles 12−35. 

Why are Fundamental Rights in India included in Part III?

  • The fundamental rights are in nature of civil and political rights and correspond to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1996.
  • Fundamental rights are an essential part of the Constitution and cannot be changed by ordinary legislation. They are included in Part III as any changes to these rights could take place only through amendment to the Constitution. It requires two-thirds majority of both Houses present and voting.
  • These rights are universal in nature and are justiciable (case can be filed in the Court if these rights get violated).
  • Fundamental rights are not absolute as balance has to be maintained between individual liberty and social security. Some curbs can be placed on these rights to safeguard larger social interests.
  • These rights are placed in Part III as they can be suspended in case of national emergency. Such situation can take place in case of external war or aggression. Also, if it has been found out that individual liberty is at conflict with public welfare, the State may place restrictions on these rights.

Limitations on the Fundamental Rights

  • Fundamental rights could be suspended during emergency. The rights of citizens are restored as soon as emergency is over.
  • The Parliament has the power to modify the application of fundamental rights to the members of the armed forces, police forces or intelligence organisations so that they are able to ensure proper discharge of their duties and maintain discipline among them.
  • Laws such as Defence of India Act and National Security Act curtail the use of the fundamental rights to safeguard the interests of the nation.
  • Fundamental rights can be suspended when emergency is declared by the President under Article 352. During emergency, the legislature can frame any laws. Citizens have no protection against the executive or legislative authorities.

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