Relationship of directive principles of state policy with fundamental rights:


There is no conflict between Fundamental Right (FR) and Directive Principles of State Policy (DP).  Both are important to achieve the objectives of the Constitution.  But what will be the legal position if a law is enacted to enforce a DP which violates the FR.  To understand the correct position, we may look into the various stages of development

In the initial stages, if any law was passed giving effect to FR but violating DP then DP was totally ignored.  In State of Madras  v. Champakam Dorairajan,  it was held that the DP cannot override the ER.  The DP has to conform and to run as subsidiary to the FR. Subsequently,  the Supreme Court applied the principle of harmonious construction by which whenever any law involves with FR and DP, an attempt was made to give effect to both, to the extent possible, and when it become impossible. DP was ignored. 

Subsequently, Article 31-C was inserted in the Constitution of India by an amendment, which provided that any law passed  to give effect to the directive principles of prevention of concentration of economic wealth to the common determent (MRTP Act) cannot be challenged even it violates Article 14 or 19. Subsequently, Article 31-C was amended and its scope was widened in the sense that any law passed to give effect to any DP cannot be challenged even if it violates FR under Article 14 or 19.

In Keshavanand Bharti v. Union of India, the court observed that the FR and DP are meant to supplement each other.  It can well be said that the DP prescribes the goals to be attained and FR lays down the means to achieve them. 

Therefore the present position is that the violations of FR is legally enforceable but if it is due to any law giving effect to DP, it can not be enforced as far as Article 14 to 19 are concerned.


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