Fundamental Rights under the Indian Constitution

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Fundamental Rights might well be called the soul of our Constitution. Fundamental rights are universally recognized as essential to human existence and indispensable for social development. The constitution guarantees six fundamental rights to Indian citizens as follows:

1. Right to Equality: Equality implies provision for equal opportunities to persons for their self-development without any distinction of religion, caste, sex, wealth or status. The Indian Constitution has guaranteed the Right to Equality in Articles 14-18. Article Fourteen of the Indian Constitution states that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws inside the territory of India. All are equal before the law which means, no one can claim any exclusive privilege. Nobody is above the law of the land. Article fifteen Prohibits discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. Article sixteen of Indian Constitution ensures equality of opportunity for all citizens in public employment. Article seventeen states that the disability arising out of Untouchability shall be an offense punishable under the law. Article eighteen of the Constitution of India prevents the State from conferring titles. Also, no Indian citizen shall accept any title from any foreign state. This is regarded as an essential step towards the institution of social equality in India.

2) Right to Freedom: There are six rights under this category: a) Right to freedom of Speech and Expression, b) Right to freedom of peaceful Assembly without arms., c) Right to form associations or Unions, d) Right to Move freely through the territory of India, e) Right of residence and settle in any part of the Country, f) Right to practice any Profession or carry any Trade, occupations.

3) Right against Exploitation: Article twenty-three of the Indian Constitution declares Prohibition of trafficking in human beings and forced labor. Article twenty-four of the Indian Constitution states that the employment of kids under fourteen years in factories or mines are punishable offenses.

4) Rights to freedom of Religion: Article twenty-five of Indian Constitution enumerates nuances of freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion. Article twenty-six of the Indian Constitution specifies the liberty to handle religious affairs. Article twenty-seven of Indian Constitution states the Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion. Article twenty-eight of the Indian Constitution includes freedom as to attendance at religious lessons or religious worship in individual educational institutions except when it’s in the interest of public order, morality, health or other conditions; everyone has the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion freely.

5) Cultural and Educational Rights- Articles twenty-nine and thirty

6) Article thirty-two that was referred to as the very soul of the constitution by Dr.Ambedkar provides for constitutional remedies. Under this article, the Supreme Court can enforce fundamental rights by issuing directions, order, or writs.

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