Fundamental Duties

Pooja Sharma

Date : 12/06/2017

Constitution of India

The Constitution of India is the Supreme Law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedure, powers and duties of Government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles and duties of citizens. It is the longest written, detailed Constitution of any sovereign Country in the World.

Constitution of India declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens of justice, equality, liberty and endeavors to promote fraternity among them. The Constitution of India opens with a "Preamble". Preamble simply means that "the introduction of the statute". In Berubari Union Case the Supreme Court observed that the Preamble to the Constitution was a key to open the mind of the makers and shows the general purposes for which they made the several provisions in the Constitution.

Two Sides of a Coin

Fundamental Rights and Duties

Fundamental Rights are defined as basic human freedom which every Indian citizen has the right to enjoy for a proper and harmonious development of personality. These rights apply to all citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste or gender. On the other hand Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligation of all citizens to help, promote a spirit of Patriotism to uphold the unity of India. Rights and Duties are two sides of a coin on which the chariot of life moves forward smoothly. Life can become smoother if rights and duties go hand in hand and become complementary to each other

Fundamental Rights

Part III of the Indian Constitution talks about fundamental rights. It secures to the people of India, certain basic, natural and inalienable rights. These rights have been declared essential rights in order that human liberty may be preserved, human personality developed and an effective social and democratic life promoted. These fundamental rights represents the basic values cherished by the people of this country since the Vedic times and they are calculated to protect the dignity of the individual and create conditions in which they can develop their personality to the fullest extent.

Rights Granted by the Indian Constitution

The Indian Constitution granted mainly seven fundamental rights to the citizen of India and those rights are :-

• Right to Equality

• Right to Freedom

• Right to Freedom of Religion

• Right against Exploitation

• Cultural &Educational rights

• Right to Constitutional Remedies

• Right to Education

Right to property is repealed

Importance of Fundamental Rights

The Fundamental Rights were included in the Constitution because they were considered essential for the development of the personality of every individual and to preserve human dignity. These fundamental rights help not only in protection but also the prevention of gross violation of human rights.

The very purpose of guaranteeing the Fundamental Rights was to keep them beyond the reach of absolute majority of legislature and to establish the lawful principles to be applied by the courts. The Constitution framers well envisaged the danger of a despotic rule coming into power with absolute majority and so the purview of the legislature to a great extent and the courts were given the powers to safeguard these basic rights.

Fundamental Duties

Originally the Constitution of India did not contain any list of Fundamental Duties. In other words, enjoyment of fundamental rights was not conditional on the Performance of fundamental duties. It was on the Soviet Model that Fundamental Duties were added to the Indian Constitution in 1976. The Fundamental Duties are contained in Article 51 A of the Indian Constitution.

Object of Fundamental Duties

The Fundamental Duties have been incorporated in the Constitution with mere object to remind every citizen that while enforcing his fundamental rights, he must also be conscious of his fundamental duties. That he can not enforce his fundamental rights without adhering to the fundamental duties prescribed in Article 51A. Rights and Duties are correlative .The right of the one may be the duty of the other. It is fallacy to think that under our Constitution, there are only rights and no duties. These duties would help to strengthen our democracy. These provisions are made for dealing with anti - national activities whether by individual or associations.

List of Fundamental Duties : Article 51A, Part IV A

The Indian Constitution specifies the list of fundamental duties of the citizens. It says "It shall be the duty of every citizen of India :

• To abide by the constitution and respect its ideal and institution; In S.N. Chouksy v. Union of India, Petitioner filed a PIL in M. P. High Court in Jabalpur regarding the disrespect of National Anthem in the movie Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum. According to Petitioner when the national anthem was being played in the movie, he stood up in the regard of national anthem but audience said that he was obstructing their view instead of standing up they asked him to sit down. A Division Bench in High Court agreed with Petitioner's Contention and banned screening of the film across India. But the order later stayed. Petitioner moved the Apex Court a couple of months ago armed with instances "insult to the national anthem" and seeking appropriate order. The highest Court of the land has ordered for the national anthem to be played before every movie screening in cinema halls, for the national flag to displayed on the screen while the national anthem is played, and for everyone to stand for its 52 seconds, Court further said that it is the duty of every citizen of the Country to respect the national anthem .

• To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.

• To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India .

• To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.

• To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India transcending religious linguistic and regional diversities to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women. In Chandre Rajkumari v. Police Commissoner, Hydrabad. The A.P. High Court has observed that holding of beauty contests by depicting in any manner the figure of a woman, form, body or any part thereof in such a way so as to have the effect of being indecent or derogatory to denigrating women, offended Article 14, 21 & 51 A(e) .

• To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.

• To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures. In SHRI Sachidanand Pandey Versus State of West Bengal, The Supreme Court held that whenever a problem of ecology was brought before the court, the court was bound to bear in mind Article 48&Article 51A(g). It has been said that the fundamental duties must be used by the courts as a tool to tab, even a taboo on state action drifting away from constitutional values.

• To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform; In Dr. Dasarathi v. State of Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra Pradesh High Court held that to strive we all owe a duty under Article 51 A (h) to ourselves to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activities so that this notice might constantly rise to higher levels of endeavor and achievement. By rewarding the psychophancy, the court held that only helps to retard the growth of efficiency and excellence. Its being a duty of every citizen to develop scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of enquiry and reform.

• To safeguard public property and adjure violence.

• To strive towards excellence to all spheres of individual and collective activity, so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels to endeavor and achievement. Further one more fundamental duty has been added to the Indian Constitution by 86th Amendment of the constitution in 2002.

• Who is apparent or guardian, to provide opportunities for education to his child, or as the case may be, ward between the age of 6-14 years.

Additional Duties

Apart from the duties mentioned in the Indian Constitution there is some additional duties as well and they are :

(I) Duty to vote

Article 326 of the Constitution read with Section 62 0f the Representation of People's Act, 1951 confers the right to vote. However, quite often the question arises as to whether that right also implies an obligation. The voter turnout during the last general election amounted only to about 67%. This voter apathy should be taken seriously and an should be made to make voting a citizenship obligation. One method through which this may be achieved is by developing a system of incentives for voters and conversely disadvantages for those who abstain from performing their duty to vote. A very large section of people can be motivated to vote this way.

(II) Duty to pay tax

The tax gap (the revenue that a government is expected to receive as against the revenue it actually collects) continues to increase every year. The greatest indicator of this is the fact that the size of India's shadow economy as a share of the GDP reached 24.3% in the year 2012. Research has found that tax evasion is a direct result of lack of trust among the people, in general, and the Government, in particular. Citizens must believe that their taxes are bound to be used for public good.

(III) Duty to help accident victims

Every 60 minutes 16 persons die in traffic accidents in India. According to the Law Commission of the India, at least 50% of fatalities can be prevented if road accident victims receive medical attention within the critical first hour after the accident. The Karnataka Government's decision to frame a "Good Samaritian Law" is a step in the right direction with the number in the number of accidents, it has become pertinent for India to recognize this duty as one owed by its citizens towards each other. There is Supreme Court said that The police will allow the good smaritan to leave after having provided the information available to him/her, and no further questions will be asked of him/ her if he/ she does not desire to be a witness. If in a case a good smaritan chooses to be a witness, she will be examined with utmost care and respect.

(IV) Duty to keep premises clean

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Mission has received tremendous support from people from all walks of life The most effective mechanism to tackle uncleanliness is to sensitize people about this duty. Therefore, it is imperative that a fundamental duty to this effect to be added to the Constitution.

(V) Duty for a better society

It is not enough that a citizen refrains from committing wrong; he has a duty to see that fellow citizens do not indulge in the commission of wrongs. There is also a duty for a better society which is given before some months ago by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi that is "do not waste food" In a talk show called "Man ki Baat" where Modi ji requested to all citizens of our country that do not waste food, if there is any situation where there is chances of wastage of food, in that situation people can call the NGO's who help to provide that food for those people who does not have even a one time meal of the day.

(VI) Duty to raise voice against injustice

Now a days people seem to have stopped reacting to atrocities, they neither report crimes nor volunteer to testify in a court. The duties a victims or witness can be classified into two main categories :- duty to report a crime and duty to testify in court. The state must also on its part work to ensure that book does not become a Kafaesque nightmare for the fight to bring the offender to victim of witness.

(VII) Duty to support bonafide civil society movements

Citizens have a moral duty to organize themselves or support citizen groups so that the gap in governance left by the executive can be filled and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution are made available to every citizen. Therefore, it is proposed that there must be an addition to Part IV- A of the Constitution to that effect.

Importance of Fundamental Duties

We should all acknowledge our responsibility to perform our fundamental duties. The importance of Fundamental Duties are :-

(I) The Fundamental Duties enumerated in Article 51A constitute a constant reminder to the citizens that they have duties in building up a free, egalitarian ,healthy and responsible society. These are expected to act as damper reckless and anti - social activities on the part of some individuals.

(II) India is a multi racial and multi regional country. Such a vast democratic country like India can prosper only when the Citizens of the Country respect its integrity and promotes cultural harmony .

(III) Environmental pollution has become a great cause of concern, not only for India but for the entire humanity. unless, we all take the pledge to keep our environment free from pollutants, there remains the threat of undesirable consequences.

(IV) The inclusion of providing opportunity for education for children as a fundamental duty is a big step forward towards safeguard of human rights and abolition of social justice.

Difference between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties :-

Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties go hand in hand. But there is slight difference between two and I.e.

(I) Fundamental Rights applies to both citizens and foreigners, but Fundamental Duties apply only to the citizens.

(II) Fundamental Duties are non - justiciable in nature i. e. they can't be taken to court of law if they are not followed.

(III) Fundamental Duties lack legal sanction and direct enforcement. But Parliament can enforce if it wants via proper legislation.

(IV) Fundamental Rights have impact on the Government but Fundamental Duties have impact in the Citizens.

(V) Rights are what we want others to do for us whereas the duties are those acts which we should perform for others.


At last I would like to conclude that our Indian Constitution is a "bag of borrowing", which simply means that, that we borrow different concepts from different-2 countries. This bag of borrowing was enforces in the year 1950. At that time there was some concepts which were not taken up at that time but after some time those concepts were amended in the Indian Constitution. Fundamental Duties amended in the Constitution in 1976. This concept was borrowed from Soviet Model. Fundamental Duties imposes certain moral obligation on the citizens of India. Fundamental Duties aware every citizen of this country towards their nation's well-being. Fundamental Duties are simply a concept of performance, obligation which we should do for others and for our nation. Fundamental Duties are non-justiciable but every citizen of India should follow them strictly because it is in the favor of the country. It is the believe that if every citizen follow their Fundamental Duties seriously, our country rises to its highest level of endeavor and achievements.


(I) WWW.

(II) Kumar, Professor Narender (2011). Constitutional Law Of India, Allahabad Law Agency (Law Publishers, Faridabad, Haryana), Page no 27

(III) http:// enm.

(IV) Gupta, S.C. (2008). 151 Essay. Arihant Publications (I) Pvt. Ltd. Meerut, Page number 237

(V) WWW. Importantindia. com

(VI) Kumar, Professor Narender (2011). Constitutional Law of India. Allahabad law Agency (Law Publishers, Faridabad, Haryana) Page number 591

(VII) Justice kurian Joseph's speech on New set of Fundamental Duties : The Hindu (www. Thehindu .com)

(VIII) WWW. Slideshare

(IX) WWW. Indian

(X) Kumar, Professor Narender (2011). Constitutional Law of India. Allahabad Law Agency (Law Publishers, Faridabad., Haryana) Page number 501, 502, 503

(XI) http://thewire.

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