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The Fundamental Rights are rights without which a human being cannot live / survive in a dignified manner in a civilized society.
- They are deemed to be essential to protect the rights and liabilities of the people.
- They are also called Basic Rights or Justiciable Rights.
- They are called Individual Rights because most of these rights pertain to individuals (as against to Associations, Companies etc.)
- They are called Negative Rights because they put a duty or obligation on the part of the State to protect the rights
- They can be suspended under certain circumstances.
- In some cases, the State itself may infringe (encroach) the rights and in such a case, the affected person can approach the High Court (under Article 226) or Supreme Court (under Article 32) for the enforcement of his rights.
- Fundamental Rights are called Bill of Rights in America.
History of Fundamental Rights
The Bill of Rights, 1689 was written consolidating all important rights and liabilities of the citizens the English people. This is followed by the Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen, 1789 of France. Following this is the American Bill of Right.
Part III of the Constitution of India deals with the topic of Fundamental Rights. The Part is termed as the Magna Carta of India. It is the first written document relating to the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Laws
- State of Karnataka and Another v Associated Management of (Government Recognised – Unaided – English Medium) Primary and Secondary Schools and Others, Civil Appeal Jurisdiction, Civil Appeal No 5166-5190 OF 2013, Supreme Court of India judgement dated May 6, 2014
- Jaipur Udyog v Union of India, AIR 1969 Raj 281: Some fundamental rights are available only to citizens, whereas others are available to all persons, regardless of whether they are citizens.
- Menaka Gandhi v Union of India, AIR 1978 S 597
- Fundamental Rights represent the basic values cherished by the people of the country.
- Nagraj v Union of India: Fundamental Rights are not gift of the State to its citizens. Individuals possess basic human rights independent of the Constitution for the fact that they belong to the human race.
- P Shamdasani v Central Bank of India: Fundamental rights are rights against the State and not against private individuals.
- Dr Ram Lakhan Singh v State Government of Uttar Pradesh through Chief Secretary Writ Petition (Civil) No 933 OF 2014, Civil Original Jurisdiction, Writ Petition No 933 OF 2014, Supreme Court of India judgment dated November 17, 2015