Difference between Fundamental Rights and Legal Rights

The legal rights are protected by an ordinary law, but they can be altered or taken away be the legislature by changing that law. Fundamental Rights are protected and Guaranteed by the Constitution and they cannot be taken away by an ordinary law enacted by the legislature. If a legal right of a person is violated, he can move to an ordinary court, but if a fundamental right is violated the Constitution provides that the affected person may move to High court or Supreme Court. Here we should note that the Rights to Property was a fundamental right before 1978. The Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1978, taken away the Right to property (Article 31) as a Fundamental Right and was made a legal right under new Article 300 A.

  • An ordinary right generally imposes a corresponding duty on another individual (and, state in some cases) but a fundamental right is a right which an individual possess against the state.
  • Fundamental rights are protected against invasion by the executive, legislature and the judiciary. All fundamental rights are limitations on legislative power. Laws and executive actions which abridge or are in conflict with such rights are void and ineffective.
  • Our constitution guarantees the right to move the Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights. Thus the remedy itself is a fundamental right. This distinguishes it from other rights.
  • The Supreme Court is the guardian of fundamental rights.

Further, all constitution rights not fundamental rights e.g. right not to be subjected to taxation without authority of law (art. 265), right to property (art. 300a), and freedom of trade (art. 301). A fundamental right cannot be waived. An ordinary legal right can be waived by an individual.