Article 23 to 30 Constitution of India

Article 23: Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour

Article 23 prohibits the traffic in human beings and forced labor such as begar. Begar is unpaid labour and considered as modern form of slavery. The parliament passed Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956 and Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976 to give legal teeth to this constitutional provision. Bonded labour is a kind of forced labour which is either underpaid or unpaid.

Prohibition of Child Labour: Article 24

Article 24 mandates that no child below age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

Right to Freedom of Religion: Article 25-28

Article 25 to 28 of the constitution of India guarantees the right of Freedom of religion. Some important notes for Prelims are as follows.

  • India is a secular state and by 42nd amendment, Preamble states this explicitly.
  • Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion is one of the conditions set already in article 15. However, article 25 to 28 make these rights more explicit and clear.
  • Article 25 mandates that subject to public order, morality and health, all persons enjoy the freedom of conscience and have the right to entertain any religious belief and propagate it. The condition of public order, morality and health has been put to make it clear that freedom of religion is not absolute. Use of loudspeakers, cracking on Diwali, use of loudspeakers for Ajan has come under scrutiny of Supreme Court.
  • Article 26: gives every religious group a right to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes, manage its affairs, properties as per the law. This guarantee is available to only Citizens of India and not to aliens.
  • Article 27: This Article mandates that no citizen would be compelled by the state to pay any taxes for promotion or maintenance of particular religion or religious institutions.
  • Article 28: This Article mandates that no religious instruction would be imparted in the state funded educational institutions.
Implications of Article 25 & 26 not being absolute
  • Use of loudspeakers is not an integral part of the religions so the government can restrict on the use of loudspeakers for Ajan and Bhajan Kirtans.
  • Followers of no religions have right to stop the processions of other religions on the ground that it is a nuisance.
  • State may abolish “Cow Slaughter” as sacrifice of Cow on Bakrid is not an essential part of the religion.
  • Possessing a Kirpan is an essential part of professing Sikkism and it is protected right of Sikhs. (Article 25 Explanation I)
  • The Aligarh Muslim University was established under an act of parliament so muslims can NOT claim to run this university as per provisions of Article 26 & Article 29.
  • None of the rights guarantee that a Brahmin only can perform rituals of Hinduism.
  • Article 25 protects the right to perform rituals; however, Supreme Court has interpreted that state may regulate the economic, financial, political, or other activity which may not be a direct part of religion. Management of temples has been taken over by state in many states of India as per this provision.

Cultural & Educational Rights: Article 29-30

Both Article 29 and Articles 30 guarantee certain right to the minorities. Article 29 protects the interests of the minorities by making a provision that any citizen / section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture have the right to conserve the same.  Article 30 provides an absolute right to the minorities that they can establish their own linguistic and religious institutions and at the same time can also claim for grant-in-aid without any discrimination. Madarsas enjoy this right in India.

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