Discuss the key landmarks related to fundamental rights from 1928 Nehru Report onward till recent times.
Published: November 21, 2017
The key landmarks in the evolution of FRs before independence include Nehru Report, 1928; Karachi Session, 1931; Sapru Committee report; Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights in constituent assembly and adoption of fundamental rights in part-III of the constitution.
Key landmarks post-independence are 44th amendment to remove FR to property from Part-III; Kesavanand Bharti Case to include FRs in basic structure; Maneka Gandhi Case, 86th amendment to include right to education in part-III; 97th amendment to include right to make cooperatives as fundamental right and Right to Privacy judgement, 2017.
This was first major attempt to draft Indian Constitution and it incorporated right to free expression of opinion; freedom of conscience and right to form associations and unions etc.
In this session, congress adopted a resolution on Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy
Sapru committee report, 1945 recommended that Fundamental Rights “must” be included in the Constitution of India and should be divided Justifiable Rights and Non-justifiable rights. These were included in constitution later as FR and DPSP respectively.
Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights
Constituent Assembly’ s advisory committee on fundamental rights headed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on January 24, 1947 dealt with the rights of citizens, minorities, tribal and excluded areas.
Article 31(Right to Property) was changed several times after independence due to land reforms measures; and finally by 44th amendment, it was removed from the FRs and new provision was made under Article 300‐A .Thus Right to Property was relegated to the status of Constitutional Rights from the Fundamental Rights.
This amendment inserted Article 21-A as Right to Education for students.
Kesavananda Bharati Case
This case settled the judicial issue created in Shankari Nath case and Golakhnath case regarding the FRs being amendable and Doctrine of Basic Structure. Today, parliament is empowered to amend the Fundamental Rights until it does not alter the basic structure.
Maneka Gandhi Case
In this case, the Supreme Court incorporated the due process of Law under Article 21 instead of “procedure established by law” which was followed earlier. SC also interpreted ‘Right to Life’ as ‘Right to Dignified Life” which led various interpretation of article 21 such as Right to Clean Environment, Right to Education, Right to Food, etc.
Right to Privacy Judgement, 2017
In a landmark judgement, a nine bench SC bench declared ‘Right to Privacy’ as an integral part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Model Questions Category: 030 - Salient Features Significant Provisions of Constitution