Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights

The Fundamental Rights are enshrined in Part III of the Constitution from Articles 12 to 35.

Originally, the Constitution provided seven Fundamental Rights. But article 31 is omitted and at present, there are 6 fundamental rights. 

  1. Right to equality (14 – 18)
  2. Right to freedom (19 – 22)
  3. Right against exploitation (23 – 24)
  4. Right to freedom of religion (25 – 28)
  5. Cultural and educational rights (29 – 30)
  6. Right to constitutional remedies (32)

Right to property (31) (Omitted)

However, the right to property was deleted from the list of Fundamental Rights by the 44th Amendment Act, 1978, and It is made a legal right under Article 300-A in Part XII of the Constitution. So, at present, there are only six Fundamental Rights.


1. Right to equality (Articles 14– 18)

  • 14 – Equality before the law and equal protection of laws  
  • 15 – Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • 16 – Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
  • 17 – Abolition of untouchability and prohibition of its practice.
  • 18 – Abolition of titles except military and academic.

2. Right to freedom (Articles 19– 22)

  • 19 – Protection of six rights regarding freedom of:
    • speech and expression
    • assembly
    • association
    • movement
    • residence
    • profession
  • 20 – Protection in respect of conviction for offenses.
  • 21 – Protection of life and personal liberty.
    • 21A, Right to elementary education.
  • 22 – Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.

3. Right against exploitation (Articles 23– 24)

  • 23 – Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.
  • 24 – Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc.

4. Right to freedom of religion (Article 25– 28)

  • 25 – Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion.  
  • 26 – Freedom to manage religious affairs.  
  • 27 – Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any religion.  
  • 28 – Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions.  

5. Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29– 30)

  • 29 – Protection of language, script, and culture of minorities.
  • 30 – Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

6. Right to constitutional remedies (Article 32)


Fundamental Rights (FR) of Foreigners

FR is available only to citizens and not to foreignersFR is available to both citizens and foreigners (except enemy aliens)
1. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth (Article 15).1. Equality before the law and equal protection of laws (Article 14).
2. Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (Article 16).2. Protection in respect of conviction for offenses (Article 20).
3. Protection of six rights regarding freedom of         (i) speech and expression, (ii) assembly,  (iii) association, (iv) movement, (v) residence, and (vi) profession (Article 19).3. Protection of life and personal liberty (Article 21).
4. Protection of language, script, and culture of minorities. (Article 29).4. Right to elementary education (Article 21A).
5. Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions (Article 30).5. Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases (Article 22).
 6. Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour (Article 23).
 7. Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc., (Article 24).
 8. Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion (Article 25).
 9. Freedom to manage religious affairs (Article 26).
 10. Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any religion (Article 27).    
 11. Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions (Article 28).  

β€˜Magna Carta’, the Charter of Rights issued by King John of England in 1215 was the first written document relating to the Fundamental Rights of citizens.


All fundamental rights are suspended during the emergency except articles 20 and 21.

20 – Protection in respect of conviction for offenses.

21 – Protection of life and personal liberty.


Why fundamental rights are important?

The Fundamental Rights are so important that the Constitution itself ensures that they are not violated by the government.

Fundamental Rights are different from other rights available to us. While ordinary legal rights are protected and enforced by ordinary law, Fundamental Rights are protected and guaranteed by the constitution of the country.

The word fundamental suggests that these rights are so important that the Constitution has separately listed them and made special provisions for their protection.


Is it possible to change the fundamental rights?

Ordinary rights may be changed by the legislature by the ordinary process of lawmaking, but a fundamental right may only be changed by amending the Constitution itself.


Who protects the fundaments rights?

The judiciary has the powers and responsibility to protect fundamental rights from violations by the actions of the government.

Executive, as well as legislative actions, can be declared illegal by the judiciary if these violate the fundamental rights or restrict them in an unreasonable manner.


Do fundamental rights have absolute and unlimited power?

fundamental rights are not absolute or unlimited rights. Government can put reasonable restrictions on the exercise of our fundamental rights.


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