(Online Cours) CAPF Assistant Commandant: Indian Polity - Fundamental Rights

Online Course for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) Exam (Assistant Commandant)

Indian Polity

Fundamental Rights

The Indian constitution contains the basic principle that every individual is entitled to enjoy certain rights as a human being and the enjoyment of such rights does not depend upon the will of any majority or minority. No majority has the right to abrogate such rights. In fact, the legitimacy of the majority to rule is derived from the existence of these

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rights. These rights include all the basic liberties such as freedom of speech, movement and association, equality before law and equal protection of laws, freedom of religious belief and cultural and educational freedoms. The fundamental freedoms guaranteed to the individual under the Constitution are not absolute. Individual rights, however, basic they are, cannot override national security and general welfare. For, in the absence of national security and general welfare, individual rights themselves are not secure. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to abuse another; freedom of movement does not mean freedom of physical attack on others. The Constitution has made express provisions dealing with such limitations of fundamental rights so that those who seek to enjoy the rights may also realise the obligation attending them.

Part III of the Constitution contains a long list of the Fundamental Rights. The most striking difference between the Government of India Act, 1935 and the present Constitution is the presence of the Fundamental Rights in the latter. This chapter of the Constitution has been described as the `Magna Carta' of India. Part III of the Constitution is called the `Cornerstone' of the Constitution, and together with Part IV (Directive Principles), constitutes the `conscience' of the Constitution. The Fundamental Rights were deemed essential to protect the rights and liberties of the people against the encroachment of the power delegated by them to their Government. They are the limitations upon all the powers of the Government, legislative as well as executive.

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