Directive Principles of State Policy – DPSP

  • Articles 36 to 51, Part IV
  • Directive principles of state policy was borrowed from the Irish Constitution of 1937.
  • Irish Constitution had copied it from the Spanish Constitution.
  • Dr. B R Ambedkar described DPSP as ‘novel features’ of the Indian Constitution.
  • The DPSP with the FRs contain the philosophy and soul of the Constitution.
  • Granville Austin has described the DPSP and the FRs as the ‘Conscience of the Constitution’.

Directive principles of state policy  DPSP


Features of Directive Principles of State Policy

  • According to Article 37, ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ denotes the guidelines for the State to formulate policies and laws.
  • DPSPs are the constitutional instructions to the State in the matters of
    • Legislative
    • Executive
    • Administrative
  • According to Article 36, the term ‘State’ in Part IV has the same meaning as in Part III, Fundamental Rights.
  • The term ‘State’ includes
    • Legislative and executive organs of the central and state governments
    • All local authorities
    • Public authorities in the country
  • The DPSP followed the idea of the ‘Instrument of Instructions’ of the Government of India Act of 1935.
  • The DPSPs constitute a very comprehensive economic, social and political program for a modern democratic State.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy embody the concept of a ‘welfare state’ and not that of a ‘police state’.
  • DPSP seeks to establish economic and social democracy in the country.
  • Sir B N Rau, the Constitutional Adviser to the Constituent Assembly, recommended that the rights of an individual should be divided into two categories justiciable and non-justiciable.
  • It was accepted by the Drafting Committee.
  • The Directive Principles of State Policy are non-justiciable in nature.
  • But Court can use DPSPs to examine the constitutional validity of a law.



Classification of DPSPs

  • The Constitution does not contain any classification of Directive Principles.
  • Basis of their content and direction, they can be classified into 3 broad categories
    • Socialistic Principles
    • Gandhian Principles
    • Liberal–intellectual Principles


Socialistic Principles

  • These types of Directive Principles of State Policy reflect the ideology of socialism.
  • They aim at providing social and economic justice and set the path toward a welfare state.
  • Article 38 promotes the welfare of the people by
    • Securing a social order by justice – social, economic, and political
    • Minimizing inequalities in income, status, facilities, and opportunities
  • Article 39 secure
    • Adequate means of livelihood for all citizens
    • Equitable distribution of resources for the common good
    • Prevention of concentration of wealth and means of production
    • Equal pay for equal work
    • Preservation of the health and strength of workers and children against forcible abuse
    • Opportunities for the healthy development of children
  • Article 39A promotes equal justice and free legal aid.
    • It was inserted by the 42 Amendment Act, 1976.
  • Article 41 secure
    • Right to work
    • Right to education
    • Public assistance in cases of
      • Unemployment
      • Old age
      • Sickness
      • Disablement
  • Article 42 provides just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
  • Article 43 secures a living wage, a decent standard of living, and social and cultural opportunities for all workers.
  • Article 43A secures the participation of workers in the management of industries.
  • Article 47 raises the level of nutrition, the standard of living, and the health condition of people.


Gandhian Principles

  • These types of Directive Principles of State Policy are based on Gandhian ideology.
  • To fulfill the dreams of Gandhi, some of his ideas were included as Directive Principles.
  • Article 40 directs to organize village panchayats and enables them to work as self-government.
  • Article 43 promotes cottage industries on an individual or co-operation basis in rural areas.
  • Article 43B promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of co-operative societies.
  • Article 46 directs for the educational and economic interests of SCs, STs, and other weaker sections.
  • Article 47 promotes prohibits the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health.
  • Article 48 directs to prohibit the slaughter of cows, calves, and other milch and draught cattle and to improve their breeds.


Liberal–Intellectual Principles

  • These principles represent the ideology of liberalism.
  • Article 44 directs to secure for all citizens a uniform civil code throughout the country.
  • Article 45 promotes providing early childhood care and education for all until the age of 6 years.
  • Article 48 promotes agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines.
  • Article 48A directs to protect and improve the environment and safeguard forests and wildlife.
  • Article 49 promotes to the protection of monuments, places, and objects of national importance.
  • Article 50 directs to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.
  • Article 51 promotes international peace, security, good relations, and respect for international law and treaties.

  Directive Principles of State Policy


New Directive Principles

  • 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 added four new Directive Principles to the original list.
    • Article 39 to secure opportunities for the healthy development of children.
    • Article 39A promotes equal justice and provides free legal aid to the poor.
    • Article 43A protects the participation of workers in the management of Industries.
    • Article 48A protects and improves the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife.
  • 44th Amendment Act added one more Directive Principle in Article 38
    • The state should minimize inequalities in income, status, facilities, and opportunities.
  • 86th Amendment Act of 2002 changed the subject matter of Article 45
    • The State to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years.
  • 97th Amendment Act of 2011 added a new Directive Principle Article 43B, relating to co-operative societies.



Criticism of the Directive Principles

  • No Legal Force is applicable to DPSP
  • Illogically Arranged
  • Conservative
    • According to Sir Ivor Jennings, the Directives are based on the political philosophy of 19th century England.
  • Constitutional Conflict
    • Prime Minister gets a bill passed by the Parliament, the president may reject the bill on the ground that, it violates the Directive Principles.
    • The ministry has no right to ignore them.
    • The same constitutional conflict may occur between the governor and the chief minister at the state level.
  • According to K T Shah DPSPs are ‘pious superfluities
  • K T Shah compared DPSP with ‘a cheque on a bank, payable only when the resources of the bank permit’.
  • Nasiruddin said these principles are ‘no better than the new year’s resolutions, which are broken on the second of January’.
  • T T Krishnamachari described DPSP as ‘a veritable dustbin of sentiments’.
  • K C Wheare called them a ‘manifesto of aims and aspirations’ and opined that they serve as mere ‘moral homily’.
  • Sir Ivor Jennings thought they are only as ‘pious aspirations’.



Utility of Directive Principles

  • Stability and continuity in policies
    • DPSPs facilitate stability and continuity in domestic and foreign policies in political, economic, and social spheres
    • Changes in the party in power will not affect those policies.
  • Supplementary to Fundamental Rights
    • They are intended to fill in the vacuum in Part III by providing for social and economic rights.
    • Their implementation creates a favorable atmosphere for the full enjoyment of the fundamental rights
    • Because political democracy, without economic democracy, has no meaning.
  • Enable opposition to exercise control over Parliament
    • Directive Principles enable the opposition to exercise control over the operations of the government.
    • The Opposition can blame the ruling party on the ground that its activities are opposed to the Directives.
    • They serve as a crucial test for the performance of the government.
  • Directive Principles are a common political manifesto for all parties in legislative and executive acts.
  • People can examine the policies and programs of the government through DPSP.



Conflict between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

  • Champakam Dorairajan case (1951)
    • Supreme Court ruled that in case of any conflict between the FR and the DPSP, the former would prevail.
    • It declared that the Directive Principles have to conform to and run as subsidiary to the Fundamental Rights
  • Parliament reacted to the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Golaknath Case (1967) by enacting the 24th (1971) and the 25th Amendment Act (1971).
  • 24th Amendment Act declared that the Parliament has the power to take away any of the Fundamental Rights.
  • In the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973), the Supreme Court declared
    • Judicial review is a basic feature of the Constitution
    • 24th Amendment Act, 2nd provision of Article 31C as unconstitutional and invalid
  • However, the above 1st provision of Article 31C was held to be constitutional and valid.



Difference between Fundamental Rights & DPSP

Fundamental RightsDirective Principles
These are negative as they prohibit the State from doing certain things.DPSPs are positive as they require the State to do certain things
FRs are justiciable, that is, they are legally enforceable by the courts in case of their violation.These are non-justiciable, that is, they are not legally enforceable by the courts for their violation.
They aim at establishing political democracy in the country.DPSPs aim at establishing social and economic democracy in the country.
These have legal sanctions.These have moral and political sanctions.
FRs promote the welfare of the individual.
Hence, they are personal and individualistic.
DPSPs promote the welfare of the community.
Hence, they are socialistic.
They do not require any legislation for their implementation.
They are automatically enforced.
They require legislation for their implementation.
They are not automatically enforced.
The courts are bound to declare a law violates any of the Fundamental Rights as unconstitutional and invalid.The courts cannot declare a law violates of the DPSPs as unconstitutional.
However, they can uphold the validity of a law on the ground that it was enacted to give effect to a directive.




Directives outside Part IV

  • Claims of SCs and STs to Services – Article 335 in Part XVI.
  • Instruction in the mother tongue – Article 350-A in Part XVII.
  • Development of the Hindi Language – Article 351 in Part XVII.



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