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Monday, October 3, 2011

Q. What are the Fundamental Duties ? What are the provisions made for their enforcement?

Ans. Originally, the Fundamental Duties were not provided in the Constitution. On the basis of the recommendations of Swam Singh Committee, these duties were included in the Constitution under Article51A of Part IV by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act. 1976. Under these provisions, a citizen of India is expected to faithfully observe the following Fundamental Duties.
It shall be the duty of every citizen of India—
(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions. the National Flag and the National Anthem;
(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty. unit)’ and integrity of India;
(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India. transcending religious, linguistic. regional or sectional diversities, to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
(fl to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests. lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
(h) to develop the scientific temp er, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
(I) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
(j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.

(k) to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
Note—(k) was added by the 86th Constitution amendment Act, 2002.
These fundamental duties are inspired by the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. Since, the Fundamental Duties are included in Part IV of the Constitution, these can not come into force automatically, neither can these duties be enforced by judicial process. The Constitution, like Directive Principles of State Policy, leaves to the goodwill of citizens to abide by these provisions. According to the famous constitutional expert D. D. Basu. the Constitution does not make any provision to enforce these duties automatically or any sanction to prevent the violation of these duties by the citizens. However, it is expected that if a law is enacted by the legislature to enforce these provisions, it shall not be declared unconstitutional on the ground of its inconsistency with the provisions of Article 14 or that of 19. According to him, these provisions would act as a warning to all those who indulge in not paying due regards to the Constitution or destroying public property. The Supreme Court may issue such warning to citizens to take these provisions seriously. The Legislature may also enact laws to  enforce these duties. In fact, there a already many laws which directly indirectly enforce these duties. For  example. there is law for the protection of public property as well environment and animal species.

However, the Supreme Court. in Surya Vs. Union of India (1992 case. ruled that the fundamental duties are not enforceable through  judicial remedies by courts. In Vijoy  Immanuel Vs. State of Kerala (1987). the Supreme Court overruled the decision of the Kerala High Court and decided that though the Constitution provides it to be the duty of citizens to respect the National Anthem, it does not provide that the singing of the National Anthem is part of such respect. Even a person while standing during the singing of National Anthem (without himself singing it) can show respect to the National Anthem.

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