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Updated: Jun 23, 2022

Written By: Manthani Medha Reddy


Since India's independence, directive principles of state policy (DPSP) have been prominent. Its violation of the Fundamental Rights (FR) was a source of legal issue. In India's judicial system, the DPSPs are non-justifiable. the justifiability of DPSPs has always been a matter of debate. DPSPs are also non-enforceable. The makers of the constitution have borrowed the concept of Directive Principles of State Policy from the Irish Constitution. This has been included in part IV of the Constitution of India. While making or amending any nee law DPSPs are taken into consideration but there is no compulsion for citizens to follow DPSPs.


In Indian Constitution, the Preamble is the key to the makers of the Constitution. The rules that were set in the Directive Principles of State Policy for the state reflect the objectives which were laid down in the Preamble. “Justice- Social, Economic, and Political”, these expressions in the preamble are achieved from DPSPs. Also, DPSPs are included in the constitution for attaining the main principles laid in the Preamble (Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity). DPSPs are incorporated for the welfare of the state, which was not there during colonial rule.


The makers of the Constitution have divided the rights into two parts. Part III of the constitution deals with the Fundamental Rights, which are justifiable. Whereas Part IV of the Constitution deals with the Directive Principles of State Policy which are non-justifiable.

The DPSPs are made non-justifiable due to the lack of financial resources in India. The makers of the Constitution were mainly dealing with the other issues because India became an independent state, so the justifiability of the DPSPs were set aside. The topic of whether a citizen can challenge the state legislature or the central government for failing to implement the directive principles outlined in Part IV is frequently raised. This answer to that is no. The explanation for this is said in Article 37, which says:

“The provisions contained in this Part shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.”

As a result of such an Article, no clause of this section can be deemed enforceable in a legal proceeding, and these ideas cannot be utilised against the central or state governments. Because DPSPs are not justiciable, the governments are free from legal action if they do not follow these regulations.

A further concern is whether the Supreme Court or the High Court has the authority to issue a writ of mandamus when the state fails to implement the directive principles. The Latin word mandamus means "to command." This writ mandates the authorities to carry out their duties.


The connection between Fundamental Rights and DPSPs has long been a point of contention. Both notions' applications must be recognised. Because, if the constitution is considered a coin, then DPSPs and the Fundamental Rights are said to be the faces of the coin.

Part III of the Constitution limits government authority and prevents the nation from enacting legislation that is contrary to the rights of its citizens; Whereas, whereas Part IV, i.e., DPSPs assists the state in enacting legislation that is in the best benefit of its citizens. So both, Fundamental rights and DPSPs are both equally important and relevant in today's legal environment, and they cannot be ignored.

Many individuals claim that DPSPs are pointless because they are non-justifiable, but we must remember that they are not only for guiding the principles of the constitution, and also lay forth India's overall aspirations and values.


The controversy over whether Fundamental Rights come before DPSPs, or the latter take priority over the first has lasted for years. There have been judicial decisions that have resolved this conflict.

The Apex Court in Madras vs Champakan held that a statute that violates a Fundamental right is unlawful, however, this is not the case with the DPSPs. It demonstrates that fundamental rights take precedence over DPSPs.

The Court stated in Kerala Education Bill (1957) that when Fundamental Rights and DPSPs overlap, the concept of harmonic construction must be adopted. If there is still a contradiction between fundamental rights and DPSPs despite implementing the concepts of harmonious construction, the former shall be enforced.

The Supreme Court in Venkataraman V. State of Madras (1966) accorded fundamental rights priority over DPSPs.

The Supreme Court held in I. C. Golaknath & Ors V. State Of Punjab & Anr. (1967), that fundamental rights cannot be restricted by laws enacted by the government. In support of this, the Court stated that if a law is enacted to give power to Article 39(b) and Article 39(c), which are covered by DPSPs, and the law contradicts Article 14, Article 19, or Article 31, the law cannot be ruled illegal and void solely because of the violation.

The 42nd Constitutional Amendment expanded the reach of Article 31(c) to include all of the Constitution's directive principles. Even before the amendment, Article 31(c) solely saved laws that implemented the Directive Principles of State Policy outlined in Articles 39(b) and 39(c).

The Supreme Court in Kesavananda Bharati V. the State of Kerala (1973) elevated DPSPs above Fundamental Rights. The issue before the judgment in Minerva Mills vs Union of India (AIR 1980 SC 1789) (see here) is as if the directive principles of State policy entrenched in Art IV might take precedence over the fundamental rights provided by Part III of the Constitution. Neither of the two had priority over the other, the court decided that the principle of harmonious construction should be used. Because they are mutually beneficial, they must be harmonized.


The purpose of this article is to show that the importance of DPSPs cannot be neglected just because of their non-justiciability. Our constitutional makers did not include these principles simply for the sake of having them; rather, they included them to make the country's governance easier. This section was introduced to meet a country's key aims and final goal. Furthermore, based on the facts presented above, it would be unfair to conclude that DPSPs are not in use. Every rule and law enacted by the state must comply with Part IV's requirements. As a result, they have the same importance as Fundamental Rights or any other part of the Constitution, even though they are not justiciable.

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