Fundamental Duties

Introduction

All citizens' moral obligations to support India's unity and advance patriotism are known as "fundamental duties." Both individuals and the country are affected by these obligations outlined in Part IV-A of the Constitution. 

Incorporation of Fundamental Duties

  • The Russian Constitution, the former Soviet Union, served as the model for the concept of Fundamental Duties.
  • Based on the Swaran Singh Committee's recommendations, these were added to Part IV-A of the Constitution by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976.
  • The 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002 increased the number of duties from 10 to 11 by adding one.
  • Article 51-A of the Constitution, the only article in Part-IV-A, lists all eleven obligations.
  • Fundamental obligations are not subject to the Court's jurisdiction, just like the Directive Principles of State Policy.

Listed Fundamental Duties

  • To uphold the Constitution's principles, institutions, the National Anthem, National Flag, and other symbols,
  • To respect and uphold the admirable ideals that inspired the nation's struggle for freedom,
  • India's sovereignty, unification, and integrity must be upheld and protected.
  • Defending the nation and performing national service when required
  • In order to foster peace and a sense of brotherhood among all Indians, transcending differences in language, religion, and regional or social groupings, and renounce practices that are disrespectful to women's dignity,
  • The rich cultural heritage of the nation's diverse cultures must be valued and preserved.
  • Having compassion for all living things, protecting and enhancing the natural environment, which includes forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife,
  • To foster a scientific mindset, humanism, and the spirit of reform,
  • To protect public property and abstain from violence,
  • To pursue excellence in all areas of personal and societal endeavour in order for the country to progressively reach greater heights of endeavour and success,
  • Right to education, 86th constitutional amendment act, 2002, gives every child (age between six and fourteen) the right to gain knowledge.

Significance of Fundamental Duties

  • Never-ending Reminder of Democratic Conduct
    • The idea behind Fundamental Duties is to serve as a constant reminder to every citizen that, in addition to the fundamental rights that the Constitution expressly grants them, citizens are also expected to uphold specific fundamental standards of democratic behaviour.
  • Recommendations Against Anti-Social Behavior:
    • They act as a deterrent to the populace against anti-social behaviours that defame the country, such as burning the flag, destroying public property, or upsetting the peace.
  • Sensibility to Order and Commitment:
    • These assist in fostering a sense of discipline and loyalty to the nation.
    • By involving citizens actively rather than just as spectators, they assist in achieving national goals.
  • Aid in Determining a Law's Constitutionality:
    • It supports the Court's analysis of the law's constitutionality.
    • When challenged in Court for its constitutional validity, a law passed by the legislature, for instance, would be deemed reasonable if it upheld a Fundamental Duty.

Supreme Court's Stand on Fundamental Duties

  • According to the Ranganath Mishra ruling from the Supreme Court in 2003, social sanctions should also be used to enforce fundamental duties.
  • The Supreme Court determined that fundamental obligations are just as significant as fundamental rights in the case of AIIMS Students Union v. AIIMS 2001.
  • Fundamental obligations cannot be disregarded as obligations under Part IV A, even though they are not enforceable like fundamental rights.
  • In Part III, they are preceded by the same word fundamental that the founding fathers of the Constitution prefixed to the word "right."