Constitutional Morality

Constitutional Morality

Adherence to the fundamental tenets of constitutional democracy is what constitutional morality means. 

Constitutional morality refers to the ability to successfully balance the competing interests of various parties with administrative cooperation in order to resolve disputes amicably between the various interest groups.

It is a belief that ought to be ingrained in the hearts of law-abiding citizens and upheld by a fair judiciary that upholds moral standards.

  • Constitutional morality has long been considered the highest form of respect for the document.
  • Constitutional morality offers a moral framework for understanding how to carry out governmental functions.
  •  It outlines expectations for behaviour that will adhere to the Constitution's spirit and the necessary standards for institutions to survive. Additionally, it holds representatives and the governing bodies responsible.

How is constitutional morality upheld?

  • By expressing outrage and criticism of the unconstitutional practices. Any actions you believe to be against the law or unethical should be condemned, and you should speak out against them. You can protect constitutional values by defying convention and standing up for what is right.
  • It is insufficient to uphold constitutional values solely through our beliefs and deeds. Our moral obligation is to educate the public about the value of upholding these ideals. Our democracy will eventually benefit from this. Ex: implementing educational initiatives that teach kids to internalize and uphold constitutional values daily.
  • Constitutional morality is upheld when the Court interprets the Constitution using constitutional rather than popular morality.
  • Identifying the scope and content of constitutional morality will prevent it from being recklessly and improperly applied in courts.
  • By pledging allegiance to principles such as the parliamentary form of government, self-control, intolerance for corruption, and constitutional supremacy, among others.
  • By utilizing it as a tool for making decisions in circumstances where the constitutional meaning of the words in the constitutional clause can be ambiguous because it can offer a variety of cues.
  • By acting under and within the framework of the Constitution, upholding the rule of law, and exhibiting the utmost respect for its forms.
  • This idea is only mentioned four times in the Constitution itself (twice in Article 19 and twice in the rights to freedom of religion under Articles 25 and 26). It has generally received little attention from the general public for a very long time. It must be changed to understand the Constitution from a fresh angle and explore additional implications of this idea.
  • To uphold constitutional morality, one must follow the following rules:
  • Commitment to liberty.
  • Constitutional supremacy.
  • Parliamentary form of government and self-restraint.
  • The rule of law.
  • Equality
  • Intolerance for corruption, to name a few.


  • Constitutional morality upholds the rule of law while incorporating society's shifting aspirations and ideals.
  • The importance of maintaining the public's faith in democratic institutions is highlighted by constitutional morality as a guiding principle. This makes it possible for individuals to work together and coordinate to pursue constitutional goals that cannot be achieved alone.
  • Laws and other legal structures are tools that constitutional morality can use to influence and transform ingrained social morality. For instance, when the practice of Sati was outlawed through legislation, widows received the right to dignity and life, changing how society viewed the practice.
  • Constitutional morality acknowledges the plurality and diversity in society. It makes people and communities more inclusive in how they function by continuously offering room for improvement and reforms. For instance, the Supreme Court of India provided a framework in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India to reaffirm the rights of LGBTQ and all gender non-conforming people to their dignity, life, liberty, and identity.


  • The SC has yet to define the term precisely, leaving it open to the judges' subjective interpretations. 
  • This top-down approach to morality may hamper the possibility of organically emerging solutions to society's enduring ethical issues.
  • It establishes judicial supremacy over parliamentary supremacy, violating the separation of powers principle. It goes against the fundamental tenets of democratic government.
  • According to the argument, this doctrine pits "constitutional morality" against "societal/popular morality" and entails judicial overreach.

Need to Uphold Constitutional Morality

  • Freedom and self-control are the two main tenets of constitutional morality. The preservation of freedom under an appropriate constitutional government required self-control.
    • In order to uphold constitutional morality, social and economic goals must be achieved using constitutional means.
  • Dedication to the Constitution's goals and ideals.
    • Creation of public awareness about the rights that the Constitution guarantees.
    • Exercising fundamental rights while adhering to fundamental duties.

The effectiveness of constitutional laws depends on constitutional morality. A constitution's operation tends to become arbitrary, unpredictable, and capricious without constitutional morality. 

Young officers are reportedly quitting their jobs to uphold "constitutional morality," which they claim is being violated. Thus, we can conclude that upholding "constitutional morality" is a crucial component of our moral and official obligations. To accomplish this, all facets of society must work together.

Previous year's mains question:

What is meant by the term 'constitutional morality'? How does one uphold constitutional morality?

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