IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Fundamental Rights and Duties    

17th December, 2021 Polity

Figure 1: No Copyright Infringement Intended


  • Government has advocated the need for integration of duties with right.
  • According to them, the “fundamental duties” as Article 51A describes them — ought to be treated on a par with the various fundamental rights that the Constitution guarantees. 

Reasons for the Integration:

  • Country will be made great only if we create a balance between fundamental duties and fundamental rights.
  • Convergence of the fundamental duties with the rights will lead to establishment of deeper roots in a diverse country of India.

About Rights:

  • When a person holds a right, she is owed an obligation by a duty-bearer.
  • Example: when citizens are promised a right against discrimination, the government is obliged to ensure that it treats everybody with equal care and concern.
  • Example 2: the guarantee of a right to freedom of speech enjoins the state to refrain from interfering with that liberty.

Challenges with the Integration:

  • It puts forward an idea that our rights ought to be made conditional on the performance of a set of extraneous obligations.
  • Different people have different conceptions of duties that citizens must abide by.
  • The Constituent Assembly did not see duty as an important part of their vision.
  • Fundamental duties in Part IV are vague, ambiguous, and difficult to be understood by the common man.
  • The list of duties is not exhaustive as it does not cover other important duties like casting votes, paying taxes, family planning, and so on. In fact, the duty to pay taxes was recommended by the Swaran Singh Committee.
  • Such an approach can infringe on the Right to freedom of speech and expression.
  • Making the rights subject to certain extrinsic duties can be seen as repugnant to a republic’s vision.


Views of constituent assembly

  • The emphasis on dignity was important, and it guaranteed basic human rights like equality, autonomy, liberty, and others. The idea of contingent rights was considered repugnant.
  • But rights were not made absolute, and part III of the constitution also contained limitations of the rights. Any curtailment of rights would thus need legislative sanction and should be reasonable as per the constitution.


Difference Between Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Rights:


Area of differentiation

Fundamental rights

Fundamental duties

Placement in the Amendment:

The Fundamental Rights are present in Part III of India’s Constitution and is guaranteed to the citizens of India.

Fundamental Duties deals in Part IV A of the Constitution of India.

Purpose of the Articles:

Fundamental Rights deals with Articles 12-35 of the Constitution of India.

Article 51-A of the Constitution of India deals with Fundamental Duties.

Native source of Article:

Fundamental Rights was borrowed from the Constitution of the United States of America.

From the Constitution of the former Soviet Union (USSR), Fundamental Duties were taken.


These rights are defined and applied irrespective of religion, caste, race, place of birth, creed, or gender.

These duties’ are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to uphold India’s unity and help promote a spirit of patriotism.


Supreme Court Verdict Related to Fundamental Duties:

Case Name


A.I.I.M.S. Student’s Union v. A.I.I.M.S

It provides valuable guidance and aid to interpretation and resolution of constitutional and legal issues.


Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of Uttar Pradesh

 The court held that preservation of the environment and keeping the ecological balance unaffected in a task which not only government but also every citizen must undertake.

It is a social obligation of the state as well as of the individuals.


Evolution of Fundamental Duties:

  • They were not present in the original form of the constitution. They were added after the Swaran Singh Committee recommendations through the 42nd constitutional amendment and Article 51A.
  • It encouraged citizens to cherish noble ideas, uphold and protect the sovereignty of India among other provisions.