Fundamental Duties – IASPOINT

Fundamental Duties

Swaran Singh Committee, in its recommendations (1976), suggested the inclusion of a separate chapter on fundamental duties in the Constitution. Following it, Part IVA with Article 51A was added by 42nd Amendment. In 2002, through 86th amendment, a duty was added and, incorporated; providing opportunities to the children between the age of six and fourteen years. “The Fundamental Duties of every citizen, so described in the Constitution, are:

(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, unity 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 and regional or sectional diversities;

(f) to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;

(g) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

(h) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures;

(i) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

(j) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

(k) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement “The fundamental duties are statutory duties and are only enforceable by the law of the Parliament. To be enforceable requires the knowledge of these duties.

“The Supreme Court,in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (1983), has directed the Union Government to introduce compulsory teaching of lessons related to fundamental duties. In another case, AIIMS Students Union v. AIIMS’ 2001, the Supreme Court regarded fundamental duties as important as the fundamental rights, as also an aid to the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution. “The fundamental duties, included in the Constitution, are vague and ambiguous, described only as moral precepts. And then there is no provision for the enforcement of these duties (Ramsharan Autyanuprasi v. Union of India (1980) nor any sanction to prevent their violation. “The Verma Committee on Fundamental Duties (1999), however, has identified the existence of meritorious provisions for the implementation of fundamental duties, provisions such as: the Prevention of Insults of National Honour Act (1971), the Protection of Civil Right Act (1976), the Wildlife (Protection) Act, (1972) and the like.

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