Paper: General Studies Paper-I
Section: Indian Polity
Topic: Constitution of India
What is the constitutional position of Directive Principles of State Policy? How has it been interpreted by the judiciary after the emergency in 1975-77? UPSC-2001 (250 words)
The Directive Principles of State Policy are mentioned in Part-IV of the Constitution, from Article 36 to 51. These are Directives to the state to be followed in the formation of policy. They are however, made non-justiciable in the court of law, but yet, they are important and fundamental in governance of the country. They are aims and ideals to be achieved by the state which would lead the country towards creating a welfare state.
Various provisions of the Directives have achieved status of the Fundamental Rights. The Directives contained in Article – 39(b) and (c) have been given supremacy over the Fundamental Rights contained in Article 14 and 19.
Trend of the judicial interpretation regarding the Directive Principles has completely changed after the emergency in 1975-77. The Supreme Court, in the case of Minerva Mills Ltd. 1980 gave the doctrine of harmonious construction between the fundamental rights and the directives which has effectively directed the states to protect the rights provided under part IV. It interpreted and gave status to many of the Directive Principles as the Fundamental Rights. For example, Equal Pay for Equal Work, Right to Education, Free Legal Aid, Speedy Trial, Protection of Children from Exploitation, Abolition of Child Labour, Protection of Working Women from Sexual Harassment, Right to Work and Medical assistance to workers, Protection of Ecology and Environmental pollution etc. have been raised to the status of the fundamental rights.
Thus, constructive trend has been taken by the Supreme Court after the emergency in 1975-77. (Total 257 words)
What are the main differences between the passage of a Constitution Amendment Bill and other Legislative Bills? UPSC-2001 (250 words)
The main differences between the passage of a Constitution Amendment Bill and other Legislative Bills are:
- A Legislative Bill can be passed by a simple majority in both the Houses, while for the purpose of Amendment, provisions of the Constitution are divided into three parts:
(i) Amendment by simple majority of both the Houses.
(ii) Amendment by two-third majority of both the Houses.
(iii) Amendment by two-third majority of both the Houses plus ratification of not less than one half of the states.
- Only Parliament and not a State Legislature is competent to amend the Constitution.
- In case of dead-lock, the President can summon a joint sitting of both Houses to pass a Legislative Bill, except a money bill. But for a Constitutional Amendment Bill, such a joint sitting cannot be summoned.
- In case of Legislative Bill, the President can withhold his assent or return it to Parliament to reconsider it, but it is not possible in case of a Constitutional Amendment Bill.
Other procedures regarding both of them are same. The rules regarding procedure to be followed in both Houses are decided by Parliament by law. Any bill, except a money bill, can be passed in any House of Parliament. After passing by each House, it is sent to the President for his assent thereto. A bill becomes a law after the President’s assent.
It can be concluded that a Constitutional Amendment Bill, being an important matter, both Houses are given same powers while in case of other Legislative Bills, Lok Sabha has more powers, due to its numerical majority. (Total 264 words)