DMPQ- Throw light on the history of conflict between fundamental rights and directive principles of state policy.

The Supreme Court in the Champakam Dorairajan Vs State of Madras(1951) held that DPSPs cannot override the provisions of Part III of the constitution. As per the judgment, the DPSPs have to run subsidiary to the FRs and have to confirm them.  The parliament responded by amending and modifying various FRs which were coming in conflict with DPSPs. The Supreme court, however, in the Golknath Case(1967) pronounced that parliament cannot amend the FRs to give effect to the DPSPs. The parliament responded again by bringing the 25th Amendment Act of the constitution which inserted Article 31C in Part III. Article 31 C contained two provisions:

  • If a law is made to give effect to DPSPs in Article 39(b) and Article 39(c) and in the process, the law violates Article 14, Article 19 or Article 31, then the law should not be declared as unconstitutional and void merely on this ground.
  • Any such law which contains the declaration that it is to give effect to DPSPs in Article 39(b) & Article(c) shall not be questioned in a court of law.

Later parliament brought the 42nd Amendment Act in 1976, which extended the scope of the above first provision of Article 31C by including within its purview any law to implement any of the DPSPs specified in Part IV of the constitutional and not merely Article 39(b) or (c). However, this extension was declared as unconstitutional and void by the SC in the Minerva Mills Case(1980).  The present position is that only Article 39 (b) and Article 39 (c) can be given precedence over Article 14, 19 and not all the Directive Principles.

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