Democratic Politics

Chapter : 3. Democratic Rights

Special Features or Characteristics of the Fundamental Rights

Special Features or Characteristics of the Fundamental Rights :
Like almost all the constitutions of the civilized states of the world, the Constitution of the Republic of India has also a chapter on the Fundamental Rights. It is embodied in Part III of the Constitution under Articles 12 to 35.
The inclusion of the Fundamental Rights in the Constitution itself has a special importance of its own for a country like India. During the long spell of foreign rule, The Indian polity had degraded into despotic rule by the bureaucracy. Nepotism, favouritism, etc. had been the order of the day. Citizens were disgraced and demoralised. In order to restore dignity to the citizens and to save them from executive excesses, the framers of our Constitution thought it proper to enshrine Fundamental Rights in the Constitution.
Our Fundamental Rights have certain peculiar features which are given as under :
1. Our Fundamental Rights are Universal : The Fundamental Rights enshrined in our Constitution are bestowed upon each and every citizen of the Republic without any consideration of religion, caste, creed, colour or sex.
2. Not Absolute : Our Rights are not absolute. There are certain restrictions imposed on each of them. These restrictions have been imposed as a safeguard against encroachment by others upon the similar rights of one or more citizens.
3. Justiciable : If at all, there is an encroachment of the Rights by the State, a person or a body of persons, we have been given the right to knock at the doors of the judiciary and get them redressed. Even a law of the legislature in the country can be struck down by the court, if it abridges any of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by our Constitution.
4. Comprehensive : The Fundamental Rights have a comprehensive approach. They tend to safeguard our social, economic, cultural and religious interests very zealously.
5. Suspendable : The Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India can be suspended in the event of a National Emergency in the interests of the safety and integrity of our country.

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