Indian constitution and social legislation fundamental rights
Indian Constitution and SocialLegislation - Fundamental RightsSubmitted to:Mr. Philip Mathew,School of Social Work,Marian College,Kuttikkanam.Submitted by:Ambily Joseph,II MSW, No. 102,School of Social Work,Marian College,Kuttikkanam.Date of Submission:25thOctober 2011.
IntroductionA constitution can be said as a written document that contains a set of rules for governance. Itdefines the fundamental political principles, and establishing the structure, procedures, powersand duties, of a government. By limiting the governments own reach, most constitution‟sguarantee certain rights to the people.The Constitution of India is the worlds lengthiest written constitution with 395 articles and 8schedules. It contains the good points taken from the constitutions of many countries in theworld. It was passed on 26 Nov 1949 by the The Constituent Assembly and is fully applicablesince 26 Jan 1950. The Constitution distributes legislative powers between Parliament and Statelegislatures as per the lists of entries in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. The residuarypowers vest in the Parliament. The centrally administered territories are called Union Territories.Social Legislation consists of laws that provide particular kinds of protection or benefits tosociety or segments thereof in furtherance of social justice. Dr. R.N. Saxena defines sociallegislation as „any act passed by the legislature or a decree issued by the government for theremoval of certain social evils or for the improvement of social conditions or with the aim ofbringing about social reform. According to the definition given by Fairchild in the Dictionary ofSociology, social legislation means laws designed to improve and protect the economic andsocial position of those groups in society which because of age, sex, race, physical or mentaldefect or lack of economic power cannot achieve health and decent living standards forthemselves.Fundamental Rights are those rights and freedoms of the people of India, which enjoyconstitutional recognition and guarantee. The Supreme Court of India and State High Courtshave the power to enforce Fundamental Rights. Supreme Court is the guardian protector offundamental rights1. The model has been taken from the Constitutions of The United States.The Fundamental Rights according to Indian Constitution are:1. Right to Equality2. Right to Freedom3. Right against Exploitation4. Right to Freedom of Religion5. Cultural and Educational Rights6. Right to Constitutional Remedies1Kishore (2010): Fundamental Rights of India, http://kish.in/fundamental_rights_of_india/ accessed on23.10.2011.
Right to Equality15. (1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race,caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. 16. (1) There shall be equality of opportunity for allcitizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. 17.“Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of anydisability arising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.18. (1) No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State.Right to Freedom19. (1) All citizens shall have the right—(a) to freedom of speech and expression;(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;(c) to form associations or unions;(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; [and](g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.Right against Exploitation23. (1) Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibitedand any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.24. No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine orengaged in any other hazardous employment.Right to Freedom of Religion25. (1) Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, allpersons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise andpropagate religion.Cultural and Educational Rights29. (1) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having adistinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same. 30. (1)All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish andadminister educational institutions of their choice.Right to Constitutional Remedies32. (1) The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement ofthe rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed.
Indian Constitution and Social LegislationSocial justice is the human essence of the Indian Constitution. The trinity of Indian Constitution,the Preamble, the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy, embody thefundamental principles, which provide guide to all legislations. This constitutional trinity assuresits citizens to provide "Socialistic Pattern of Society" and create "Welfare State" and alllegislations, are deeply influenced by them. The principles enshrined in the Preamble of ourConstitution provide the bedrock for framing all social legislation and their progressive andcreative interpretation in favour of the people. It is a known fact that as social order undergoeschanges, new problems and demands arise which cannot be allowed to go out of hand. Problemssuch as juvenile delinquency, new forms of crime, socioeconomic injustices, socio-economicinequalities, problems of social security have to be tackled through welfare legislations. It isimportant to have social legislation to meet the existing social needs and problems.A major change has happened since the enactment of Acts which are socially relevant and can besaid as social legislations that protects and supports the Fundamental Rights as mentioned in theIndian Constitution. Some of the Acts are: The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act,1976; The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961; The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976; The DowryProhibition Act, 1961; Public Provident Funds Act 1968 (No.23 of 1968).; The Scheduled Castesand Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989; Employees‟ State Insurance (Central)(Amendment) Rules, 2001.; Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007(No.56 of 2007); etc.ConclusionSocial Legislations acts as the tools that safe guard the Fundamental Rights of the people asmentioned by the Constitution. The Acts created a wider and deeper impact in the society andhelped in changing the society with the developments of modern times. This also helped in themaintenance of Human Rights and standards of governance that equated with other democraticnations around the world.Law can be used as an effective instrument by the social workers. In this process, social workerscan play an important role in the delivery of justice especially to the weaker sections. Socialwork can network with law and help in the implementation of social justice for juveniles,prisoners rehabilitation, prostitutes, SC/ST, poor and needy who are in need of legal assistance.In fact, social worker can carve out a meaningful and constructive role for themselves in the areaof social legislation. Social legislation can be used by professional social workers as a tool forsocial advocacy, empowerment to ensure basic human rights, dignity, and conduciveenvironment. In other words, the overall thrust of social work will be on developmental,remedial and rehabilitative dimension with non elitist approach. Thus social legislation works astool for social reform, social welfare, development and change.
References:1. THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA (As modified up to the 1st December, 2007),GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE.2. SOCIAL LEGISLATION AND ROLE OF SOCIAL WORKER IN LEGALASSISTANCE, IGNOU, New Delhi.3. Dr. Sunitha Zalpuri (2005): Training Package on Administrative Law, UNDP.4. CONSTITUTION AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION, IGNOU, New Delhi.5. Dr Niranjanaradhya, Aruna Kashyap (2007): The „Fundamentals‟ of the FundamentalRight to Education in India, Books for Change, Bangalore.6. INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND LABOUR LEGISLATIONS, IGNOU, New Delhi.7. WOMENS EMPOWERMENT AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION, IGNOU, New Delhi.8. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, http://www.iloveindia.com/constitution-of-india/fundamental-rights.html, accessed on 23.10.2011.9. Social Legislation, http://www.answers.com/topic/social-legislation, accessed on23.10.2011.10. What is Social Legislation?, http://www.uberdigests.info/2011/08/what-is-social-legislation/, accessed on 23.10.2011.11. About India: The Indian Constitution, http://india.suramya.com/india_constitution.php,accessed on 23.10.2011.12. Constitution of India, http://india.gov.in/govt/constitutions_india.php, accessed on23.10.2011.13. Legislations, http://socialjustice.nic.in/legislations.php, accessed on 23.10.2011.14. http://kish.in/fundamental_rights_of_india/15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_Rights_in_India