The FRs enshrined in Part III of the Constitution have met with a wide range and varied criticism.
Excessive Limitations They are subjected to innumerable exceptions, restrictions, qualifications and explanations. Hence, the critics remarked that the Constitution grants Fundamental Rights with one hand and takes them away with the other.
No Social and Economic Rights The list is not comprehensive as it mainly consists of political rights. It makes no provision for important social and economic rights like right to social security, right to work, right to employment, right to rest and leisure and so on.
No Clarity It is alleged that the Constitution was made by the lawyers for the lawyers. Sir Ivor Jennings called the Constitution of India a ‘paradise for lawyers’. The various phrases and words used in the chapter like ‘public order’, ‘minorities’, ‘reasonable restriction’, ‘public interest’ and so on are not clearly defined.
No Permanency They are not sacrosanct or immutable as the Parliament can curtail or abolish them, as for example, the abolition of the fundamental right to property in 1978. Hence, they can become a play tool in the hands of politicians having majority support in the Parliament. The judicially innovated ‘doctrine of basic structure’ is the only limitation on the authority of Parliament to curtail or abolish the fundamental right.
Suspension during Emergency The suspension of their enforcement during the operation of National Emergency (except Articles 20 and 21) is another blot on the efficacy of these rights.
Expensive Remedy The judicial process is too expensive and hinders the common man from getting his rights enforced through the courts. Hence, the critics say that the rights benefit mainly the rich section of the Indian Society.
Preventive Detention No democratic country in the world has made preventive detention as an integral part of their Constitutions as has been made in India. It confers arbitrary powers on the State and negates individual liberty.
No Consistent Philosophy Sir Ivor Jennings expressed this view when he said that the Fundamental Rights proclaimed by the Indian Constitution are based on no consistent philosophy.25 The critics say that this creates difficulty for the Supreme Court and the high courts in interpreting the fundamental rights.
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