1. Why liberty and individual rights?
“Men are born and remain free and equal in rights”. Individual rights state explicitly the requirements for a person to benefit rather than suffer from living in a society. They are absolute requirements for life within a society. The Fundamental Rights, embodied in Part III of the Constitution, guarantee civil rights to all Indians, and prevent the State from encroaching on individual liberty while simultaneously placing upon it an obligation to protect the citizens’ rights from encroachment by society.
2. What is Constitutional Rule of Law?
Constitutional Rule of Law believes in genuine rule of law, as envisaged by the founding fathers of the original Constitution of our country, as it was enacted in 1950. It believes in a government limited by constitution and thus does not believe in seeing the constitutional limitations as a constraint. It will review all the amendments in this light and try and restore constitution to its pristine glory.
3. How does it limit government’s power and why?
Although governments are instituted among men to protect individual/human rights, history has shown that governments often become the largest threat to those rights. Knowing that unlimited, arbitrary power of the government is dangerous, men found a partial solution. They called the solution a Constitution. Constitutional rule of law leads to the establishment of a government as a means of enforcing those laws and at the same time requiring the government to obey those same laws. In our country, Fundamental Rights act as limitations on the powers of the legislature and executive, under Article 13, and in case of any violation of these rights the Supreme Court of India and the High Courts of the states have the power to declare such legislative or executive action as unconstitutional and void.
4. How did our Constitution come to being?
A lot of debate and discussions by our founding fathers led to the birth of our Constitution. The Constitutional Assembly debates are very interesting to read, we have highlighted certain parts in the file, so that you can get an essence of what our founding fathers actually wanted our Constitution to ‘be.’
Constitutional Assembly Debates
5. Distortions in our constitutions – the deletion of Right to Property.
In 1978, due to a wave of Socialism our political leaders decided to delete Right to Property from the list of Fundamental Rights by the 44th Amendment.
The Constitution of India (44th Amendment)