Fundamental Rights of India – 6 Fundamental Rights Article 12-35 PDF

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

Fundamental rights are a set of individual rights guaranteed to every citizen of India. These rights are considered fundamental because they are essential for the dignity and freedom of every citizen of the country and are protected by the Indian Constitution. These fundamental rights include the right to equality, freedom of speech and expression, the right to life and personal liberty, freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, and the right to constitutional remedies.

Originally, there were seven fundamental rights of Indian Constitution. However, the Right to Property was removed by the 44th Amendment Act. So, now, there are only six fundamental rights that act as a foundation for a nation that provides equality to all citizens irrespective of religion, caste, or creed.

Table of content

  • 1. What is Fundamental Rights? (more)
  • 2. Fundamental Rights Article (more)
  • 3. Types of Fundamental Rights in Indian Constitution (more)
  • 4. Features of Fundamental Rights (more)
  • 5. Exceptions to Fundamental Rights (more)
  • 6. Part 3 of Indian Constitution – Fundamental Rights Articles 12 to 35 (more)
  • 7. Fundamental Rights Available to Citizens Only (more)
  • 8. Fundamental Rights Available to Both Citizens and Foreigners (more)
  • 9. Limitations of Fundamental Rights (more)
  • 10. Suspension or Denial of Fundamental Rights (more)
  • 11. Are Fundamental Rights Absolute? (more)
  • 12. Amendment of Fundamental Rights (more)
  • 13. Importance of Fundamental Rights (more)
  • 14. Doctrine of Severability (more)
  • 15. Doctrine of Eclipse (more)
  • 16. Fundamental Rights UPSC (more)

What is Fundamental Rights?

The origin of Fundamental Rights in Indian Constitution is assisted by the drafting of the Magna Carta in England in 1215. It was laid down that there were certain subjects’ rights that could not be violated even by a legal sovereign. Further, it was through the French Revolution (1789) and the United States’ struggle for freedom (1776) that nations of the world seriously thought of giving some basic rights to their people. In India, Congress adopted a resolution in its Karachi session in March 1931 on fundamental rights. The Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution are inspired by the American Bill of Rights, which were included in the US Constitution by the first ten amendments.

Fundamental Rights are called so because of two reasons.

  1. FRs are mentioned in the Constitution, which ensures that they are guaranteed.
  2. The Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution are justiciable and enforceable by courts using writs.

Fundamental Rights Article

There are 6 Fundamental Rights Articles in the Indian Constitution, ranging from Article 12 to Article 35 in Part III.

  1. Right to Equality (Article 14-18)
  2. Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)
  3. Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24)
  4. Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28)
  5. Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30)
  6. Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)

Types of Fundamental Rights in Indian Constitution

All FRS (Fundamental Rights) with articles are listed below for a better understanding. As mentioned above, fundamental rights are the basic individual rights that every citizen in India possesses with respect to the Indian Constitution. The purpose of these rights is to protect the individual’s liberties and rights and to ensure that they are not violated by the state or other individuals. Let’s have a look at the six fundamental rights of India:

List of Fundamental Rights
Name of Fundamental Rights Fundamental Rights Article Details
Right to Equality 14 Equality Before Law
15 Prohibition of Discrimination
16 Equality of Opportunity in Public Employment
17 Abolition of Untouchability
18 Abolition of Titles
Right to Freedom 19 Protection of 6 Rights

Right to freedom of speech and expression.


Right to assemble peaceably and without arms.


Right to form associations or unions or co-operative societies.


Right to move freely throughout the territory of India.


Right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.


Right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade, or business.

20 Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences
21 Protection of Life and Personal Liberty
21-A Right to Education
22 Protection Against Arrest and Detention
Right Against Exploitation 23 Prohibition of Human Trafficking and Forced Labour
24 Prohibition of Child Labour
Right to Freedom of Religion 25 Freedom of Conscience, Profession, Practice, and Propagation
26 Freedom to Manage Religious Affairs
27 Freedom from Taxation for Promotion of a Religion
28 Freedom from Attending Religious Instruction
Educational and Cultural Rights 29 Protection of Interests of Minorities
30 Right of Minorities to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions
Right to Constitutional Remedies 32 Right to remedies for the enforcement of the fundamental rights using five writs.
33 Empowers the Parliament to restrict or abrogate the fundamental rights of the ‘Members of the Armed Forces, paramilitary forces, police forces, intelligence agencies, and analogous forces
34 Provides for the restrictions on fundamental rights while martial law(military rule) is in force
35 Empowers the Parliament to make laws on Fundamental Rights

Also, check Why is Article 14, 19, and 21 called the Golden Triangle?

Features of Fundamental Rights

The fundamental rights of Indian Constitution have several important features, including:

  • These rights are protected by the Constitution, and any law or state action that violates these rights can be challenged in the courts.
  • The fundamental rights of the Indian constitution guarantee equal treatment under the law and prohibit all kinds of discrimination.
  • They are enforceable, and citizens have the right to seek remedy from the courts if their rights are violated.
  • While the fundamental rights are guaranteed, they are subject to reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, and the security of the state.

Exceptions to Fundamental Rights

It is important to understand that the fundamental rights of Indian Constitution are subject to reasonable restrictions. Why? Well, this is done to protect the interests of the security, sovereignty, and integrity of India. Also, these restrictions are important to maintaining cordial relations with foreign states, as well as decency and morality in the nation.

For example, the freedom of speech and expression may be restricted in the interests of public order, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation, and other offences. Similarly, the right to life and personal liberty may be restricted in the interests of the security of the state.

Part 3 of Indian Constitution – Fundamental Rights Articles 12 to 35

Go through the details and specifications of all Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution.

Fundamental Right Article 12: The State

Article 12 of the Constitution defines the State under Part III. This definition suitably covers all government-funded organizations, government-controlled and administered bodies, including statutory bodies. The provision’s expansion was enunciated in Ajay Hasia v. Khalid Mujeeb (1981).

Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution

Fundamental Right Article 13: Judicial Review

Judicial review is the power of the judiciary to examine the validity of a Law and Order. This means that the courts have the authority to determine whether a law or act is in accordance with the Constitution and to declare it unconstitutional if it violates the Constitution or any fundamental rights.

Besides, the Judicial review serves as a crucial check on the power of the legislative and executive branches of government. It ensures that laws are in line with the Constitution and that individual rights and freedoms are protected by them.

Fundamental Rights

Why was Article 31 Removed?

Article 31 means the Right to Property is no longer a part of the list of fundamental rights. As per the constitution of Indiam property rights are not considered fundamental rights anymore. This change was done through the 44th amendment to the Indian constitution in 1977. The right to acquire, dispose or hold property was removed as a fundamental right.

Fundamental Right to Equality (Article 14-18)

The Right to equality envisions equality before the law and equal protection of laws. It also envisions special protections for vulnerable members of the society such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Women, and Children. Article 17 provides for the abolition of untouchability, and Article 18 abolishes the announcement of titles. This is in the spirit of providing an egalitarian society.

Fundamental Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)

Article 19-22 provides the Right to Freedom to protect personal liberty. Under Article 19 of Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution, various rights have been provided:

  1. Freedom of Speech and expression
  2. Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms
  3. Freedom of forming associations, unions, and cooperative society
  4. Freedom of movement
  5. Freedom to reside and settle
  6. Property (abolished by 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978)
  7. Freedom of profession, occupation, trade, or business.

Article 20 enunciates the protection in respect of conviction for offenses, it provides protection against retrospective application of criminal laws, double jeopardy, and self-incrimination.

Article 21 is the widest in interpretation, and the provision for the Right to Life has been explained to include the right to a healthy environment, the right to a speedy trial, and the right to sleep, among others. It aims to help in the overall development of the individual. Also, check What is the Right to Live with Dignity?

Article 22 denotes protection in cases of preventive detention and post-arrest mechanisms. It provides for the right to counsel, the right to be informed of grounds on which arrest takes place, and the right to be taken to the nearest magistrate within 24 hours of arrest.

Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24)

Article 23 prohibits traffic in human beings and beggars and other similar forms of forced labor, while Article 24 prohibits the employment of children below 14 years of age in factories and hazardous employment.

Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28)

One of the most important features in our secular country is the constitutional protection granted with respect to the freedom to profess, propagate, and practice any religion along with freedom of conscience. It is the settled principle that State protects all religions but interferes with none. This was held in the case of Vasudev v. Vimanji (1881).

Article 28 provides an injunction against the dissemination of religious instruction in government-aided educational institutions thereby ensuring that the growth and development of each individual are equidistant of all religions.

Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30)

Article 29-30 provides for the rights of citizens and religious/linguistic minorities to protect their culture, script, and language and to administer educational institutions respectively.

Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32 is plenary in nature and not limited to the territorial boundary. The five prerogative writs under Right to Constitutional Remedies, such as Mandamus, Quo Warranto, Prohibition, Certiorari, and Habeas Corpus are both injunctive and remedial in nature.

Fundamental Rights Available to Citizens Only

Few Fundamental Rights in the constitution are only available to citizens of India. Article 15,16,19,29 and 30 are the fundamental rights for citizens only. Theses Fundamental Rights are denied to aliens.

  1. Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination.
  2. Article 16: Equality of opportunity.
  3. Article 19: Protection of six rights to freedom.
  4. Article 30: Right of minorities.

Fundamental Rights Available to Both Citizens and Foreigners

The following fundamental rights of the indian constitution are available to both citizens & foreigners, excluding enemy aliens.

  1. Article 14: Equality before the law and equal protection of laws.
  2. Article 20: Protection in respect of conviction for offenses.
  3. Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty.
  4. Article 21A: Right to elementary education.
  5. Article 22: Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
  6. Article 23: Prohibition of traffic and human beings and forced labor.
  7. Article 24: Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.
  8. Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion.
  9. Article 26: Freedom to manage religious affairs.
  10. Article 27: Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any religion.
  11. Article 28: Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions.

Limitations of Fundamental Rights

The group of Articles 31A, 31B, 31C, 33, 34, and 35 lays down various limitations on Fundamental Rights and are exceptions to FRs and the circumstances under which these limitations may be imposed.

  • Article 31A was intended to enable the state to achieve the abolition of zamindari and other similar tenures.
  • Article 31B validated the acts and regulations mentioned in the Ninth Schedule.
  • The intention of Article 31C has to save laws giving effect to DPSP specified in Articles 39(b) and (c).

Is Article 226 a Fundamental Right?

Suspension or Denial of Fundamental Rights

The fundamental rights contained in Part III of the Indian Constitution can be curtailed or suspended in the following cases:

  1. Under Article 33, Parliament may by law restrict or abrogate any of the Fundamental Rights in their application to the members of the Armed Forces or Forces charged with the maintenance of public order.
  2. Article 34 authorizes Parliament to make a law to grant immunity in respect of acts done by any person during the operation of martial law in the country.

Article 358 provides that when the President proclaims an an emergency under Article 352, the freedom guaranteed by Article 19 is automatically suspended for the emergency period. Article 359 further empowers the President to suspend the right to move any court to enforce Fundamental Rights (except Articles 20 & 21) during the continuance of emergency.

Read Why are Articles 20 and 21 not Suspended During an Emergency?

Are Fundamental Rights Absolute?

Fundamental Rights are not absolute in nature because they are controlled and are subjected to reasonable restrictions to protect the public’s general welfare. Fundamental Rights are not absolute but qualified. The state can impose reasonable restrictions on Fundamental Rights. However, the reasonability of the restrictions is decided by the courts. The Supreme Court has ruled that all provisions of the Constitution, including the fundamental rights, can be amended.

Which Article is Regarded as the Soul of the Indian Constitution?

Amendment of Fundamental Rights

Fundamental rights are primary because they are the country’s backbone and vital for protecting the individual’s appeals. The Indian Parliament can amend fundamental rights by a constitutional modification, and the amendment should not change the primary approach of the Constitution.

A nationwide crisis can discontinue fundamental rights, whereas the rights secured under Articles 20 and 21 cannot be paused. Any transformations to fundamental rights need a constitutional revision that should be passed by both the Houses of Parliament. The majority of Parliament should enact the amendment bill.

Importance of Fundamental Rights

Fundamental rights are of utmost importance in a democratic society as they provide a framework for the protection of individual liberties and freedoms. Furthermore, they are essential to upholding the principles of democracy, justice, and equality. Hence, these fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution of India and are enforceable through the courts.

Doctrine of Severability

The Doctrine of Severability is a legal principle that protects the fundamental rights of Indian Constitution. The Doctrine of Severability is discussed in detail in A 13 of Fundamental right.

It is also called the Doctrine of Separability. The principle is used to balance the validity of the law with the requirement to ensure that it is in line with the Constitution and its values.

Mentioned in Article 13, the Doctrine of Severability is an important tool for the courts in maintaining the balance of power between the different branches of government and in protecting individual rights and freedoms in a democratic society.

Doctrine of Eclipse

The Doctrine of Eclipse is a legal principle that states that any law inconsistent with the fundamental rights of Indian constitution is not invalid. The inconsistency or conflict can be exempted through an amendment in the constitution. Hence, the amendment will terminate that eclipse and turn the law valid. As per the Indian Constitition, the Doctrine of Eclipse is mentioned in Article 13 (1).

Moreover, the doctrine is used by the courts to strike down laws or acts that are found to be in conflict with newly recognised or enacted fundamental rights. Therefore, the doctrine of eclipse is an important aspect of the constitutional framework in India, as it helps to ensure that individual rights and freedoms are protected.

Fundamental Rights UPSC

The Topic of Fundamental Rights is covered under the General Studies II paper of the UPSC Mains in the syllabus. It occupies a significant portion of the UPSC Prelims of the UPSC Exam every year. Since its inception, Fundamental Rights are very important for the Current Affairs/contemporary aspects of the IAS Exam.

To cover Fundamental Rights UPSC, students must go through the NCERT Books for UPSC to understand the timeline and develop a solid foundation. Following this, UPSC Books, such as Indian Polity by M. Laxmikant and Polity Books should be read.

Questions on Fundamental Rights

Q1. In India, Judicial Review implies

  1. a) The power of the Judiciary to pronounce upon the constitutionality of laws and executive orders.
  2. b) The power of the Judiciary to question the wisdom of the laws enacted by the Legislature.
  3. c) The power of the Judiciary to review all the legislative enactments before they are assented to by the President.
  4. d) The power of the Judiciary to review its own judgments given earlier in similar or different cases.

Correct Answer is:- Option 1

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