Fundamental Duties were initially not a part of our Constitution. As the framers of the constitution did not find it important to include them. They were later added in the constitution in 1976 as Fundamental duties of citizens. It is similar to those duties of State in the form of Directive Principles of the State Policy.
The Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution are inspired by the Constitution of erstwhile USSR. It is unique in itself because no other democratic country in the world has this feature in its constitution.
SWARAN SINGH COMMITTEE
The Swaran Singh Committee, in 1976, suggested the need of inclusion of separate chapter on fundamental duties in the constitution. It recommended that citizens also have some duties towards the nation besides enjoying rights. Following it, Part IVA; with Article 51A; was added by the 42nd Amendment. Another duty was later incorporated through 86th Amendment Act in 2002.
LIST OF FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES
According to Article 51A, there are twelve fundamental duties as described in the constitution.
(a) To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
(b) To cherish and follow the noble ideals that inspired the national struggle for freedom.
(c) To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
(d) To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.
(e) To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities and to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
(f) To value and preserve the rich heritage of the country’s composite culture.
(g) To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
(h)To develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
(i) To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.
(j) To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.
(k) To provide opportunities for education to his child or ward between the age of six and fourteen years. (86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002).
- The fundamental duties are vague and ambiguous, described only as moral percepts.
- Unlike Fundamental Rights, these duties are available only to the citizens of the country and not to foreigners.
- These fundamental duties, just like Directive Principle, are non-justiciable and therefore, can not be enforced directly by the court.
- In case of their violation, there is no provision of legal sanction to prevent them.
- However, Verma Committee, has identified the existence of legal provisions for the implementation of the fundamental duties. They are as follows:
- The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act (1971)
- The Protection of Civil Rights Act (1955)
- The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967
- The Representation of People Act (1951)
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972