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Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizen


Originally, the Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizen were not provided in the Constitution. On the basis of the recommendations of Swarn Singh Committee, these duties were included in the Constitution under Article 51A of part IV by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976. Under these provisions, a citizen of India is expected to faithfully observe the following Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizen.
It shall be the duty of every citizen of India:
  1. To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideas and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
  2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
  3. To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
  4. To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
  5. To promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India, transcending religious, linguistic, regional or sectional diversities, to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
  7. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, river, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures;
  8. To develop the scientific temper, humanism, and spirit of inquiry and reform;
  9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
  10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activities so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement;
  11. To provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between age of 6 and 14 years;
The 11th point was adopted by 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002.

The Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizen are inspired by the constitution of former Soviet Union. Since the Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizen are included in part IV of the constitution, these can not come into force automatically, neither can these duties be enforced by judicial process. The constitution, like directive principles of state policies, leaves to the goodwill of citizen to abide these provisions. According to the famous constitutional expert D D Basu, the constitution does not make any provision to enforce these duties automatically or any sanction to prevent the violation of these duties by the citizen. However, it is expected that if a law is enacted by the legislature to enforce these provisions, its shall not be declared unconstitutional on the ground of its inconsistency with the provisions of Article 14 and that of 19. According to him, these provisions would act as a warning to all those who does indulge in not paying due regard to the constitution and destroying public property. The supreme court may issue such warning to the citizen to take these provisions seriously. The legislature may also enact laws to enforce these duties. In fact, there are already many laws which directly or indirectly enforce these duties. For example, there is a law for the protection of public property as well as environment and animal species.

However, the Supreme Court, in the Surya Vs Union of India (1992) case, ruled that Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizen are not enforceable through judicial remedies by the court. In Vijoy Immanuel Vs State of Kerala (1987), the Supreme Court overruled the decision of Kerala High Court and decided that though to Constitution provides it to be the duty of the citizen to respect the National Anthem, it does not provide that singing of the National Anthem is part of such respect. Even a person, while standing during the singing of National Anthem (without himself singing it) can show respect to the National Anthem.
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Articles are written and edited by the Syskool Staffs.


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