10 Main Criticisms against Indian Bill of Rights

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Some of the main features of the Indian bill of rights are as follows:

(1) Excessive Exceptions:

While describing the rights, the Constitution also provides for several limitations in respect of each right. This weakness compelled some person like Jaspatrai Kapur to suggest that the Part III should be entitled Fundamental Rights and Limitations thereupon. In the name of reasonable restrictions, the Constitution has imposed several limitations on fundamental rights.

(2) Difficult Language:

Part III has been written in a difficult and technical language. It has made it a lawyers' paradise. This feature makes it difficult for a common citizen to comprehend the meaning and scope of his fundamental rights.

(3) Incorporation of Preventive Detention:

A highly objectionable feature happens to be the incorporation of the provision for preventive detention. This provision constitutes very serious and undemocratic limitations upon the right to personal freedom.

(4) Lack of Social and Economic Rights:

The Bill of Rights is also inadequate in so far as it fails to incorporate social and economic rights. It gives no place to such rights as right to work, right to rest and leisure, right to old age security and the like.

(5) Change of Status of Right to Property:

By the 44th Amendment of the Constitution, the Right to Property has been deleted as a fundamental right. It has been made a legal right under Article 300A. Such a change has limited further the scope of Part III of the Constitution.

(6) Parliament can amend Fundamental Rights:

The Constitution has given to the Parliament the power to amend fundamental rights. It can place more limitations of Fundamental Rights by passing amendments to the constitution. The Parliament, however, cannot use this power to change the basic structure of the Constitution which includes Part III (Fundamental Rights). Nevertheless, a lack of a clear cut enunciation of the concept of Basic Structure has given a big discretion to of the Parliament in respect of its power to amend the fundamental rights.

(7) Provision for Suspension:

Constitutional protection to fundamental rights has been given. The Right to constitutional remedies provides judicial protection to them. However, the Constitution also provides for the suspension of fundamental rights during an emergency. This power can be misused by the ruling party.

(8) Gap between Theory and Practice:

The critics advocate that there exists a big gap between the theory and practice of fundamental rights. The constitution first grants rights and then imposes limitations upon them. It grants rights with one hand and takes them back with the other. The existence of socio-economic inequalities does not provide a healthy environment for the actual enjoyment of these rights by the people of India.

(9) Non-recognition of Natural Rights:

The Constitution specifies that there is no right outside the rights mentioned in Part III. It gives no place to natural rights. Hence Part III has a narrow scope.

(10) Acts like TADA and POTA and Judicial Delays:

To this list of limitations of Indian Bill of Rights, we can add laws like TADA and POTA as well as the presence of judicial delays in deciding cases involving violations of the Fundamental Rights. These limit the enjoyment of these rights by the people. On the basis of all these arguments, the critics bring out the weakness of fundamental rights in India.


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