Dec. 2, 2019

Over last few days, the Prime Minister, President, Vice President and Law Minister have been stressing Fundamental Duties i.e. citizens should remember their fundamental duties as they remember their fundamental rights.


  • Background: The Fundamental Duties were incorporated in Part IV-A of the Constitution by the Constitution 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, during Emergency under Indira Gandhi’s government. The amendment came at a time when elections stood suspended and civil liberties curbed.

  • How many? Today, there are 11 Fundamental Duties described under Article 51-A, of which 10 were introduced by the 42nd Amendment and the 11th was added by the 86th Amendment in 2002, during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government.

  • Status: These are statutory duties, not enforceable by law, but a court may take them into account while adjudicating on a matter.

  • Objective: The idea behind their incorporation was to emphasise the obligation of the citizen in exchange for the Fundamental Rights that he or she enjoys.

  • The concept of Fundamental Duties is taken from the Constitution of Russia.