The Constitution Of India And Social Justice
The Constitution of India has solemnly promised to all its citizens justices-social, economic and political; liberty of thought expression, belief, faith and worship; equality of status and of opportunity; and to promote among the all fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation.
The Constitution has attempted to attune the apparently conflicting claims of socio-economic justice and of individual liberty and fundamental rights by putting some relevant provisions.
Article 19 enshrines the fundamental rights of the citizens of this country. The seven subclauses of Article 19(1) guarantee the citizens seven different kinds of freedom and recognize them as their fundamental rights.
Article 19 considered as a whole furnishes a very satisfactory and rational basis for adjusting the claims of individual rights of freedom and the claims of public good.
Articles 23 and 24 provide for fundamental rights against exploitation. Article 24, in particular, prohibits an employer from employing a child below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or in any other hazardous employment.
Article 31 makes a specific provision in regard to the fundamental right to property and deals with the vexed problem of compulsory acquisition of property.
Article 38 requires that the state should make an effort to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice social, economic and political shall inform all the institutions of national life.
Article 39 clause (a) says that the State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes, or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.
Article 41 recognizes every citizen’s right to work, to education & to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness & disablement and in other cases of undeserved want.
Article 42 stresses the importance of securing just and humane conditions of work & for maternity relief. Article 43 holds before the working population the ideal of the living wage and
Article 46 emphasizes the importance of the promotion of educational and economic interests of schedule castes, schedule tribes and other weaker sections.
The social problem presented by the existence of a very large number of citizens who are treated as untouchables has received the special attention of the Constitution as Article 15 (1) prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
The state would be entitled to make special provisions for women and children, and for advancement of any social and educationally backward classes of citizens, or for the SC/STs.
A similar exception is provided to the principle of equality of opportunity prescribed by Article 16 (1) in as much as Article 16(4) allows the state to make provision for the resolution of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the state, is not adequately represented in the services under the state.
Article 17 proclaims that untouchability has been abolished & forbids its practice in any form & it provides that the enforcement of untouchability shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
This is the code of provisions dealing with the problem of achieving the ideal of socio- economic justice in this country which has been prescribed by the Constitution of India.
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