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Civil and Political Rights

Civil and political rights are a class of rights ensuring things such as the protection of
peoples' physical integrity; procedural fairness in law; protection from discrimination
based on gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, etc; individual freedom of belief,
speech, association, and the press; and political participation. Contrast with economic,
social and cultural rights. Civil and political rights are included in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and elaborated upon in the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights.

Right to work
The right to work is closely related to other basic rights such as the right to life, the right to
food and the right to education. In a country where millions of people are underprivileged of
any economic assets other than labour power, gainful employment is essential for these rights
to be fulfilled. The right to work states that everyone should be given the opportunity to work
for a basic living wage.

The right to work is insisted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as follows:

Article 23.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

"Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of
work and to protection against unemployment."

Article 23.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights elaborates the right
to work in the context of individual freedoms and economic, social and cultural
development. The Covenant also elaborates the role of the State in realizing this human

Indian Constitutional Framework on Right to Work in

The Indian constitution refers to the right to work under the directive principles of state
Policy. Article 39 insists on the State to ensure that the citizens, men and women equally,
Have the right to an adequate means to livelihood, and that there is equal pay for equal
Work for both men and women. Further, Article 41 stresses that the state, shall within the
Limits of its economic capacity and development make effective provision for securing right
to work
Reality of the Right to Work in India
In India, there is a long tradition of labour-intensive rural works programmes, especially in
years of drought. These programmes, however, are not based on the right to work. They are
just additional employment opportunities provided by the state, as and when resources and
commitment are available. So far, the only serious attempt to make the right to work a reality
is employment guarantee schemes.

Significance of the Right to work in India

There are several reasons why a guarantee of employment, as opposed to ad hoc employment
provisions by state, can make a real difference:
A guarantee of employment strengthens the bargaining power of those who are demanding
work. This consideration is paramount, given the pervasive problem of official inertia in the
absence of organized public pressure.
A demand-driven approach ensures that employment is provided where and when it is most
needed. When employment is allocated from the top down, the whims of bureaucrats and
politicians often matter more than the real needs of the people.
An employment guarantee scheme also facilitates the inclusion of the poorest of the poor
in employment programmes. When employment opportunities are limited, those with greater
clout and better connections (among potential workers) tend to get the work at the expense of
the more vulnerable. In contrast, an open-ended employment guarantee is based on selfselection, whereby the poor themselves decide whether or not to participate.

The right to work brings security in peoples lives. Today, labourers cannot count on
employment being provided to them during the lean season. The result is massive seasonal
migration, especially in dry land areas. An employment guarantee programme would give
labourers greater confidence in the prospect of local employment, and discourage seasonal

Right to Personal Freedom

The Constitution of India contains the right to freedom, given in articles 19, 20, 21 and
22, with the view of guaranteeing individual rights that were considered vital by the
framers of the constitution. The right to freedom in Article 19 guarantees the following
six freedoms.
Personal freedom in the context of human rights guarantees that the state has a
responsibility to:

Protect us from torture and degradation

Protect us from slavery or forced or compulsory labour

Guarantee us a fair examination and effective remedy in case of violate of our


Ensure our right to liberty, freedom of thought and freedom of expression

Protect us from discrimination and prohibit abuse of our rights

Freedom of speech and expression, which enable an individual to participate in

public activities. The phrase, "freedom of press" has not been used in Article 19,
but freedom of expression includes freedom of press. Reasonable restrictions can
be imposed in the interest of public order, security of State, decency or morality.

Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms, on which the State can impose
reasonable restrictions in the interest of public order and the sovereignty and
integrity of India.

Freedom to form associations or unions on which the State can impose reasonable
restrictions on this freedom in the interest of public order, morality and the
sovereignty and integrity of India.

Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India though reasonable

restrictions can be imposed on this right in the interest of the general public, for
example, restrictions may be imposed on movement and traveling, so as to control

Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India which is also
subject to reasonable restrictions by the State in the interest of the general public
or for the protection of the scheduled tribes because certain safeguards as are
envisaged here seem to be justified to protect indigenous and tribal peoples from
exploitation and coercion.

Freedom to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or

business on which the State may impose reasonable restrictions in the interest of
the general public. Thus, there is no right to carry on a business which is
dangerous or immoral. Also, professional or technical qualifications may be
prescribed for practicing any profession or carrying on any trade.

Freedom of Expression or Freedom of Speech

Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democratic rights and freedoms. Freedom of
speech and expression, which enable an individual to participate in public activities.
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without restriction or limitation. The
synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to denote not only freedom
of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas,
regardless of the medium used.

Importance of the Right to Freedom of Expression & Speech

Freedom of expression is essential in enabling democracy to work and public

participation in decision-making.

Citizens cannot exercise their right to vote effectively or take part in public decisionmaking if they do not have free access to information and ideas and are not able to
express their views freely.

Freedom of expression is thus not only important for individual dignity but also to
participation, accountability and democracy.

Violations of freedom of expression often go hand in hand with other violations, in

particular the right to freedom of association and assembly.

Indian Constitutional Framework on Freedom of Expression

Right to Freedom:

Article 19: Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc. are clearly
specified in the Article
Article 20: This Article states the Protection in respect of conviction for offenses
Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty is mentioned in the Article
Article 22: This Article deals with Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases
The Constitution of India contains the right to freedom, given in articles 19, 20, 21 and
22, with the view of guaranteeing individual rights that were considered vital by the
framers of the constitution. The right to freedom in Article 19 guarantees the Freedom of
speech and expression, as one of following six freedoms.
Freedom of speech, or the freedom of expression, is recognized in international and
regional human rights law. The right is protected in Article 19 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human

Rights, Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights, and Article 9 of the
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
The freedom of speech today is understood as a multi-faceted right that includes not only
the right to express, or disseminate, information and ideas, but three further distinct

The right to seek information and ideas;

The right to receive information and ideas;

The right to impart information and ideas.

International, regional and national standards also recognizes that freedom of speech, as
the freedom of expression, includes any medium, be it orally, in written, in print, through
the Internet or through art forms. This means that the protection of freedom of speech as a
right includes not only the content, but also the means of expression
Relationship to Other Rights
The right to freedom of speech is closely related to other rights, and may be limited when
conflicting with other rights. The right to freedom of speech is particularly important for
media, which plays a special role as the bearer of the general right to freedom of
expression for all
Reasonable Restrictions
The freedom of speech and of the press does not confer an absolute right to express
without any responsibility. Reasonable restrictions on these grounds can be imposed only
by a duly enacted law and not by executive action. With the same token Clause (2) of
Article 19 of the Indian constitution enables the legislature to impose reasonable
restrictions on free speech under following heads:
I. security of the State,
II. Friendly relations with foreign States,
III. Public order,

IV. Decency and morality,

V. Contempt of court,
VI. Defamation (Insult)
VII. Incitement (Encouragement) to an offence, and
VIII. Sovereignty and integrity of India.
Limitations on Freedom of Speech

The freedom of speech is not absolute.

Legal systems, and society at large, recognize limits on the freedom of speech,
particularly when freedom of speech conflicts with other values or rights.

Exercising freedom of speech always takes place within a context of competing


Limitations to freedom of speech may follow the "harm principle" or the "offense
principle", for example in the case of pornography or "hate speech.

Limitations to freedom of speech may occur through legal sanction and/or social

Right to Property
Property is any physical or fundamental body that is owned by an individual or jointly
by a group of individuals. Owner of property has the right to consume, sell, rent,
mortgage, transfer and exchange his or her property. Hence Property rights are defined
as a bundle of entitlements defining the owners rights, privileges and limitations for
use of a resource.
Constitutional Framework on the Right to Property
The Indian Constitution does not recognize property right as a fundamental right.
In the year 1977, the 44th amendment eliminated the right to acquire, hold and dispose
of property as a fundamental right. However, in another part of the Constitution,
Article 300 (A) was inserted to affirm that no person shall be deprived of his property

save by authority of law. The result is that the right to property as a fundamental right
is now substituted as a statutory right. The amendment expanded the power of the state to
appropriate property for social welfare purposes.
Woman's Right to Property
The law gives all women the right to own property. Moreover, the law pertaining to the
Right to Property states that:

Every woman has the right to acquire and hold property in her own name

A woman can do anything she wants with her property

A woman has the right to receive and keep her earnings and spend it in any way
she wants

Women, like men, have the right to buy or sell property

Women also have a share in the properties of their parents or other relatives.

Their share depends on the laws according to their religion.

Right to Education
The right to education is a fundamental human right. Every individual, irrespective of
race, gender, nationality, ethnic or social origin, religion or political preference, age or
disability, is entitled to a free elementary education. Free and compulsory
education to all children up to the age fourteen is constitutional
commitment in India.
Constitutional Frame Work On Right to Education
The Constitution of India provides Fundamental Rights under Chapter III. These rights
are guaranteed by the constitution. One of these rights is provided under article 21 A
which read as follows:
Article 21 A : The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children
of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law,

Right to Equality
The right to equality is one of the six rights that have been granted to us. In the Indian
Constitution this right has been described as
The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race,
caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of
them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access
to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or the use of wells,
tanks, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or
dedicated to the use of the general public.
Constitutional Frame Work On Right to Equality:
Article 14: The provisions regarding Equality before Law are included in this Article
Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place
of birth is specified in this Article
Article 16: This Article consists of Rights of Equality of opportunity in matters of public
Article 17: Abolition of untouchability is mentioned in this particular Article
Article 18: This Article provides details about Abolition of titles

Freedom of Association
Freedom of association is the individual right to come together with other individuals
and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. The right to
freedom of association has been included in a number of national constitutions and
human rights instruments.

Right to Religion
Right to Religion is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Indian constitution. Every
citizen of India has a right to practice and promote their religions peacefully. However
there have been many incidence of religious intolerance which resulted in riots, although
the issues which caused these riots have been investigated and dealt with
Importance of Religion
Religion in each civilization has indicated about the faith of human beings in
absolute values and a way of life to realize them. Therefore laws, customs, conventions
and fashions etc. are not the only means of social control but the religion and morality
also formulate and shape the human behavior. Religion and morality are the most
influential forces of social control as well as the most effective guides of the human
behavior. The social life of a man in addition of its economics, political, philosophical,
and scientific and other aspects, has also religious aspects.
Definitions of Religion
According to Ogburn, "Religion is an attitude towards super human power, it may
be submitted that religion explains the relation of man with god and also elaborate
rules of conduct."
Further Maxmuller defines, "Religion as a mental faculty (Sense) or disposition
(Character) which enables man to apprehend (Catch) the infinite."
According to Kingslay Davis, Religion is the part of society. It is
common to the group; its beliefs and practices are acquired by
each individual as a member of the group

Constitutional Frame Work On Right to Freedom of Religion:

Article 25: Particulars of Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and
propagation of religion are clearly enumerated in this Article
Article 26: The Article specifies the Freedom to manage religious affairs
Article 27: Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion is
stated in the Article
Article 28: This Article includes Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or
religious worship in certain education institutions
Is India a Secular State?
Looking at the various constitutional provisions, the answer is Yes. The ideals of
secular state have clearly been embodied under the Indian Constitution and the provisions
are being implemented in substantial measure. But the circumstances after independence
have posed a challenge before secularism of India for a number of times. Sometimes it is
also alleged that by Uniform Civil Code, the existence of minorities in India is in danger
or it is an assault on the identity of minorities.

The Right to Family

The family is the fundamental and natural unit of society where More than one person
living together is a family and there should be blood relation among them which requires
the full protection of the State. Human rights law upholds the positive right of all people
to marry and found a family. The family unit can be made vulnerable to social, economic,
and political pressures.
Constitutional Frame Work On Right to Family
Article 12 of the Indian constitution ensures the following under right to have family
(a) Right to marry and found a family

(b) Equal rights of men and women in the family

(c) Right to give full and free permission to marriage
(d) Right to family planning
(e) Rights of children to parental care
(f) Right to family reunification

Right to Contract
Freedom of contract is a basic and fundamental right reserved to the people. It refers
Right to contract is the freedom of individuals to bargain among themselves the terms of
their own contracts, without government interference. In other words, it refers the liberty
or ability to enter into agreements with others.

Contract Act
This Act may be called the Indian Contract Act, 1872 and it came into force on the
first day of September, 1872.

Right to Constitutional Remedies

The right to constitutional remedies allows Indian citizens to stand up for their rights
against anybody even the government of India. It empowers the citizens to move a court
of law in case of any denial of the fundamental rights. For instance, in case of
imprisonment, the citizen can ask the court to see if it is according to the provisions of the
law of the country. If the court finds that it is not, the person will have to be freed. This
procedure of asking the courts to preserve or safeguard the citizens' fundamental rights
can be done in various ways. The courts can issue various kinds of writs.
In law, a writ is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial

Constitutional Frame Work On Right to Constitutional Remedies

Article 32: Remedies for enforcement of rights conferred by this part have been included
in the Article
Article 33: This particular Article addresses the Power of Parliament to modify the rights
conferred by this Part in their application to forces, etc.
Article 34: Restriction on rights conferred by this Part while martial law is in force in any
area is mentioned in the Article
Article 35: This Article indicates the Legislation to give effect to the provisions of this
Part Fundamental Duties

Right To Contest In Election

India is a Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic and the largest democracy in the World.
The modern Indian nation state came into existence on 15th of August 1947. Since then
free and fair elections have been held at regular intervals as per the principles enshrined
in the Constitution, Electoral Laws and System.

Constitutional Frame work on Right to Contest in Election

1. A non citizen cannot be a contesting candidate in the elections. Article 84 (a) of
the Constitution of India envisages that a person shall not be qualified to be
chosen to fill up a seat in the Parliament unless he is a citizen of India. Similar
provision exists for State Legislative Assemblies in Article 173 (a) of the
2. Article 84 (b) of Constitution of India provides that the minimum age for
becoming a candidate for Lok Sabha election shall be 25 years. Similar provision
exists for candidates to the Legislative Assemblies vide Article 173 (b) of the
Constitution read with Sec. 36 (2) of the Act, 1950.

3. For contesting an election as a candidate a person must be registered as a voter.

Sec 4 (d) of Representation People Act, 1951 precludes a person from contesting
unless he is an elector in any parliamentary constituency. Section 5 (c) of Act,
1951 has a similar provision for Assembly Constituencies.
4. As per Section 8 (3) of R. P. Act, 1951, if a person is convicted of any offence and
sentenced to an imprisonment of 2 years or more, this will be disqualification to
contest elections.
5. According to section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, no
person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a
sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful
custody of the police.
6. A person who wants to fight the elections just needs to be an Indian citizen, not
less than 25 years of age, and should be a voter from any parliamentary
constituency in the country.
7. As per Section 33 (7) of R. P. Act, 1951, a person cannot contest from more than
two constituencies for a Lok Sabha election.
Criteria for disqualification

A candidate can be disqualified on the ground that he or she is convicted for an

offence and sentenced to imprisonment.

Another important factor is that the prospective candidate should not be

disqualified by any law made by parliament or for political defection.

For a government servant, criteria for disqualification could be that he or she has
been dismissed for corruption or for disloyalty to the state.

Also, a person should not have been convicted for promoting enmity between
different groups or for bribery, or punished for preaching and practising social
crimes such as untouchablity, dowry and sati.

And last, but not the least, the candidate must not be of unsound mind.

Right to Hold Public Office

It means to hold an elected/selected/appointed position at a local, state, or national level.
Indian citizen under Article 5 of the constitution, are eligible to hold high constitutional

Indian Constitutional Frame Work On Right To Public Office

An Indian Citizen can hold public offices in t the following circumstances

To improve the economic, moral, educational and health status of its members and
to cooperate with and seek the assistance in carrying out mutual programs to
accomplish these purposes by all possible means.

To promotes in other ways the common well being of the tribe and its

Right To Petition
The right to petition the government is the freedom of individuals (and sometimes
groups and corporations) to petition their government for a correction or repair of some
form of injustice without fear of punishment for the same. Although often overlooked in
favor of other more famous freedoms and sometimes taken for granted, many other civil
liberties are enforceable against the government only by exercising this basic right,
making it a fundamental right in both representative democracies (to protect public
participation) and liberal democracies. The "right to petition," is not mentioned in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but the related freedom of assembly and right to
"take part in the government" are

The right to petition Parliament in a democracy is basic and of immense

importance. The Rules of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) permit all citizens of the
country to petition the Rajya Sabha in respect of the following:

Any Bill which has been published in the Gazette of India or which has been
introduced or in respect of which Notice of a Motion has been received.

Any matter of general public interest which falls within the domain of
the Government of India. (Excepting matters which are sub judice or for which
remedy is available under Law, Rules, Regulations or Bye-laws made by or under
the authority of the Central Government)

Petitions may be submitted English or Hindi, signed by the Petitioner

Right To Criticize Government

It is the freedom to speak freely without restriction or limitation about the government.
In India, People have the right to criticize government policy and government. It is
considered as the modern human rights instruments.
Indian Constitutional Frame Work On Right To Criticize Government
In India the right to criticize the government policy and government is going along with
the freedom of speech and expression;

Article 42 Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief
The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity
Article 43 Living wage, etc., for workers
The State shall endeavor to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any
other way, to all workers agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of
work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural
opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an
individual or co-operative basis in rural areas.

Article 43A Participation of workers in management of industries

The State shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way, to secure the participation
of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organisation engaged in
any industry.