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Part VI Rights—Structure and Scope, Ch.36 Directive Principles of State Policy

Gautam Bhatia

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution

Edited By: Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla, Pratap Bhanu Mehta

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 26 February 2024

This chapter examines the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs) and their controversial place in the Indian Constitution. It first reviews the origins of DPSPs and the notion that fundamental rights must be interpreted in light of the DPSPs. It then considers the role played by the DPSPs in judicial inquiries by focusing on the Indian Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in the aftermath of the Re Kerala Education Bill case. After discussing the DPSPs as markers of reasonableness, the chapter explores whether it is possible to ground the DPSPs within a coherent intellectual vision, one that is justified both constitutionally and philosophically. It also analyses the Supreme Court’s evolving understanding of the place of Part IV within the constitutional scheme, and concludes by outlining the distinct roles played by DPSPs in judicial interpretation.

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