DPSP (Articles 36-51) form an integral part of the Indian constitution, embodying principles that promote the socio-economic rights of citizens, grounded in liberal, intellectual, socialist, and Gandhian ideals. While non-justiciable, the Constitution (Article 37) emphasizes that these principles are fundamental to governing the country, placing a moral obligation on the state to incorporate them into legislation. The actual force behind their implementation lies in political will and public opinion.
Several measures have been undertaken by the government to give effect to certain DPSPs, some examples of which are:
The enactment of the National Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, to provide free legal aid, as stipulated in Article 39-A.
The implementation of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts, establishing Panchayati Raj institutions, in accordance with Article 40.
The Minimum Wages Act, the Pension Act, and the Disability Act, among others, fulfilling the Right to Work and Public Assistance under Article 41.
The Maternity Benefits Act, which ensures just and humane conditions of work, as prescribed in Article 42.
Initiatives such as the National Food Security Act and Right to Education, supporting the Right to early childhood care and education, as stated in Article 45.
Measures facilitated by the National Committee for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, addressing the interests of backward classes, as envisioned in Article 46.
The separation of the judiciary from the executive, as advocated in Article 50, implemented through the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
The establishment of various boards, including the Khadi and Village Industries Board, Handloom Board, Coir Board, and Silk Board, to promote cottage industries in rural areas.
These examples demonstrate that the effective implementation of DPSPs is essential for fostering liberal and social values. DPSPs create an enabling environment for the complete enjoyment of fundamental rights. Dr. Ambedkar rightly believed that political democracy devoid of social and economic democracy lacks meaning.
While DPSPs are not enforceable, they guide the legislature in crafting laws for the betterment of the country. They serve as a constructive check on the legislature and aid the courts in evaluating the constitutional validity of laws.