- Indian Constitution
- Fundamental Rights
- Some Rights one must know
- Consumer Rights in India
India is a diverse country with 28 states and 9 Union Territories. It is a democracy with an elaborate justice system. The power in the country is in the hands of the citizens. Every citizen should be informed about his or her constitutional rights. An informed citizen can act in the right way whenever faced with injustice.
Constitution of India is the ultimate law of government. Indian Constitution is a document that contains the details of powers, rights, structure, and duties of citizens. The Indian Constitution is the longest existing Constitution in the world. Dr. B.R Ambedkar was the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution. India became independent on 15 August 1947. From 1947 to 1950, the British law was in implementation until our Constitution was ready. The constituent assembly was formed in 1946, which drafted the Indian Constitution. The government of India accepted the Constitution on 26 January 1949, and it became effective on 26 January 1950. This day is celebrated as Republic Day in India. The parliament does not have the right to override it. According to our Constitution, India is a sovereign, secular, socialist, democratic republic. The words Secular and socialist were added after the emergency of 1976.
The Indian Constitution promises certain basic rights to all the citizens of India; these basic rights are known as fundamental rights, and every citizen is entitled to them. Part III of the Constitution contains these rights from article 12 to 35.
1. Right to equality
Article 14: It represents the idea of equality, which states that the state should not deny equality in front of law based on race, caste, or color.
Article 15: Article 15 states that the state shall not discriminate against anyone based on religion, caste, sex, place of birth.
Article 16: It states that every individual should have equal and just opportunity for employment and should not be denied that opportunity based on caste, religion, or color.
Article 17: This article was created to abolish untouchability and any practice of untouchability.
Article 18: It abolishes the practice of titles in India; only the military is prohibited from this law.
2. Right to freedom
The Right to freedom ensures that every citizen is a free citizen in our country. The Right is spread across article 19 to article 22. The Right to freedom guarantees that any individual should not be denied freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to form associations, freedom of profession, freedom of movement, or freedom to settle till they are according to the law.
Article 20: The article is for the protection of convicts, and ensures that no individual gets arbitrary and excessive punishment by the judiciary system.
Article 21: This article is about the protection of life and liberty. No individual should be kept deprived of living in liberty.
Article 22: This article acts as a safeguard against arbitrary detention or arrest. Every individual has the right to know why they have been arrested, and they have to right to ask for an attorney and a fair trial.
3. Right Against Exploitation
This Right has article 23 and article 24 under it. Article 23 bans human trafficking, slavery, and forced labor. Article 24 declares the employment of children under the age of 14 illegal.
4. Right to Freedom of Religion
Articles 25, 26, and 27 come under freedom of religion. The Right ensures that no person should be denied to follow his or her religious beliefs. No taxation on religious expenses and equal respect to all religions. This Right emphasizes the secular nature of our country.
5. Right to minorities
The Right to minorities safeguards minorities of India. It ensures that a minor community can conserve its practices, languages, and its scripts.
6. Right to Constitutional Remedies
The Right to constitutional remedies is enforced when a law is violated. The article defines the powers of the supreme court in the enforcement of fundamental rights.
The fundamental rights are the base of our democracy and act as the spinal cord of our Constitution. The enforcement of these rights ensures equitable development and opportunity for all citizens. These rights maintain the secularity of our country.
Some Indian rights one must know
1. Right to information act 2005
The parliament of India provided its citizens the Right to information in 2005, which gives the citizens of the country to request information from any public authority in India. The administration, according to this act, has to reply in less than 30 days. It also requires every public administration to computerize the records. The Right to Information Act is a replacement for the Freedom of Information Act 2002.
2. Right to education act 2009
The Right to education act or Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act explains the need for free and compulsory education for every child between the age of and 14. India is one of the 135 countries that has made education a fundamental right. RTE Act ensures that no child has to pay any expenses to get an education in our country in institutions of government. The act also makes it compulsory for children to attend school. Local authority and government have a responsibility to ensure admissions and attendance of students.
3. Right to Privacy
The Right to Privacy in India is derived from Article 21 (Protection of Life and Liberty) and ensures that every individual is entitled to maintain and conserve their Privacy. In many cases where police have harassed an individual with arbitrary visits, the court considered it a violation of the Right to Liberty. Any person interviewed has to be asked for his or her consent. The Right to Privacy in India and Article work together to maintain order and peace in the lives of citizens.
4. Right to Vote
The 61st Amendment of the Constitution lowered the age of voting from 21years to 18 years in 1988. Right to Vote in India ensures that no individual is denied the right to vote if they fulfill the age requirement (18 or above 18). The right to vote is a constitutional right and not a fundamental right. Only the rights written in part III of the Constitution are called fundamental rights.
5. Right to Public Service or Right to Public Service legislation
The Right to Public Service provides law which bounds public servants to deliver the duty of various public services under their authority. The Right offers a structure to the mechanism of punishing errant Public Servants. Madhya Pradesh became the first state to enforce this act in 2010. Bihar was the second state to enforce this law in 2011.
6. Right to Property
The Right to Property in India, when introduced in the constitution, was a part of the fundamental rights (article 31). It was then removed from the fundamental rights in 1978. The Right to Property protects the property of its citizens and gives total legality of the land to the landowner.
The Right to Property was removed by the 44th Amendment passed in 1978, which made it a constitutional right. This right became an obstacle in the development of India. The government was not able to redistribute land for the welfare of the farmers. Also, to build bridges or public structures, acquiring land became a kong negotiation between owners and the government. Thus the right was removed from the fundamental rights. Now Right to Property in India is a constitutional right.
Consumer Rights in India
1. Right to safety:
The right to safety ensures the security of consumers against malpractices done in the marketing of goods and services. The goods and products should meet the standard and long-term interests of the consumers. The consumers should check the quality of the goods before purchasing them. ISI, AGMARK are some of the quality standards the consumers should check for on the product to be purchased.
2. Right to be informed
This right means the customer should be informed about the contents, quantity, purity, standard, and price of the product. This right is enforced to stop unfair trade of goods. All the information relevant to a customer should be available about the product. The consumer should enquire thoroughly before making a decision. The availability of information, along with thorough research, saves a consumer from falling prey to marketing and selling tricks of brands.
3. Right to Choose
This right makes sure a consumer has access to multiple options for a good or service at a competitive price. This right ensures the prevention of monopolies in the market; in case a monopoly exists, the right makes sure that the prices and quality of standards are for the benefit of the consumer. The right is best exercised in a competitive market.
4. Right to be Heard
The Right to be heard means that the consumer complaints should be heard at appropriate grievance platforms.
5. Right to Seek redressal
The right to seek redressal means to be able to stand against unfair trade practices or exploitation. It means the right to a fair settlement if genuine injustice has occurred. Consumers can complain about their grievances. They can take the help of various consumer protection organizations to fight injustice.
6. Right to Consumer Education
Every citizen is entitled to acquire knowledge about the consumer rights of our country. These rights prevent consumer exploitation. An informed consumer can stand against the malpractices of organizations in the business of goods and services. The consumer should know how to exercise their consumer rights.