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Article 32 of the Indian Constitution

Posted by Shubhojit on September 10, 2014 | Comment

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The Constitution of India has granted us several Fundamental Rights as well as


safeguards against their violations. The citizens get to exercise these rights with
an option of taking the help of judiciary in case their rights are violated. Since
enlistment of rights (no matter how meticulously they are explained in the
Constitution) is not always enough, the Right to Constitutional Remedies ensures
that these they are respected and valued.

Article 32 of the Indian Constitution The Concept & Purpose


According to Article 32, when an individual feels that he has been unduly
deprived of his fundamental rights, he can move the Supreme Court and seek
justice. Since the apex court is considered the protector and guarantor of the
Fundamental Rights, it is given the authority to issue directions or orders for the
enforcement of any of the rights conferred by the Constitution.
Under Article 32, the Parliament can also empower any other court to exercise
the power of Supreme Court within the local limits of its jurisdiction. The right
to constitutional remedies guaranteed by this Article cant be suspended unless
by some constitutional amendments. To sum up the benefits of Article 32 for
citizens, it must be said that the law provides an assured remedy for enforcing
the Fundamental Rights as the person can directly approach the Supreme Court
without having to follow a lengthier process of moving lower courts.

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Role of Supreme Court and High Courts


Apart from the Supreme Court, the High Courts also have the power to protect
fundamental rights. Like the apex court, they also can issue writs for the
enforcement of fundamental rights of the citizens. In case of rights violation, the
both courts can issue five different writs Certiorari, Habeas Corpus, Mandamus,
Prohibition, and Quo Warranto.
Under Certiorari writ, the apex court or the high courts can quash the order
passed by a lower court. It happens when a court passes an order acting against
the natural justice or theres an error of judgment. The Habeas Corpus writ is
issued to prevent arbitrary arrest and detention. Under this writ, the detained
person must be produced before a court. The Mandamus (meaning command)
is issued mainly for the public servants who are accused of dereliction of duty.
To prevent inferior courts from overstepping their jurisdiction, the Prohibition writ
is issued by the Supreme Court or the High Courts. Quo warranto (meaning by
what right) is issued to determine the legality of a persons claim to a public
office. In cases of usurpation, the courts can announced the office to be vacant.
While Supreme Court can issue writs only in case of infringement of a
fundamental right mentioned in the part III of the Constitution, the High Courts
power to issue writs extends to cases of breaching of ordinary law. Hence, High
Courts enjoy a larger ambit. Alternatively, their power of issuing writs is limited
to their jurisdiction, which is not the case with the Supreme Court.
Amendments to Article 32
The 42ndAmendment Act had included Anti-Freedom clauses in Article 32. It
was the time of internal emergency when such an amendment was passed to
curtail both directly and directly the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the
High Courts to review the enforcement of fundamental rights. Immediately after
the emergency was revoked, the Article 32A was repealed by passing the
43rdamendment of the Indian Constitution. Following the amendment, the
Supreme Court regained power to quash state laws. The amendment also
empowered the High Courts to question constitutional validity of Central Laws.
Limitations of Article 32
During certain circumstances, the privileges that citizens ought to get under
Article 32 are negated. The right to constitutional remedies is denied when the
President of India proclaims emergency. According to Article 352, the
fundamental rights to the citizens remain suspended. Similarly, the Article 358
gives Parliament the authority to curtail the rights guaranteed by the
Constitution.
Is Supreme Court Upholding the Spirit of Article 32?
There had been instances wherein the petitions under Article 32 were not
entertained by the Supreme Court. Leading news dailies have pointed out the
fact that grievances under this Article are listened to only when they come from
celebrities or when incidents are reported in public. Whats even more alarming
is the substantial decline in Article 32 petitions, which can be attributed to the
courts reluctance to entertain such petitions