At the time of national emergency 1975, The Indira Gandhi government passed the 42nd amendment of the constitution. It was the most controversial amendment and it called as mini-constitution because they took several changes like changes in the preamble, the directive principle of state policy, powers of the supreme court and high court and it also added Fundamental duties in our constitution under Article 51(a) in part IV A of our constitution.

Fundamental duties are adopted by the constitution of USSR, In 1976 Congress party set up Sardar Swaran Singh Committee to give recommendations on fundamental duties because it was the need of country during an emergency. The committee suggested several recommendations on duties but parliament added only 10 fundamental duties and some recommendations of the committee were not accepted such as; duty to pay taxes, parliament may impose punishment for not obey to any of the duty, etc.

These duties are originally 10 in number but after 86th amendment of the constitution 11th fundamental duty was added on which give the duty of parents to provide an opportunity for education to their children between the age of (6 and 14) years.


It shall be a duty to every citizen of India:

  1. To obey the constitution of India and respect its ideal and institutions, National Flag and National Anthem.
  2. To love and follow the great ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
  3. To maintain and safeguards the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
  4. To safeguard the country and provide national service when called upon to do so.
  5. To promote peace and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
  7. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife by giving full efforts and to have compassion for living creatures.
  8. To develop the scientific method, humanism and spirit of inquiry and reform.
  9. To safeguard public property and to avoid violence.
  10. To strive through excellence in all spheres of individual and make a collective activity that makes the nation constantly rises to a higher level of endeavour and achievements.
  11. To provide an opportunity for education to their children by the parents or guardian between the age of (6 and 14) years. [This duty was added by the 86th amendment act, 2002 of the constitution].


These duties provide both moral and civic kind of framework and it applies only to the citizen of India and not to aliens and these are the non-enforceable and non-justiciable in any court of law, that’s why no court can enforce them on any citizen particularly for breach of duty But, if the state can make any statutory law to prohibit any act or conduct that is pursuance in violation of any duty then the court would be upheld that it as a reasonable restriction on the relevant fundamental right for example; burning of the national flag is an offence under the prevention of insult to national honour act 1971.


In our constitution, various rights can be given to citizen and they are enjoying it be a great pleasure but, every right comes with a corresponding duty and these duties are also available that people do not forget their responsibilities towards nation and helps the legislature to make that type of law which can create reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights.

It gives a sense of discipline and commitment among the society, at the same time act as a constant reminder for the citizen that not exceed their limits of enjoying their rights and not infringing another right.

It also helps us to provides a set of humanitarian goals such as protection of environment and wildlife, safeguards of human rights like child education, the abolition of discrimination, promotion of brotherhood among people etc that leads to make a developed and welfare state.


  • Some of the duties are so technical in nature and made difficult to understand by a common man.
  • These duties are not properly implemented due to their non-enforceability nature and because of this, it only acts as a study material of moral values but not active in real life.
  • Another assumption was also that fundamental duties restrict the fundamental rights of the citizen.
  • Many critics also say that this list of Fundamental duties is not exhaustive because it not covers all other points such as Duty to cast vote (Basic in the democratic country), Duty to pay taxes (also recommended by Swaran Singh committee), and family planning etc.
  • In our country practical aspects, the people give less importance to fundamental duties than rights but it also equally important that leads to a peaceful society so, government give efforts to spread their awareness and make the necessary step to strengthen their implementation and by this a radical change in our society that change the life of every individual.



In this case, Supreme court frame guidelines and held that it is the duty of central government under Article 51A (g) to give instruction for every educational institution to organize a teaching lesson at least one hour a week on the protection and improvement of Natural Environment, government provide books free of cost on the same subject in all the educational institutes and organization and also They should organize “keep the city clean” week at least once in a year.



It is also known as National Anthem case, Supreme Court held that citizen is bound to show respect to the national anthem in any occasion whenever it is played or sung, the only exemption is given to disable a person. The legal compulsion is carried under Article 51A (a) and under section 3 of prevention of insult to National honour Act, 1971.



In this case, the petitioner has challenged the constitutional validity of Bombay animal (preservation on Gujrat amendment) act 1994 on the ground that it was violative of their right to carry on business under Article 19(1)(g) Because the state on the basis of this act, had prohibited the slaughter of cows and his progeny. Supreme Court held that the ban imposing on slaughtering is a reasonable restriction to their business and it is for the welfare of public and valid restriction under Article 48 (Directive principle) and under Article 51A(g) (fundamental duty).



Fundamental duties are adopted in our constitution to limit the power of fundamental rights by the state in the name of reasonable restriction and it is also a right step for a democratic government to create a disciplinary society because in this, all power vested in hands of people, and it also guides some moral, ethical, cultural, harmonies, sense of brotherhood, humanitarian code of conduct which helps the citizen to reach a happy and safe society.



  • Dr. J.N. Pandey, Constitutional Law of India (Central Law Agency, Allahabad, 55th edn., 2018).
  • The Constitution of India.


[1] (1983) 1 SCC 471.

[2] AIR 2018 SC 357.

[3] AIR 2006 SC 212.


Ideal Institute of Management and Technology affiliated to GGSIPU/ 2nd Year/ Law Student

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