In this article, we will discuss Utility of Directive Principles. So, let’s get started.
Utility of Directive Principles
In spite of the above criticisms and short comings, the Directive Principles are not an unnecessary appendage to the Constitution. The Constitution itself declares that they are fundamental to the governance of the country. According to L.M, Slnghvi, an eminent jurist and diplomat, “the Directives are the life giving provisions of the Constitution. They constitute the stuff of the Constitution and its philosophy of social justice”, M.C. Chagla, former Chiet Justice of India, is of the opinion that, “if all these principles are fully carried out, our country would indeed be a heaven on earth. India would then be not only democracy in the political sense, but also a welfare state looking after the welfare of its citizens””. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had pointed out that the Directives have great value becausc they lay down that the goal of Indian polity is ‘economic democracy’ as distinguished from ‘political democracy’. Granville Austin opined that the Directive Principles are ‘aimed at furthering the goals of the social revolution or to foster this revolution by establishing the conditions necessary for its achivement. Sir B.N. Rau, the constitutional advisor to the Constituent Assembly, stated that the Directive Principles are intended as ‘moral precepts for the authorities of the state. They have at least an educative value’. According to M.C. Setalvad, the former Attorney General of India, the Directive Principles, although confer no legal rights and create no legal remedies, are significant and useful in the following ways:
1. They are like an “Instrument of Instructions’ or general recommendations addressed to all authorities in the Indian Union. They remind them of the basic principles of the new social and economic order, which the Constitution aims at building.
2. They have served as useful beacon-lights to the courts. They have helped the Courts in exercising their power of judicial review, that is, the power to determine the constitutional validity of a law.
3. They form the dominating background to all State action, legislative or executive and also a guide to the courts in some respects.
4. They amplify the Preamble, which Solemnly resolves to secure to all Citizens of India justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.
The Directives also play the following roles:
1 They facilitate stability and continuity in domestic and foreign policies in political, economic and social spheres in spite of the changes of the party in power.
2. They are supplementary to the fundamental rights of the citizens. They are intended to fill in the vacuum in Part IIl by providing for social and economic rights.
3. Their implementation creates a favourable atmosphere for the full and proper enjoyment of the fundamental rights by the citizens. Political dermocracy, without economic democracy, has no meaning.
4. They enable the opposition to exercise influence and control over the operations of the government. The Opposition can blame the ruling party on the ground that its activities are opposed to the Directives.
5. They serve as a crucial test for the performance of the government. The people can examine the policies and programmes of the government in the light of these constitutional declarations.
6. They serve as common political manifesto. ‘A ruling party, irrespective of its political ideology, has to recognise the fact that these principles are intended to be its guide, philosopher and friend in its legislative and executive acts.