Constitution Article 32 – UPSC Prelims

  • Article 32: It falls under Part III of the Constitution that includes the fundamental rights of individuals. It allows an individual to approach the Supreme Court if he or she believes that his or her fundamental rights have been violated or they need to be enforced.
  • Significance of Article 32: During the Constituent Assembly debates in 1948, Dr B R Ambedkar had called Article 32 as the soul and heart of the Constitution.
  • Types of Writs:
    • Habeas corpus (related to personal liberty in cases of illegal detentions and wrongful arrests)
    • Mandamus — directing public officials, governments, courts to perform a statutory duty;
    • Quo warranto — to show by what warrant is a person holding public office;
    • Prohibition — directing judicial or quasi-judicial authorities to stop proceedings which it has no jurisdiction for; and
    • Certiorari — re-examination of an order given by judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative authorities.
  • Violation of fundamental rights? When it comes to violation of fundamental rights, an individual can approach the High Court under Article 226 and Supreme Court directly under Article 32. Article 226, however, is not a fundamental right like Article 32.
  • Supreme Court Observations on Article 32:
    • Romesh Thappar vs State of Madras(1950): The Supreme Court has observed that Article 32 provides a guaranteed remedy for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
    • Jabalpur vs S S Shukla (1976): During the Emergency, in Additional District Magistrate, the Supreme Court had said that the citizen loses his right to approach the court under Article 32.
Article 32 not Absolute:
  • Article 33 restricts the application of Article 32 in order to maintain law and order and discipline among security forces.
  • The Court has upheld 50th Amendment Act to Article 33, which delegated rule making power to the executives in order to ensure proper discharge of duty.
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