Difference between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy are given below:
The Constitutional balance and harmony between fundamental rights and Directive Principles of State policy is itself an aspect of the basic structure of the Constitution. There is inter-relationship between them.
The provisions contained in Part-IV (Directive Principles of State Policy) shall not be enforceable by any Court. But the principles laid down are nevertheless fundamental.
Chandrachud J. observed: “Our Constitution aims at bringing about a synthesis between Fundamental Rights’ and the ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’, by giving to the former a pride of place and to the latter a place of permanence. Together, not individually, they form the core of the Constitution. Together, not individually, the constitute its true conscience.”
In Minerva Mills vs. Union of India (AIR 1980), the Supreme Court held that the Constitution is founded on the bed-rock of the balance between Part-Ill and Part-IV. To give absolute primary to one over the other is to disturb the harmony of the Constitution which is the essential feature of the basic structure.
The Supreme Court held in several cases that basically Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles are co-equal. One is not to be subordinated to the other. Between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles, there is no repugnancy. Generally the repugnancy arises between the legislation and fundamental-rights, and the statutes which are against the fundamental rights are struck down. But there is no such incidence so far arisen in case between the fundamental rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy. They are complementary to each other. It is not necessary to sacrifice one for another.
Principles, there is no repugnancy. Generally the repugnancy arises between the legislation and fundamental rights, and the statutes which are against the fundamental rights are struck down. But there is no such incidence so far arisen in case between the fundamental rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy. They are complementary to each other. It is not necessary to sacrifice one for another.
“The Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles constitute the conscience’ of our Constitution. The purpose of the Fundamental Rights is to create an egalitarian society, to free all citizens from coercion or restriction by society and to make liberty available for all. The purpose of the Directive Principles is to fix certain social and economic goals for immediate attainment by bringing about a non-violent social revolution.
Through such a social revolution the Constitution seeks to fulfill the basic needs of the common man and to change the structure of our society. It aims at making the Indian masses free in the positive sense. Without faithfully implementing the Directive Principles, it is not possible to achieve the Welfare State contemplated by the Constitution.”
Ray J. observed: “The Directive Principles are also fundamental. They can be effective if they are to prevail over Fundamental Rights of a few in order to subserve the common good and not to allow economic system to result to the common detriment.”
While disposing Akhil Bharatiya Soshit Karmachari Sangh vs. Union of India (1981) 1 SCC 246, Chinnappa Reddy J. observed: “The difference between the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles lies in this that the Fundamental Rights are primarily aimed at assuring political freedom to the citizens by protecting them against excessive State action while the Directive Principles are aimed at securing social and economic freedoms by appropriate State action.
The Fundamental Rights are intended to foster the ideal of a political democracy and to prevent the establishment of authoritarian rule but they are of no value unless they can be enforced by resort to courts. So they are made justifiable.
However, it is also evident that notwithstanding their great importance, the Directive Principles cannot in the very nature of things be enforced in a court of law. But, it does not mean that Directive Principles are less important than Fundamental Rights or that they are not binding on the various organs of the State.”
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said: “In my judgment, the directive principles have a great value, for they lay down that our ideal is economic democracy. Because we did not want merely a parliamentary form of government to be instituted through the various mechanisms provided in the Constitution, without any direction as to what our economic ideal, as to what our social order ought to be, we deliberately included the Directive Principles in our Constitution.”