Socioeconomic rights in the Indian constitution: toward a broader conception of legitimacy

Abeyratne, Rehan and Jain, Dipika (2014) Socioeconomic rights in the Indian constitution: toward a broader conception of legitimacy. Brooklyn Journal of International Law, 39 (1): 1. pp. 1-71. ISSN 0740-4824

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The Indian Constitution contains “Directive Principles of State Policy” that require the state to pursue socioeconomic justice. In contrast to justiciable fundamental rights, these principles are explicitly non-justiciable, and the Constitution’s framers intended them to guide elected representatives towards improving socioeconomic conditions. However, the Indian Supreme Court has held that the right to life in Article 21 of the Constitution should be read more broadly to encompass a “right to live with dignity.” The Court has relied on this interpretation to make many Directive Principles justiciable, including rights to food and education. Much scholarship has been devoted to the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in this area, focusing mostly on the judiciary’s role in democratic government. These works either criticize the Court for “judicial activism” or applaud it for proactively defending the rights of the poor and marginalized.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Economic and Social Rights | Socioeconomic Rights | Indian Constitution | Directive Principles
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Gena Veineithem
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2022 04:20
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 04:22
Official URL:


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