of the Indian Constitution
Provisions of the Indian Constitution that are applicable to
the business are summarized below
The Constitution is a comprehensive
one consisting of various provisions that affect every citizen of India.
Certain provisions of the Indian
Constitution are applicable to the business which ware summarized under the
I. Preamble of Constitution and Business:
The Indian Constitution starts with
a preamble, which outlines the main objectives of the Constitution. It may be
noted that though the preamble is not a part of the Constitution and is not
justifiable, yet its significance cannot be denied.
It serves as a key to the
Constitution. Whenever the judiciary is in doubt about any particular provision
of the Constitution it refers to the preamble to find out the real intentions
of the framers of the Constitution. The preamble reads:
―We, The People of India, have
solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, and Secular
Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens:
Justice, Social, economic and
political; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality
of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all Fraternity assuring
the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation;
In our Constituent Assembly this
Twenty-Sixth day of November 1949, we do hereby Adopt, Enact and Give to
ourselves this Constitution.‖
A perusal of the preamble shows that
it intends India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, and Democratic
Republic. It means that like other states India is a sovereign state and is
free to conduct its internal as well as external relations as it deems
The terms ‗Socialist‘ and ‗Secular‘
were added by the Forty Second Amendment and assert that the government must
adopt socialistic policies to ensure decent life for all Indian citizens. The inclusion
of word ‗Secular‘ likewise emphasises that the state must abstain from giving
preferential treatment to any religion.
Democratic government implies the
Government is to be carried on by the elected representatives of the people,
and the Government stays in office as long as it enjoys the confidence of their
elected representatives. Republic implies that the highest executive authority
in India shall vest in a person directly elected by the people. In other words,
there is no place for monarchical or fe udal system in India.
The preamble of the Indian
Constitution guarantees to its every citizen:
The Indian Constitution laid down
social, economic and political justice to every citizen in the country. It is,
therefore, the duly of the business organizations to provide social, economic
and political justice to every citizen.
(ii) Liberty of Thought, Expression, Belief, Faith and
This has been accepted in our
constitution that every citizen has liberty of thought, expression, belief,
faith and worship. According to this concept every business, organization
should have liberty of thought, expression etc., with everyone.
(iii) Equality of Status and of Opportunity:
According to this concept every businessman
should believe and give equal opportunity to others. This can be achieved
through eradication of poverty. This does not mean winning gap between the poor
II. Fundamental Rights and Business:
The Indian Constitution incorporates
a list of Fundamental Rights and guarantees their inviolability by executive
and legislative authorities. Part III (Articles 12-35) deals with the
Fundamental Rights granted to individuals. These rights were finalised by the
committee of the Constituent Assembly headed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The fundamental rights are superior
to ordinary laws; they can be altered only through constitutional amendments.
Originally, the fundamental Rights were seven but in 1978, through the 44th
amendment of the constitution, the right to property was removed from the list
of fundamental rights.
The six types of fundamental rights
of the constitution are as follows:
(1) Right to Equality (Articles 14 to 18):
Articles 14 to 18 deal with right to
equality. The Constitution clearly provides that the state shall not deny to
any person equality before law or the equal protection of law within the
territory of India. It cannot discriminate against any citizen on gro unds of
religion, race, caste, sex, and place of birth or any of them.
It means that every citizen has
access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment
etc., and is free to use wells, tanks, roads and places of public resort
maintained at state funds.
In the employment aspects, the
appointment to offices under the state also equal opportunity shall be provided
to all the citizens, and no person shall be denied employment on grounds of
religion, race, caste, sex, descent, and place of birth, residence or any of
Again, to make the right to equality
a reality; untouchability has been abolished and its practice in any form has
been made an offence punishable in accordance with law. According to this
articles the business should provide equality before law, social equality and
(2) Right to Freedom (Articles 19 to 22):
Articles 19 to 22 enumerates certain
positive rights conferred by the Constitution in order to promote the ideal of
liberty promised in the preamble. Six fundamental rights in the nature of
‗freedom‘ are guaranteed to the citizens in the article (originally there were
seven, but now right to property is deleted).
The six Freedoms are as follows:
(i) Freedom of speech and expression.
(ii) Freedom of peaceful assembly without
(iii)Freedom of association.
of movement throughout the territory of India.
(v)Freedom to reside or settle any part
of the territory.
to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
The right to freedom is also applied
equally in business. The businessmen can express their problems freely to the
government and can get a solution to it. Similarly, every citizen has the right
to choose any business or profession and can form unions, and conduct meetings.
(3) Right against Exploitation (Articles 23 to 24):
Articles 23 to 24 deal with the
right against exploitation and seek to prevent exploitation of weaker sections
of society by unscrupulous persons as well as the state. Article 23 prohibits
traffic in human beings, involuntary work without payment and other forms of
forced labour. Article 24 prohibits the employment of children below 14 years
of age in factories and hazardous occupations, employing women employees in
night shifts in factories etc.
The economic importance of right
against exploitation is
(i) The government takes necessary steps
to remove bonded labour.
(ii) The Factories Act helps to prevent
exploitation of women and children employees.
(iii) The owner of the factories are
guided to make provision for safety and welfare of the workers
and they compulsorily appoint a
labour welfare officer, it in the factory 500 01 more workers are employed.
(4) Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25 to 28):
Articles 25 to 28 deal with the
right to freedom of religion. Subject to public order, morality, health etc.,
the citizens enjoy freedom of conscience and are free to profess, practise and
propagate any religion.
However, the state can regulate or
restrict the economic, financial, political or other secular activities
associated with religious practices. No citizen can be compelled to pay any
taxes the proceeds of which are to be spent for the promotion or maintenance of
any particular religion or religious domination.
The Economic importance of the right
to freedom of religion is
(i) The government cannot spend tax
money for the development of any religion.
(ii) Nobody can be compelled to pay tax
for the welfare of any specific religion.
(iii)No one shall be forced to transfer
of property or any agreement of a business nature in the name
of a particular religion.
(5) Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29 to 30):
Article 29 stipulates that the State
shall not impose upon it any culture other than the community s own culture. A
minority community has the right to preserve its culture and religious
interests. Article 30 confers upon a minority community the right to establish
and administer educational institutions of its choice.
A notable feature of the educational
and cultural right is that unlike other fundamental rights, it is not subject
to any restriction, except that the State can make special provisions for t he
advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens.
The economic importances of cultural
and educational rights are:
(i) The state does not discriminate to
give economic assistance to the minority institutions.
(ii) The aided institution cannot refuse
admission to any of the citizens on the ground that he belongs to a particular
caste, religion, language or region.
(6) Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32):
This right has been described by Dr.
Ambedkar as the ‗heart and soul of the Constitution. In tact the mere
declaration of fundamental rights is useless unless effective remedies are
available for their enforcement. This has been ensured under Article 32 which
grants the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the
enforcement of the rights conferred by the Constitution.
Clause (2) of Article 32 confers
power on the supreme court to issue appropriate directions or orders to writs,
including writs in the name of habeas corpus, mandamas, prohibition,
quo-warrant and certiorari for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred
by Part III of the constitution.
Thus, the fundamental rights
enumerated in the constitution guarantee a number of economic and social lights
to the citizens. At the same time the state has the power to impose reasonable
restrictions on such rights in the interest of the people.