As with any sport that has its own set of rules, each country has its
constitution. These rules are in place to safeguard the supreme government's
structure. What is a game if there are no rules? There are no rules and no
order. Without rules, the line between humans and animals is razor-thin. Each
country has a constitution because they operate according to certain rules and
principles. The constitution is the fundamental law that not only establishes
the state's powers and responsibilities but also reflects the popular will.
"The Constitution is not merely a legal document; it is a vehicle for Life, and
its spirit will always be that of the Age." - Dr. Babasaheb R. Ambedkar.
The Constitution is a collection of principles outlining the duties and rights
of citizens, as well as the relationship between them. It encompasses all rules
that directly or indirectly affect the distribution or exercise of sovereign
power in a country. It is a collection of Fundamental Political Institutions in
its simplest form. The Constitution, in a nutshell, establishes the framework
for all forms of government. In a constitutional democracy, the state
establishes citizens' rights and duties in order for society to coexist
peacefully. Occasionally, however, the state imposes such duties on its citizens
that they violate the rights of marginalized groups in society.
As a result, the primary source of concern is the imprecise language used to
describe duties (as their interpretation is left at the discretion of the
State). As a result, 'citizen duties' are prone to be abused as a means of
imposing the State's or social majority's will on vulnerable segments of the
Without certain fundamental conditions of social life, no one can generally be
his or her best self. These are the necessary conditions for the individual's
and society's health. Only when individuals obtain and exercise their rights are
they able to develop their personalities and contribute their best services to
society. Rights and duties are inextricably linked and cannot be separated. Both
go hand in hand. These are the polar opposites of one coin. If the state grants
a citizen the right to life, it also imposes an obligation on him to avoid
dangers to his life and to respect the lives of others.
If I have the right to
work and earn money, it is also my responsibility to acknowledge the same right
in others. Only in the world of duties can rights be possessed. Each right is
accompanied by a corresponding obligation. When individuals fail to carry out
their duties properly, all rights become meaningless. "I can exercise my rights
only if others permit me to do so as well. I have a "right to life," and it is
the responsibility of others to respect that right and refrain from causing me
harm." Rights are not the exclusive property of a single person. These are
distributed equally to everyone.
This means that "others have the same rights as
I do, and it is my responsibility to ensure that they are exercised." Laski is
correct in asserting that a man's right is also his obligation. It is my
responsibility to respect the rights of others and to exercise my rights in the
public interest. Societies give birth to rights. As a result, while exercising
rights, we must always seek to advance social interests. Each of us has a
responsibility to use our rights to advance the general welfare of society.
to the state's role in defending and enforcing rights, it becomes a duty of all
citizens to be loyal to the state. They are responsible for adhering to state
laws and paying taxes honestly. Citizens should be prepared to defend the state
at all times. Thus, a citizen possesses both rights and obligations. He has
rights and fulfills his duties. The terms "Rights
" and "Duties
" are synonymous.
What Are Rights?
Every citizen in India has been granted the right to live in liberty. However,
these rights are enforceable only when another person intends to commit an act.
Additionally, citizens have a responsibility to protect the rights of other
members of society. As a result, duty and rights are inextricably linked. When
one person violates a duty, another person's right is violated. I'd like to
discuss the jurisprudence of rights and duties in this article, as well as their
relationship to one another.
To gain a better understanding of the concept of rights, let us examine the
various definitions of rights offered by prominent jurists.
John Austin - Austin stated that "a party has a right when another or others are
bound or obligated by law to do or abstain from doing something toward or in
regard to him." Jhering defined rights as "legally protected interests." The law
does not safeguard all of these interests. Men's interests conflict and the law
is the rule of justice, protecting only certain interests.
- defines a right as an interest that is protected by law. To be
interesting, it should not only be recognised, but also legally recognised.
Holland - Holland defined legal rights as the "capacity of one man to control,
with the consent and assistance of the state, the actions of others." He
construed the term in accordance with Austin's definition.
Additionally, the Supreme Court of India defined right as follows in State of
Rajasthan v Union of India [AIR (1977) SC 1361]: "In the strict sense, legal
rights are correlatives of legal duties and are defined as interests that the
law protects by imposing corresponding duties on others. However, in a broader
sense, the term 'right' refers to immunity from another's legal power; immunity
is an exemption from another's power in the same way that liberty is an
exemption from another's right. Immunity, in short, is not subjection."
The Components Of Legal Rights
According to Sir John Salmond, each legal right is comprised of five fundamental
- The Person of Inherence:
The subject matter is referred to as the Person of
Inherence. In simple terms, it refers to who has the right. There is no such
thing as a right without a subject. The person of inherent worth encompasses not
only an individual but also society as a whole.
- The Person of Incidence:
A person who is obligated to respect another person's
rights is referred to as the Person of Incidence. In general, this means that if
someone has violated his duty, the other party has a right against him.
- The Right's Contents:
The right's contents include the fact that the person is
obligated to perform an act.
The subject matter of a right is whatever the act or omission relates to; it is
the thing over which a right is exercised. This may be referred to as the
right's object or subject-matter. Although some writers argue that certain
rights are self-contained.
Salmond has also incorporated the fifth element, namely "title." He states that
"every legal right has a title, which refers to the facts or events by which it
was acquired from its previous owner."
Various Types Of Legal Rights
The Indian Constitution protects individuals' rights.
The Indian Constitution guarantees certain rights to its citizens, dubbed
Fundamental Rights, which are regarded as the most important rights. If any of
these rights are violated, the individual has the right to petition the Supreme
Court of India or a High Court for the purpose of enforcing the rights.
Court guarantees the following rights:
- Equal Rights (Article 14)
- Right to liberty (Article 19)
- Anti-Exploitation Rights (Article 23 and 24)
- Religious Liberty (Article 25)
- Death Penalty (Article 21)
- Constitutional Rights to Redress (Article 32)
Protection Of Legal Rights
A legal right may be enforced through a state-established Court of Law. In
general, a legal right is enforced through the award of damages in civil cases.
IF DAMAGES ARE NOT ENOUGH, THE OBJECT MAY BE RESTORED. Additionally, the court
may order specific performances. Alternatively, the court may grant an
injunction to enjoin a party from enforcing a legal right. The Specific Relief
Act, 1963, makes reference to the injunction law. It is a restraining writ that
prohibits a party from engaging in conduct that interferes with the plaintiff's
enjoyment of his legal rights.
What Are Duties?
In general, a duty is an obligation, while a right is a privilege. They may
exist as a matter of morality or law. For instance, a person may have a moral
obligation not to injure another's feelings. However, case law and statutes
establish the legal framework or parameters for determining when defamatory
communications constitute defamation and the procedures for seeking redress.
A duty is an obligation that a person owes to another person. If a person
violates his duty and infringes on another's right, he must bear the
consequences of the violation. Numerous distinguished jurists have also defined
duty in the following manner.
- A duty is an action that should be enforced by the state in order to
protect the people's rights and also to protect their interests.
- A duty is an action that every citizen is obligated to perform in
furtherance of the protection of other people's rights.
A duty can be classified into two types: moral and legal.
Duties Are Classified As Follows:
Principal and Secondary Responsibilities:
A primary duty that exists
independently of all other duties and is not dependent on them. On the other
hand, a secondary duty, also known as a remedial duty, is one that is contingent
upon other duties.
Positive and Negative Duties:
Positive duties are those that are prescribed by
law, while Negative duties are those that are prohibited by law.
Austin has classified duties into absolute and relative. Relative duties are
those that are related to a particular right, whereas absolute rights are those
that are unrelated to any particular right.
Austin has also been granted absolute rights:
- Self-regarding obligations, such as a duty not to commit suicide or to abstain
from drugs or alcohol, are also included.
- Duties to society, for example, a duty not to cause a nuisance.
- Duties owed to entities other than human beings, such as God or animals, birds,
and so forth.
- Obligation to the sovereign or state.
The Indian Constitution Enlarges The Scope Of Duties
Article 51A of India's constitution imposes certain obligations on every
citizen. According to Article 51 A of the Indian constitution, "it shall be the
duty of every Indian citizen.
- To uphold the Constitution's provisions and the National Flag and National
- To safeguard India's sovereignty and integrity;
- To adhere to the noble ideals of national conflict
- To protect the country and assist in national service when called upon
- To safeguard the country's national heritage;
- To promote and preserve the brotherhood of the Indian people.
- To safeguard women's dignity
- To safeguard the natural environment, which includes forests, lakes, rivers, and
- To safeguard public property and to avoid violence; To contribute to
the nation's development in all spheres.
A Comparative Analysis Of Fundamental Responsibilities And Fundamental Rights
Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties are both derived from the
Constitution, with the distinction being in the connotation of the terms
'Rights' and 'Duties'.
A fundamental right is guaranteed to all citizens and is enforceable by law; if
an individual's fundamental rights are violated, the individual has the right to
bring an action in court. Thus, an individual right to free speech, education,
and shelter, among other things, constitutes one's fundamental rights -
impregnable, untouchable, and unrestricted (subject to reasonable restraints in
the interest of national security, public order, decency, morality, etc). As a
result, one can assert that rights are legally recognisable.
On the other hand, fundamental duties are not legally enforceable. It is the
responsibility of both states and individuals to contribute to social welfare.
Thus, the duty to preserve one's heritage, to respect national symbols, to keep
one's surroundings clean, and so forth, is one that cannot be redressed in the
courts but is expected to be followed in good faith to ensure a well-functioning
society. Thus, it can be said that duty is moral in nature; there are no
consequences for failing to perform one's duty; however, if one's rights are
violated, there are legal consequences for infringing one's right to enjoyment.
Relationship Between Rights And Duties
The Indian constitution, as the country's supreme law, serves as a guide for all
its citizens by establishing the framework for various fundamental rights. Two
of these fundamentals are - each citizen's rights and responsibilities. "Every
right entails a responsibility; every opportunity entails an obligation; and
every possession entails a duty," as correctly stated. Which is why, whether
it's legal, political, social, or economic, or anything else, Rights and Duties
go hand in hand. The right to receive something entails the obligation to pay
The Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties provisions of the
constitution specify the state's fundamental obligations to its citizens, as
well as the citizen's duties and rights toward the state. Fundamental Rights are
nothing more than all citizens' fundamental human rights. These are universally
defined, regardless of birthplace, caste, gender, religion, or creed.
Fundamental Duties, on the other hand, are all citizens' moral obligations to
contribute to the promotion of patriotism and to uphold India's unity. The
constitution establishes six fundamental human rights: the right to equality,
freedom, and liberty from exploitation, the right to religious freedom, the
right to cultural and educational freedom, and the right to constitutional
Simply put, the right to vote entails the obligation to vote for a candidate
who, in your opinion, will bring the best out of this country. The right to live
in a healthy environment is accompanied by the responsibility to keep it clean
and healthy. The right to live freely is accompanied by the obligation to
refrain from interfering with the lives of others. Similarly, the right to drive
a vehicle entails the obligation to follow all applicable government rules and
regulations. The right to utilise various government services such as
transportation comes with the obligation to pay taxes under the applicable
The freedom of expression is constrained by defamation laws,
national security, and the need to maintain public order. These limitations
imply an individual's obligation to respect another's right. Religious liberty
implies an obligation to respect all religions equally. Similarly, all rights
imply some obligations in some way. The eleven fundamental duties enshrined in
the Indian Constitution include the obligation to respect the Constitution of
India, the National Flag, the National Anthem, and the national struggle for
freedom, as well as the obligation to safeguard India's sovereignty, unity, and
integrity, natural environment, rich heritage, composite culture, and public
property, as well as the obligation to promote brotherhood, scientific temper,
education, and collective activity.
Other responsibilities include the
following: staying informed about and participating in community issues; obeying
and respecting federal, state, and local laws; respecting the opinions and
beliefs of others; participating in community meetings; adhering to traffic
rules; paying taxes on time; and, most importantly, defending the country when
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "everyone owes
obligations to the community in which his or her personality can develop freely
and fully." International conventions anticipated the necessity and significance
of rights and obligations coexisting. Without complementary fundamental rights
and obligations, it is impossible to establish deep roots of Democracy in a
society. If everyone desires the privilege of rights but no one desires the
responsibility to fulfil obligations, government will devolve into anarchy.
Individual rights are analogous to pursuing benefits from development, while
duties are analogous to contributing to development. Individuals frequently
disregard their obligations in favour of pursuing only their rights.
to desiring fruits from the harvest but being unwilling to get one's hands dirty
during the cultivation process. If this is the case, no individual can survive
in a democratic nation. The concept of a "Responsible Citizen" exemplifies what
it means to be an individual who is responsible enough to carry out his
responsibilities while also exercising his rights. The beauty of a democratic
country is found in its balance of rights and responsibilities. This not only
contributes to the development of an individual's personality, but also to the
overall development of the country. In general, the relationship between rights
and obligations is quite straightforward. We live in an interdependent world.
"As much as self-sufficiency is and should be the ideal of man, interdependence
is and should be as well. Human beings are social creatures." Gandhi, Mahatma
Thus, it is self-evident that one's right is necessary for another's duty. For
someone to be able to exercise their rights, someone else must perform their
duties with the utmost obedience. Only then will we be able to protect our
rights. Because regardless of how good a constitution is, if we do not adhere to
every word of it, it is as good as any piece of paper. However, as correctly
stated, "Constitutional morality is not a natural emotion." It must be
Most jurisprudential discussions of the relationship between rights and duties
in the field of law begin with Wesley Hohfeld's analytical work, which argued
that rights confer both a legal advantage (as 'claim rights') and correlative
duties (Hohfeld, 1923).
According to Hohfeld, because exercising a right entails requiring someone to
act (or abstain from acting) in a particular manner, the right must also impose
some form of obligation. By applying Hohfeld to the context of human rights, we
can see that the state is charged with the correlative duty of a legal right.
For example, the ECHR right to life imposes a correlative negative duty on
states to abstain from taking individual lives (except in extremely limited
circumstances). Correlations such as this one between a claim right and a
corresponding duty serve as a litmus test for determining whether a legal
stipulation is a 'right in the strict sense' (Hohfeld, 1923).
Contemporary legal theory has developed a more nuanced account of rights than
one based solely on the legal relationships between rights and obligations.
Indeed, the majority of legal theorists now agree that viewing rights -
particularly human rights - as generating a 'cluster' of duties and obligations
is more useful. These can be used to prevent the state or private parties from
interfering with individual liberty, or they can be used to require action or
resource allocation to fulfil the right (Fredman, 2008). Additionally, these
contemporary accounts of rights draw on moral theory to convey the
justificational nature of human rights. Thus, human rights are viewed as the
moral and political justification for the imposition of rights-based
obligations, and as such, rights take precedence over obligations
(Eleftheriadis, 2008). In other words, duties exist because rights provide the
moral and political justification for their existence. Once human rights are
codified into law, this view holds that the logical precedence of rights over
duties is accepted.
In this light, it is critical to remember Dr B.R. Ambedkar's words in the
Constituent Assembly, that the fundamental unit of the Constitution is and will
always be the individual. The definition of 'Duties' and the debate that
surrounds it should include the obligations of those in positions of power.
Those in positions of power should not use it to exploit those over whom they
exercise control. Only after ensuring that everyone receives the full measure of
humanity, dignity, equality, and freedom guaranteed by the Constitution can we
ask them to perform their duties. Only after ensuring everyone's humanity,
dignity, equality, and liberty, as guaranteed by the Constitution, should the
burden of 'following the duties' be placed on citizens.
At this philosophical
level, the notion that 'duties precede rights' or that rights are derived from
duties (HC, 1998a, Straw; HC Committee, 1998b, Gummer) is incompatible with the
liberal proposition that rights must take precedence over duties. Asbjrn Eide,
President of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe's Framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, has argued that 'human
duties should be derived from human rights and their sole purpose should be to
strengthen the respect for and protection of human rights' (Eide, 1999). At the
level of legal theory, unless duties are viewed as correlatives of rights and
are explicitly linked to established rights, they will imply a rejection of
liberalism (respect for the individual and an insistence that state coercion
must be justified).
Thus, political arguments that duties come before rights can have real
implications for constitutional and legal structures. They are not merely
rhetorical statements. They are in direct opposition to the liberal values that
underpin human rights. In short, there is a real risk that a self-contained
discourse about duties that is unconcerned with rights will end up undermining
rights (whether we want it to or not). Thus, the remainder of this chapter will
consider how 'duties' can be expressed in a way that is consistent with a
liberal rights project.
- https://definitions.uslegal.com/d/duties-and-rights/ Monika,
- What Are Rights And Duties. 13 April 2019,
- Rights and
Prof. Narender Kumar
- Constitutional Law Of India, (Allahabad Law Agency, Haryana 8th Edn., 2011). Dr.
B.N. Tripathi, Jurisprudence Legal theory (Allahabad Law Agency, Haryana, 7th