Paragraph on ‘Fundamental Rights’!
A Fundamental Right may be defined as an interest protected by the higher law of the country.
It finds its sanction in the constitutional provisions that lay down the doctrine of the limited police power of a democratic State. It follows that fundamental rights have a sanctified place in the basic law of the land that prohibits unreasonable interference of State in their exercise or enjoyment.
The State is authorised to impose reasonable restrictions in the name of national interest, but it is left to the judiciary to see whether those restrictions, even though amounting to their curtailment, are due or not. In this way, judicial review comes into the picture.
An exhaustive definition of the term Fundamental Rights, with its particular reference to the Indian Constitution, is thus furnished by Basu. “An interest which is protected by law and is enforceable in the courts of law.”
While an ordinary legal right is protected and enforced by the ordinary law of the land, a Fundamental Right is one, which is protected and guaranteed by the written Constitution of the State.
These are called ‘fundamental’ because while ordinary rights may be changed by the Legislature in its ordinary process of legislation, a Fundamental Right, being guaranteed by the Constitution, cannot be altered by any process shorter than that required for amending the Constitution itself.
Nor can it be suspended or abridged except in the manner laid down in the Constitution itself. On the other hand, the Fundamental Rights being guaranteed by the fundamental law of the land, no organ of the State—executive, legislative, or judicial, can act in contravention of such rights, and any act which is repugnant to such rights must be void. Once the Constitution is regarded as the supreme law of the land and the powers of all the other organs of government are considered as limited by provisions, it follows that not only the Legislature but also the Executive and all administrative acts which contravening provisions of the Constitution must, similarly, be void.