The Constitution and Social Rights

Shylashri Shankar

in Scaling Justice

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780195693201
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081998 | DOI:
The Constitution and Social Rights

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This chapter covers the legal framework of social rights and periodizes the way in which the Apex Court approached these rights from 1950 onwards. The constitution makers debated two issues: the legal position of social rights and the agency that would deliver these rights. A Constitution that protects social rights might threaten all constitutional rights by weakening their central function of preventing the abuse of state power. Supreme Court judges treated social rights as part of the directive principles, subservient to fundamental rights in the first three decades after independence. By the late 1970s, the court's position swung towards the view that harmony and balance between the directive principles and fundamental rights was a basic feature of the Constitution. The approach of seeing judges as embedded negotiators provides one way of analysing the post-emergency judgments in social rights.

Keywords: social rights; Apex Court; Constitution; constitutional rights; state power; Supreme Court; judges

Chapter.  4649 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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