'The scope of rights has expanded over the years.' Explain this statement.

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Apart from the Fundamental Rights, our Constitution and law offers a wider range of rights. This has expanded the scope of rights. Sometimes it leads to expansion in the legal rights that the citizen can enjoy. From time to time, the courts gave judgements to expand the scope of rights. Certain rights like right to freedom of press, right to information, and right to education are deprived from the Fundamental Rights.

(i) Now school education has become a right for Indian citizens. The governments are responsible for providing free and compulsory education to all children upto the age of 14 years.

(ii) Parliament has enacted a law giving the right to information to the citizens. This Act was made under the Fundamental Right to Freedom of thought and expression. We have a right to seek information from government offices.

(iii) Our Constitution provides many more rights, which may not be Fundamental Rights. For example, the right to property is not a Fundamental Right but it is a constitutional right. Sometimes the expansion takes place in what is called human rights. These are universal moral claims that may or may not have been recognised by law. But with the expansion of democracy all over the world, there is greater pressure on governments to accept these claims. Thus, the scope of rights has been expanding and new rights are evolving over time.

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