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Indian Constitution

Fundamental Rights – Right to Freedom

The charter of rights in Part III (Article 12 to 35) of the Constitution of India protects the fundamental rights, the basic and civil liberties of the people of India. The fundamental rights are applicable to all the citizens of the country, irrespective of their religion, race, caste, creed, place of birth or gender. The fundamental rights are protected by the judiciary of India and in case of their violation, a person can approach the Supreme court directly for justice as per Article 32 of the constitution. However, here we shall discuss the right to freedom.

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Fundamental Rights – Right to Freedom

The purpose of the Fundamental rights for Indians is to overturn the inequalities of pre-independence social practices. The fundamental rights are essential for the development of the personality of every individual and to preserve human dignity.

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Right to Freedom

The articles 19, 20, 21A and 22 contain the provisions of the right to freedom. As per Article 19, the following six freedoms are guaranteed to every person of the country:

1. Freedom of speech and expression

Every person has freedom of speech and expression. However, the  State can inflict a restriction on this freedom in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of the country, for the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, in relation to the contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offense.

2. Freedom to assemble

Every person has the freedom to assemble peacefully without arms. However, the State can levy restrictions in the interest of public order and the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

3. Freedom to form associations or unions or co-operative societies

The State can enforce restrictions on such freedom in the interest of public order, morality and the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

4. Freedom to move freely

An Indian citizen has the freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India. But, the government can impose restrictions on this right only in the interest of the general public.

5. Freedom to reside and settle

Citizens of India have the freedom to reside anywhere in the country. However, in the interest of the general public or for the protection of the scheduled tribes the State may impose certain restrictions.

6. Freedom to practice any profession or to carry on any business, occupation or trade

Every person can carry any business or practice any profession provided it is not dangerous or immoral. Also, professional or technical qualifications must be acquired before practicing any profession or carrying on any trade.

right to freedom

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  • Article 20 of the constitution gives protection in respect of conviction for offenses.
  • Article 21 of the constitution gives Right to life, personal liberty and Right to die with dignity.
  • Also, Article 21A gives a right to education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years.
  • Article 22 gives protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.

The government may restrict these freedoms in the interest of the independence, sovereignty, and integrity of the country and in the interest of morality and public order. However, it cannot suspend the right to life and personal liberty.

Right to Information (RTI)

Article 19(1) of the Constitution has given the fundamental status to the right to information in 2005. Under this Article, every citizen has freedom of speech and expression. Also, he/she has the right to know how the government works, what roles does it play and what are its functions.

Solved Example on Right to Freedom

Explain the six fundamental rights.

Ans. The six fundamental rights are:

  1. Right to Equality: It includes equality before the law, forbiddance of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, creed, place of birth or gender and equality of employment.
  2. Cultural and Educational Right: These are for the conservation of the cultural practices of the citizens and the right to education.
  3. Right to freedom: It includes freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union or cooperatives, movement, and residence. It also includes the right to practice any profession or occupation.
  4. Right against exploitation: It prohibits all forms of forced and child labor and human trafficking.
  5. The Right to freedom of religion: It includes freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion, freedom to manage religious affairs, and freedom from religious instructions in certain educational institutes.
  6. Right to constitutional remedies: It states that the citizens have a right to a constitutional remedy for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
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