Fundamental rights are incorporated in Part III of the Constitution of India. They are
- Art 14 : Right to equality and the right to equal protection of laws.
- Art 15 : Right not to be discriminated on ground of religion, race sex and place of residence.
- Art 16 : Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
- Art 17 : Abolition of untouchability.
- Art 18 : Abolition of titles.
- Art 19 : Freedom of Speech, Assembly, Association, free movement throughout India.
- Art 20 : Protection against double jeopardy and testimonial compulsion.
- Art 21 : Protection of life and personal liberty.
- Art 22 : Protection against arrest and detention.
- Art 23 : Protection against human traffic and forced labour.
- Art 24 : Protection of children from employment in hazardous tasks.
- Art 25 : Freedom of conscience.
- Art 26 : Freedom to manage religious affairs.
- Art 27 : Freedom from tax intended to promote any religion.
- Art 28 : Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions.
- Art 29 : Protection of interests of minorities.
- Art 30 : Right of minorities to establish educational institution.
- Art 31 A : Saving of laws providing acquisition of estates.
- Art 31 B : Protection of certain laws which violate fundamental rights.
- Art 31 C : Saving of laws giving effect to certain directive principles.
- Art 32 : Right to approach the Supreme Court.
Any action by the state or its agencies or instrumentalities or institutions which carry out by delegation any of the functions of the state which contravenes fundamental rights granted under the constitution shall to the extent it contravenes any of the fundamental rights shall stand invalid and unenforceable. The courts have been very liberal in invalidating the actions which offend fundamental right and have been standing steadfast in favour of the rights of the citizens. If at all there is any chapter which has caught the imagination of the people it is the chapter on the fundamental rights. The fundamental rights have infused in the people, a strength to stand against the over powering executive and fight openly for their causes. The fundamental rights have given to the constitution a reason for its wide applicability.
Fundamental Rights will have to be considered each by itself. If any action violates one fundamental right it shall not be tacked to another fundamental right nor it shall be read conjointly with other fundamental rights which also may appear to have been offending. If a person is taken into custody under the law governing preventive detention it shall not be questioned also as violative of the freedom of speech. In later judgments, the supreme court favoured the contention that any action which is questioned as violative of a fundamental right shall comply the provisions contained in other fundamental right as well. If an editor is detained on ground of public security he can’t complain that by reason of detention he is deprived of the free speech. That apart, as of now, such detained journalist is permitted to grant interview to the press on matters other than public security. Since, freedom of speech includes freedom not to express or speak, the complaint of Jahovah Witnesses that they shall not be forced to sing National Anthem was upheld, if they instead of singing stand up with reverence while the National Anthem is sung. The contention that Jahovah Witnesses have a conscientious objection to sing National Anthem was overruled since it is the citizen’s duty to respect National Anthem. While dealing with the question where multifarious fundamental rights are involved, it is better if the rule of predominance is applied.
A Company is not a citizen of India for purposes of Art.19 of the Constitution. Company being a corporate sole it shall be represented by the persons authorised. Moreover, there should be a clear averment in the application filed for enforcement of fundamental rights as to how the breach of fundamental rights harm the persons who constitute the company and its management.
Though fundamental rights are enforceable by foreign citizens they are entitled to the protection of human rights.
[Ref.: A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras, 1950 SCR 80 and Menaka Gandhi v. Union of India, AIR 1978 SC 597; Pandurang Kashinath Moore v. Union of India, AIR 1959 Bombay 134; Olgatevis v. Ban. Mun. Corpn., AIR 1986 SC 180; State Trading Corporation of India v. The CTO, AIR 1963 SC 1811; Ratilal Panchand v. State of Bombay, 1954 SC 346.]