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Constitutional Morality

Author: Pyanshu Singla

Designation: 5th-year student, BA.LL.B. (Hons.), Sushant University (Erstwhile Ansal University) Gurugram, Haryana



Law evolves through morals. De Jure facto, morals differ among various interests of people. Thereby law is distinguished from morals. However, the Indian Constitution has based on morality. Also, we are no stranger to the fact that the “Law” has been categorized into various groups namely Natural Law, Normative Law, and Positivist Law. In this categorization, only natural law has been evolved through nature For example ‘law of gravity’ and other laws have been made by humans. Therefore we are not wrong in saying that constitutional principles based on moral values. For instance, the fundamental principle of indiscrimination among people on the basis of race, religion, place of birth, gender, or culture. This principle-based on the moral value that every human is equal as the nature of birth is the same, every human takes birth from the womb of the mother and therefore should not be discriminated against on various inappropriate grounds.

The Constitution is the first step towards bringing coordination among conflicting interests of individuals as the human mind shares different cognitive strengths, the way of thinking differs based on various situations, conditions, and circumstances. The conflicting scenario is the cause to bring the Constitution into force. The existence of the Constitution is based on morals.

Imagine a situation where there would be no morals i.e. humans could not distinguish between good and bad out of instinct then an individual would be thirsty for the blood of another. We can say that humans would still be social animals if there were no realization of morals. The civilized society came into existence by putting certain restrictions on human actions. The standards define the restrictions are known as morals. For example Right to life is the fundamental right available to people however any individual could not harm or injure the life of another. The restriction of not causing harm to another’s life evolves through morality. The moral ensures that in the case of self-defense, injury can be caused to a person causing harm. In the case of defending oneself is the principle of moral value because one has a natural right to live his life even causing suicide is a sin in eyes of God.

Secondly, the administrative phenomenon has been added to the Indian Constitution to ensure that the conflicting interests of individuals could get resolved on time and in an appropriate manner. For example,

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) defines the directions to authorities concerned in way of making policies for the whole state. DPSPs are based on socialistic, liberal intellectual, and Gandhian principles. Gandhian movement of Non- cooperation is based on the non-supporting principle as that was the need of an hour. Aiming for self-governance, the Indian National Congress (INC) withdrew its support from the British reforms.

Accordingly morality changes with the demand of the situation. For example, the policy of globalization makes it mandatory to keep healthy relations with foreign nations. DPSP suggests those standards which remain consistent in every possible situation. For example, Article 39 provides for adequate means of livelihood even in the case of an emergency declared by the central government, the means of livelihood are being provided to citizens. The Gandhian principle of self-governance has been extended to Panchayati raj institutions by providing constitutional status under the 73rd constitutional amendment act passed in 1992. The modern principle is known by the local self-government where they enjoy independent powers and responsibilities.


Rule of law is one of the elements of constitutional morality. It provides the direction to follow. As we know that India is following the common law legal system where the rule applies that In case of similar facts and circumstances, Judges can apply the reasons of precedential judgments.

However, the rule is not binding on the judiciary. If somehow judiciary finds some unfilled gap in the administration of justice even the facts and circumstances would be the same but it is quite possible that expectations of people may differ. For example, the concept of ‘triple talaq’ has been made unconstitutional on 22nd August 2017 by the Supreme Court on the grounds of Article 25 of the Indian constitution which propounds that an individual is free to practice and propagate any religion subject to public order and morality. In the case of unwritten Muslim personal law, it has been observed by the Supreme Court that the practice of ‘triple talaq’ was immoral in the purview of the present context where the codified laws play a major role in governing people and situations. Thereby pronouncing talaq three times could not be considered appropriate for the dissolution of marriage.

Individual liberty is another element of constitutional morality. ‘Liberty’ is the supreme element given facing each new turn of life. Liberty cultivates human actions, goals, and behavior. It provides him/her the ability to lead a step towards a righteous or unrighteous path and also makes him/her capable of facing obstacles. The lessons learned by him/her during the journey of life culminate him/her into an independent person. In today’s era of life, Independency is the core substance to live happily and peacefully. Thereby the principle of Democracy has been evolved where people can govern themselves.

Choice differs as per the needs and desires of an individual. In a democratic nation, an individual has the right to freedom of choice. Article 19 of the Indian Constitution provides for freedom to profess any profession, freedom to indulge in n occupation, trade, or business, freedom to reside or settle in any part of the territory, freedom to use words accordingly and to express thoughts i.e. freedom of speech and expression.










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