Wednesday, August 4, 2010

COMMENTS ON ART 32 & 226

Articles 32 and 226 are the provisions of the Constitution that together provide an effective guarantee that every person has a fundamental right of access to courts. Article 32 confers power on the Supreme Court to enforce the fundamental rights. It provides a guaranteed, quick and summary remedy for enforcing the Fundamental Rights because a person can go straight to the Supreme Court without having to go undergo the dilatory process of proceeding from the lower to higher court as he has to do in other ordinary litigation. The Supreme Court is thus constitution the protector and guarantor of the fundamental rights.


The High courts have a parallel power under Article 226 to enforce the fundamental rights. Article 226 differs from Article 32 in that whereas Article 32 can be invoked only for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights, Article 226 can be invoked not only for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights but for any �other purpose� as well. This means that the Supreme Court�s power under Article 32 is restricted as compared with the power of a High Court under Article 226, for, if an administrative action does not affect a Fundamental Right, then it can be challenged only in the High Court under Article 226, and not in the Supreme Court under Article 32. Another corollary to this difference is that a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) writ petition can be filed in Supreme Court under Article 32 only if a question concerning the enforcement of a fundamental right is involved. Under Article 226, a writ petition can be filed in a High court whether or not a Fundamental Right is involved.

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