right to constitutional remedies

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The right to constitutional remedies is an essential pillar of any democratic society, providing citizens with the means to seek redressal against violations of their fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution. This right serves as a safeguard, ensuring that individuals can approach the judiciary for protection and enforcement of their rights. In this article, we delve into the significance, historical context, and practical implications of the right to constitutional remedies.

Understanding the Right to Constitutional Remedies

The right to constitutional remedies, often regarded as the cornerstone of the Indian Constitution, is articulated under Article 32. It empowers citizens to move the Supreme Court for the enforcement of their fundamental rights. Similarly, Article 226 confers similar powers to the High Courts. This provision serves as a mechanism for the protection of fundamental rights and acts as a check against arbitrary state actions.

Historical Context

The incorporation of the right to constitutional remedies can be traced back to the Constituent Assembly debates where luminaries like Dr. B.R. Ambedkar emphasized its significance. The framers recognized the need for an effective mechanism to protect fundamental rights, considering the historical backdrop of colonial rule and the struggle for independence.

Significance in Upholding Democracy

The right to constitutional remedies plays a pivotal role in upholding the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It ensures that constitutional guarantees are not merely symbolic but are enforceable rights that can be invoked by citizens when necessary. This empowers individuals to hold the government accountable and fosters a culture of transparency and accountability.

Role in Judicial Activism

Over the years, the judiciary has played a proactive role in interpreting and enforcing fundamental rights through PILs (Public Interest Litigations) and other mechanisms. Landmark judgments like Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India and Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala have expanded the scope and ambit of the right to constitutional remedies, thereby strengthening the fabric of democracy.

Challenges and Criticisms

Despite its significance, the right to constitutional remedies faces several challenges. The judicial process can be time-consuming and cumbersome, leading to delays in justice delivery. Moreover, there are concerns regarding the misuse of PILs for settling personal vendettas or advancing political agendas. Additionally, issues like judicial backlog and access to justice remain significant hurdles.

Contemporary Relevance

In recent times, the right to constitutional remedies has assumed greater significance amidst debates surrounding civil liberties, privacy rights, and social justice. Landmark cases like Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, which decriminalized homosexuality, highlight the progressive role of the judiciary in protecting individual rights.


In essence, the right to constitutional remedies serves as the bedrock of a vibrant democracy, ensuring that constitutional promises are translated into tangible realities for citizens. While challenges persist, the judiciary’s proactive stance and the evolving jurisprudence surrounding fundamental rights underscore the enduring relevance of this constitutional guarantee in safeguarding democratic values and principles.

Through a comprehensive understanding of the right to constitutional remedies, society can strive towards a more just, equitable, and rights-based framework, thereby reinforcing the foundations of democracy and ensuring the protection of individual freedoms and liberties.

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