DMPQ- Discuss the Swarn Singh committee and it’s recommendations vis-à-vis Fundamental duties.

. In 1976, the Congress Party set up the Sardar Swaran Singh Committee to make recommendations about fundamental duties, the need and necessity of which was felt during the operation of the internal emergency (1975–1977). The committee recommended the inclusion of a separate chapter on fundamental duties in the Constitution. It stressed that the citizens should become conscious that in addition to the enjoyment of rights, they also have certain duties to perform as well. The Congress Government at Centre accepted these recommendations and enacted the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1976. This amendment added a new part, namely, Part IVA to the Constitution. This new part consists of only one Article, that is, Article 51A which for the first time specified a code of ten fundamental duties of the citizens. The ruling Congress party declared the non-inclusion of fundamental duties in the Constitution as a historical mistake and claimed that what the framers of the Constitution failed to do was being done now.

Though the Swaran Singh Committee suggested the incorporation of eight Fundamental Duties in the Constitution, the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act (1976) included ten Fundamental Duties. Interestingly, certain recommendations of the Committee were not accepted by the Congress Party and hence, not incorporated in the Constitution. These include:

  • The Parliament may provide for the imposition of such penalty or punishment as may be considered appropriate for any non-compliance with or refusal to observe any of the duties.
  • No law imposing such penalty or punishment shall be called in question in any court on the ground of infringement of any of Fundamental Rights or on the ground of repugnancy to any other provision of the Constitution.
  • Duty to pay taxes should also be a Fundamental Duty of the citizens.

 

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