9 Major Criticisms against Directive Principles – Explained!

Many critics have been very vocal in criticising the existence of unenforceable pious declarations (Directive Principles) in the Constitution of India.

K.T. Shah compares DPSP to a cheque payable by the bank at its convenience.

Main Points of Criticism:

1. Lack of Legal Force:

The critics hold that as unenforceable directives, these principles do not carry any weight. Their violation or non-realisation cannot be challenged in any court.

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2. Mere Declarations:

The Directive Principles are mere declaration of intentions or instructions which are to be observed and secured by the State at will. The Constitution neither makes them justiciable nor fixes the time- limit within which these are to be secured.

3. Unsystematic Enumeration and No Classification:


Another point of criticism against the Directive Principles has been that these have been neither systematically stated nor properly classified. These appear to be a collection of some pious declarations which have only a moral value.

4. Lack of Clarity:

Several Directives lack clarity. Several principles have been repeated at different places. The Directive to promote international peace and friendly cooperation among all the nations is a laudable declaration. But the real issue is how to secure it? No clear guideline has been given for this purpose.

5. Reactionary in Nature:


Many critics hold that written during 1947-49, several of the Directives appear to be reactionary in contemporary times. The party in power at a particular time can use some of the directives for political and selfish ends. Moreover, enumeration of these principles involve an attempt to unduly bind the present with the past.

6. Impracticability of some of the Principles:

Part IV includes some directives which cannot be realised in actual practice. The ideal is to introduce prohibition, but this ideal cannot be really and effectively realised. The states which introduced prohibition had to later on scrap it.

7. Obsolete Philosophical Foundations:

Most of the Directive Principles incorporated in this part of the Constitution are based on age old and foreign philosophical foundations (Fabian Socialism). The philosophy of Fabian Socialism has lost much of its relevance in contemporary times.

8. Superfluous:

Many critics hold that the Directive Principles merely restate the objectives and goals clearly stated in the Preamble of the Constitution. Their description in Part IV has made things more complex and complicated.

9. Mere Promises:

Directive principles are designed to serve as pious promises for creating an impression about a just exercise of the power of the State. Their aim is to secure support through promise-making and not action. On the basis of these arguments the critics severely criticise the existence and scope of Part IV of the Constitution.

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