This article is a compilation of Article 37 as it is. You can understand it well, that’s why its explanation is also given below, you must read it. Its explanation is also available in Hindi, for this you can use the link given below;

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article 37
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Article 37

📜 Article 37

37. Application of the principles contained in this Part.—The provisions contained in this Part shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.

🔍 Explanation

The literal meaning of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) is the elements that guide the policy of the state.

When  the constitution  was framed, the people had  no experience of ruling in a democratic state and making laws in the interest of the country. Especially for the states that were about to take over after a long colonial period.

As we know that   it is not mandatory for politicians in our country to be educated. In such a situation, a guide becomes necessary so that the policy makers always know which way to go.

◾ It was not that DPSP was a new idea but   it was already working in Ireland and we took it from there.

◾ The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are the guidelines for making laws and policies for the welfare and development of the citizens. These are included in Part IV of the Indian Constitution.

These principles are non-enforceable, meaning they are not enforceable by the courts, however, are considered fundamental in the governance of the country and must be taken into account by the government while formulating laws and policies.

Overall, policy-directive elements are those elements of democratic and constitutional development whose objective is to establish a public-welfare state.

Article 36 to Article 51 comes under Part 4 of the Constitution. In this article we are going to understand Article 37;

⚫ Article-34 – Indian Constitution
⚫ Article-35 – Indian Constitution


| Article 37 – Application of the elements contained in this Part

Now DPSP as we know, is not binding like a fundamental right. This is just a recommendation and not a law that is binding.

So  this is what is said in Article 37  that even though it is not a binding law, it will be the duty of the states to implement it. 

Some things to remember;

◾ The Directive Principles of State Policy cannot be enforced by the Court and that is why no person can go to the Court regarding the violation of the Directive Principles.

However, the implementation of Directive Principles can be done by making legislation. And in the coming paragraphs, we will also understand how many Acts have been made to bring Directive Principles into effect.

◾ The Parliament neither gets any legislative power from the Directive Principles nor does any of their legislative power end. We must remember that the power to legislate is decided on the basis of the Legislative List contained in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.

◾ Since the Directive Principles are not enforceable by the Court and it is not a fundamental right, therefore a law cannot be declared void on the ground that it violates the Directive Principles.

If we look at the judgments given by the Court in this regard since independence, we come to know that the Court has always given priority to the Fundamental Rights and not the Directive Principles.

For more information read – Conflict between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

◾ Court cannot compel the government to implement any Directive Principles. For example, under Article 44, it has been said to make a uniform civil code. So in such a situation, the court cannot order the government to enact a law on this system. However, the court can and does give advice.

So the overall point is that the Directive Principles, though non-enforceable, are fundamental in the governance of the country and it is the duty of the State to implement these principles while making laws.

Remember here that there is no conflict between the Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights. They complement each other and both aim at establishing a welfare state.

However, after independence, there is definitely a conflict between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy . But now a lot of clarity has come through the many judgments given by the court. You will understand this in the following paragraphs;

So overall this is Article 37, I hope you have understood. To understand other article, you can use the link given below.

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Disclaimer - The articles and their interpretations presented here are based on the original Constitution (latest edition), DD Basu's commentary on the Constitution (mainly) and various scholars of the Constitution (whose writings are available in newspapers, magazines and audio-visuals on the Internet). We have just tried to make it interesting and easy to understand.