Fundamental Rights Class 7 Civics Notes Maharashtra Board

Fundamental Rights Class 7 Civics Notes Maharashtra State Board

You must have seen such placards in newspapers and elsewhere. In a rally or a march, sometimes a certain demand is made, asserting it to be their right. We get rights at birth. Every newborn baby has a right to live. The entire society and government make efforts to ensure that the baby is in the best of health. Only when all individuals get protection from injustice, exploitation, discrimination, and deprivation, will they be able to develop their skills and qualities.

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Demanding one’s rights is insisting on creating an atmosphere conducive to the development of the self as well as the entire society. The Indian Constitution has guaranteed equal rights to all citizens in order to create this conducive atmosphere. These rights are fundamental rights. As they are included in the Constitution, they have the status of law. It is imperative for everybody to abide by these rights.

Fundamental Rights Class 7 Civics Notes Maharashtra Board

Our Rights as mentioned in the Constitution:
Let us understand the rights of Indian citizens included in the Constitution.

Right to Equality:
According to the right to equality, the State cannot discriminate among citizens as superior-inferior or as men-women and cannot give different treatment or privileges to anybody. The same law applies equally to all. Many laws give us protection. For example, we have protection from arrest without a warrant. Also, the State cannot discriminate while extending such protection.

What other things are included in the right to equality?
The State cannot discriminate against any citizen on grounds of religion, caste, race, sex, descent, or place of birth or residence for government employment. The inhuman practice of untouchability that was prevalent in our country has been abolished by law. The practice of untouchability in any form is a cognizable offense. This practice has been abolished in order to establish equality in Indian society. The Constitution has also abolished titles that create an artificial hierarchy among people. For example, titles like Raja, Maharaja, Raobahadur, etc. have been abolished.

The Constitution prevents the State from conferring titles that nurture inequality and draw wedges in social unity. But the State does confer awards like Padmashree, Padmabhushan, Padmavibhushan, etc. for distinguished contributions in different fields. Bharat Ratna is the greatest civilian honour or award of our country. Medals of honour like Paramveer Chakra, Ashok Chakra, and Shaurya Chakra are awarded for their remarkable service in the armed forces. Such awards don’t bestow any special rights or privileges upon those who receive them. It is only a recognition of their contribution.

Fundamental Rights Class 7 Civics Notes Maharashtra Board

Right to Liberty:
This is a very important right given by the Constitution. It gives a guarantee of all the freedoms necessary from the point of view of the individual. As Indian citizens, we have the right to

  • freedom of speech and expression
  • freedom to assemble peaceably
  • freedom to form associations or unions
  • freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India.
  • freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.
  • freedom to practice any lawful profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade, or business of one’s choice.

The Constitution has given us many rights. But we have to exercise these responsibly. We should take care that others do not get affected by our behaviour. We have the freedom of expression but we cannot speak or write anything that might incite anybody to violence. The right to liberty in the Constitution has guaranteed us the freedom of speech and movement, and it has also provided us security to keep us safe. This legal protection has been given to everybody equally. It is not denied to anybody. For example, we all have a right to life. It appears to be simple, but it has a deep significance. It implies getting a guarantee to live; and the availability of a conducive environment for living. Nobody can take away another’s life. No person can be arrested and detained without any reason.

There are some rights supplementary to the right to life. For example, nobody can be punished twice for the same offense. Before being punished, the allegations against a person have to be proven. The courts have to perform this task. The police collect evidence against the accused and put up the case in the court. Even if a person accepts that he has committed a crime, he is not punished immediately. The allegations have to be proved legally. This judicial process takes time, but it is necessary so that an innocent person does not get punished. The right to liberty now also includes the Right to Education. All children between 6 and 14 years of age are entitled to get an education as a Fundamental Right. This ensures that no child will be deprived of education.

Fundamental Rights Class 7 Civics Notes Maharashtra Board

Right Against Exploitation:
The right against exploitation implies the right to prevent exploitation. While the Constitution has banned all types of oppression through the right against exploitation, it has made a special provision to prevent the exploitation of children. Accordingly, it is prohibited to employ children under 14 years of age in hazardous places. Children cannot be employed or made to work in factories and mines.

Exploitation includes bonded labor or forcing somebody to work against his/her wish, treating somebody like a slave, denying them legitimate compensation, making them do excessive or strenuous work, starving them, or ill-treating them. Generally, women, children, the weaker sections of society, and powerless people are exploited. This right enables us to stand up against any kind of exploitation.

In the last chapter, we studied some fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. We studied the rights of liberty, equality, and the right against exploitation. In this chapter, we shall also learn about the right to freedom of religion, and cultural and educational rights and we shall get acquainted with the judicial protection available for the fundamental rights.

Right to Freedom of Religion:
India, we know, is an important secular country in the world. We have studied it in the previous classes. But you must be curious to know what the Indian Constitution says about it, isn’t it? It is included in our right to freedom of religion. According to it, each Indian citizen is free to practice any religion and to establish institutions for religious reasons. In order to broaden the scope of the right to freedom of religion, two things are not permitted:

  • The state cannot impose religious taxes that might be used to encourage a particular religion. That is, our Constitution forbids religious taxes.
  • Religious education cannot be made compulsory in educational institutions that receive aid from the State.

Cultural and Educational Rights:
We can see that there is a great diversity of festivals, food, and ways of life in our country. You may have noticed the differences in the different wedding ceremonies that you attended. All these things are part of the cultures of the different communities. Our Constitution has given different communities the right to preserve their cultural uniqueness. According to this right, people are not only free to preserve their own language, script, and literature but also make efforts towards their promotion. They can establish institutions for the development of their language.

Fundamental Rights Class 7 Civics Notes Maharashtra Board

Right to Constitutional Remedies:
In case of encroachment of fundamental rights, the Indian citizens’ right to get judicial remedies is also a fundamental right. This is called the Right to Constitutional Remedies. This means the Constitution itself has provided for legal remedies in case people’s rights get violated. So, it becomes a constitutional duty of the courts to protect the rights of the people. Sometimes the rights that are guaranteed to us by the Constitution may get encroached upon and we are not able to exercise our rights. This is called an infringement of our rights. The court considers our complaint, investigates it, and in case it is convinced that rights have indeed been infringed upon and injustice has been done to the aggrieved individual, the court gives an appropriate verdict.

Some Instances of Infringement of Rights:

  • Arresting an individual without reason.
  • Preventing a person from leaving a village or a town without giving a valid reason.
  • Refusing food, water, or medicines to jail inmates.

Writs as Constitutional Remedies:
Courts have the power to issue various kinds of writs to protect the rights of the citizens.

  1. Habeas Corpus: Protection from unlawful arrest and detention.
  2. Mandamus: The order of the Courts (the Supreme Court or the High Court) commanding the government to perform an action that is its duty to perform in the public interest.
  3. Prohibition: To prevent a subordinate court from exceeding its jurisdiction.
  4. Quo Warranto: To restrain a person from acting in an office to which he is not entitled.
  5. Certiorari: To order the removal of a lawsuit from a subordinate court to a superior court.

Fundamental Rights Class 7 Civics Notes Maharashtra Board

Is the Reaction of this Government Official Right or Wrong?
An officer tells a woman who presents all the documents for getting the benefits of a scheme for the destitute, “You don’t look like a destitute” and refuses her the benefits of the scheme. In this instance, do you think the woman’s right has been infringed? Where should she go to get redressal?

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Because the fundamental rights are thus protected by the courts, citizens are able to exercise their rights. They can fulfill their roles as alert, responsible, and active citizens. While considering fundamental rights, we also need to remember our duties.

Detailed Maharashtra State Board Class 7 Civics Notes Fundamental Rights are particularly useful for answering essay questions.

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