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HORIZONTALITY OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS



  May 10, 2024

HORIZONTALITY OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS


Q1: What does the term "horizontality of fundamental rights" refer to?

A1: The horizontality of fundamental rights refers to the application of these rights not only vertically (i.e., enforceable against the state and its instrumentalities) but also horizontally (i.e., enforceable against private individuals or entities). This concept extends the scope of fundamental rights to include actions taken by private parties, not just the state.

Q2: What was the Supreme Court's decision in Kaushal Kishor v. State of U.P. regarding the horizontality of fundamental rights?

A2: In Kaushal Kishor v. State of U.P 2023, the Supreme Court held that certain fundamental rights, specifically Articles 19 (Freedom of Speech) and 21 (Right to Life and Personal Liberty), can be enforced against private individuals, not just the state. This decision supports the horizontal application of these rights.

Q3: How does the concept of horizontality apply to specific rights like the prohibition of untouchability and child labor?

A3: The concept of horizontality is evident in the enforcement of specific constitutional prohibitions such as:

● Prohibition of Untouchability (Article 17): This right explicitly prohibits untouchability in any form and is enforceable against everyone, reflecting its horizontal application. It means that no individual or private entity can practice untouchability, and violations can be addressed in court.

● Prohibition of Child Labor (Article 24): This article prohibits the employment of children below the age of fourteen in factories, mines, or any hazardous employment. This provision is enforceable against private individuals and businesses, thereby applying horizontally to protect children from labor exploitation in both public and private sectors.

Q4: What are the implications of enforcing fundamental rights against private individuals?

A4: Enforcing fundamental rights against private individuals can lead to broader protection of these rights, ensuring that individuals are not only protected from abuses by the state but also from violations by private parties. Examples include:

● In the context of untouchability: Enforcing this prohibition against private citizens means that individuals cannot discriminate against others based on 'untouchability' in private businesses, housing, or social interactions.

● Regarding child labor: Private employers in industries such as textiles, fireworks, and plantations are prohibited from employing young children, ensuring their right to education and protection from hazardous work.
Data privacy as a part of right to privacy against both State and METa,Google etc.

These examples show how the horizontal application of fundamental rights can significantly impact societal norms and individual behaviors, leading to greater protection of rights but also introducing challenges in defining the boundaries of private actions under constitutional law.



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