The State has made many efforts to implement the Directive Principles. Some of them are:
1. The 86th constitutional amendment of 2002 inserted a new article, Article 21-A, into the Constitution, that seeks to provide free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14 years. Right to Education (RTE) has also been implemented now.
2. Welfare schemes for the weaker sections are being implemented both by the Central and state governments. In order that scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are protected from atrocities, the Government has enacted the Prevention of Atrocities Act, which provided severe punishments for such atrocities. Untouchability also has been abolished.
3. Land reforms have been introduced and Jagirdari and Zamindari systems have been abolished.
4. The Minimum Wages Act of 1948 empowers government to fix minimum wages for employees engaged in various employments.
5. The Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 provides for equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
6. Through 73rd and 74th Amendments to the constitution, (1991 & 1992 respectively), Panchayati Raj has been given the constitutional status with more powers. Panchayati Raj now covers almost all states and Union territories.
7. Legal aid at the expense of the State has been made compulsory in all cases pertaining to criminal law, if the accused is too poor to engage a lawyer.
8. Judiciary has been separated from the executive in all the states and Union territories except Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland.
9. India's Foreign Policy has also to some degree been influenced by the DPSPs. India has in the past condemned all acts of aggression and has also supported the United Nations’ peace-keeping activities. By 2004, the Indian Army had participated in 37 UN peace-keeping operations.
India played a key role in the passing of a UN resolution in 2003, which envisaged better cooperation between the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries. India has also been in favour of nuclear disarmament.
The above steps on the part of the central and state governments indicate that many Directive Principles of State Policy have been implemented to lay down the foundations of a secular, socialist and welfare state. However, still there is a long way to go to achieve all of them in full. For example efforts towards achieving a Uniform Civil Code have not yet been seriously started.
There are many hindrances in the non-implementation of Directive Principles of State Policy. The main reasons are –
(a) Lack of political will on the part of the states,
(b) Lack of awareness and organized action on the part of the people and
(c) Limited material resources.
Implementation of directives by courts by applying harmonious construction:
Applying the doctrine of 'harmonious construction' the court has applied the Directives to adjust the ambit of Fundamental Rights to give a liberal interpretation to the ambit of a legislative entry so as to make it possible for the legislature to implement a Directive. Per Instance.
i) a favourable classification of an object, the promotion of which is encouraged by the directive principles, should be regarded as a reasonable classification.
ii) Applying Art.39 (d) it has been held that the right to "equal pay for equal work" as between the sexes or within the same age sex is a fundamental right included in Art 14. In determining whether the work done is similar, the court should take a broad view and also strike down any discrimination made on the ground of sex in view of Art.39 (a),(d)
In Article 19:
i) Restrictions which are imposed on the exercise of Fundamental Rights for the purpose of securing the objectives enjoined by any of the Directives would be regarded as reasonable restriction.
ii) Even though the implementation of a Directive Principles may cause hardship to a few individuals, it should be upheld in the larger interests of the community.
iii) In view of the absolute prohibition of consumption of liquor in Art.47, there cannot be any fundamental right to manufacture and sell intoxicating liquor.
iv) Art. 19(6) has been interpreted with the aid of Art. 46 and held that a ban imposed by the State of Kerala in fishing by mechanized nets and appliances is a reasonable restriction. The Supreme Court emphasized that the protection of the weaker sections is an obligation under Art. 46 and is also in the interests of general public under Art. 19 (6)
v) The prohibition of slaughter of any of the species of Cattle mentioned, irrespective of their utility from the stand point of agriculture or animal husbandry and such prohibitions cannot be held to be an unreasonable restriction upon the right conferred by art.19(1)(g) in view of the directive contained in the latter part of the article 48.
In Art. 26:
Even though a contravention of Art.26 is not expressly shielded by Art.31-A, it has been held that Art.37 imposes an obligation upon the State to make laws to regulate the conduct of men and State affairs in order to secure social welfare, including secular activities of religious institutions, so long as the core of religion is not interfered with. There is no such interference.
When the state undertakes legislation for agrarian reforms to prevent exploitation of tenants and cultivators or ownership of large areas of land exceeding the ceiling fixed by land even though the ownership of such estates belongs to religious institutions.
Implementation of directives by way of courts directions and guidelines:
The directives are thus enforced, indirectly, by the Courts by issuing such directions as follows:
1. To issue a notification under the minimum wages Act for the benefit of bonded and other exploited labourers.
2. To set up a joint committee of the Union of India and a State Government concerned as a machinery to supervise and ensure that the poor and needy employees are not exploited by unscrupulous contractors in imposing terms violative of the Directives under Art. 38, 41, 42, 43 and or the various provisions of the labour laws.
3. To take various steps for extending the benefit of Art.39-A, to all under trial Prisoners.
4. To lay down procedural safeguards in the matter of adoption of Indian children by foreigners in view of Art.39 (3).
5. To lay down detailed guidelines for Speedy trial in order to render equal justice in view of Art.39A.
6. To lay down guidelines for trial of rape cases.
7. To lay down exhaustive guidelines to prevent sexual harassment of working women in places of their work in view of Art.14 and Art.21 & 39 (e) to (f).
8. To lay down guidelines to prevent air, water and environmental pollution.
9. To arrange free legal aid to the poor and needy.
10.To protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance.
11. To remove the impugned provisions of an act to restore independence of judiciary.
Statutory constructions by using directives
Provisions in part IV have also been used as guide in matter of statutory construction including subordinate legislation.
1) Where two statutory constructions of a statute are available, the court should prefer that construction which is in conformity with the directives say Art.39 or 43.
(i) a beneficial construction of S.127 (3) of Cr.P.C has been made with reference to Art. 41
(ii) the scope of S.13B of the Industrial Employment Standing Orders, 1946 has been extended to employees of Statutory Corporations, in the light of Arts. 42-43.
2) In view of Art. 36 & 37, Art. 41 is held to be a mandate both to legislature and the Courts, the Court should interpret a statute or sub ordinate legislation, if the language permits or will advance the objectives underlying Art.41.
3) Art.46 has been relied upon in upholding a Service Rule which empowers the Government to exempt (for a specified period) members of S.Cs or S.Ts from the requirement to pass departmental tests for promotion.
4) The maternity leave entitled to women in regular employment under the provisions of the Maternity Benefit act,1961 has been extended to the women engaged on casual basis or on muster roll basis on daily wages in view of Art. 38.
5) The Supreme Court further held that Courts should have regard to the Directive in Art. 38 to promote welfare of the people and social justice so that where the municipality has failed to remove filthy conditions of drains etc., in slums.
The Court should make a positive and mandatory order directing the municipality to remove the public nuisance within a given time irrespective of the financial sources of the municipality.
6) The Supreme Court deprecated the unfair labour practice of engaging contract labourers in public sector undertakings and made appropriate recommendations in Gujarat Electricity Board, Vs. Hind Mazdoor Sabha.
7) The Supreme Court has held that the Tenants/ the tillers of soil have a fundamental right to economic empowerment under Art. 39 (b) and are entitled to ryotwari patta
8) The nationalization of coal mines is upheld on the ground that it is a law for implementation of Art. 39(b).
9) The children of prostitutes have right to equality of opportunity, dignity, care, protection and rehabilitation so as to be a part of the main stream of social life without any of the stigma attached to them in view of Clause (e-f) of Art.39.
10) In view of Art.41, the Court should not encourage a Transport corporation to indulge in false or technical pleas to defeat claims for compensation for injury caused by public carriers belonging to such Corporation leading to disablement and cases of undeserved want.
11) In view of directives under Art.41, the Supreme Court has held that the President cannot exercise his power under Rule 9 of the Civil Services Pension Rules 1972 to withhold Pension of a retired employee, even in part or for a temporary period in the absence of definite finding recorded in a departmental or judicial proceeding that the pensioner committed grave misconduct or negligence in the discharge of his duty while in office.
12) In Tapan Kumar Sadhukhan vs. Food Corporation of India. It was held that the Food Corporation of India, being an agency of the State must conform the letter and spirit of Art. 47 to improve public health and it should release sub standard rice to dealers only after upgrading it for human consumption and not otherwise.
13) The need for Uniform Civil Code was also emphasized by the Supreme Court in matters like divorce or maintenance for divorced wife which do not form the essence of any religion. The Supreme Court has observed that Art. 44 has so long remained a dead letter and recommended early legislation to implementit. Further In Sarla Mudgal Vs Union of India, the Supreme Court expressed its views and requested the Government of India through Prime Minister to have a fresh look at Art.44 and endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.
In the said Judgement the Supreme Court opined that there is no connection between religion and personal law in a civilized society.
14) In view of Art. 50, it was held that the Independence of judiciary is an essential attribute of Rule of Law which is a basic feature of the Constitution. Judiciary must be free not only from the executive pressure but also from other pressures. Independence of Judiciary is a wider concept which implies independence from any pressure or prejudice and fearlessness from any centre of power.
15) In view of Art.51, the Supreme Court recognised the practice of interpreting the laws with the aid of International treaties/covenants, further, in the absence of any contrary legislation, Municipal Courts in India would respect the rule of international law.
16) In Peoples Union for Civil Liberties vs. Union of India it was held that the provisions of international conventions, covenants which elucidate and effectuate the Fundamental Rights can be relied upon the Courts in India as their facets and be enforced as such.
17) In Vishaka vs. State of Supreme Court laid down exhaustive guidelines to prevent sexual harassment of working women in places of their work until legislation is enacted for its purpose taking the Convention on all forms of discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as its basis.