• Legis Scriptor

Natural Rights, Human Rights and Fundamental Rights

Authored by - Aman Porwal

Keywords - Rights, Natural Rights, Human Rights, Fundamental Rights, Life, Liberty, Equality, Speech, Society, Constitution of India.


Rights are an important part of one’s life. A person ought to have rights by birth or acquires it through a process. Some of the rights are natural rights, human rights and fundamental rights that arise from time to time in human life. This article shall be elaborating on the different rights there exists.


Social claims are defined as rights. The demands and needs that society has for a particular or class of goods or services are made from the Government or the society itself. A group of people living together mutually, performing functions for existence can be termed as a society. The existence of such a society is necessary. Rights are simply social, ethical, legal in nature that aims to give freedom or entitlement, as ‘what is allowed’ to people and ‘what is owed’ to people.

Natural Rights

Natural Rights comprises of the rights that are considered natural or given by nature. The existence of a person, to breathe, live, eat, walk and sleep are some of the natural rights to begin with. The natural rights of a person come with birth and exist till death. Life, liberty and property are not fully considered as natural rights because they come with a restriction and that restriction creates a new theory, social claim or entitlement.

In K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India,[1]the Supreme Court interpreted that natural rights are inalienable rights. A majority of judges overruled the ADM Jabalpur v. Shivkant Shukla[2] and said, there are certain rights that could be called as “natural rights”, however, the Constitution does not create such rights but only recognizes them.

Human Rights

The rights that come above natural rights are human rights. The rights which are not necessary for the survival of a species but necessary in a civilized society like – right to equality, right to liberty, the right to speech, and expression are human rights. These are some of the rights which come under the virtue of human rights. Human rights are quite critical all over the world. A lot of nations have signed treaties and conventions in favour of these rights. Post-World War II, human rights came across as the most needed defence to protect humans and for the well-being of the future generations. Keeping in mind, United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) was formed in 1946 and was replaced by byUnited Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2006. It currently has47 nations with a three-year term on a regional basis. In India, human rights are protected by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It is a statutory body which protects the human rights of the people in India, under the ordinance of HumanRights Ordinancesigned on 28th of September 1993. It was created under the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993.

In Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka and others,[3]a Writ Petition was filed under Article 32 for relief in the tuition fee. The Supreme Court quoted that the Right to Education is a fundamental right which was guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. In 2002, 21-A was incorporated to provide free and compulsory education for students of the age group, 6 to 14 years under the 66th Amendment. This Act was amended in 2009 and it came to be known as‘Right of the Children for Free and compulsory education(RTE) Act’ 2009.

Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights are those rights which are guaranteed in the Constitution for the people, and by the Constitution. The State has a responsibility to provide such rights to people. Fundamental rights are of less priority than natural rights and human rights. Fundamental rights always came with certain restrictions to ensure the law and order of the State. There are a number of case laws in India pertaining to the Fundamental Rights of the citizens.

In the case of Kesvananda Bharti v. State of Kerala, 1993,[4] the Constitutional Bench of 13 judges gave the judgement that the Parliament of India had the power to amend any part of the Constitution of India. Such a law is valid under Article 13 of the Constitution of India.

The A.D.M. Jabalpur v. Shivkant Shukla,right to approach the Court for enforcement of their fundamental rights stands suspended in an emergency.After an amendment, it was held that Article 21 and 22 shall also be applicable to a citizen of India.

In the recent case between, Anita Kushwaha v. Pushpa Sudan,[5] the Constitutional Bench held that Article 32, Article 136 and Article 142 of the Constitution is empowered to transfer a case from the State of Jammu and Kashmir to outside the State and further added that the notion of justice is guaranteed under Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India.


Natural Rights, human rights and fundamental rights are all necessary for their respective fields. Natural rights are by birth, human rights are given throughout one's life, and fundamental rights act as a guarantee to the citizens by the Constitution. From time to time, the Judiciary has made interpretations and passed judgments in favor of rights for citizens. This has resulted in in rights being a much wider and broader concept. These rights indeed play an extremely vital role in one’s life.

[1] Writ Petition (civil) No 494 of 2012 [2]1976 AIR 1207, 1976 SCR 172 [3]1992 AIR 1858, 1992 SCR (3) 658 [4]Writ Petition (civil) 135 of 1970 [5]AIR 2016 SC 3506