I came across this paragraph in a book. I am unable to understand this; What does "against the action of state" and "against state's action" in first line refer to? Aren't they both same thing? The first line seems ambiguous because of these terms. Can someone explain these terms in detail with respect to this context.

Fundamental rights are characterized as following -

  1. Most of them are available against the arbitrary action of the state, with a few exceptions like those against the State's action and against the action of private individuals. When the rights that are available against the State's action only are violated by the private individuals, there are no constitutional remedies but only legal remedies

Here "State" refers to any legal/non-legal entity of the country.

  • books.google.com/books?id=EAunh90l44IC
    – MetaEd
    Apr 12, 2016 at 13:52
  • I think you'd have to ask the author of the book. These may be terms with technical, legal connotations in India law.
    – MetaEd
    Apr 12, 2016 at 13:52
  • These are actually explained in simple terms from actual legal text. The author has tried to explain the legal articles from constitution in simple terms, for readers to understand. Also, unfortunately, author won't be entertaining such questions.
    – Dapu
    Apr 12, 2016 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


Read it carefully: you seem to have overlooked the word "arbitrary" in the first clause.

There is some ambiguity, but I read the first part as follows:

  1. Most of [the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution] are available against the arbitrary action of the State, [but there are] a few exceptions, which include: (i) [some Fundamental Rights] against the State's [non-arbitrary] action; and (ii) [some Fundamental Rights] against the action[s] of private individuals.

I find more difficulty with the second sentence: "When the rights that are available against the State's action only are violated by the private individuals, there are no constitutional remedies but only ordinary legal remedies." It's not clear to me how "rights ... against the State's action" can be "violated by" individuals.

If the protection being referred to is against actions of the state, how can it be violated by individuals? Nevertheless, I think the main point is that violations by the state have constitutional remedies, whereas violations by individuals have only legal remedies.

  • I am not sure how can I thank you million times. Seriously Wow!!, , thanks a lot. I never paid much attention to the word arbitrary. In second part, private sector (Companies,organisations etc.) are referred to as private individuals. They can also violate fundamental rights like Right against discrimination.
    – Dapu
    Apr 12, 2016 at 16:02
  • For example, Right against discrimination (Not counting women and children) is available against state's action, and if any individual violates it and discriminates someone on grounds of colour, then there is no constitutional remedy; The court will decide what is to be done.
    – Dapu
    Apr 12, 2016 at 16:10
  • @Dapu. Thanks for your first comment. Do I get an up-vote then? :-)
    – TrevorD
    Apr 12, 2016 at 16:40
  • I have marked your answer as accepted. Since this was my first question on English Stackexchange, so it says that I need 15 reputation to upvote. :( I will upvote it, once I get 15 reputation.
    – Dapu
    Apr 12, 2016 at 17:04
  • I will do it, because I owe you millions of thanks :) . This was the question I was bumping my head against since past two days. Have a nice day friend.
    – Dapu
    Apr 12, 2016 at 17:08

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