The Directives have been criticised mainly because of their non-justiciable character. While K T Shah dubbed them as ‘pious superfluities’ and compared them with ‘a cheque on a bank, payable only when the resources of the bank permit. Critics has contended by saying that principles are ‘no better than the new year’s resolutions, which are broken on the second of January because they don’t have any legal bases.
Critics opine that the Directives are not arranged in a logical manner based on a consistent philosophy. According to N Srinivasan, ‘the Directives are neither properly classified nor logically arranged. The declaration mixes up relatively unimportant issues with the most vital economic and social questions. It combines rather incongruously the modern with the old and provisions suggested by the reason and science with provisions based purely on sentiment and prejudice.
Critics has pointed out that the Directives lead to a constitutional conflict between the Centre and the states, between the President and the Prime Minister, and between the governor and the chief minister. According to him, the Centre can give directions to the states with regard to the implementation of these principles, and in case of non-compliance, can dismiss the state government.
In spite of the above criticisms and shortcomings, the Directive Principles are not an unnecessary appendage to the Constitution. The Constitution itself declares that they are fundamental to the governance of the country. According to L M Singhvi, an eminent jurist and diplomat, ‘the Directives are the life giving provisions of the Constitution. They constitute the stuff of the Constitution and its philosophy of social justice.