Article 33 empowers the Parliament to restrict or abrogate the fundamental rights of the members of armed forces, para-military forces, police forces, intelligence agencies and analogous forces. The objective of this provision is to ensure the proper discharge of their duties and the maintenance of discipline among them.
The power to make laws under Article 33 is conferred only on Parliament and not on state legislatures. Any such law made by Parliament cannot be challenged in any court on the ground of contravention of any of the fundamental rights.
Accordingly, the Parliament has enacted the Army Act (1950), the Navy Act (1950), the Air Force Act (1950), the Police Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1966, the Border Security Force Act and so on. These impose restrictions on their freedom of speech, right to form associations, right to be members of trade unions or political associations, right to communicate with the press, right to attend public meetings or demonstrations, etc.
The expression‘members of the armed forces’ also covers such employees of the armed forces as barbers, carpenters, mechanics, cooks, chowkidars, bootmakers, tailors who are non-combatants.
A parliamentary law enacted under Article 33 can also exclude the court martials (tribunals established under the military law) from the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the high courts, so far as the enforcement of Fundamental Rights is concerned.