Constitution of India: An Unique Document

Abstract

The Constitution of India was adopted on 26th November 1949, and it became enforceable on 26th January, 1950. It took 2 years 11 months and 17 days to form the Constitution. The Constitution of India was drafted by Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar. The world’s longest constitution is the Indian’s constitution.  At its beginning, it had 395 articles in 22 sections and 8 timetables. It comprises of around 145,000 words, making it the second biggest dynamic constitution on the planet. As of now, it has a preface, 25 parts with 12 schedules, 5 appendices, 448 articles, and 101 amendments.

The Constitution of India is Quasi- Federal in nature as it is both rigid and flexible in nature.  Numerous of provisions that are stated under the Constitution of India are borrowed from the constitutions of various countries like Fundamental rights, Fundamental Duties, Single Citizenship, Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs).  The drafting committee has borrowed those provisions which were suited enough for the Socio- economic and geographical factors of the country.

Introduction

The 26 January 1950 was a remarkable and a red-letter day for India. India got its constitution which is considered to biggest constitution of the world. However, the constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949 and was given effect on 26 January 1950. It is longest written constitution of the world. It gave birth to new republic and hopes to the life of the people of India. Constitution is considered to be a quasi- federal constitution i.e.; it is not purely federal nor purely unitary in its making. It has a unique form of constitution as Qazi federal that means there was division of powers between the state government and central government and both are independent in their own area. It gives the constitutional supremacy and not to the parliament as the constitution is considered to be the supreme law of land and not the laws developed by the parliament. Constitution of India was a comprehensive document made by the eminent people of India and were called as Constituent Assembly. It gives its declaration or briefing in the preamble. . It outlines essential political standards, methods, rehearses, rights, forces, and obligations of the legislature. It gives sacred matchless quality and not parliamentary amazingness, as it isn’t made by the Parliament in any case, by a constituent get together, and embraced by its kin, with an affirmation in its prelude. It is a document having a special legal sanctity which sets out the framework of principle and function of the organs of state or center. Constitution of India has essential characteristics of federal constitution and they are distribution of powers, supremacy of constitution, A written constitution, rigidity of the constitution, and authority of courts.

The world’s longest constitution is the Indian’s constitution.  At its beginning, it had 395 articles in 22 sections and 8 timetables. It comprises of around 145,000 words, making it the second biggest dynamic constitution on the planet. As of now, it has a preface, 25 parts with 12 schedules, 5 appendices, 448 articles, and 101 amendments.

History

The constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, which was chosen by elected individuals from the common assemblies. The 389-part gathering (decreased to 299 after the parcel of India) took just about three years to draft the constitution holding eleven sessions over a 165-day time frame.

B. R. Ambedkar was an astute protected master, he had considered the constitutions of around 60 nations. Ambedkar is perceived as the “Father of the Constitution of India. The constitution of India revoked the Indian Independence Act 1947 and Government of India Act, 1935 when it ended successful on 26 January 1950. India stopped to be a domain of the British Crown and turned into a sovereign popularity-based republic with the constitution. Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392, 393, and 394 of the constitution came into power on 26 November 1949, and the rest of the articles wound up compelling on 26 January 1950. The constitution was drawn from various sources. Aware of India’s needs and conditions, its composers obtained highlights of past enactment, for example, the Government of India Act 1858, the Indian Councils Acts of 1861, 1892 and 1909, the Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935, and the Indian Independence Act 1947. The last mentioned, which prompted the production of India and Pakistan, isolated the previous Constituent Assembly in two. Each new get together had sovereign capacity to draft and authorize another constitution for the different states. The Revised draft of constitution, assembly moved, discussed, disposed off 2473 amendments out of a total of 7635 adopting constitution Assembly had 11 sessions in 165 days. Constitution was signed by 284 members on 26 November 1949 considered as Law Day or Constitution Day. After two days it became as law of India. The drafting committee after the framing of constitution imparted prefer or preamble to the constitution. India adopted the prefect from American constitution.

It is considered as the summary or essence of the constitution. 42 constitutional amendment 1976 added social, secular, integrated to the perfect or preamble.

Salient Features of Constitution of India

Indian constitution is a unique document and is a combination of human values, cherished principles and spiritual norms, upholds the dignity of man in a nation. And Indian constitution has following salient features:

1. Biggest Constitution in the world or comprehensive document:

It is the lengthiest and detailed constitution amongst all the written constitution of the world. American constitution consists of 7 articles, Australian is 128 articles, Canadian constitution 147 articles.

However Indian constitution has 22 parts 12 schedules and 440 articles. Indian constitution has embedded its country as one and not made different constitution for every state but had gave one nation one constitution. Regardless of the structure, power, and functioning of state are different. Constitution has introduced a term called as quazi federal which means division of powers of constitution among the central and state so that they work together as well as independent of each other.

Framers of constitution gained experience from the working of all the known constitution. Indian adopted the provisions from following constitution:

Peculiar problem of different states different languages was resolved and enumerated to schedule 8 of the constitution. There was a long list of Fundamental Rights, Directive principles of state policy amongst 3 organs legislative, executive, and judiciary. Establishment of sovereign (no more dependent upon outside world), socialist (mixed economy), secular (no religion), democratic (government by people and for people), Republic (free from any kind of unbais rule).

2. Parliamentary form of government:

Constitution provided parliamentary form of government both at center and state. The president is the hard of the state is merely a constitutional head as the real power holder is under the prime minister and his council of ministers. Under article 74, council of minister to aid and advice president. Article 75 provides Council of Ministers are collectively responsible to House of Parliament.

3. Both Rigid & Flexible-

Indian Constitution in both flexible and rigid provision of constitution can be an be amended under Article 368, only parliament has the power to make amendment in the constitution under 3 clauses-

(i)1/3rd Majority

(ii)2/3rd Majority

(iii)Special majority

42nd Amendment to the constitution has repealed 4th and 5th clause of the Article 368 and provides amendments to the constitution total exclusion of the Judicial Review. Parliament has unlimited powers to make any amendment in the constitution. Judiciary shall check the amendment made by the parliament if it is not destroying the basic feature of the constitution.

4. Independent Judiciary

Federal form of Government provides distribution of powers. Supremacy of the constitution implies and involves special position for Judiciary as there is separation of powers between central and state government. Judiciary prevents both the organs to encroach each other’s sphere by Judicial activism. In Indian constitution establishes Supreme Court to decide the dispute between central government and state government, the main feature of judiciary is to interpret the constitution. Article 217 & 124(2) states the appointment of Judges by president after consultation of the Judicial Authority. From 1993- 2018, collegian system, where the judges were appointed by the judges. Article 125 and 325 states that once the judges are appointed, the rights and privileges cannot be altered to their disadvantage. Article 146 & 229 states that High Court and Supreme Court recruit their own staffs and frame their own rules regarding condition of service, salary, remuneration is not put to vote to legislation. In the case of State of Bihar V. Bal Mukund Shah (AIR 2000 SC 1296) is was observed that the power of Judicial Review vested in High Court under Article 226 and Supreme Court under Supreme Court32. Article 121 & 211 states that no discussion can take place in Rajya Sabha & Lok Sabha against the conduct of Judge.

5. A Secular State

Originally, the term Secular was not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution of India, it was later on added in the constitution by the 42nd Amendment in the year 1976. Article 25-28 has given an emphasis on religion. The Constitution of India has not given any kind of preference to any religion in the country; hence all the citizens will be treated equal in front of the law and constitution. Constitution guarantees every citizen the freedom of conscience and right to profess or practice any religion. Nothing can be done in the name of religion which is against the public order. Its also been said in the constitution that there will be no discrimination on the grounds of caste, sex, race, place of birth and religion.

6. Adults Suffrage

Every person male or female who attains the age of 18 years or above is entitled to vote in elections of parliament or state legislature. After 61st amendment of the year 1988, the age limit was reduced from 21 years to 18 years. Article 326 provides the citizens the right to vote.

7. Federation with Strong Centers

India is a country of Quasi- federal characters as it is a combination of unitary and federal, which divides the power between center and state government. Distribution of powers are specified under Schedule 7 under Article 246. There are 3 lists given under it which is-

(i) State List (67 Subjects)

(ii) Union List (97 Subjects)

(iii)Concurrent List (52 Subjects)

Under Article 248, residuary powers have been given the parliament an exclusive power to make laws relating to concurrent list.

8. Fundamental Rights

These are enumerated in the Part III of the Constitution, which provide 6 Fundamental Rights to citizens of India. Its been taken from the American constitution. These are mainly restricted against the power of state. The guarantee of individual rights in our constitution has been carefully balanced with the needs for security against the state. However, Fundamental Rights are not an absolute right. If law passed by the parliament, it abridges the right which are enumerated under Part III of the Indian Constitution, and can be declared unconstitutional by the courts.

9. Directive Principles of the State Policies (DPSPs)

These are specified under Part IV of the Indian Constitution. It sets out the aims and objectives to be taken up by the state in the governance of the country. The DPSPs are borrowed from the Irish constitution. The DPSPs are enumerated under Article 36-51 in the Indian Constitution. These specifies the duties of the state to promote social welfare and economic development of the country. However, these are not enforceable under the court of law. It directs states to follow these principles both in the matter of administration as well as in making laws.

10. Fundamental Duties

The Fundamental Duties came after the 42nd Amendment act, 1976 and are enumerated under Part IV A of Indian Constitution. It was adopted from the constitution of USSR. A committee was set up by the Congress government, the committee was known as Swarn Singh Committee to form the Codes of Fundament Duties. Formally there were 10 Codes, and the 11th code was added by 86th amendment Act, 2002.

11. Single Citizenship

It is enumerated in Part II under Article 5-11 of the Indian Constitution. Indian constitution does not allow dual citizenship. Every citizen enjoys the same rights of citizenship, no matter in what state he/ she resides in.

This article is authored by Pragya Sonkhiya, student of B.B.A. LL.B at New Law College, BVP Pune.

Also Read – Fundamental Rights – Meaning And Concept

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