Indian Constitution

1. Ours is a longest Constitution of the world. It has 22 parts with 395 original Articles ( present Articles 446) and 12 Schedules.

2. The Preamble is the basic structure of the Constitution. The Preamble says that people are the ultimate authority and the Constitution emerges from them.

3. The Constitution was adopted on 26th November 1949 which is observed as the Law Day though it came into force from 26th January, 1950.

4. Article 1 of the Constitution of India, that is Bharat and it is Union of States. At present India is he Union of 28 States and 7 Union Territories. The names of States and the names of Union Territories are specified in Schedule 1.

5. Under the Constitution there is only one domicile, i.e. domicile of the country and there is on separate domicile for a State.

6. 86th Amendement in the year 2002, inserted Article 21 A for the right to education.

7. Before 44th amendment in 1978, the right to property was a Fundamental right under Article 31, but now it is the legal and Constitutional right under Article 300A.

8. Article 13 makes all laws and administrative action which abridge fundamental rights ipso facto null and void.

9. Article 14 guarantees to all, equality before law and equal protection of laws. The president and governor are an exception to the equality mandate.

10. Article 15 prohibits discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion , race, caste, sex or place of birth.

11. Article 17 abolishes untouchability.

12. Article 19 guarantees freedom of speech , freedom to assemble peacefully without arms, to form associations or unions, to move throughout the territory of India, to reside and settle in any part of territory of India, to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

13. Article 21 guarantees that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

14. Article 25 prohibits freedom of conscience and free profession , practice and propagation of religion , subject to public order, morality and health.

15. Article 30 gives rights to minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

16. Article 31 A, 31 B, 31 C validate and save certain laws which otherwise may turn out to be volatile of fundamental rights.

17. Article 32 gives a right to every individual to move the Supreme Court directly in case of violation of his fundamental rights.

18. Thus fundamental rights can be classified in to following categories-
a. Right to equality (Articles 14 to 18)
b. Right to freedom (Articles 19 to 22)
c. Right against exploitation ( Articles 23 and 24)
d. Right to freedom of religion ( Article 25 to 28)
e. Right to cultural and educational rights ( Articles 29 to 30)
f. Right to constitutional remedies ( Article 32)

19. Article 36 to 51 deals with Directive Principles of State Policy.

20. Article 36 defines the State.

21. Article 37 provides that provision of the directive principles shall not be enforceable by any court.

22. Article 39A provides for equal justice and free aid.

23. Article 44 makes the provision for uniform civil code for the citizens.

24. Article 45 makes the provision for free and compulsory education to children below the age of 14 years.

25. Article 46 makes the provision for the promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections.

26. Article 50 provides for separation of judiciary from executive.

27. Article 51 provides for promotion of international peace and security.

28. Article 51 A deals with the fundamental duties. This provision was introduced by the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution in the year 1976 by inserting Part IV A in the constitution . These duties cannot be enforced in the court of law.

29. According to Article 53, the executive power of the Union is vested in the President of India. He exercises such powers either directly or through officers subordinate to him.

30. The President is elected by the electoral college comprising of elected members of both the Houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of the States.

31. A President holds office for 5 years and can be re elected

32. He or she should be a citizen of India and must have completed 35 Years of age and should be qualified to be a member of Lok Sabha.

33. Article 61 lays down the procedure for the impeachment of President.

34. The President is empowered with various legislative,executive and judicial powers.

35. The President may promulgate ordinance if both the Houses of Parliament is not in session and it have the effect as an Act of Parliament.

36. The Vice President is ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha but when he performs the duty of President in his absence , he is seized to be ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

37. The Vice President is elected by the members of electoral college of members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

38. The Vice President can be removed from his office on resolution by majority of members of Rajya Sabha and agreed upon by the Lok Sabha.

39. The Prime Minister after being elected unanimously by his political party in Lok Sabha, is appointed by the President and the other ministers are appointed by President on the advice of the Prime Minister. He communicates to the President all decisions of the Council of Minsters relating to the administration of the affairs of the union and proposals for legislation (Article 78).

40. The Attorney General of India is the first law officer of the country. He is appointed by the President and holds office during the pleasure of the President. A person to be qualified to be Attorney General must be eligible for the post of a Judge of Supreme Court.

41. The Attorney General gives advice to the Central Government on legal matters. He can take part in the proceedings of Parliament without right to vote. ( Article 76)

42. The Parliament comprises of Council of States ( Rajya Sabha), House of the People ( Lok Sabha) and President of India.

43. The Rajya Sabha consist of 12 members who are nominated by President and up to 238 representatives of States and of the Union territories.

44. The Lok Sabha consists of 500 members. Two members are nominated by the President to represent the Anglo-Indian community.

45. The Constitution 91st Amendment of 2003 says that the total number of ministers including the Prime Minister in Lok Sabha shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of Lok Sabha.

46. In matter of Ordinary Bills, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha do not stand in distinctive root .

47. In case of Money Bills , Lok Sabha enjoys a pre-eminent position. A Money Bill cannot be introduced in Rajya Sabha and it has no power to amend or reject.

48. Rajya Sabha has two special powers. It empowers Parliament to make legislations with respect to a matter in the State List and it empowers Parliament to create new All India Services.

49. A person must be citizen of India, he must not be less than 25 years in case of Lok Sabha membership and must not be less than 30 years in case of Rajya Sabha.

Features of the Indian Constitution(in brief):

Rigid and Flexible: Some provisions can be easily amended by a simple majority while the others require 2/3rd parliament majority as well as the state legislatures.
Bulkiest Constitution in the World: Earlier we had 395 articles and 8 Schedules/ Now we have 450 articles divided into 22 parts and 12 schedules.
Parliamentary form of Government: The real power vests with the Council of Ministers and the President is just the Nominal Ruler.
Federal System with a Unitary Bias: The Constitution provides for a Federation with a strong centre.
Fundamental Rights: The Constitution contains an elaborate list of Fundamental rights. The State cannot make laws which take away or abridge any of the fundamental rights.
Fundamental Duties: The Constitution contains 11 Duties. 10 of these Duties were added to the Constitution by the 42nd amendment the 11th was added by the 86th amendment.
Directive Principle of State Policy: In case these are violated you cannot go to the Court for remedy.
Secular State: Our State is a secular State. Has no Religion of its own.
Independence of Judiciary: It ensures the Government carries its function in accordance of the provisions of the Constitution.
Universal Adult Franchise: Every Citizen has a right to vote above the age of 18 years.
Emergency Powers: Powers vests in The President to Govern during break down of the Constitutional Machinery or a financial Crisis.
Single Citizenship: Unlike some Countries there is no dual citizenship. A resident is the citizen of the Country and not the State.
Bicameral Legislature: Consists of The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha at the Centre.
Special Provisions for the Minorities: Special provisions for the Minorities exist in Our Country.
Panchayati Raj: They have Constitutional Basis through the 73rd and the 74th Amendment.
Rule of Law: Borrowed from Britain. No man is above the Law. All individuals are subjected to the Jurisdiction of the Ordinary Courts.
Integrated Judiciary: The Supreme Court is at the Top followed by the High Courts and then the District Courts.

Borrowed Features of the Indian Constitution their Source:

From U.K.

  • Nominal Head – President (like Queen)

  • Cabinet System of Ministers

  • Post of PM

  • Parliamentary Type of Govt.

  • Bicameral Parliament

  • Lower House more powerful

  • Council of Ministers responsible to Lowe House

  • Speaker in Lok Sabha

From U.S.

  • Written Constitution

  • Executive head of state known as President and his being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces

  • Vice- President as the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha

  • Fundamental Rights

  • Supreme Court

  • Provision of States

  • Independence of Judiciary and judicial review

  • Preamble

  • Removal of Supreme court and High court Judges

From USSR

  • Fundamental Duties

  • Five year Plan

From SOUTH AFRICA

  • Constitutional amendment Art. 368

From AUSTRALIA

  • Concurrent list

  • Language of the preamble

  • Provision regarding trade, commerce and intercourse

From CANADA

  • Scheme of federation with a strong centre

  • Distribution of powers between centre and the states and placing. Residuary Powers with the centre

From JAPAN

  • Law on which the Supreme Court function

From FRANCE

  • Republic

  • Idea of liberty, equality & fraternity

From GERMANY

  • Suspension of Fundamental Rights during the emergency

From IRELAND

  • Concept of Directive Principles of States Policy(Ireland borrowed it from SPAIN)

  • Method of election of President

  • Nomination of members in the Rajya Sabha by the President

 

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