Indian Constitution: The Indian Constitution set down the basic structure of the political system under which its people are to be governed. The Constitution establishes the main part of the state, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary also define their powers, separate their responsibilities and regulate their relationships with each other and with people also.
The first Indian Constitution framed and given to themselves by the people of India, was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 Nov 1949. It came into existence with full effect from 26 Jan 1950. The Indian Constitution originally had 22 parts, 395 articles and 8 schedules. The constitution is amended from time to time. During the last 70 years, there have been as many as 105 amendments. There are also 4 new schedules added to the constitution and the number of articles also increased. The Indian Constitution is unique in content as well as the spirit of the Constitution is also unique. The main feature of the Indian Constitution is to provide a set of basic rules that allow for minimal coordination among members of society.
Making of the Indian Constitution
In 1934, M.N.Roy put forward the idea of Constituent Assembly for India for the first time. He was a pioneer of the communist movement in India. The Indian National Congress in 1935 officially demanded the Constituent Assembly to frame the Indian Constitution. On behalf of INC in the Year 1938, Jawaharlal Nehru declared that the constitution of free India must be framed without any outside interference, by the Constituent Assembly elected on the basis of an Adult franchise.
Working of the Constituent Assembly
It held its first meeting on December 9, 1946. The Muslim League insisted on a separate state of Pakistan and boycotted the meeting. The meeting was attended by only 211 members, Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha, the oldest member, was elected as the temporary President of the Assembly. After some time, Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Assembly and H.C. Mukherjee and V.T. Krishnamachari both were elected as the Vice-Presidents of the Assembly.
Indian Constitution Preamble
The term ‘Preamble’ refers to the preface or introduction to the Indian Constitution. It contains the essence of the Constitution. The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is also called the ‘identity card of the Constitution.’ It is based on the ‘Objectives Resolution’, drafted and moved by Pandit Nehru, and adopted by the Constituent Assembly and it has been amended by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976, which added three new words–Socialist, Secular and Integrity.
Ingredients of the Preamble
The Preamble reveals four ingredients:
1. Source of the authority of the Indian Constitution-It states that the Constitution derives its authority from the people of India.
2. Nature of Indian State- Preamble declares India to be of a socialists, sovereign, democratic, secular and republican polity.
3. Objectives of the Indian Constitution- It specifies liberty, justice, equality and fraternity as the objectives.
Indian Constitution- Committee
The Constituent Assembly appointed many committees to deal with different duties and tasks of Indian Constitution-making. Out of these, there were eight major committees and the others were minor committees.
|1||Union Powers Committee||Jawaharlal Nehru|
|2||Union Constitution Committee||Jawaharlal Nehru|
|3||Provincial Constitution Committee||Sardar Patel|
|4||Drafting Committee||Dr B.R. Ambedkar|
|5||Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas||Sardar Patel.|
|6||Rules of Procedure Committee||Dr Rajendra Prasad|
|7||States Committee (Committee for Negotiating with States)||Jawaharlal Nehru|
|8||Steering Committee||Dr Rajendra Prasad|
Among all the committees, the most important committee was the Drafting Committee, which was set up on August 29, 1947.Drafting Committee preparing a draft of the new Indian Constitution. It consisted of seven members.
|1||Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (Chairman)|
|2||N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar|
|3||Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar|
|4||Dr. K.M. Munshi|
|5||Syed Mohammad Saadullah|
|6||N. Madhava Rau (He replaced B.L. Mitter who resigned due to ill-health)|
|7||T.T. Krishnamachari (He replaced D.P. Khaitan who died in 1948)|
Indian Constitution Salient Features
The Indian Constitution is unique in content as well as the spirit of the Constitution is also unique. The main feature of the constitution is to provide a set of basic rules that allow for minimal coordination among members of society. The Indian Constitution was borrowed from almost every constitution of the world but it distinguishes it from the Indian Constitutions of other countries. There is a number of original features of the Constitution change, on account of several amendments, particularly the 7th, 42nd, 44th, 73rd, 74th, 97th and 101st Amendments. The 42nd Amendment Act (1976) is known as ‘Mini-Constitution Because of the important and large number of changes made by it in various parts of the Constitution.
The salient features of the Indian Constitution are as follows:
1. Lengthiest Written Constitution
2. Drawn From Various Sources
3. Blend of Rigidity and Flexibility
4. Federal System with Unitary Bias
5. Parliamentary Form of Government
6. Synthesis of Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy
7. Integrated and Independent Judiciary
8. Fundamental Rights
9. Directive Principles of State Policy
10. Fundamental Duties
11. A Secular State
12. Universal Adult Franchise
13. Single Citizenship
14. Independent Bodies
15. Emergency Provisions
16. Three-tier Government
17. Co-operative Societies
Indian Constitution- Sources
The framers of the Indian Constitution borrowed many features from many countries which had the constitution for avoiding their faults at the same time for their suitability to the Indian conditions. The founding fathers of the Indian constitution had borrowed the good features of the constitution of different countries and differentiated them into the Indian constitution. The framers of the Constitution have also included a large number of the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1935 the Constitution of India. The list of the countries and their borrowed or influenced features are given below;
|Government of India Act of 1935|
-Office of Governor,
-Public Service Commissions,
-Emergency provisions and
-Rule of Law,
-Parliamentary privileges and
-Independence of judiciary,
-Impeachment of the president,
-Removal of Supreme Court and high court judges
-post of vice president.
-Directive Principles of State Policy,
-Nomination of members to Rajya Sabha and -Method of election of the president.
-Federation with a strong Centre,
-Vesting of residuary powers in the Centre, -Appointment of state governors by the Centre, -Advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
-Freedom of trade,
-Commerce and intercourse, and
-Joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
|Weimar Constitution of Germany||-Suspension of Fundamental Rights during Emergency.|
|Soviet Constitution (USSR, now Russia)|
-Fundamental duties and
-The ideal of justice (social, economic and political) in the Preamble.
-Republic and the ideals of liberty,
-Fraternity in the Preamble
|South African Constitution|
-Procedure for amendment of the Constitution
-Election of members of Rajya Sabha.
|Japanese Constitution||The procedure was established by Law|
Indian Constitution Articles
There are a total of 22 parts in the Indian Constitution all of these parts deal with different subjects or areas of matter. Part VII in the Indian Constitution was deleted by the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1956. Part VII was dealing with Part-B states. Also, part IV-A and Part XIV-A were added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976, while Part IX-A was added by the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992, and Part IX-B was added by the 97th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2011.
|I||The Union and its territory||1 to 4|
|II||Citizenship||5 to 11|
|III||Fundamental Rights||12 to 35|
|IV||Directive Principles of State Policy||36 to 51|
|IV A||Fundamental Duties||51-A|
|V||The Union Government||52 to 151|
|VI||The State Governments||152 to 237|
|VII||The States in Part B of the First Schedule (deleted)||238 (deleted)|
|VIII||The Union Territories||239 to 242|
|IX||The Panchayats||243 to 243– 0|
|IX A||The Municipalities||243-P to 243-ZG|
|IX B||The Co-operative Societies||243-ZH to 243-ZT|
|X||The Scheduled and Tribal Areas||244 to 244- A|
|XI||Relations between the Union and the States||245 to 263|
|XII||Finance, Property, Contracts and Suits||264 to 300- A|
|XIII||Trade, Commerce and Intercourse within the Territory of India||301 to 307|
|XIV||Services under the Union and the States||308 to 323|
|XIV A||Tribunals||323-A to 323-B|
|XV||Elections||324 to 329- A|
|XVI||Special Provisions relating to Certain Classes||330 to 342- A|
|XVII||Official Language||343 to 351- A|
|XVIII||Emergency Provisions||352 to 360|
|XIX||Miscellaneous||361 to 367|
|XX||Amendment of the Constitution||368|
|XXI||Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions||369 to 392|
|XXII||Short title, Commencement, Authoritative Text in Hindi and Repeals||393 to 395|
Indian Constitution Schedule
In the Indian Constitution, there are a total of 12 schedules which are dealing with various subjects. Schedules in Constitution deals with the various subjects like; Names of the States and Union Territories & their territorial jurisdiction and their extent, Provisions relating to the emoluments, allowances, privileges and so on of President, Governor, Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the states, Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council in the states, Judges of the Supreme Court, Judges of the High Courts 9. The Comptroller and auditor general of India, Forms of Oaths or Affirmations of various constitutional posts, Seats in Rajya sabha for various states, the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.the administration of tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.Division of powers between the Union and the States, Languages recognized by the Constitution, Acts and Regulations of the state legislatures dealing with land reforms, Provisions relating to disqualification of the members of Parliament and State Legislatures, Panchayats and Municipalities.
1. Names of the States and their territorial jurisdiction.
2. Names of the Union Territories and their extent.
Provisions relating to the emoluments, allowances, privileges and so on of:
1. The President of India
2. The Governors of States
3. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha
4. The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
5. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the states
6. The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council in the states
7. The Judges of the Supreme Court
8. The Judges of the High Courts 9. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
Forms of Oaths or Affirmations for:
1. The Union ministers
2. The candidates for election to the Parliament
3. The members of Parliament
4. The judges of the Supreme Court
5. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India
6. The state ministers
7. The candidates for election to the state legislature
8. The members of the state legislature
9. The judges of the High Courts
|Fourth Schedule||Allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha to the states and the union territories.|
|Fifth Schedule||Provisions relating to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.|
|Sixth Schedule||Provisions relating to the administration of tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.|
|Seventh Schedule||Division of powers between the Union and the States in terms of List I (Union List), List II (State List) and List III (Concurrent List). Presently, the Union List contains 98 subjects (originally 97), the State List contains 59 subjects (originally 66) and the Concurrent List contains 52 subjects (originally 47).|
|Eighth Schedule||Languages recognized by the Constitution. Originally, it had 14 languages but presently there are 22 languages. They are:Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri (Dongri), Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Mathili (Maithili), Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Sindhi was added by the 21st Amendment Act of 1967; Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added by the 71st Amendment Act of 1992; and Bodo, Dongri, Maithili and Santhali were added by the 92nd Amendment Act of 2003. Oriya was renamed as ‘Odia’ by the 96th Amendment Act of 2011.|
|Ninth Schedule||Acts and Regulations (originally 13 but presently 282)32 of the state legislatures dealing with land reforms and abolition of the zamindari system and of the Parliament dealing with other matters. This schedule was added by the 1st Amendment (1951) to protect the laws included in it from judicial scrutiny on the ground of violation of fundamental rights. However, in 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the laws included in this schedule after April 24, 1973, are now open to judicial review|
|Tenth Schedule||Provisions relating to disqualification of the members of Parliament and State Legislatures on the ground of defection. This schedule was added by the 52nd Amendment Act of 1985, also known as Anti-defection Law|
|Eleventh Schedule||Specifies the powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayats. It has 29 matters. This schedule was added by the 73rd Amendment Act of 1992.|
|Twelfth Schedule||Specifies the powers, authority and responsibilities of Municipalities. It has 18 matters. This schedule was added by the 74th Amendment Act of 1992.|