UNDERSTANDING THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
- A Constitution is a written or unwritten document that contains a set of rules for a government.
- The constitution contains the fundamental political principles and establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties of a government.
- The term constitution can be used for any general law that is related with functioning of government.
- Constitution can be divided into two as written and unwritten Constitution.
- The longest written constitution in the world is Indian Constitution.
Regulating Act – 1773
- It is the first step taken in consolidation of British rule in India.
- It laid the base of administration of union government of India.
- The Governor of Bengal was made the Governor General of Bengal.
Pitt's India Act – 1784
- It established a system of double Government.
- It made Indian affairs under the control of British Government.
Charter Act - 1793
- The monopoly of trade with India for another twenty years was given to the company.
Charter Act – 1813
- This Act deprived the East India Company of the monopoly of trade in India.
Charter Act – 1833
- According to this Act, Governor General of Bengal is designated to Governor General of India.
- Lord William Bentick was appointed as the first Governor General of India.
Charter Act – 1853
- The system of competitive examination was introduced in the civil service examination.
- Macaulay committee on the Indian civil services was appointed in 1854.
Government of India Act - 1858
- Rule of the East India Company in India ended and rule of the Crown began.
Indian Councils Act - 1861
- Policy of Association of Indians in legislation started.
- Portfolio system was introduced.
Indian Councils Act - 1892
- It marks the beginning of representative system in India.
Indian Councils Act - 1909
- It is popularly known as Minto-Morle Reforms. It was introduced for the first time, an element of election to the legislative councils.
- Satyendra Sinha became the first Indian to join the Executive Council of viceroy.
Government of India Act - 1919
- It is popularly known as Montague Chemsford reforms. The office of the High Commissioner of India was created in London. Indian legislature became bi-cameral for the first time.
Government of India Act - 1935
- It was not implemented fully. The main features of the present Indian constitution are taken from this act.
Indian Independence Act - 1947
- It was the act for partition of India and Pakistan. It is for the empowering of constitution for the nations.
NATURE OF THE CONSTITUTION
- Indian Constitution is a written constitution.
- India is depicted by the Constitution as a Union of States.
- Unlike other federal constitutions, it contains the constitution of states also.
- It describes in detail many not so important subjects like elections, citizenship and administrative services.
- The constitutional Amendments have further added to the size of the Constitution.
Both Flexible and Rigid
- Indian Constitution is partly flexible and partly rigid. Some of its provisions can be amended by a simple majority of parliament while others require a two third majority of parliament besides the accent of majority of state legislature.
Unitary and Federal
- Indian Constitution is described as federal in term but unitary in spirit.
- Indian Constitution is Quasi – federal.
- The word federal is however absent in the Indian Constitution.
- The constitution establishes a federal structure in India ie, there are separate governments of the Union and States and there is a division of powers between the two. By giving more powers and prominence to the Union in comparison to states it impart unitary features.
- India has opted for the parliamentary form of government.
- According to the parliamentary system, President will be the nominal head. The assembly of Ministers will be headed by the Prime Minister and was the real executive. The Ministers are jointly responsible to the Lok Sabha.
- In a federation there is usually double citizenship - the citizenship of the state in which he is born and the citizenship of the federation.
- But in India, there is single citizenship. Citizens will fall under Indian Union.
Adult & Universal Franchise
- The Indian Constitution provides for Adult and Universal franchise to all citizens.
- The voting right has been granted to every citizen of 18 years or more without any discrimination as to caste, creed, religion, race, sex or place of birth.
- India is a secular state because it makes no discrimination among individuals on the basis of religion.
- Right to freedom of religion is mentioned in the Indian constitution and every individual has the rights to follow or spread any religion they like.
- Judiciary occupies an important place in our Constitution and it is also made independent of the legislative and the executive.
- It acts as protection of fundamental rights of Indian citizens and guardian of the Constitution.
ADOPTIONS OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION
Govt. of India Act 1935
- Federal System
- Office of the Governor
- Power of federal judiciary
- Emergency power
- Public Service Commissions
- Administrative details
- Law making procedure
- Rule of Law
- Provisions of Single Citizenship
- Parliamentary Govt
- Prerogative writs
- Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG)
- Independent Judiciary
- Judicial Review
- Fundamental Rights
- Removal of Supreme & High Court Judges (Impeachment)
- Functions of Vice-President
- Federation with a strong centre
- Residuary powers with the centre
- Appointment of State Governors by Center
- Advisory/Review of supreme court.
- Directive Principles of State Policy
- Method of Presidential election
- Nomination of members of Rajya Sabha by the President
- Emergency Provision
- Suspension of Fundamental Rights
- Australia: Concurrent list & Freedom of trade.
- South Africa: Amendment procedure.
- France: Republic
- Russia (USSR): Fundamental Duties & Preamble.
- Japan: Procedures established by law.
Interesting Facts about Indian Constitution
- The first law that mentioned the undivided India (ie, including India and Pakistan) as two nations is Indian Independence Act, 1947.
- The President of India, when constitution was accepted is Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
- The important constitutional section that declares the clear nature of ‘Indian Neutral to Religion’ is Preamble.
- It was according to the 7th schedule, Union, State, Concurrent lists were included that divides the central – state government’s law making rules.
- The act that considers the document line of constitution is the government of India act in 1935.
- The chairman of Constitution Drafting committee is Dr.BR. Ambedkar.
- During the constituent making period, the chairman of constituent assembly is Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
- It was from Germany, the sections of Emergency in constitution are borrowed.
- The 58th Amendment law of constitution mentions the period wise constitutional Amendments, which is modified. This modified English version is translated to hindi and was published by president.
- It was in 1976, the 42nd constitutional Amendment was formed. In that Amendment, the word “socialist was added to preamble of constitution.
- When the fundamental rights are disobeyed, one can go for Supreme Court according to Article 32. The Article 226 mentions to go for High Court on the matter on disobey of fundamental right.
- There are 12 schedules in Indian Constitution.
- The system of fundamental rights in India has similarities with Bill of Rights of American constitution.
- The article that mentions the declaration of President Rule when the ruling setup of a state is failed is Article 356.
- The case that supreme court declared that preamble is a part of constitution is Kesava Nanda Bharati Case.
- The constitutional Amendment that made the defection abolition law is 52nd Amendment.
- The commission that formed in 1983 for instructing whether there need any change in central state relation is sarkaria commission.
- The law making right related to changing a state’s boundaries is included in Union list.
- Jammu Kashmir is the only state in India, which has the right to make a constitution of their own.
- The law that instructs the federal set up in India before the constitution came into existence is Government of India Act in 1935.
- Uttar Pradesh is the state which can sent more members to Rajya Sabha according to the forth schedule of constitution.
- It was in 1989, the voting age of a citizen in India is reduced from age 21 to 18.
- “Freedom to make wealth” is the freedom that was removed from fundamental freedoms.
- The position according to article 14, which have reduction from “Equality infront of law” is president.
- Not more than one, trial for single crime (Double Jeopardy) principle belongs to Article 20 of constitution.
- Article 368 is the constitutional part that mentions the Amendment of fundamental rights.
- It was during the declaration of President Rule, the power of writ for Supreme Court and high court is temporarily cancelled.
- The power of Supreme Court’s writ is limited to disfollow fundamental rights.
- The principle of writ power in Indian constitution is inspired from Pre-rogative writs, which is according to the law system of Britain.
- It was from Ireland, the idea of Directive Principles is borrowed.
- Article 44 instructs the conduction of unified civil code.
- It was according to the Directive Principles, the decision of forming three tier Panchayats in India is taken.
- It was in Article 51A, fundamental duties are mentioned.
- It was for Attorney General, who has the right to speak in two assemblies of Parliament, even though not a member.
- If one was elected to both Parliament and Legislative Assembly at the same time and if he not resigned from any of from both positions, then he would lose the parliament membership.
- Supreme Court is considered as court of Record.
- Impeachment is the process involved in removing the judges from Supreme Court and high court.
- Justice Ram Moorthy is the person, who faced the Impeachment process during the period, 1991 – 93. But the Impeachment report failed to remove his position.
- Punjab and Haryana are the states which have a single High Court in general.
- It was in High Court, Hang to death decision decided by District Session Court is checked and declared.
- President only has the power to transfer a high court judge from one court to another.
- Article 370 gave special position to Jammu and Kashmir.
- Lieutenant Colonel is the substitute of President in central government ruling places.
- Article 17 of constitution declares the abolishment of untouchable.
- Right to Education Bill in 2008 is based on 86th constitutional Amendment. (Right to Primary Education)
- The writ suit wanted for presenting a person who was illegally in custody (prison) is habeas corpus.