Constitution of India:- The Indian Constitution is the longest written constitution in the world consisting of 449 articles in 25 parts and 12 schedules and has been amended a total of 101 times. It is the supreme law of the land and it lays down the Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, Fundamental Political Code while establishing the Fundamental Rights of the citizens, the framework determining the structure, procedures, powers and duties of government institutions.
What is constitution?
Constitution is a written document which contains a set of rules for the government. It defines the fundamental political principles establishing the government’s structure, procedures, powers and duties. It limits the power of the government to prevent exploitation and to guarantee certain rights of the people. The term constitution can be applied to any composite law that defines the functioning of the government.
The Indian Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and it was made effective on 26 January 1950 which is celebrated as Republic Day. The Constitution replaced the Government of India Act, 1935, as the fundamental governing document of the country, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India. In order to ensure constitutional autonomy (the process of enforcing constitutional nationalism by external legal or political power), its creators repealed earlier laws of the British Parliament by invoking Article 395 of the Indian Constitution.
References to other constitutions The framers of the Indian constitution have taken references from the constitutions of different countries. Below is a list of references taken from those countries:
- parliamentary form of government
- idea of single citizenship
- idea of rule of law
- President and his role
- law making process
United States Constitution
Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is similar to the United States Bill of Rights
- federal structure of government
- Power of judicial review and independence of judiciary
- Ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity
- a quasi-federal form of government (a federal system with a strong central government)
- idea of residual powers
- idea of concurrent list
- Freedom of trade and commerce within the country and between states
- Planning Commission and Five Year Plans
- fundamental duties
Meaning of some words in the preamble
Sovereign – It means supreme or independent. The Preamble declares India to be a Republic both internally and externally. Externally it is free from any foreign power and internally it exercises independent government directly elected by the people and makes laws governing the people.
socialistThe word was added by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976. It means social and economic equality. Social equality means no discrimination on the basis of caste, colour, creed, sex, religion, language etc. Everyone gets equal status and opportunities. By economic equality it means that the government will strive for equitable distribution of wealth and provide a decent standard to all, hence the commitment in creating a welfare state. Abolition of untouchability and Zamindari, Equal Wages Act and Child Labor Prohibition Act were some of the steps taken by the government in this context.
secular– The word was inserted by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976. Secular implies equality of all religions and religious tolerance. No state in India has an official state religion. Anyone can propagate, practice and propagate any religion of their choice. In the eyes of the law, all citizens are equal regardless of their religious beliefs. No religious instruction is given in government schools or government aided schools.
Democratic – This means that all levels of government are elected by the people through the system of universal adult franchise. Every citizen of the age of 18 years and above, regardless of caste, creed, colour, sex, religion or education, is entitled to vote, unless deprived by law.
RepublicThe term means that the head of the state is directly or indirectly elected for a fixed term. The President of India is elected by the Electoral College for a fixed term of five years.
Article under Indian Constitution
There are 449 articles under the Indian Constitution which are divided into 25 parts. Initially, the constitution consisted of only 22 parts and 395 articles with 8 schedules. However, many amendments have been made to the constitution since its inception. As of October 2018, a total of 123 Amendment Bills have been introduced, out of which 102 Amendment Acts have been enacted. Some of the Articles of the Constitution of India are summarized below:
Part I (Articles 1 to 4): The Union and Its Territory
The first part of our constitution deals with the states and union territories of India. It describes the country as “India which is India shall be a union of states” and then formulates laws under which states can be divided or merged with a simple parliamentary majority. The boundaries can be changed and the names of the states can be changed. It also gives a clause in which associations can be added to the union. At present, there are 29 states in India and 7 union territories.
This part is itself part of the basic structure of the Constitution and hence cannot be amended through Article 368. Although minor amendments could be made like the Constitution (40th Amendment) Act, 1976, a new Article 297 was substituted so that all lands, minerals, and territorial waters of India vested in the Union or the Continental Shelf or the Special Economic Zone of India. There are other things of value under the sea within the area. Sikkim was admitted as a state in India on 26 April 1975. The latest impact of this law can be seen in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014 where Telangana was carved out as a new state.
Part II (Articles 5 to 11): Citizenship
This article sets out whether a person can take a Blue Indian Passport or not. It has 7 paragraphs which are given below:
- Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution.
- Rights of citizenship of some people coming to India from Pakistan.
- Citizenship rights of certain migrants in Pakistan.
- Rights of citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India.
- The person must not be a citizen voluntarily acquiring the citizenship of a foreign state.
- Continuing citizenship rights.
- Parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by law.
In exercise of the power vested in the Parliament by Article 11 of the Constitution of India, a comprehensive law “Citizenship Act, 1955” was passed by the Parliament. This Act has been amended from time to time to make room for the provisions as and when required. Primarily, India is a country that only allowed single citizenship, but the Citizenship Bill 2003 allowed people of Indian origin lining up to acquire dual citizenship in 16 specific countries. Citizenship can also be acquired in the following ways:
- a person who was born in the territory of India or
- a person whose parents were born in the territory of India or
- A person who has ordinarily been resident in the territory of India for less than five years
Part III (Articles 12 to 35): Fundamental Rights
Most important part of the constitution. Fundamental Rights are the fundamental rights of the citizen and all laws against them are made to protect them directly or indirectly. Although this part has been prone to various contradictions, amendments and political debates, it was held in the Keshavananda Bharati case that this part is included in the “basic structure” of the Constitution and can be amended only for positive and progressive reasons. Is. However, these rights are subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law. Some rights can be taken away in case of emergency. Fundamental rights are explained in the following paragraphs:
law Everyone, including non-citizens, is equal to the law. The state ensures equal protection of laws within the territory of India.
Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
The makers of our constitution wanted an egalitarian society (based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities). Therefore, he ensured that the state would not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. But then the State shall not be prevented from making any special provision for the development of any socially and educationally backward class or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes any social provision provided in Part 29(2).
Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
Similar to Article 15 which prohibits discrimination from public employment in this matter. So a person can be very much from Bihar and work in Mumbai.
abolition of untouchability
The social abuse of untouchability in ancient India which was prevalent in many parts of the country was completely eradicated under this article.
The right to freedom of speech is
a much-debated article especially with the ongoing bitterness and barrage of news channels and unregulated social media. We must remember that this freedom is not absolute and cannot prevent any State from making such a law which imposes reasonable restrictions of right given by the above in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, Friendly relations with foreign states, with respect to public order, decency or morality, or contempt of court, slander or incitement to an offence.
Protection in respect of trust for offenses No person can be convicted of, or prosecuted, and punished for the same offense more than once for any offense other than the contravention of the law in force at the time of commission of the Act. No person accused of any offense shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
Protection of Life and Personal Liberty
The scope of this law is the largest of all fundamental rights. It states that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty in accordance with procedure established by law. Article 21(a) of the Right to Education 2005 mandates the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of six and fourteen years.
Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases
Every person being arrested and in custody shall be produced before the nearest Magistrate within a period of twenty four hours of such arrest. The article for the Habis Corpus follows from this paragraph.
Human Trafficking and Prohibition of Forced Labor
Article 23 deals with the right against exploitation and prohibits human trafficking and forced labor.
Prohibition of employment of children in factories Children
below the age of fourteen years cannot be employed to work in any factory or mine or to work in any other hazardous employment.
Right to freedom of religion Freedom of
conscience and free profession, practice and spread of religion.
Freedom to manage religious affairs
This right is subject to public order, morality and health.
Cultural and Educational Rights
Any class of citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture shall have the right to be protected. No citizen shall be admitted or denied admission in any educational institution maintained by the State, receiving aid from the State Fund merely on grounds of money, caste, language or any of them.
right to constitutional remedies
Measures for enforcement of rights described by Dr. Ambedkar as “the heart and soul of the Indian Constitution” are provided by this part. A person can approach the High Court or the Supreme Court to ensure his rights. The Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs for the enforcement of any right conferred by this Part, including circles in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, cu verranto, and sarsari, as may be appropriate. .
Part IV (Articles 36 to 51): Directive Principles of State Policy
These are instructions to the Union and State Governments to make laws for a healthier, law-abiding and idealistic society. These are inspired by the Irish constitution. These promote the general welfare of the people but cannot be enforced through articles in courts of law.
There are directions,
the state to secure social order, to promote the welfare of the people.
Some of the principles of policy to be followed by the state are,
- Citizens, men and women alike, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
- the ownership and control of the material resources of the community so good that it is best to provide sub-common service;
- The operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of funds and the means of production for the common loss;
- Equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
- The health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter incarnations unwilling for their age or strength;
- Those children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in a state of freedom and dignity and childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and moral and material sacrifice.
- Equal justice and free legal aid will be provided by the state (39A).
Part IV-A (Article 51A): Fundamental Duties
Fundamental duties inspired by the Russian Constitution are the responsibilities of citizens towards the nation. Although the duties cannot be enforced in a court of law, it is expected that the people of India perform them properly. These were not part of the original constitution added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976 on the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee. these are
- To abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions
- To meditate and follow the great ideals that inspired our national struggle for freedom
- To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India
- To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so
- To promote the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India
- To preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture
- To protect and improve the natural environment
- To develop scientific temper, humanism and a sense of inquiry
- to protect public property
- To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity
In addition, in 2002 under the 86th amendment of the constitution, another fundamental duty has been added to the Indian constitution which is the right to education which says that it is the duty of a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to their child.
Part V Articles (52 to 151): Government at the Union Level
This part deals with the duties and functions of the President, Prime Minister, Ministers, Attorney General, Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Comptroller and Auditor General.
Articles 52 to 62 outline the powers of the President and the Executive. The procedure for election, re-election, qualification, manner, qualification and impeachment of the President. Articles 63 to 71, likewise, speak of and regulate the position of the Vice-President. Article 72 lays down the power of the President to grant pardon in certain cases. Article 73 limits the executive powers of the Union. Article 74 states that the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers is binding on the President.
Article 75 says that the Prime Minister is to be appointed by the President and other ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. It also lays out some other provisions for ministers.
Article 76 lays down the appointment and duties of the Attorney General of India. Articles 77-78 govern the conduct of public business.
Articles 79 to 122 lay down the details of Parliament. The constitution and structure of both the house, period, session, reproduction of these houses. In addition, the qualification and appointment of members, their salaries, the appointment of speakers and deputy speakers. The legislative process of Parliament is also described in these articles. Article 123 lays down the power of the President to issue ordinances.
Articles 124 to 147 give details of the central judiciary. Establishment of Supreme Court, appointment of judges, their salaries and powers. It also explains the working, powers, jurisdiction procedures of the Supreme Court of India.
Articles 148 to 151 describe the role, powers, procedures and duties of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
PART VIII (Articles 239 to 242): Union Territories
Articles 239 to 242 lay down the procedure for administration and provisions in the Union Territories and the special character of Delhi as the National Capital Territory. It details the power of the lieutenant governor. Article 242 was repealed by the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956.
PART IX (Articles 243 to 243 O): Panchayat
Articles 243 to 243 describe the constitution of the Panchayat and the Gram Sabha, their term of office, qualifications and disqualification of the membership, powers, rights and responsibilities of the Panchayat. This part also gives process of financial management, audit and applications of Panchayats. Schedule 11 was added in 1992 by the Seventy-third Amendment.
Part IX-A Articles (243P to 243ZG): Municipalities
Articles 243P to 243ZG describe the constitution of the municipalities, the powers, authority, and responsibilities of the municipality for their term of office, qualifications and disqualifications. This part also gives the composition of a committee for the process of financial management, metropolitan planning, audit and its applications. Schedule 12 was added in 1992 by the Seventy-fourth Amendment.
Part X (Articles 244 to 244A): Scheduled and Tribal Areas
Articles 244 and 244A describe the procedures for administration for scheduled and tribal areas. The provisions of the Fifth Schedule govern the Scheduled Areas and Tribes with the exception of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram where the provisions of the Sixth Schedule shall apply.
Part XI (Articles 245 to 263): Relations between the Union and the States
Articles 245 to 261 detail the distribution of legislative powers between the Center and the states. They describe the range of laws that can be made by the Parliament and the legislatures of the states. The power of the Parliament to make laws in the State List for the national interest, is set out in this part in the proclamation of emergency. In some cases, the states and the union have obligations to each other and the union’s control over the states is also provided. Article 262 provides for the adjudication of disputes relating to water and inter-state rivers while Article 263 provides for the inter-state council.
The 101st Amendment Act, GST inserted two important articles in this part. Provides that (1) notwithstanding anything contained in Articles 246 and 254, Parliament shall, and subject to clause (2), have power to make laws with respect to the tax of goods and services imposed by the Union in the Legislature of each State. or by such State. (2) Parliament has special power to make laws with respect to goods and services tax where the supply of goods, or services, or both occurs in the course of inter-state trade or commerce.