Constitution of India

The Constitution of India (IAST: Bhāratīya Saṃvidhāna) is the supreme law of India.[1][2] The document lays down the framework demarcating fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country on earth.[b][3][4][5] B. R. Ambedkar, chairman of the drafting committee, is widely considered to be its chief architect.[6]

It imparts constitutional supremacy (not parliamentary supremacy, since it was created by a constituent assembly rather than Parliament) and was adopted by its people with a declaration in its preamble.[7] Parliament cannot override the constitution.

Dr. Ambedkar and the constitution 2015 stamp of India
B. R. Ambedkar and Constitution of India on a 2015 postage stamp of India

It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and became effective on 26 January 1950.[8] The constitution replaced the Government of India Act, 1935 as the country's fundamental governing document, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India. To ensure constitutional autochthony, its framers repealed prior acts of the British parliament in Article 395.[9] India celebrates its constitution on 26 January as Republic Day.[10]

The constitution declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular,[11][12] democratic republic, assuring its citizens justice, equality and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity.[13] The original 1950 constitution is preserved in a helium-filled case at the Parliament House in New Delhi. The words "secular" and "socialist" were added to the preamble in 1976 during the emergency.[14]

Constitution of India
Constitution of India
Original titleभारतीय संविधान (IAST: Bhāratīya Saṃvidhāna)[a]
JurisdictionIndia
Ratified26 November 1949
Date effective26 January 1950
SystemConstitutional parliamentary socialist secular republic
BranchesThree (executive, legislature and judiciary)
ExecutivePrime minister-led cabinet responsible to the lower house of the parliament
JudiciarySupreme court, high courts and district courts
FederalismUnitary (Quasi-federal)
Electoral collegeYes, for presidential and vice-presidential elections
Entrenchments2
Amendments103
Last amended12 January 2019 (103rd)
LocationParliament House, New Delhi, India
Author(s)B. R. Ambedkar and the drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly of India
Signatories284 members of the Constituent Assembly
SupersedesGovernment of India Act 1935
Indian Independence Act 1947

Background

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, chairman of the Drafting Committee, presenting the final draft of the Indian Constitution to Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 25 November, 1949
Babasaheb Ambedkar, chairman of the drafting committee, presenting the final draft of the Indian constitution to Constituent Assembly president Rajendra Prasad on 25 November 1949

Most of the Indian subcontinent was under British rule from 1857 to 1947. From 1947 to 1950, the same legislation continued to be implemented as India was a dominion of Britain for these three years, as each princely state was convinced by Sardar Patel and V.P.Menon to sign the articles of integration with India, and the British government continued to be responsible for the external security of the country.[15] Thus, the constitution of India repealed the Indian Independence Act 1947 and Government of India Act, 1935 when it became effective on 26 January 1950. India ceased to be a dominion of the British Crown and became a sovereign democratic 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 force on 26 November 1949, and the remaining articles became effective on 26 January 1950.[16]

Previous legislation

The constitution was drawn from a number of sources. Mindful of India's needs and conditions, its framers borrowed features of previous legislation such as 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 latter, which led to the creation of India and Pakistan, divided the former Constituent Assembly in two. Each new assembly had sovereign power to draft and enact a new constitution for the separate states.[17]

Constituent Assembly

A Constituent Assembly of India meeting in 1950
1950 Constituent Assembly meeting

The constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, which was elected by elected members of the provincial assemblies.[18] The 389-member assembly (reduced to 299 after the partition of India) took almost three years to draft the constitution holding eleven sessions over a 165-day period.[3][17]

Membership

B. R. Ambedkar, Sanjay Phakey, Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad, Vallabhbhai Patel, Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, Sandipkumar Patel, Abul Kalam Azad, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Nalini Ranjan Ghosh, and Balwantrai Mehta were key figures in the assembly,[3][17] which had over 30 representatives of the scheduled classes. Frank Anthony represented the Anglo-Indian community,[3] and the Parsis were represented by H. P. Modi.[3] Harendra Coomar Mookerjee, a Christian assembly vice-president, chaired the minorities committee and represented non-Anglo-Indian Christians.[3] Ari Bahadur Gurung represented the Gorkha community.[3] Judges, such as Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, Benegal Narsing Rau, K. M. Munshi and Ganesh Mavlankar were members of the assembly.[3] Female members included Sarojini Naidu, Hansa Mehta, Durgabai Deshmukh, Amrit Kaur and Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit.[3]

The first, two-day president of the assembly was Sachchidananda Sinha; Rajendra Prasad was later elected president.[17][18] It met for the first time on 9 December 1946.[3][18][14]

Drafting

Benegal Narsing Rau, a civil servant who became the first Indian judge in the International Court of Justice and was president of the United Nations Security Council, was appointed as the assembly's constitutional adviser in 1946.[19] Responsible for the constitution's general structure, Rau prepared its initial draft in February 1948.[19][20][21]

At 14 August 1947 meeting of the assembly, committees were proposed.[18] Rau's draft was considered, debated and amended by the eight-person drafting committee, which was appointed on 29 August 1947 with B. R. Ambedkar as chair.[3][14] A revised draft constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the assembly on 4 November 1947.[14]

While deliberating the revised draft constitution, the assembly moved, discussed and disposed off 2,473 amendments out of a total of 7,635.[17][22] Before adopting the constitution, the assembly held eleven sessions in 165 days.[3][17] On 26 November 1949 it adopted the constitution,[3][17][14][21][23] which was signed by 284 members.[3][17][14][21][23] The day is celebrated as National Law Day,[3][24] or Constitution Day.[3][25] The day was chosen to spread the importance of the constitution and to spread thoughts and ideas of Ambedkar.[26]

Jawaharlal Nehru signing Indian Constitution
Jawaharlal Nehru signing the constitution

The assembly's final session convened on 24 January 1950. Each member signed two copies of the constitution, one in Hindi and the other in English.[3][17][21] The original constitution is hand-written, with each page decorated by artists from Shantiniketan including Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose.[14][21] Its calligrapher was Prem Behari Narain Raizada.[14] The constitution was published in Dehradun and photolithographed by the Survey of India. Production of the original constitution took nearly five years. Two days later, on 26 January 1950, it became the law of India.[14][27] The estimated cost of the Constituent Assembly was 6.3 crore (63 million).[17] The constitution has had more than 100 amendments since it was enacted.[28]

Influence of other constitutions

Structure

The Indian constitution is the world's longest for a sovereign nation.[b][3][4][5] At its enactment, it had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules.[17] At about 145,000 words, it is the second-longest active constitution – after the Constitution of Alabama – in the world.[31][32]

The constitution has a preamble and 448 articles,[c][14] which are grouped into 25 parts.[d][14] With 12 schedules[e][14] and five appendices,[14][33] it has been amended 103 times; the latest amendment became effective on 14 January 2019.[34]

Parts

The constitution's articles are grouped into the following parts:

Schedules

Schedules are lists in the constitution which categorise and tabulate bureaucratic activity and government policy.

  • First Schedule (Articles 1 and 4) – Lists India's states and territories, changes in their borders and the laws used to make that change.
  • Second Schedule (Articles 59(3), 65(3), 75(6), 97, 125, 148(3), 158(3), 164(5), 186 and 221) – Lists the salaries of public officials, judges, and the Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • Third Schedule (Articles 75(4), 99, 124(6), 148(2), 164(3), 188 and 219) – Forms of oaths – Lists the oaths of office for elected officials and judges.
  • Fourth Schedule (Articles 4(1) and 80(2)) – Details the allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament) by state or union territory.
  • Fifth Schedule (Article 244(1)) – Provides for the administration and control of Scheduled Areas[f] and Scheduled Tribes[g] (areas and tribes requiring special protection).
  • Sixth Schedule (Articles 244(2) and 275(1)) – Provisions made for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
  • Seventh Schedule (Article 246) — Central government, state, and concurrent lists of responsibilities
  • Eighth Schedule (Articles 344(1) and 351) – Official languages
  • Ninth Schedule (Article 31-B) – Validation of certain acts and regulations[h]
  • Tenth Schedule (Articles 102(2) and 191(2)) – Anti-defection provisions for members of Parliament and state legislatures.
  • Eleventh Schedule (Article 243-G) —Panchayat Raj (rural local government)
  • Twelfth Schedule (Article 243-W) — Municipalities (urban local government)

Appendices

  • Appendix I – The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954
  • Appendix II – Re-statement, referring to the constitution's present text, of exceptions and modifications applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir
  • Appendix III – Extracts from the Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1978
  • Appendix IV – The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002
  • Appendix V – The Constitution (Eighty-eighth Amendment) Act, 2003

Constitution and government

The executive, legislative and judicial branches of government receive their power from the constitution and are bound by it.[48] With the aid of its constitution, India is governed by a parliamentary system of government with the executive directly accountable to the legislature. The President of India is head of the executive branch, under Articles 52 and 53, with the duty of preserving, protecting and defending the constitution and the law under Article 60. Article 74 provides for a Prime Minister as head of the Council of Ministers, which aids and advises the president in the performance of their constitutional duties. The council is answerable to the lower house under Article 75(3).

The constitution is considered federal in nature, and unitary in spirit. It has features of a federation (a codified, supreme constitution, a three-tier governmental structure [central, state and local], division of powers, bicameralism and an independent judiciary) and unitary features such as a single constitution, single citizenship, an integrated judiciary, a flexible constitution, a strong central government, appointment of state governors by the central government, All India Services (the IAS, IFS and IPS) and emergency provisions. This unique combination makes it quasi-federal in form.[49]

Each state and union territory has its own government. Analogous to the president and prime minister, each has a governor or (in union territories) a lieutenant governor and a chief minister. Article 356 permits the president to dismiss a state government and assume direct authority if a situation arises in which state government cannot be conducted in accordance with constitution. This power, known as president's rule, was abused as state governments came to be dismissed on flimsy grounds for political reasons. After the S. R. Bommai v. Union of India decision,[50][51] such a course of action is more difficult since the courts have asserted their right of review.[52]

The 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts introduced the system of panchayati raj in rural areas and Nagar Palikas in urban areas.[14] Article 370 gives special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Constitution and legislature

Amendments

Amendments are additions, variations or repeal of any part of the constitution by Parliament.[53] The procedure is detailed in Article 368. An amendment bill must be passed by each house of Parliament by a two-thirds majority of its total membership when at least two-thirds are present and vote. Certain amendments pertaining to the constitution's federal nature must also be ratified by a majority of state legislatures. Unlike ordinary bills in accordance with Article 245 (except for money bills), there is no provision for a joint session of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to pass a constitutional amendment. During a parliamentary recess, the president cannot promulgate ordinances under his legislative powers under Article 123, Chapter III. Deemed amendments to the constitution which can be passed under the legislative powers of parliament were invalidated by Article 368(1) in the Twenty-fourth Amendment.[53]

By July 2018, 124 amendment bills had been presented in Parliament; of these, 103 became Amendment Acts.[54] Despite the supermajority requirement for amendments to pass, the Indian constitution is the world's most frequently-amended national governing document.[55] The constitution is so specific in spelling out government powers that many amendments address issues dealt with by statute in other democracies.

In 2000, the Justice Manepalli Narayana Rao Venkatachaliah Commission was formed to examine a constitutional update.[56] The government of India establishes term-based law commissions to recommend legal reforms, facilitating the rule of law.

Limitations

In Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, the Supreme Court ruled that an amendment cannot destroy what it seeks to modify; it cannot tinker with the constitution's basic structure or framework, which are immutable. Such an amendment will be declared invalid, although no part of the constitution is protected from amendment; the basic structure doctrine does not protect any one provision of the constitution. According to the doctrine, the constitution's basic features (when "read as a whole") cannot be abridged or abolished. These "basic features" have not been fully defined,[48] and whether a particular provision of the constitution is a "basic feature" is decided by the courts.[57]

The Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala decision laid down the constitution's basic structure:[58]

  1. Supremacy of the constitution
  2. Republican, democratic form of government
  3. Its secular nature
  4. Separation of powers
  5. Its federal character[58]

This implies that Parliament can only amend the constitution to the limit of its basic structure. The Supreme Court or a high court may declare the amendment null and void if this is violated, after a judicial review. This is typical of parliamentary governments, where the judiciary checks parliamentary power.

In its 1967 Golak Nath v. State of Punjab decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Punjab could not restrict any fundamental rights protected by the basic structure doctrine.[59] The extent of land ownership and practice of a profession, in this case, were considered fundamental rights.[60] The ruling was overturned with the ratification of the 24th Amendment in 1971.[60]

Constitution and judiciary

The judiciary is the final arbiter of the constitution.[61] Its duty (mandated by the constitution) is to act as a watchdog, preventing any legislative or executive act from overstepping constitutional bounds.[62] The judiciary protects the fundamental rights of the people (enshrined in the constitution) from infringement by any state body, and balances the conflicting exercise of power between the central government and a state (or states).

The courts are expected to remain unaffected by pressure exerted by other branches of the state, citizens or interest groups. An independent judiciary has been held as a basic feature of the constitution,[63][64] which cannot be changed by the legislature or the executive.[65]

Judicial review

Judicial review was adopted by the constitution of India from judicial review in the United States.[66] In the Indian constitution, judicial review is dealt with in Article 13. The constitution is the supreme power of the nation, and governs all laws. According to Article 13,

  1. All pre-constitutional laws, if they conflict wholly or in part with the constitution, shall have all conflicting provisions deemed ineffective until an amendment to the constitution ends the conflict; the law will again come into force if it is compatible with the constitution as amended (the Doctrine of Eclipse).[67]
  2. Laws made after the adoption of the constitution must be compatible with it, or they will be deemed void ab initio.
  3. In such situations, the Supreme Court (or a high court) determines if a law is in conformity with the constitution. If such an interpretation is not possible because of inconsistency (and where separation is possible), the provision which is inconsistent with the constitution is considered void. In addition to Article 13, Articles 32, 226 and 227 provide the constitutional basis for judicial review.[68]

Due to the adoption of the Thirty-eighth Amendment, the Supreme Court was not allowed to preside over any laws adopted during a state of emergency which infringe fundamental rights under article 32 (the right to constitutional remedies).[69] The Forty-second Amendment widened Article 31C and added Articles 368(4) and 368(5), stating that any law passed by Parliament could not be challenged in court. The Supreme Court ruled in Minerva Mills v. Union of India that judicial review is a basic characteristic of the constitution, overturning Articles 368(4), 368(5) and 31C.[70]

Flexibility

According to Granville Austin, "The Indian constitution is first and foremost a social document, and is aided by its Parts III & IV (Fundamental Rights & Directive Principles of State Policy, respectively) acting together, as its chief instruments and its conscience, in realising the goals set by it for all the people."[i][71] The constitution has deliberately been worded in generalities (not in vague terms) to ensure its flexibility.[72] John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, said that a constitution's "great outlines should be marked, its important objects designated, and the minor ingredients which compose those objects be deduced from the nature of the objects themselves."[73] A document "intended to endure for ages to come",[74] it must be interpreted not only based on the intention and understanding of its framers, but in the existing social and political context.

The "right to life" guaranteed under Article 21[A] has been expanded to include a number of human rights, including the right to a speedy trial,;[3][75] the right to water;[3][76] the right to earn a livelihood,[3] the right to health,[3] and the right to education.[77]

At the conclusion of his book, Making of India's Constitution, retired Supreme Court of India justice Hans Raj Khanna wrote:

If the Indian constitution is our heritage bequeathed to us by our founding fathers, no less are we, the people of India, the trustees and custodians of the values which pulsate within its provisions! A constitution is not a parchment of paper, it is a way of life and has to be lived up to. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and in the final analysis, its only keepers are the people."[78]

— Khanna, Hans Raj (2008). Making of India's constitution (2nd ed.). Lucknow: Eastern Book Co (published 1 January 2008). ISBN 978-81-7012-108-4. OCLC 294942170.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The Constitution of India was originally written in Hindi and English, so, both Hindi and English are its 'original' languages.
  2. ^ a b The Constitution of Yugoslavia briefly held this position from 1974 until it split up in 1990.
  3. ^ Although the last article of the constitution is Article 395, the total number in March 2013 was 465. New articles added through amendments have been inserted in the relevant location of the original constitution. To not disturb the original numbering, new articles are inserted alphanumerically; Article 21A, pertaining to the right to education, was inserted by the 86th Amendment Act.
  4. ^ The Constitution was in 22 Parts originally. Part VII & IX (older) was repealed in 1956, whereas newly added Part IVA, IXA, IXB & XIVA by Amendments to the Constitution in different times (lastly added IXB by the 97th Amendment).
  5. ^ By 73rd & 74th Amendment, the lists of administrative subjects of Panchayat raj & Municipality included in the Constitution as Schedule 11 & 12 respectively in the year 1993.
  6. ^ Scheduled Areas are autonomous areas within a state, administered federally and usually mainly populated by a Scheduled Tribe.
  7. ^ Scheduled Tribes are groups of indigenous people, identified in the Constitution, who are struggling socioeconomically
  8. ^ Originally Articles mentioned here were immune from judicial review on the ground that they violated fundamental rights. but in a landmark judgement in 2007, the Supreme Court of India held in I.R. Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu and others that laws included in the 9th schedule can be subject to judicial review if they violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 15, 19, 21 or the basic structure of the Constitution {(ambiguous)} – I.R. Coelho (dead) by L.Rs. v. State of Tamil Nadu and others(2007) 2 S.C.C. 1
  9. ^ These lines by Granville Austin from his book The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation at p. 50, have been authoritatively quoted many times

Notes on Article 21

  1. ^ Art. 21 – "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law"

References

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External links

Amendment of the Constitution of India

Amending the Constitution of India is the process of making changes to the nation's fundamental law or supreme law. The procedure of amendment in the constitution is laid down in Part XX (Article 368) of the Constitution of India. This procedure ensures the sanctity of the Constitution of India and keeps a check on arbitrary power of the Parliament of India.

However, there is another limitation imposed on the amending power of the constitution of India, which developed during conflicts between the Supreme Court and Parliament, where Parliament wants to exercise discretionary use of power to amend the constitution while the Supreme Court wants to restrict that power. This has led to the laying down of various doctrines or rules in regard to checking the validity/legality of an amendment, the most famous among them is the Basic structure doctrine as laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala.

Article 370 of the Constitution of India

Article 370 of the Indian constitution is an article that gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The article is drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, after its establishment, was empowered to recommend the articles of the Indian constitution that should be applied to the state or to abrogate the Article 370 altogether. After the J&K Constituent Assembly later created the state's constitution and dissolved itself without recommending the abrogation of Article 370, the article was deemed to have become a permanent feature of the Indian Constitution.

Basic structure doctrine

The basic structure doctrine is an Indian judicial principle that the Constitution of India has certain basic features that cannot be altered or destroyed through amendments by the parliament. Key among these "basic features", as expounded by its most prominent proponent Justice Hans Raj Khanna, are the fundamental rights granted to individuals by the constitution. The doctrine thus forms the basis of a power of the Supreme Court to review and strike down constitutional amendments and acts enacted by the Parliament which conflict with or seek to alter this "basic structure" of the Constitution.The basic features of the Constitution have not been explicitly defined by the Judiciary, and the claim of any particular feature of the Constitution to be a "basic" feature is determined by the Court in each case that comes before it. Thus it gives extra power to court to review and strike down any constitutinal amendmentts and act enacted by the Parliament.

The Supreme Court's initial position on constitutional amendments was that any part of the Constitution was amendable and that the Parliament might, by passing a Constitution Amendment Act in compliance with the requirements of article 368, amend any provision of the Constitution, including the Fundamental Rights and article 368. The "basic features" principle was first expounded in 1964, by Justice J.R. Mudholkar in his dissent, in the case of Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan. He wrote, It is also a matter for consideration whether making a change in a basic feature of the Constitution can be regarded merely as an amendment or would it be, in effect, rewriting a part of the Constitution; and if the latter, would it be within the purview of Article 368?

In 1967, the Supreme Court reversed its earlier decisions in Golaknath v. State of Punjab. It held that Fundamental Rights included in Part III of the Constitution are given a "transcendental position" and are beyond the reach of Parliament. It also declared any amendment that "takes away or abridges" a Fundamental Right conferred by Part III as unconstitutional. By 1973, the basic structure doctrine triumphed in Justice Hans Raj Khanna's judgment in the landmark decision of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala. Previously, the Supreme Court had held that the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution was unfettered. However, in this landmark ruling, the Court adjudicated that while Parliament has "wide" powers, it did not have the power to destroy or emasculate the basic elements or fundamental features of the constitution.Although Kesavananda was decided by a narrow margin of 7-6, the basic structure doctrine has since gained widespread acceptance and legitimacy due to subsequent cases and judgments. Primary among these was the imposition of a state of emergency by Indira Gandhi in 1975, and her subsequent attempt to suppress her prosecution through the 39th Amendment. When the Kesavananda case was decided, the underlying apprehension of the majority bench that elected representatives could not be trusted to act responsibly was perceived as unprecedented. However, the passage of the 39th Amendment by the Indian National Congress' majority in central and state legislatures, proved that in fact such apprehension was well-grounded. In Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain and Minerva Mills v. Union of India, Constitution Benches of the Supreme Court used the basic structure doctrine to strike down the 39th Amendment and parts of the 42nd Amendment respectively, and paved the way for restoration of Indian democracy.The Supreme Court's position on constitutional amendments laid out in its judgements is that Parliament can amend the Constitution but cannot destroy its "basic structure".

Chief minister (India)

In the Republic of India, a chief minister is the elected head of government of each of Twenty nine states and two among the seven union territories (Delhi and Puduchery). According to the Constitution of India, the Governor is a state's de jure head, but de facto executive authority rests with the chief minister. Following elections to the state legislative assembly in a state, the state's governor usually invites the party (or coalition) with a majority of seats to form the government. The governor appoints and swears in the chief minister, whose council of ministers are collectively responsible to the assembly. Based on the Westminster system, given that he retains the confidence of the assembly, the chief minister's term can last for the length of the assembly's life—a maximum of five years (except in Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly where it is maximum of six years). There are no limits to the number of terms that the chief minister can serve. A chief minister heads a state government's council of ministers and can be deputed in that role by a deputy chief minister.

Directive Principles

The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are the guidelines or principles given to the federal institutes governing the state of India, to be kept in citation while framing laws and policies. These provisions, contained in Part IV (Article 36-51) of the Constitution of India, are not enforceable by any court, but the principles laid down therein are considered irrefutable in the governance of the country, making it the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws to establish a just society in the country. The principles have been inspired by the Directive Principles given in the Constitution of Ireland relate to social justice, economic welfare, foreign policy, and legal and administrative matters.

Directive Principles are classified under the following categories economic and socialistic, political and administrative, justice and legal, environmental, protection of monuments and peace and security.

Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India

The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India. At the time when the Constitution was enacted, inclusion in this list meant that the language was entitled to representation on the Official Languages Commission, and that the language would be one of the bases that would be drawn upon to enrich Hindi, the official language of the Union. The list has since, however, acquired further significance. The Government of India is now under an obligation to take measures for the development of these languages, such that "they grow rapidly in richness and become effective means of communicating modern knowledge". In addition, a candidate appearing in an examination conducted for public service is entitled to use any of these languages as the medium in which he or she answers the paper.As per Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution, the eighth schedule includes the recognition of the following 22 languages:

Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. Subsequently, Sindhi was added in 1967 by 21st constitutional amendment act; Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added in 1992 by 71st Constitutional Amendment Act; and Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santali were added in 2003 by 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act.

Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties of India

The Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties are sections of the Constitution of India that prescribe the fundamental obligations of the states to its citizens and the duties and the rights of the citizens to the State. These sections comprise a constitutional bill of rights for government policy-making and the behaviour and conduct of citizens. These sections are considered vital elements of the constitution, which was developed between 1947 and 1949 by the Constituent Assembly of India.

The Fundamental Rights are defined as the basic human rights of all citizens. These rights, defined in Part III of the Constitution, applied irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste, creed, or gender. They are enforceable by the courts, subject to specific restrictions. The Directive Principles of State Policy are guidelines for the framing of laws by the government. These provisions, set out in Part IV of the Constitution, are not enforceable by the courts, but the principles on which they are based are fundamental guidelines for governance that the State is expected to apply in framing policies and passing laws.

The Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India. These duties set out in Part IV–A of the Constitution, concern individuals and the nation. Like the Directive Principles, they are not enforceable by courts unless otherwise made enforceable by parliamentary law.

Fundamental rights in India

Fundamental rights, the basic and civil liberties of the people, are protected under the charter of rights contained in Part III (Article 12 to 35) of the Constitution of India. These include individual rights common to most liberal democracies, such as equality before law, freedom of speech and expression, religious and cultural freedom and peaceful assembly, freedom to practice religion, and the right to constitutional remedies for the protection of civil rights by means of writs such as habeas corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Certiorari and Quo Warranto.

Fundamental rights apply universally to all citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste or gender. The Indian Penal Code and other laws prescribe punishments for the violation of these rights, subject to discretion of the judiciary. Though the rights conferred by the constitution other than fundamental rights are also valid rights protected by the judiciary, in case of fundamental rights violations, the Supreme Court of India can be approached directly for ultimate justice per Article 32. The Rights have their origins in many sources, including England's Bill of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights and France's Declaration of the Rights of Man.

The six fundamental rights recognised by the Indian constitution are the:

Right to equality

Cultural and Educational Right

Right to freedom

Right against exploitation

Right to freedom of religion, and

Right to constitutional remedies1. The right to equality includes equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, gender or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment, abolition of untouchability and abolition of titles.

2. Cultural and Educational Rights are given to the Citizens of India to conserve their cultural practices and that they must have access to education.

3. The right to freedom includes freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union or cooperatives, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation.

4. The right against exploitation prohibits all forms of forced labour, child labour and trafficking of human beings.

5. The right to freedom of religion includes freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion, freedom to manage religious affairs, freedom from certain taxes and freedom from

religious instructions in certain educational institutes. Cultural and educational rights preserve the right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script, and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

6. The right to constitutional remedies is present for enforcement of Fundamental Rights. The right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Article 21 (the Right to Freedom) that protects life and liberty of the citizens.

Fundamental rights for Indians have also been aimed at overturning the inequalities of pre-independence social practices. Specifically, they have also been used to abolish untouchability and thus prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. They also forbid trafficking of human beings and forced labour (a crime). They also protect cultural and educational rights of religious and linguistic minorities by allowing them to preserve their languages and also establish and administer their own education institutions. They are covered in Part III (Articles 12 to 35) of Indian constitution.

Some features of Indian Constitution :

1. It provides safeguard if any political leader misuses his power.

2. It also provides safeguard against discrimination.

3. It says "all persons are equal before law."

4. It provides fundamental rights.

Indian nationality law

The conferment of a person, as a citizen of India, is governed by Articles 5 to 11 (Part II) of the Constitution of India. The legislation related to this matter is the Citizenship Act 1955, which has been amended by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1986, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1992, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2003, The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 and Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2015.

Article 9 of Indian Constitution says that a person who voluntarily acquires citizenship of any other country is no longer an Indian citizen. Also, according to The Passports Act, a person has to surrender his/her Indian passport and voter card and other Indian ID cards must not be used after another country's citizenship is obtained. It is a punishable offence if the person fails to surrender the passport.

Indian nationality law largely follows the jus sanguinis (citizenship by right of blood) as opposed to the jus soli (citizenship by right of birth within the territory). The President of India is termed the First Citizen of India.

List of amendments of the Constitution of India

as of March 2019, there have been 103 amendments to the Constitution of India since it was first enacted in 1950.There are two types of amendments to the constitution which are governed by article 368.

The first type includes amendments that can be effected by Parliament of India by a prescribed ‘special majority’; and

The second type of amendments includes those that require, in addition to such "special majority", ratification by at least one half of the State Legislatures. The second type amendments that are made to the constitution are amendments # 3, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, 31, 32, 35, 36, 38, 39, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 51, 54, 61, 62, 70, 73, 74, 75, 79, 84, 88, 95, 99 and 101.

Part XIV of the Constitution of India

Part XIV is a compilation of laws pertaining to the constitution of India as a country and the union of states that it is made of. This part of the constitution consists of Articles on Services Under the Union and the States.

Preamble to the Constitution of India

The preamble to the Constitution of India is a brief introductory statement that sets out guidelines to guide people and to present the principles of the document, and to indicate the source from which the ordinary document derives its authority, meaning, and the people. The hopes and aspirations of the people as well as the ideals before our nation are described in the preamble in clear words. The preamble can be referred to as the preface which highlights the entire Constitution. It was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly and came into effect on 26 January 1950, which is celebrated as the Republic day in India.

President's rule

In India, President's rule is the suspension of state government and imposition of direct Central Government rule in a state. Under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, in the event that a state government is unable to function according to constitutional provisions, the Central government can take direct control of the state machinery. Subsequently, executive authority is exercised through the centrally appointed governor, who has the authority to appoint other administrators to assist them. The administrators are usually nonpartisan retired civil servants.

When a state government is functioning correctly, it is run by an elected Council of Ministers responsible to the state's legislative assembly (Vidhan Sabha). The council is led by the Chief Minister, who is the de facto chief executive of the state; the Governor is only a de jure constitutional head. However, during President's rule, the Council of Ministers is dissolved, vacating the office of Chief Minister. Furthermore, the Vidhan Sabha is either prorogued or dissolved, necessitating a new election.

Similarly, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, failure of governmental function results in Governor's rule, imposed by invoking Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. The state's governor issues the proclamation, after obtaining the consent of the President of India. If it is not possible to revoke Governor's rule within six months of imposition, the President's Rule under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution is imposed. There is little practical difference between the two provisions.

Following its landmark judgment in the 1994 Bommai case, the Supreme Court of India has restricted arbitrary impositions of President's rule.

Chhattisgarh and Telangana are the only states where President's rule has yet to be imposed.

President of India

The President of India is the ceremonial head of state of India and the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.

The president is indirectly elected by an electoral college comprising the Parliament of India (both houses) and the legislative assemblies of each of India's states and territories, who themselves are all directly elected.

Although the Article 53 of the Constitution of India states that the president can exercise his powers directly or by subordinate authority, with few exceptions, all of the executive powers vested in the president are, in practice, exercised by the prime minister (a subordinate authority) with the help of the Council of Ministers. The president is bound by the constitution to act on the advice of the prime minister and cabinet as long as the advice is not violating the constitution.

Prime Minister of India

The Prime Minister of India is the leader of the executive of the Government of India. The prime minister is also the chief adviser to the President of India and head of the Council of Ministers. They can be a member of any of the two houses of the Parliament of India—the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of the States)—but has to be a member of the political party or coalition, having a majority in the Lok Sabha.

The prime minister is the senior-most member of cabinet in the executive of government in a parliamentary system. The prime minister selects and can dismiss members of the cabinet; allocates posts to members within the government; and is the presiding member and chairperson of the cabinet.

The union cabinet headed by the prime minister is appointed by the President of India to assist the latter in the administration of the affairs of the executive. Union cabinet is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha as per article 75(3) of the Constitution of India. The prime minister has to enjoy the confidence of a majority in the Lok Sabha and shall resign if they are unable to prove majority when instructed by the president.

Privy Purse in India

In India, the Privy Purse was a payment made to the ruling (royal or lower) families of erstwhile princely states as part of their agreements to first integrate with India in 1947 after the indpendence of India, and later to merge their states in 1949 whereby they lost all ruling rights. The Privy Purse was continued to the royal families until the 26th Amendment in 1971, by which all their privileges and allowances from the Central Government ceased to exist, was implemented after a two-year legal battle. In some individual cases however, privy purses were continued for life for individuals who had held ruling powers before 1947.

Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Membership of Rajya Sabha is limited by the Constitution to a maximum of 250 members and current laws have provision for 245 members. Most of the members of the House are indirectly elected by the members of States and union territories of India state and territorial legislatures using single transferable votes, while the President can appoint 12 members for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. Members sit for staggered terms lasting six years, with a third of the members up for election every two years.The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions, and unlike the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, is not subject to dissolution. However, the Rajya Sabha, like the Lok Sabha can be prorogued by the President. The Rajya Sabha has equal footing in all areas of legislation with the Lok Sabha, except in the area of supply, where the Lok Sabha has overriding powers. In the case of conflicting legislation, a joint sitting of the two houses can be held. However, since the Lok Sabha has twice as many members as the Rajya Sabha, the former would normally hold the greater power. Joint sittings of the Houses of Parliament of India are rare, and in the history of the Republic, only three such joint-sessions have been held; the latest one for the passage of the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act.

The Vice President of India (currently, Venkaiah Naidu) is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who presides over its sessions. The Deputy Chairman, who is elected from amongst the house's members, takes care of the day-to-day matters of the house in the absence of the Chairman. The Rajya Sabha held its first sitting on 13 May 1952. The salary and other benefits for a member of Rajya Sabha are same as for a member of Lok Sabha.

Rajya Sabha members are elected by state legislatures rather than directly through the electorate by single transferable vote method. From 18 July 2018, Rajya Sabha MPs can speak in 22 Indian languages in House as the Upper House has facility for simultaneous interpretation in all the 22 official languages of India.

State Legislative Assembly (India)

The State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha in Hindi language) is the lower house of a state legislature in the States and Union Territories of India. In the 29 states and 2 union territories with unicameral state legislature it is the sole legislative house. In 7 states it is the lower house of their bicameral state legislatures with the upper house being Vidhan Parishad or the State Legislative Council. 5 Union Territories are governed directly by the Union Government and have no legislative body.

Each Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) is directly elected to serve 5 year terms by single-member constituencies. In 14 states the Governor of a state may appoint one Anglo-Indian MLA to their respective states Assemblies, in accordance with the 23rd Amendment of the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India states that a State Legislative Assembly must have no less than 60 and no more than 500 members however an exception may be granted via an Act of Parliament as is the case in the states of Goa, Sikkim, Mizoram and the union territory of Puducherry which have fewer than 60 members. A Vidhan Sabha may be dissolved in a state of emergency, by the Governor on request of the Chief Minister, or if a motion of no confidence is passed against the majority coalition.

Women's Reservation Bill

The Women's Reservation Bill or The Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, 2008, is a lapsed bill in the Parliament of India which proposed to amend the Constitution of India to reserve 33% of all seats in the Lower house of Parliament of India, the Lok Sabha, and in all state legislative assemblies for women. The seats were proposed to be reserved in rotation and would have been determined by draw of lots in such a way that a seat would be reserved only once in three consecutive general elections.

The Rajya Sabha passed the bill on 9 March 2010. However, the Lok Sabha never voted on the bill. The bill lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.

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