A BRIEF NOTE ON INDIAN CONSTITUTION
The task of framing the Constitution of India was given to the Constituent Assembly. The inaugural meeting of the Constituent Assembly was held on December 9, 1946. Dr Sachidananda Sinha was elected provisional Chairman of the Constituent Assembly. On December 11, 1946, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as Permanent Chairman of the Constituent Assembly.
The Constitution of India was enacted, signed and adopted by the ConstituentAssembly on November 26, 1949.
On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India came into force on which date India also became a Republic.
Indian constitution makes detailed provisions for the following:
Citizenship,Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy, Structure of the Government, Parliament and State Legislatures, Supreme Court and High Courts, Relationship between the Union and the States, Services,Official Language and various other matters of basic importance.
Salient Features of Constitution
1.Longest written constitution in the world.
2. Consists of 22 Chapters, over 395 Articles and 12 Schedules.
3. It proclaims India to be a Sovereign Democratic Republic.
4. Fundamental Rights are guaranteed to all citizens of India.
5. Directive Principles of State Policy are incorporated.
6. It establishes the parliamentary system of government.
7. President of the Union is the constitutional head, the Council of Ministers or the Union Cabinet is the real executive and is responsible to the Lok Sabha.
8. It is federal in form but unitary in spirit.
9. It is neither too rigid (as some provisions can be amended by a simple majority) nor flexible (as some provisions require special majority for amendment).
10. It declares India a secular state.
11. It guarantees single citizenship to all citizens.
12. It introduces adult franchise, i.e., every adult above 18 years has the right to vote and the system of joint electorates.
13. It establishes an independent judiciary; the Supreme Court acts as a guardian of the Constitution in place of the Privy Council.
The draft of the Preamble was prepared by Jawaharlal Nehru and is based on the American model. The 42nd Amendment added the words Secular and Socialist and now the preamble reads as follows.
We the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens
Justice, social, economic and political;
Liberty, of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
Equality, of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all;
Fraternity, assuring the dignity of the
individual and the unity and integrity of the nation;
In our Constituent Assembly, this twenty sixth day of November, 1949, do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution.
ARTICLES OF THE CONSTITUTION
Part IV A
Articles 244-244 A
Territory of India, admission, establishment or formation of new states
Directive Principles of State Policy
Duties of a citizen of India. It was added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976
Government at the Union level
Government at the State level
Deals with states in Part B of the First Schedule. it was repealed by 7th Amendment in 1956
Administration of Union Territories
Territories in Part D of the First Schedule and other territories, It was repealed by 7th Amendment in 1956
Scheduled and tribal areas
Relations between the Union and States
Finance, property, contracts and suits
Trade, commerce and travel within the territory of India
Services under the Union and States
Added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976 and deals with administrative tribunals to hear disputes and other complaints
Election and Election Commission
Special provision to certain classes ST/SC and Anglo Indians
Miscellaneous provision regarding exemption of the President and governors from criminal proceedings
Amendment of Constitution
Temporary, transitional and special provisions
Short title, commencement and repeal of the Constitution
The Constitution of India provides for a single citizenship for the whole of India. Every person who was at the commencement of the Constitution (26 January 1950) domiciled in the territory of India and (a) who was born in India; or (b) either of whose parents was born in India; or (c) who has been ordinarily resident in India for not less than five years became a citizen of India. The Citizenship Act, 1955, deals with matters relating to acquisition, determination and termination of Indian citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution.
1. Right to Equality-The right to equality includes equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and equality of opportunity in matters of employment and abolition of untouchability.
2. Right to Freedom-The right to freedom includes freedom of speech and expression; right to assemble peacefully and without arms, formation, association or union; free movement throughout the territory of India; residence and the right to practice any profession or occupation; control and disposal of property.
3. Right Against Exploitation-The right against exploitation all forms of forced labour, prohibits child labour and traffic in human beings.
4. Right to Freedom of Religion -The right to freedom of religion contains religious freedom to all. All persons are entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice and propagate religion freely.
5. Cultural and Educational Rights-It includes right of any section of the citizens to conserve their culture, language or script and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
6. Right to Constitutional Remedies- This right guarantees the right to constitutional remedies to the citizens for enforcement of their Fundamental Rights.
[Note: The right to property was also one of the fundamental rights, according to the original Constitution. This right was omitted by the 44th Amendment Act in December, 1978. It is now only a legal right.]
Duties of a citizen of India were not included in the original constitution. These have been added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. There are ten Fundamental Duties:
DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY