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 PREAMBLE

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

Article

Deals with

Part I

Part II

Part Ill

Part IV

Part IV A

Part V

Part VI

Part VII

Part VIII

Part IX

Part X

Part Xl

Part XII

Part XIII

Part XIV

Part XIV-A

Part XV

Part XVI

Part XVII

Part XVIII

Pail XIX

Part XX

Part XXI

Part XXII

Articles 1-4

Articles 5-11

Articles 12-35

Articles 36-51

Article 51-A

Articles 52-151

Articles 152-237

Article 238

Articles 239-241

Article 242-243

Articles 244-244 A

Articles 245-263

Articles 264-300

Articles 301-307

Articles 308-323

Articles 323A-323B

Articles 324-329

Articles 330-342

Articles 343-351

Articles 352-360

Articles 361-367

Article 368

Articles 369-392

Articles 393-395

Territory of India, admission, establishment or formation of new states

Citizenship

Fundamental Rights

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

Official languages

Emergency provisions

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

CITIZENSHIP

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.

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

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.]

FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES

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:

  1. To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and Institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
  2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
  3. To uphold and protect the sove­reignty, unity and integrity of India;
  4. To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
  5. To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
  7. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures;
  8. To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
  9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence; and
  10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collec­tive activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher level of endeavour and achievement.

DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY