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Amrutha valli : Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

INTRODUCTION

The salient features of the Indian Constitution are:
  • 1. written Constitution
  • 2. Lengthiest Constitution
  • 3. A Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic
  • 4. Parliamentary Democracy and Cabinet form of Government
  • 6. Fundamental Rights
  • 7. Directive Principles of state policy
  • 8. Fundamental Rights
  • 9. Adult Suffrage
  • 10. Single Citizenship
  • 11. Judicial Review and Independence of Judiciary; and
  • 12. Both rigid and Flexible.

EXPLANATION: Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

1.WRITTEN CONSTITUTION:

India has a written constituion. The architects of the Constitution, i.e. the Drafting Committee headed by Dr B.R.Ambedkar as Chairman and 8 other members, took all care and borrowed the provisions of the other constitutions of the world and completed the mission in the mid-20th century and submitted it on 26 January 1950.

2. LENGTHIEST CONSTITUTION:

The constitution of India is the longest and most comprehensive of all the written constitutions in a country. At the time of its passing, it originally consisted of 395 articles divided into 22 parts and 8 timetables. In consideration of the evolving requirements, the Constitution has since amended by adding and omitting those provisions/articles. The most recent change as of 01-01-2015 is the Constitution Act 2014 (99th change). Currently, there are almost 500 Articles in 25 sections and 12 schedules.

Indian constitution is lengthy for the following reasons-

 i. In order for India to be a federal entity, extensive arrangements have been made for ties between the Center and the Entity.

 ii. The territory of India, containing diverse races, sects, classes and castes, has provided with sufficient special arrangements to safeguard the rights of socially and economically backward and minority communities.

 iii. In order to attain the values and aims enshrined in the Constitution and to create a welfare state, the principles of fundamental rights and the State policy directives are laid down in Sections III and IV, which contain numerous provisions.

 iv. Some of the conventions of the written Constitution of Britain incorporated into the Constitution of India. E.g. Principle of Collective Responsibility of Ministers

V. In the same manner, also other clauses with respect to residency, electoral machinery, emergency clauses, etc. are integrated.  

Therefore, the Indian constitution is the lengthiest among all the constitutions in the world.

3. A SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR AND DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC:    

The Constitution’s preamble specifies that India is an independent, socialist, liberal and also democratic republic. The term ‘Sovereignty’ means that the State has the authority to legislate on any issue in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. India is a sovereign republic. Also, Its membership in the Commonwealth in Nations and the United States Organization does not limit its supremacy.

Moreover, The word ‘Sovereign’ points out that India is fully independent and no longer dependent on any outside authority. India is a sovereign state since it does not accept the dominance of any other State / Country over it. The term ‘socialist’ and also ‘secular’ is added in the preamble to the Constitution Act, 1976 (42nd amendment).

SOCIALIST

The word ‘socialism’ used in capitalist and communist countries and has no clear meaning. In general, this implies a form of control of the means of production and distribution by the State. India has selected its own brand of socialism through a “mixed economy.”

Though the expression ‘secularism’ or ‘secular state’ means ‘a state which has no religion of its own as a recognized state religion but can have many religion within the state and people. In other terms, the state does not propagate any religion and considers all religions equally. Any person of the country is completely free to profess some religion of his or her choosing and to convert from one religion to another.

BOTH DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLIC

“Democratic” means a system of government that secures control or authority from the will of the people. In other words, the government’s voice is nothing but a people’s option. The laws of the government are elected members of the public who are responsible to the citizens. The Indian constitution is in line with the opinion of the great leader of the USA, Abraham Lincoln, that-government of the nation, of the citizens and of the nation.

Finally, the term “Republic” means that the Head of State is elected as Chief Executive Officer. As such, the President of India is the Chief Executive Officer of India.

4. QUASI – FEDERAL:  

The constitution of a nation may be a unitary or a territorial one. In the unitary constitution, authority is vested in the central government. E.g. England (U.K.) In the Federal Constitution, authority is divided between the Core and the States. However, the Indian constitution satisfies both the unitary and the federal features. The Indian Constitution is territorial in form and united in spirit. It is territorial during the peace period, but it is unitary in the emergency period. The Indian Constitution is thus claimed to be ‘Quasi / Semi-Federal.’

5. BOTH PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY AND CABINET FORM OF GOVERNMENT:

The legislative and cabinet structure of the Government is an important aspect of the Indian Constitution. Since, In a representative democracy, the Government shall be empowered by the will of the people. In cabinet form, the President shall be the Head of the Constitution and the true executive authority shall be bestowed on the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.

6. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS:

Fundamental rights are inherent in the protection of human beings. Since they are really necessary, and Human being cannot live without them. Part III of the Constitution, which includes Articles 12 to 35 which provides for human rights.

Also Read : What are the Sources of law?

Fundamental rights are also known as fundamental rights or the right to justice. If the fundamental rights of an individual are constrained due to executive order or a law passed by a legislature, the aggrieved individual may challenge such executive / legislative action in the High Court under Article 226 as well as the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.

Among the constitutional rights, Article 14 (equality before the law and equal treatment of the law), Article 19 (freedom of expression, etc.) and Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) has considerable significance and defined as the “golden triangle.”

7. DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES:

Part IV of the Constitution deals with the principles of state policy in the Directive. Also, Article 36 to 51 sets down numerous provisions relating to the principles of the Direction to state. Society is guaranteed by certain directives for the creation of a welfare state. The Indian Constitution allows for the creation of a welfare state, which can only be accomplished if the States attempt to follow the principles of the Directive effectively. However, the principles of the Directive are not enforceable.

8. FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES:

The rights and responsibilities are related or identical to each other. Part III of the Constitution, which includes Articles 12 to 35, confers separate basic rights on people. Accordingly, the Constitution (42nd Amendment) of the 1976 Act explicitly imposes certain constitutional requirements on people and also obliges people to uphold certain basic standards of democratic conduct and behavior.

9. ADULT SUFFRAGE:

The constitution’s framers incorporated a uniform scheme of adult suffrage. According to Article 326, every citizen of India who has reached the age of 18 years, irrespective of sex, race, faith, caste, etc., has the right to vote in the legislature, both central and state. The voting age was 21 years old. In 1989, the voting age of a person lowered from 21 years to 18 years.

10. SINGLE CITIZENSHIP: 

The Constitution provides for a single nationality. It means that there is only citizenship of India and there is no citizenship of the state. The American Constitution provides for dual citizenship, i.e. U.S. citizenship and state citizenship.

11. JUDICIAL REVIEW AND INDEPENDENCE OF JUDICIARY:

The constitution of India provides for the independence of the judiciary. Moreover, pursuant to Article 124 of the Constitution, the President shall nominate the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The Constitution Act (99th amendment) of 2014 also provides for the creation of a national judicial appointments commission for the recruitment of judges. Also, the judges of the high courts and supreme court are not subject to supervision by any authority. In addition, Articles 32 and 226 impose on the Supreme Court and the High Courts, respectively, the right of judicial review to investigate the substantive legitimacy of a statute enacted by a parliament or a state legislature.

12. BOTH RIGID AND FLEXIBLE:

The constitution of India is both rigid and fluid. A static constitution is one, the terms of which cannot be amended as quickly as possible, except by way of a social form of alteration. Although the flexible constitution is one, the terms of which can be amended by the ordinary legislative procedure. Moreover, Article 368 of the Constitution confers on Parliament the power to amend the provisions of the Constitution in three ways:

(1) a single majority;

(2) a special majority;

(3) Special consensus and approval by the Member States.

The constitution of India is both fixed and fluid. For example, a simple majority may amend certain provisions in accordance with Articles 5, 169, 239A by passing ordinary law. However, the amendment of certain provisions requires a special majority and also ratification by more than half of the state legislatures. E.g. Articles 54, 55 (Charter VII election of the President of India, etc.)

# Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

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