This Article has been written by Nidash Prashar, a First Year Student at Rajiv Gandhi National University Of Law, Patiala.
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of the country and serves as the legal framework for the governance of India. It was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into force on 26th January, 1950. It outlines the fundamental political principles, procedures, powers and duties of the government and defines the rights and duties of the citizens. The Constitution of India has proven to be a flexible and dynamic document that has stood the test of time and helped in the country’s progress over the years.
Features of The Constitution of India:
1.Federal Structure: India has a federal structure of government, meaning that powers are divided between the central government and the state governments. This ensures a balance of power and prevents any one level of government from having too much control.
2.Fundamental Rights: The Constitution of India guarantees certain fundamental rights to all citizens, including the right to equality, freedom of speech and expression, religion, and life and liberty. These rights are protected by the courts and are non-negotiable. eg: Right to Equality (Article 14-18): The Constitution of India guarantees the right to equality before the law and equal protection of the laws. This includes the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. The Supreme Court has interpreted this right to include the right to equal opportunities in education and employment. Right to Freedom (Article 19-22): The Constitution of India guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association, religion, and movement. These rights are subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offense. Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24): The Constitution of India prohibits trafficking in human beings and forced labor. It also prohibits the practice of bonded labor, where a person is forced to work for another person to pay off a debt. The Supreme Court has held that these provisions are applicable to all persons, including migrant workers, and that the government has a duty to protect their rights. Right to Life and Personal Liberty (Article 21): The Constitution of India guarantees the right to life and personal liberty, which includes the right to live with dignity and the protection of personal freedom. The Supreme Court has interpreted this right to include the right to health, education, and a clean environment.
3.Directive Principles of State Policy: The Constitution of India lays down certain Directive Principles of State Policy, which serve as guidelines for the government to follow in the interest of the citizens. These include provisions for social and economic justice, equality of opportunity, and the promotion of scientific and technological progress. (Article 36-51)The Constitution of India lays down certain directive principles of state policy, which serve as guidelines for the government in framing policies and legislation. These principles include the promotion of international peace and security, the promotion of economic and social justice, and the protection of the natural environment.
4.Independent Judiciary: The Constitution of India establishes an independent judiciary, with the Supreme Court as the highest court of appeal. The judiciary is empowered to interpret the Constitution and ensure that the government and its agencies act within the bounds of the law. (Article 124-147): The Constitution of India provides for the independence of the judiciary, which is an essential feature of any democratic system. The Supreme Court and the High Courts are empowered to interpret the Constitution and to ensure that the government and its agencies act within the bounds of the law.
5.Single Citizenship: India has a system of single citizenship, meaning that all citizens are equal and have the same rights and obligations, regardless of their religion, race, or ethnicity.
6.Emergency Provisions: The Constitution of India provides for emergency provisions in the event of a national emergency. During such times, the government may take measures to ensure the security of the country and the well-being of its citizens.
7.Parliamentary System: The Constitution of India establishes a parliamentary system of government, with the President as the head of state and the Prime Minister as the head of government. This system allows for the efficient functioning of government and ensures that the elected representatives of the people are responsible to the Parliament.
8.Decentralization of Powers: The Constitution of India provides for the decentralization of powers through the establishment of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Municipalities. This ensures that power is not concentrated in the hands of the central government and that the needs of the local communities are addressed.
9.Secularism: India is a secular country, as enshrined in the Constitution. This means that the government does not support or endorse any particular religion and that all religions are treated equally.
10.Quasi-Federal Structure: The Constitution of India provides for a quasi-federal structure, meaning that the central government and the state governments have overlapping powers. This allows for the efficient functioning of government and ensures that the needs of both the central government and the state governments are met.
11.Fundamental Duties: In addition to the fundamental rights, the Constitution of India lays down certain fundamental duties for its citizens. These include duties such as preserving the country’s heritage, protecting the environment, and promoting scientific and technological progress.
12.Independent Commissions: The Constitution of India establishes independent commissions, such as the Election Commission, the Human Rights Commission, and the Women’s Commission, to ensure the protection of citizens’ rights and to address various social and political issues.
13.Uniform Civil Code: The Constitution of India calls for the implementation of a uniform civil code, which would ensure that all citizens, regardless of religion, are governed by the same set of laws with regard to marriage, divorce, and inheritance.
14.Bicameral Legislature: India has a bicameral legislature, consisting of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States). This allows for representation of both the states and the people in the legislative process.
15.Quasi-Judicial Bodies (Article 323A-323B): The Constitution of India provides for the establishment of quasi-judicial bodies, such as the Central Administrative Tribunal and the National Green Tribunal, to address grievances arising from the actions of the government and its agencies. These bodies provide an alternative to the traditional court system and help to speed up the resolution of disputes.
In conclusion, the Constitution of India is a comprehensive document that provides the framework for the governance of the country. The various provisions of the Constitution, along with the legal backing provided by the judiciary and independent commissions, serve as a foundation for the country’s democratic system and help to ensure that the government acts in the best interests of the citizens.The Constitution of India is a cornerstone of the country’s democracy and a symbol of its values and aspirations. It has provided a framework for the governance of India for over 70 years and has helped to preserve the country’s unity and stability. The Constitution of India remains a dynamic and flexible document that has been amended several times to reflect the changing needs of the country. It continues to guide the nation and ensure the rights and freedoms of its citizens.
Constitution Of India
Salient features of Indian Constitution – INSIGHTSIAS (insightsonindia.com)
8 Important Features of Indian Constitution Constitution – SRIRAM’s IAS (sriramsias.com)
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