• Facts

  • Indian Constitution

    India is a Union of 28 States, 7 Union Territories administered directly by the Central Government and a National Capital Territory (NCT-Delhi). It is a Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government. The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India was passed in the Constituent Assembly of India on November 26, 1949, and came into effect on January 26, 1950.

    The members of the first provincial assembly were elected by the people of India. Some important figures in the constituent assembly were Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Dr. Sachidanand Sinha was the first president of the Constituent Assembly. Later, Dr.Rajendra Prasad became the president of the Constituent Assembly while B.R. Ambedkar was appointed the Chairman of the Drafting Committee. The Constituent Assembly met for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days.

    The Constitution of India is one of the longest written constitutions in the world, containing 395 articles and 12 schedules, as well as numerous amendments, for a total of 117,369 words in the English language version.

    The Constitution of India helps in running the Parliamentary form of government which is federal in structure with certain unitary features. The President of India is the constitutional head of the Union. According to the Article 79 of the Constitution of India, the council of the Parliament of the Union consists of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). The Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the parliament and the Lok Sabha is the lower house. Article 74(1) states that there shall be a Council of Ministers with a Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President, who shall exercise his functions in accordance to the advice. Hence the real executive head of the government is the Prime Minister, vested with all the executive powers. The President is like a rubber stamp.

    The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Every State has a Legislative Assembly. Certain States have an upper House called State Legislative Council. Governor is the Head of a State. There shall be a Governor for each State and the executive power of the State shall be vested in him. The council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head advises the Governor in the discharge of the executive functions. The Council of the Ministers of a state is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.

    There are 6 union territories directly administered by the centre. The national capital territory, NCT-Delhi is an exception and can be called as a Para-state. It has a legislative assembly with the same system of governance as in case of other states of the country. Pondicherry is such a union territory with a legislative assembly.

    Fundamental Rights

    The provisions of Part III of our Constitution, which enumerates the Fundamental Rights, are more elaborate than those of any other existing written Constitutions of the World and cover a wide range of topics. The Purpose of the Fundamental Rights are to act as limitations not only upon the powers of the Executive but also upon the power of the Legislature. The model has been taken from the Constitutions of The United States, though The Indian Constitutions does not go so far, and rather affects the compromise between the doctrines of Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy.

    The Constitutions itself classifies the Fundamental Rights under seven groups as follows: -

    1. Right to Equality
    2. Right to Particular freedoms
    3. Right against Exploitation
    4. Right to freedom of religion
    5. Cultural and educational rights
    6. Right to Constitutional remedies
    7. Right to property

    Fundamental Duties

    A countervailing factor has been introduced by the 42nd amendment Act of 1976, known as the Fundamental Duties. These duties are mentioned in Art. 51A.

    Under this Article, it shall be the duty of every citizen of India: -

    1. To abide by the Constitution and respect the national flag and the national anthem
    2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom
    3. To protect the Sovereignty, unity and integrity of India
    4. To defend the country
    5. To promote the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India
    6. o preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture
    7. To protect and improve the natural environment
    8. To develop the scientific temper and spirit of inquiry
    9. To safeguard Public property
    10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity