Salient Features of the Indian Constitution: The Indian constitution, one of the most acclaimed in the world, was adopted following a “ransacking” of all previously existing constitutions. We adopted a constitution that has withstood the test of time. The Indian Constitution has a number of prominent characteristics that set it apart from the constitutions of other countries, even though elements from other constitutions were adopted.
Important Salient Features Of the Indian Constitution
Lengthiest written constitution
The constitution can be categorized as either written (like that of America) or unwritten (like that of the UK).
The longest written constitution in the world is the one that governs India, and it is a written document.
It is a thorough, ornate, and meticulous document.
Geographical considerations (the size and diversity of the nation), historical circumstances (the influence of the GoI in 1935), the existence of a single constitution for the center and each state, and the predominance of legal luminaries are the elements that have led to this phenomenon.
Lengthiest written constitution
The constitution can be categorized as written (like that of America) or unwritten (like that of the UK).
The longest-written constitution in the world is the one that governs India, and it is also the most comprehensive.
It is a thorough, extensive, and thorough treatise.
Geographical considerations (country’s size and variety), historical circumstances (GoI’s influence in 1935), a single constitution for the federal government and each state, and the predominance of legal luminaries are some of the causes that have led to this phenomenon.
The preamble of the constitution
Ideals, objectives, and basic principles of the Constitution are outlined in the Preamble.
These goals, which follow from the Preamble, have directly and indirectly led to the key characteristics of the Constitution.
It states that India is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and a welfare state dedicated to securing justice, liberty, and equality for the people as well as fostering fraternity, individual dignity, and national unity and integrity.
The Preamble describes the goals that the Indian state is devoted to achieving for the people.
The authority of the government rests upon the sovereignty of the people. The people enjoy equal political rights.
Free fair and regular elections are held for electing governments
India is a republic
The Preamble declares India to be a Republic.
India is not ruled by a monarch or a nominated head of state. India has an elected head of state (President of India) who wields power for a fixed term of 5 years.
After every 5 years, the people of India indirectly elect their President.
Union of states
Article I of the Constitution declares, that “India that is Bharat is a Union of States.”
Fundamental Rights and duties
Indian people are granted and protected by Fundamental Rights under the country’s Constitution.
Every person is allowed to enjoy a number of essential rights, which are covered in part III of the Indian Constitution, which upholds this fundamental premise. These rights are referred to as fundamental rights.
The six fundamental rights are the right to equality, the right to freedom, the right against exploitation, the right to religious freedom, the right to cultural and educational freedoms, and the right to constitutional remedies (Art. 32).
Fundamental rights are not unalienable and are subject to judicial review. Given the state’s security needs, reasonable restrictions can be put in place.
A new part IV (A) after the Directive Principles of State Policy was combined in the constitution by the 42nd Amendment, 1976 for fundamental duties.
Directive Principles of State Policy
A unique aspect of the Constitution is that it comprises a chapter in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
These principles are in the nature of directives to the government to implement them to maintain social and economic democracy in the country.
The Constituent Assembly chose to support a parliamentary system of governance for both the federal government and state governments.
Nominal and actual executive heads are distinguished in the Indian legislative system.
The lower chamber of the federal parliament, the Lok Sabha, holds the Council of Ministers accountable. The legislative and executive branches have close ties.
The federal structure of government
In a federal state, the government operates on two levels and the country is divided into smaller regions.
The breadth of the country’s geography and the diversity of its regions, languages, faiths, castes, etc. led the Indian Constitution to envision a federal structure for India.
The elements of the Indian federation include a written constitution, supremacy of the constitution, a division of powers between the Union and the States, a bicameral legislature, an independent judiciary, etc.
According to scholars, India is “a federation with a unitary bias,” “a quasi-federation” (K.C. Wheres), or even “a unitarian federation.”
Universal adult franchise
All men and women enjoy an equal right to vote. Each adult man and woman above the age of 18 years has the right to vote.
All registered voters get the opportunity to vote in elections.
Single integrated State with Single Citizenship
India is the single Independent and Sovereign integrated state.
All citizens enjoy common uniform citizenship.
They are entitled to equal rights and freedoms, and equal protection of the state.
Integrated Judicial system
The Constitution provides for a single integrated judicial system common for the Union and the states.
The Supreme Court of India works at the apex level, High Courts at the state level, and other courts work under the High Courts.
It is necessary to secure the philosophical foundations of the rule of law and democracy
Firstly, the Constitution makers created a separate Judiciary independent of the Legislature and Executive.
Secondly, the Constitution has ensured complete independence of Judiciary in the matters of administration and finances.
Amending the Constitution of India
Modifying India’s Constitution is a process that involves changing the country’s fundamental constitution or supreme law.
Part XX (Article 368) of the Indian Constitution specifies the process for amending the constitution.
This process ensures the Constitution of India’s sanctity and restrains the Parliament of India’s arbitrary power.
The Indian Constitution gives the court a substantial role and establishes its independence from the legislative and executive branches.
The Indian Supreme Court is the pinnacle of a single, fully-integrated legal system. It protects the Constitution and the basic rights of Indian citizens.
Basic Structure doctrine
The basic structure theory is a judicial principle in India that states that the Indian Constitution has some fundamental elements that cannot be altered or eliminated by parliamentary modifications.
The Judiciary has not publicly stated the fundamental elements of the Constitution.
The Courts have deemed at least 20 aspects to be “basic” or “important” in several cases, and these features have been included in the fundamental framework.
In the cases of Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narayan and Minerva Mills, it was established that the Court would decide whether each particular claim that a characteristic of the Constitution is a “basic” element in each case that came before it.
No other nation in the world has as many different religions coexisting as India does. Given this diversity, everyone has unrestricted freedom of religion under the Constitution.
In our nation, there are no distinctions based on caste, creed, religion, or sex, and residents are free to practice any faith they choose. They also have equal rights.
No one is subject to state discrimination based on their religion, and no one is required to pay taxes to support a particular religion.
Everyone has the same rights to religious freedom, including the freedom to profess, practice, and spread their faith.
The Constitution forbids the State from meddling in people’s private religious matters and treats them as such. The Constitution also grants various cultural rights to minorities.
Constitution has set up various independent bodies and vested them with powers to ensure constitutional provisions. Ex: Election Commission, CAG, Finance Commission.
These institutions have been provided with security of tenure, fixed service conditions, etc to ensure that they are not susceptible to the whims of either the legislature or the executive.
Indian constitution contains elaborate provisions to deal with those challenges that pose a threat to the country’s security and unity (It will be discussed in detail in upcoming chapters)
Through the 73rd and 74th amendment act, we have rural and urban local bodies as an additional constitutional tier of the government structure.
This section fulfills the dream of Gandhi ji to see a self-functioning village in India
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