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Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution :- Salient Features Of Indian Constitution reveal its unique formulation. The constitution if India was complied on the acquisition of independence and there are a number of Salient Features Of Indian Constitution which are typical to the document of political declaration of a newly independent state. The various Salient Features Of Indian Constitution are briefly discussed below:-

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Salient Features Of Indian ConstitutionLengthiest constitution :- The Indian constitution is the lengthiest one comprising of 395 Articles divided into 22 parts and 9 schedules. It is a detailed document in which the function of the legislative, Executive and judicial organs both at the center and in the states have been elaborately prescribed.

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Secular State :- A salient feature of the constitution was its emphasis on secularism.People are not discriminated on the basis of religion .All citizens enjoy freedom of worship and process equal civil and political rights irrespective of their religious beliefs.The state does not have a religion of its own.

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Fundamental Rights :-The constitutions provides a number of fundamental rights which are noted under six categories.They are right to equality,right to freedom,right exploitation ,right to freedom of religion,cultural and educational rights for minorities and the to seek constitutional remedies .The Supreme Court and High Court are empowered to safeguard these fundamental.

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Directive Principles of State Policy :-The constitution enumerates several Directive Principles of State Policy which are intended to be implemented by the Center and State Governments in due course .They are aimed at the promotion of the material and moral well-being of the people and to transform India into a Welfare State .The Directive Principles cannot be enforced by the the law courts.They are only some guidelines issued to the future governments.

Federal in Form and Unitary in Essence :-Another salient feature of the Indian Constitution is that it has provided a system of government which is federal in form but unitary in essence and spirit .It has three essential requisites of a federation ,a written and rigid constitution,distribution of powers between the Center and the state ,and supreme Court .But in essence ,the Indian Constitution is unitary in character.The Union Government exercise almost unquestioned control over the states in legislative ,financial and administrative spheres .This control becomes tighter in times of emergencies.

Parliamentary Form Of Government :-The constitution provides a Parliamentary form of Government in the Center as well as in the states.The Indian President and the state Governor are constitutional heads. The cabinet exercises the executive power and its responsible to the concerned legislature. The cabinet can be removed from the office by vote of no-confidence in the legislature even before its term of office is over.

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Judicial Review :- Another salient feature of the Indian Constitution is the provision for judicial review. This means that the supreme court of India is empowered to declare a law passed by the India Parliament as null and void if it is inconsistent with the Fundamental Rights. In the case of the Acts passed by the state legislature, this power is vested with the concerned High Courts.

Rigid as well as Flexible :- The Indian Constitution is rigid in some respects and flexible in other respects.

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Independent Judiciary :- Another salient feature of the Indian Constitution is that the constitution has made the judiciary independent of the executive. The president of India appoints the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts after consulting the Chief Justice of India. The judges are free from the executive control. Their tenure is guaranteed and their salaries are fixed by the Constitution.

Fundamental Duties :- Another salient feature of the Indian Constitution is the incorporation of the Fundamental duties of citizens. The 42nd amendment of 1976 added Article 51-A to the Constitution requiring all citizens to fulfill 10 duties. Failure to perform these duties does not carry any penalty, yet the citizens are expected to follow them.

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Adult Franchise :- Adult suffrage is an important feature of the Constitution. All the adults who attained 21 years of age became eligible to exercise their franchise. Thereby, nearly 50 % of the population was enrolled as voters.

Bicameral Legislature :- Bicameral Legislature was constituted at the Center as well as in some of the States. The members of the Lower House are directly elected by the people on the basis of adult franchise. The life of the lower House is 5 years unless it is dissolved earlier. The members of the Upper House are indirectly elected for a period of 6 years. The Upper House is a permanent body and one third of its members retiring every two years. Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Indian constitution Federal or Unitary Indian Constitution shows Federal as well as Unitary System :-
  • Single Citizenship.
  • Single Constitution.
  • Power of union to over ride on the state matters.
  • During emergency the system became virtually unitary.
  • Changes in the names and boundaries of the states by the parliament.
  • Integrated Judiciary system.
  • Centre appoints the Governors.
  • Dependence of states on the center for economic assistance and grants.
  • Supremacy of the constitution.
  • Division of the powers between the union and the states.
  • The Upper House of the parliament represented by the states by the union.

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

Indian constitution amendment procedure:-

Three methods of constitution amendment (Indian Constitutionamendment Procedure ) prevailed in India

  1. Amendment by Simple Majority :- Articles that can be amended in parliament by simple majority as tat required for passing any ordinary law.
  2. Amendment by special Majority :- By majority of the total members of each house of the parliament as well as by a majority of not less than 2/3 rd of the members of that house present and vote.
  3. Amendment by Special Majority and ratification by the states :- Articles which requite that in addition to the special majority mentioned above, ratified by not less than 1/2 of the state legislature.

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

National SymbolsOf India :-

Below are some national symbols of India :-

  1. The name of the country :- India is known as Bharat (Article 1).
  2. National Flag :- On 24th July 1947 adopted by Constituent Assembly. It is having 3:2 ratio between length and breath. It is having three colors saffron, white & green. Middle portion having blue colour chakra. which had 24 spokes.
  3. National Emblem :- It has been taken from Sarnath (Varanasi) Piller of Ashoka and on January 26, 1950 adopted by Government of India. The words Satyameva Jayate which was written at the base in Devanagarl script taken from Mundakopnishad.
  4. National Anthem :- It was written by Gurudev Ravindra Nath Tagore. Its recitation period is 52 seconds. First time it was sung in Calcutta Congress Session on December 27, 1911. On Jan 24, 1950 constituent assembly adopted it.
  5. National Song :- Vandematram taken from Anand math, the famous work of AUrbindo Ghosh. Sung for the first time at the Congress session in 1896.
  6. National Calender :- Based on the Saka Era. Chaitra is its first month and a normal year of 365 days along with the gregorian calender. It was adopted by the Government on March 22, 1957.
  7. National Animal :- Tiger is the national animal. It has 8 species around the world and Indian species knows as Royal Bengal Tiger. The majestic tiger (Panthera Tigris) is the national animal of India.
  8. National Bird :- Indian peacock (Pavo cristatus). It is fully protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Salient Features Of Indian Constitution

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11 Salient Features of the Constitution of India

11 Salient Features of the Constitution of India

The Constitution of India has some distinct and unique features as compared to other constitutions to the world. As Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the Chairman of the Drafting Committee puts it, the framers had tried to accumulate and accommodate the best features of other constitutions, keeping in view the peculiar problems and needs of our country.

The following are the salient features of the Constitution of India.

1. Longest written constitution

Indian Constitution can be called the largest written constitution in the world because of its contents. In its original form, it consisted of 395 Articles and 8 Schedules to which additions have been made through subsequent amendments. At present it contains 395 Articles and 12 Schedules, and more than 80 amendments. There are various factors responsible for the long size of the constitution. One major factors was that the framers of the constitution borrowed provisions form several sources and several other constitutions of the world.

They have followed and reproduced the Government of India Act 1935 in providing matters of administrative detail. Secondly, it was necessary to make provisions for peculiar problems of India like scheduled castes, Scheduled Tribes and backward regions. Thirdly, provisions were made for elaborate centre-state relations in all aspects of their administrative and other activities. Fourthly, the size of the constitution became bulky, as provisions regarding the state administration were also included. Further, a detail list of individual rights, directive principles of state policy and the details of administration procedure were laid down to make the Constitution clear and unambiguous for the ordinary citizen. Thus, the Constitution of India became an exhaustive and lengthy one.

(2) Partly Rigid and Partly Flexible

The Constitution of India is neither purely rigid nor purely flexible. There is a harmonious blend of rigidity and flexibility. Some parts of the Constitution can be amended by the ordinary law-making process by Parliament. Certain provisions can be amended, only when a Bill for that purpose is passed in each house of Parliament by a majority of the total membership of that house and. by a majority of not less than two-third of the members of that house present and voting. Then there are certain other provisions which can be amended by the second method described above and are ratified by the legislatures of not less than one-half of the states before being presented to the President for his assent. It must also be noted that the power to initiate bills for amendment lies in Parliament alone, and not in the state legislatures.

Pundit Nehru expressed in the Constituent Assembly, "While we want the Constitution to be as solid and permanent as we can make it, there is no permanence in Constitution. There should be certain flexibility. If you make anything rigid and permanent, you stop the nation’s growth, the growth of a living, vital organic people."

3) A Democratic Republic

India is a democratic republic. It means that sovereignty rests with the people of India. They govern themselves through their representatives elected on the basis of universal adult franchise. The President of India, the highest official of the state is elected for a fixed term. Although, India is a sovereign republic, yet it continues to be a member of the Commonwealth of Nations with the British Monarch as its head. Her membership of the Commonwealth does not compromise her position as a sovereign republic. The commonwealth is an association of free and independent nations. The British Monarch is only a symbolic head of that association.

4) Parliamentary System of Government

India has adopted the Parliamentary system as found in Britain. In this system, the executive is responsible to the legislature, and remains in power only as long and it enjoys the confidence of the legislature. The president of India, who remains in office for five years is the nominal, titular or constitutional head. The Union Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head is drawn from the legislature. It is collectively responsible to the House of People (Lok Sabha), and has to resign as soon as it loses the confidence of that house. The President, the nominal executive shall exercise his powers according to the advice of the Union Council of Ministers, the real executive. In the states also, the government is Parliamentary in nature.

Article 1 of the Constitution of India says: - "India, that is Bharat shall be a Union of States." Though the word 'Federation' is not used, the government is federal. A state is federal when (a) there are two sets of governments and there is distribution of powers between the two, (b) there is a written constitution, which is the supreme law of the land and (c) there is an independent judiciary to interpret the constitution and settle disputes between the centre and the states. All these features are present in India. There are two sets of government, one at the centre, the other at state level and the distribution of powers between them is quite detailed in our Constitution. The Constitution of India is written and the supreme law of the land. At the apex of single integrated judicial system, stands the Supreme Court which is independent from the control of the executive and the legislature.

But in spite of all these essential features of a federation, Indian Constitution has an unmistakable unitary tendency. While other federations like U.S.A. provide for dual citizenship, the India Constitution provides for single citizenship. There is also a single integrated judiciary for the whole country. The provision of All India Services, like the Indian Administrative Service, the India Police Service, and Indian Forest Service prove another unitary feature. Members of these services are recruited by the Union Public Service Commission on an All-India basis. Because these services are controlled by Union Government, to some extent this constitutes a constraint on the autonomy of states.

A significant unitary feature is the Emergency provisions in the Indian constitution. During the time of emergency, the Union Government becomes most powerful and the Union Parliament acquires the power of making laws for the states. The Governor placed as the constitutional head of the state, acts as the agent of the centre and is intended to safeguard the interests of the centre. These provisions reveal the centralising tendency of our federation.

Prof: K.C. Wheare has rightly remarked that Indian Constitution provides, "a system of government which is quasi-federal, a unitary state with the subsidiary unitary features". The framers of the constitution expressed clearly that there exists the harmony of federalism and the unitarism. Dr. Ambedkar said, "The political system adopted in the Constitution could be both unitary as well as federal according to the requirement of time and circumstances". We can say that India has a "Cooperative federalism" with central guidance and state compliance.

6) Fundamental Rights

"A state is known by the rights it maintains", remarked Prof. H.J. Laski. The constitution of India affirms the basic principle that every individual is entitled to enjoy certain basic rights and part III of the Constitution deals with those rights which are known as fundamental rights. Originally there were seven categories of rights, but now they are six in number. They are (i) Right to equality, (ii) Right to freedom, (iii) Right against exploitation, (iv) Right to freedom of Religion, v) Cultural and Educational rights and vi) Right to constitutional remedies. Right to property (Article-31) originally a fundamental right has been omitted by the 44th Amendment Act. 1978. It is now a legal right.

These fundamental rights are justiciable and the individual can move the higher judiciary, that is the Supreme Court or the High Courts, if there is an encroachment on any of these rights. The right to move to the Supreme Court straight for the enforcement of fundamental rights has been guaranteed under Article 32 (Right to Constitutional Remedies). However, fundamental rights in India are not absolute. Reasonable restrictions can be imposed keeping in view the security-requirements of the state.

7) Directive Principles of State Policy

A novel feature of the Constitution is that it contains a chapter in the Directive Principles of State Policy. These principles are in the nature of directives to the government to implement them for establishing social and economic democracy in the country.

It embodies important principles like adequate means to livelihood, equal pay for both men and women, distribution of wealth so as to subserve the common good, free and compulsory primary education, right to work, public assistance in case of old age, unemployment, sickness and disablement, the organisation of village Panchayats, special care to the economically back ward sections of the people etc. Most of these principles could help in making India welfare state. Though not justiciable. These principles have been stated a; "fundamental in the governance of the country".

8) Fundamental Duties

A new part IV (A) after the Directive Principles of State Policy was incorporated in the constitution by the 42nd Amendment, 1976 for fundaments duties. These duties are:

i) To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

ii) To cherish and follow the noble ideals, which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

iii) To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;

iv) To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;

v) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic, regional or sec­tional diversities, to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of woman;

vi) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

vii) to protect and improve the natural environments including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures;

viii) to develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

ix) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

x) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of Endeavour and achievement.

The purpose of incorporating these duties in the Constitution is just to remind the people that while enjoying their right as citizens, should also perform their duties for rights and duties are correlative.

A secular state is neither religious nor irreligious, or anti-religious. Rather it is quite neutral in matters of religion. India being a land of many religions, the founding fathers of the Constitution thought it proper to make it a secular state. India is a secular state, because it makes no discrimination between individuals on the basis of religion. Neither it encourages nor discourages any religion. On the contrary, right to freedom of religion is ensured in the Constitution and people belonging to any religious group have the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion they like.

10) An Independent Judiciary

The judiciary occupies an important place in our Constitution and it is also made independent of the legislature and the executive. The Supreme Court of India stands at the apex of single integrated judicial system. It acts as protector of fundamental rights of Indian citizens and guardian of the Constitution. If any law passed by the legislature or action taken by the executive contravenes the provisions of the Constitution, they can be declared as null and void by the Supreme Court. Thus, it has the power of judicial review. But judicial review in India constitutes a middle path between the American judicial supremacy in one hand and British Parliamentary supremacy in the other.

11) Single Citizenship

The Constitution of India recognises only single citizenship. In the United States, there is provision of dual citizenship. In India, we are citizens of India only, not of the respective states to which we belong. This provision would help in promoting unity and integrity of the nation.

Polity Notes: Salient Features of Indian Constitution

Polity Notes. Salient Features of Indian Constitution Lengthy Constitution

Indian Constitution has 395 Articles and 12 Schedules. It was framed by a Constituent Assembly which was established for the purpose in 1946. The Constitution of India is the lengthiest constitution in the world as no other constitution contains as many articles. The constitution of USA has 7 Articles, China 138, Japanese 103 and Canadian 107 Articles.

India is a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic and Republic State

The Constitution declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic.

  • Sovereign means absolutely independent, it is not under the control of any other state.
  • Socialist involves a system which will endeavour to avoid concentration of wealth in a few hands and will assure its equitable distribution. It also implies that India is against exploitation in all forms and believes in economic justice to all its citizens.
  • Secular means there is no state religion in India. Every citizen is free to follow and practice the religion of his/her own choice. The state cannot discriminate among its citizens on the basis of the religion.
  • Democratic means that the power of the government is vested in the hands of the people, people exercise this power through their elected representatives who are responsible to them. All citizens enjoy equal political rights.
  • Republic means that the head of the state is not a hereditary monarch.

Federal Government: The constitution provides for a federal form of government. In a federation, there are two governments- at the central level and at the state level. The powers of the government are divided between the central government and the state government.

Fundamental Rights & Fundamental Duties: Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties are most important characteristics of the Constitution. Fundamental Rights are considered to be essential for the proper moral and material uplift of people. These rights are fundamental in the sense that any law passed by the legislature in the country would be declared as null and void if it is derogatory to the rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Parliamentary Government: Indian Constitution provides a parliamentary form of government. President is nominal head of the state. The government is run by the Prime Minister and other members of the council of Minister. The council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Parliament.

Partly rigid and partly flexible: The Constitution of India is neither wholly rigid nor wholly flexible. It is partly rigid and partly flexible.

  • Certain provisions of the constitution can be amended by a simple majority in the Parliament.
  • Certain provisions can be amended by two-third majority of the Parliament and its ratification by at least fifty percent states.
  • The remaining provisions can be amended by the Parliament by two-third majority.

Single Citizenship: In federation, normally we have double citizenship. In U.S.A every citizen of United States of America, is also a citizen of the state in which he or she resides. But the constitution of India provides single citizenship to every Indian.

Independent Judiciary: The Indian Constitution provides for an independent judiciary. The judiciary has been made independent of the Executive as well as the Legislature. The judges give impartial justice.

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Salient Features of Indian Constitution

Salient Features of Indian Constitution

Some of the major salient features of Indian constitution are as follows:

The Indian Constitution closely follows the British parliamentary model but differs from it in one important respect that, is, the Constitution is supreme, not the Parliament.

So the Indian courts are vested with the authority to adjudicate on the constitutionality of any law passed by parliament.

The present constitution consists of the following:

2. Parts I to XXII covering Articles I to 444

3. Schedules 1 to 12

A Written Constitution:

For a federal State, the Constitution must necessarily be a written constitution that defines the relation between the Central Government and the Regional Governments; demarcates the sphere of each, and is paramount to the constitutions of Regional Governments.

The Indian constitution contains very minute details regarding:

(a) The state- its structure and functions.

(b) The citizens- rights and responsibilities.

(c) Relations amongst the different organs of the state and between the citizens and the state.

Lengthy Document:

The Constitution of India has the distinction of being the most lengthy and detailed constitutional document, the world has produced so far. The original Constitution contained as many as 395 Ar­ticles and 8 schedules.

Democratic Republic:

The Preamble to the Constitution declares that India is a Sovereign Democratic Republic. It has been argued that the word “Democratic” used before the word “Republic” is redundant. But it is not so, for democracy does not involve the existence of a republican form of government.

It may be obtainable under a hereditary monarchy as well, as in the case of Britain. The President of India is indirectly elected by the representatives of the people for a period of five years. The Council of Ministers, which aids and advises the President, is constituted from the party or parties commanding a majority in the Parliament.

The expression ‘Democratic Republic’, therefore, does not only emphasise the elective principle governing the head of the State, but it also provides the means for the realization, by all citizens of India, justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity—the four pillars of democracy.

In other words, the Preamble tries to establish in form as well as in substance, a Government of the people, for the people and by the people. The Constitution establishes a Parliamentary system of government both at the Centre and in the States.

From the British, educated Indians learned the principles of parliamentary democracy and demanded for their own country, similar political institutions as there were Britain.

Provisions of the Constitution and their Source:

Independence of Judiciary:

President as the Executive head:

President as the supreme commander of the Armed forces:

Idea of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity:

Procedure Established by Law:

A Federal Polity with a Unitary Bias:

In accordance with the federal set-up there has been a division of powers between the Centre and the States. There are three lists: The Union List, State List and Concurrent List and the residuary powers have been given to the centre.

Legislation on the subjects mentioned in the Central List is the responsibility of the Centre, whereas legislation for the subjects mentioned in the State List is the responsibility of States.

Both the Centre and the States can enact on the subjects mentioned in the Concurrent List, but when the laws passed by the Centre and the State are at variance with each other, Central law will get precedence over the State law and latter will be repugnant to that extent.

India also has a Supreme Court which is the guardian of our Constitution and decides all disputes which might arise between the Centre and the States. The residuary power to make laws on subjects that are not mentioned in any of the lists, like the cyber laws, rest completely with the centre.

But there are also certain peculiar features of our federal system which have made the critics to say that India is over-centralised or that India is quasi-federal. Few have even said that India is unitary in spirit but federal in structure. Unlike other federations, the Union has a right to change the boundaries of the States, divide them or completely end up their existence in the existing territorial form.

The heads of the States i.e. the Governors are appointed by the President and are his agents in the States. They are responsible to him for their acts of omission and commission. The governor can reserve any bill passed in the state, legislative for the assent of the Union that may delay it or lead to a complete veto by the President.

Articles 33 and 34 authorize the parliament to protect persons in service of the union or state with respect to any action taken by them during martial law to maintain or restore order that further strengthens the union’s control over states.

The Centre can, at any time, declare emergency in the States and with that declaration, can take over the administration of that State in its control. Moreover, the country’s financial set-up and structure is such that the States are financially dependent on the Centre.

Single Citizenship:

In a federation there is usually dual citizenship. A citizen belongs to the State in which he is born and also enjoys the citizenship rights of the federation.

This is based on the principle that the states in a federation are of course units, but do not, at the same time, give up their individual identity. But in India there is only one citizenship. Citizens belong to the Indian Union and not to any state.

More Flexible than Rigid:

Another distinctive feature of the Indian Constitution is that it seeks to impart flexibility to a written federal constitution. The amendment of only a few of the provisions of the Constitution requires ratification by the State Legislatures and even then ratification by only 1/2 of them would suffice (while the American Constitution requires ratification by 3/4 th of the States).

The rest of the Constitution may be amended by a special majority of the Union Parliament. On the other hand, the Parliament has been given the power to alter or modify many of the provisions of the Constitution by a simple majority as is required for general legislation. The flexibility of our Constitution is illustrated by the fact that since its working, it has been amended 94 times (till July 2009).

Balance between Judicial Supremacy and Parliamentary Sovereignty:

An independent Judiciary with the power of judicial review is a prominent feature of our Constitution. The harmonization which our Constitution has effected between Parliamentary Sovereignty and a written Constitution with a provision for Judicial Review is an important achievement of the framers of our Constitution.

The Indian Constitution adopts the via media between the American system of Judicial Supremacy and the English principle of Parliamentary Supremacy, by endowing the Judiciary with the power to declare a law as unconstitutional if it is beyond the competence of the Legislature as per the distribution of powers provided by the Constitution or if, it is in contravention to the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Further, the major portion of the Constitution is liable to be amended by the Union Parliament by a special majority, if in any case the Judiciary proves to be too obstructive. The balance between Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Review was however seriously disturbed, and a drift towards the former was made by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976.

Universal Adult Franchise:

The introduction of adult suffrage without qualifications of any kind was the boldest step taken by the Constitution-makers and it was an act of faith they had placed in the common man. Article 326 of the Constitution provides that the election to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of every State shall be on the basis of adult suffrage.

Every person who is a citizen of India and who is not otherwise disqualified is entitled to be registered as a voter in any such election. Adult suffrage is an acceptance of the fullest implication of democracy.

Secular State:

A multi-religious nation like India has to be a secular state. The word “Secular” was missing in our Constitution till the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution was passed. Secularism in India does not mean an irreligious or an anti-religious state.

It only means: (i) there is no official religion for India and the Parliament has no right of imposing a particular religion as an official religion, (ii) It also means that all citizens, irrespective of their religious beliefs, are to be considered and treated as equal and (iii) no discrimination is to be shown by the State against any person on account of his/her religion either for participation in political affairs or entry into government service or admission into educational institutions.

The Provision of Fundamental Rights:

The fundamental rights consist of the Right to Equality, the Right to Freedom, the Right against Exploitation, the Right to Freedom of Religion, Cultural and Educational Rights, and finally, the most important right, the Right to Constitutional Remedies that makes the enjoyment of other rights real and enforceable.

The rights are negative obligations of the State to not to encroach upon individual liberty and the courts are the guardians of these rights. One of the salient features of Fundamental Rights is that during emergencies, these can be suspended.

Yet another restriction on Fundamental Rights, as provided in the Indian Constitution, is that none of these rights are absolute. Each and every right has got certain restrictions and limitations. Each and every citizen of India is supposed to accept those limitations for enjoyment of these rights.

Directive Principles for a Welfare State:

These are well-prepared guidelines available to the government that can become fundamental for the governance of the country. The objective of the Constitution-makers was to draft a Constitution with social and economic justice accompanied by equality that underlie a welfare state model.

The basic aim of a Welfare State was clearly foreshadowed in the Preamble to the Constitution, and virtually in the Part IV of the constitution containing the Directive Principles of State Policy.

The essence of justice is the attainment of happiness and good for all, as distinguished from the happiness and good of individuals or even for the majority of them. Justice in this sense cannot be secured unless there is a society of equals in status and opportunity.

Equality of status and opportunity are not available unless all sections of the people are equally in a position and circumstances to benefit from the social order that prevails. The Constitution of India not only prohibits discrimination on grounds of birth, sex, religion, caste and creed, but also adequately provides for the promotion of the interests of the Backward Classes and areas.

It seeks to remove all inequalities created by inequalities in the possession of wealth and opportunity, race, gender, caste and religion by providing just and humane conditions of work, maternity relief, leisure and cultural opportunity to every individual, prevention of exploitation in labour and industry, free education for all and the like.

Incorporation of Fundamental Duties:

It was with the passing of Forty-Second Constitutional Amendment Act that a Chp on Fundamental Duties was incorporated in the Constitution with the addition of a new Article (Art. 51 A). The Article provides that every citizen of India has specific Fundamental Duties, that (s) he ought to perform.

Emergency Provisions:

Article 352, 356 and 360 of the Constitution provide the provisions for emergency. According to these provisions when the Head of the State is dissatisfied with the administration of the country or a part thereof, in accordance with the normal procedure laid down in the Constitution, (s)he can declare emergency and take the administration of the country or a part thereof, in his/her own hands.

Declaration of emergency has far-reaching effects. With such a declaration if fundamental rights are abrogated, the court of law can refuse to listen to the petitions for the enforcement of these rights.

Federal set-up of the country practically turns out to be a unitary one and no bill can be introduced in the legislature without prior permission of the Head of the State. Besides, during the financial emergency, the financial decisions on the part of the Governments at all levels rest with the head of the state.

Protection of Minorities:

The Constitution has provided for a system of reservation of seats for cultural minorities, in all spheres of life. This is, however, a temporary provision and it has been mentioned in the Constitution that as soon as it is felt that these minorities have come at par with other sections of society, this reservation will cease to exist.

During the pre-independence era, in India, there was a system of reservation of seats for religious minorities. The system proved to be very dangerous and ultimately resulted in the partition of the country. This system has however been completely abandoned and now there is no reservation for religious minorities.

Provision for Autonomous Organisation:

The Constitution includes provision for certain autonomous bodies that have been set up with a view to provide checks on the important organs of the government. An Election Commission has been provided to impartially conduct elections in India. The Constitution has also created an autonomous Supreme Court.

It has been made independent and autonomous primarily because this court is the custodian of our Fundamental Rights and the Constitution. The Constitution has also created an autonomous body, i.e. the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India. Other such Commissions are UPSC and Finance Com­mission.