Posted in Polity

Salient Features of Constitution of India

updated on April 5th, 2019

The discussion on the Preamble embodying constitutional values clearly demonstrates that these are important for the successful functioning of Indian democracy. Your understanding of these values will be further reinforced, when you will find in the following discussion that constitutional values permeate all the salient features of Indian Constitution. The main features of the Constitution as shown in the illustration are as follows:

1. Written Constitution: As has been stated earlier, the Constitution of India is the longest written constitution. It contains a Preamble, 395 Articles in 22 Parts, 12 Schedules and 5 Appendices. It is a document of fundamental laws that define the nature of the political system and the structure and functioning of organs of the government. It expresses the vision of India as a democratic nation. It also identifies the fundamental rights and fundamental duties of citizens. While doing so, it also reflects core constitutional values.

2. A Unique Blend of Rigidity and Flexibility: In our day-to-day life, we find that it is not easy to bring about changes in a written document. As regards Constitutions, generally written constitutions are rigid. It is not easy to bring about changes in them frequently. The Constitution lays down special procedure for constitutional amendments. In the unwritten constitution like the British Constitution, amendments are made through ordinary law-making procedure. The British Constitution is a flexible constitution. In the written constitution like the US Constitution, it is very difficult to make amendments. The US Constitution, therefore, is a rigid constitution. However, the Indian Constitution is neither as flexible as the British Constitution nor as rigid as the US Constitution. It reflects the value of continuity and change. There are three ways of amending the Constitution of India. Some of its provisions can be amended by the simple majority in the Parliament, and some by special majority, while some amendments require special majority in the parliament and approval of States as well.

3. Fundamental Rights and Duties: You must be familiar with the term fundamental rights. We quite often find it in newspapers or while watching television. The Constitution of India includes these rights in a separate Chapter which has often been referred to as the ‘conscience’ of the Constitution. Fundamental Rights protect citizens against the arbitrary and absolute exercise of power by the State. The Constitution guarantees the rights to individuals against the State as well as against other individuals. The Constitution also guarantees the rights of minorities against the majority. Besides these rights, the Constitution has provisions identifying fundamental duties, though these are not enforceable as the fundamental rights are. These duties reflect some of the basic values embodied in the Constitution.

4. Directive Principles of State Policy: In addition to Fundamental Rights, the Constitution also has a section called Directive Principles of State Policy. It is a unique feature of the Constitution. It is aimed at ensuring greater social and economic reforms and serving as a guide to the State to institute laws and policies that help reduce the poverty of the masses and eliminate social discrimination. In fact, as you will study in the lesson on “India-A Welfare State”, these provisions are directed towards the establishment of a welfare state.

5. Integrated Judicial System: Unlike the judicial systems of federal countries like the United States of America, the Indian Constitution has established an integrated judicial system. Although the Supreme Court is at the national level, High Courts at the state level and Subordinate Courts at the district and lower level, there is a single hierarchy of Courts. At the top of the hierarchy is the Supreme Court. This unified judicial system is aimed at promoting and ensuring justice to all the citizens in a uniform manner. Moreover, the constitutional provisions ensure the independence of Indian judiciary which is free from the influence of the executive and the legislature.

6. Single Citizenship: Indian Constitution has provision for single citizenship. Do you know what does it mean? It means that every Indian is a citizen of India, irrespective of the place of his/her residence or birth in the country. This is unlike the United States of America where there is a system of double citizenship. A person is a citizen of a State where he/she lives as well as he/she is a citizen of U.S.A. This provision in the Indian Constitution definitely reinforces the values of equality, unity, and integrity.

7. Universal Adult Franchise: The values of equality and justice are reflected in yet another salient feature of the Constitution. Every Indian after attaining certain age (at present 18 years) has a right to vote. No discrimination can be made on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, and place of birth or residence. This right is known as universal adult franchise.

8. Federal System and Parliamentary Form of Government: Another salient the feature of the Indian Constitution is that it provides for a federal system of state and parliamentary form of government. We shall discuss these below in detail. But it is necessary to note here that the federal system reflects the constitutional value of unity and integrity of the nation, and more importantly the value of decentralization of power. The parliamentary form of government reflects the values of responsibility and sovereignty vested in the people. The core principle of a parliamentary government is the responsibility of the executive to the legislature consisting of the representatives of the people.

Lengthiest Written Constitution

Constitutions are classified into written, like the American Constitution, or unwritten, like the British Constitution. The Constitution of India is the lengthiest of all the written constitutions of the world. It is a very comprehensive, elaborate and detailed document.

Originally (1949), the Constitution contained a Preamble, 395 Articles (divided into 22 Parts) and 8 Schedules. Presently (2013), it consists of a Preamble, about 465 Articles (divided into 25 Parts) and 12 Schedules2. The various amendments carried out since 1951 have deleted about 20 Articles and one Part (VII) and added about 85 Articles, four Parts (IVA, IXA, IXB and XIVA) and four Schedules (9, 10, 11 and 12). No other Constitution in the world has so many Articles and Schedules.

Four factors have contributed to the elephantine size of our Constitution. They are:

(a) Geographical factors, that is, the vastness of the country and its diversity.
(b) Historical factors, e.g., the influence of the Government of India Act of 1935, which was bulky.
(c) Single Constitution for both the Centre and the states except Jammu and Kashmir.
(d) The dominance of legal luminaries in the Constituent Assembly.

The Constitution contains not only the fundamental principles of governance but also detailed administrative provisions. Further, those matters which in other modern democratic countries have been left to the ordinary legislation or established political conventions have also been included in the constitutional document itself in India.

Drawn From Various Sources

The Constitution of India has borrowed most of its provisions from the constitutions of various other countries as well as from the Government of India Act5 of 1935. Dr. B R Ambedkar proudly acclaimed that the Constitution of India has been framed after ‘ransacking all the known Constitutions of the World’.

The structural part of the Constitution is, to a large extent, derived from the Government of India Act of 1935. The philosophical part of the Constitution (the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy) derive their inspiration from the American and Irish Constitutions respectively. The political part of the Constitution (the principle of Cabinet Government and the relations between the executive and the legislature) have been largely drawn from the British Constitution.

The other provisions of the Constitution have been drawn from the constitutions of Canada, Australia, Germany, USSR (now Russia), France, South Africa, Japan, and so on.

However, the criticism that the Indian Constitution is a ‘borrowed Constitution’, a ‘patchwork’ and contains nothing new and original is unfair and illogical. This is because the framers of the Constitution made necessary modifications in the features borrowed from other constitutions for their suitability to the Indian conditions, at the same time avoiding their faults.

Blend of Rigidity and Flexibility

Constitutions are also classified as rigid and flexible. A rigid Constitution is one that requires a special procedure for its amendment, as for example, the American Constitution. A flexible constitution, on the other hand, is one that can be amended in the same manner as the ordinary laws are made, as for example, the British Constitution.

The Constitution of India is neither rigid nor flexible but a synthesis of both. Article 368 provides for two types of amendments:

(a) Some provisions can be amended by a special majority of the Parliament, i.e., a two-thirds majority of the members of each House present and voting, and a majority (that is, more than 50 percent), of the total membership of each House.
(b) Some other provisions can be amended by a special majority of the Parliament and with the ratification by half of the total states.

At the same time, some provisions of the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority of the Parliament in the manner of the ordinary legislative process. Notably, these amendments do not come under Article 368.

Federal System with Unitary Bias

The Constitution of India establishes a federal system of government. It contains all the usual features of a federation, viz., two government, division of powers, written Constitution, super-macy of Constitution, rigidity of Constitution, independent judiciary and bicameralism.

However, the Indian Constitution also contains a large number of unitary or non-federal features, viz., a strong Centre, single Constitution, single citizenship, flexibility of Constitution, integrated judiciary, appointment of state governor by the Centre, all-India services, emergency provisions, and so on.

Moreover, the term ‘Federation’ has nowhere been used in the Constitution. Article 1, on the other hand, describes India as a ‘Union of States’ which implies two things: one, Indian Federation is not the result of an agreement by the states; and two, no state has the right to secede from the federation.

Hence, the Indian Constitution has been variously described as ‘federal in form but unitary in spirit’, ‘quasi-federal’ by KC Where ‘bargaining federalism’ by Morris Jones, ‘co-operative federalism’ by Granville Austin, ‘federation with a centralising tendency’ by Ivor Jennings, and so on.

Parliamentary Form of Government

The Constitution of India has opted for the British Parliamentary System of Government rather than American Presidential System of Government. The parliamentary system is based on the principle of cooperation and coordination between the legislative and executive organs while the presidential system is based on the doctrine of separation of powers between the two organs.

The parliamentary system is also known as the ‘Westminster’10 model of government, responsible government, and cabinet government. The Constitution establishes the parliamentary system not only at the Centre but also in the states. The features of parliamentary government in India are:

(a) Presence of nominal and real executives;
(b) Majority party rule,
(c) Collective responsibility of the executive to the legislature,
(d) Membership of the ministers in the legislature,
(e) Leadership of the prime minister or the chief minister,
(f) Dissolution of the lower House (Lok Sabha or Assembly).

Even though the Indian Parliamentary System is largely based on the British pattern, there are some fundamental differences between the two. For example, the Indian Parliament is not a sovereign body like the British Parliament. Further, the Indian State has an elected head (republic) while the British State has hereditary head (monarchy).

In a parliamentary system whether in India or Britain, the role of the Prime Minister has become so significant and crucial that the political scientists like to call it a ‘Prime Ministerial Government’.

Synthesis of Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy

The doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament is associated with the British Parliament while the principle of judicial supremacy with that of the American Supreme Court.

Just as the Indian parliamentary system differs from the British system, the scope of judicial review power of the Supreme Court in India is narrower than that of what exists in the US. This is because the American Constitution provides for ‘due process of law’ against that of ‘procedure established by law’ contained in the Indian Constitution (Article 21).

Therefore, the framers of the Indian Constitution have preferred a proper synthesis between the British principle of parliamentary sovereignty and the American principle of judicial supremacy. The Supreme Court, on the one hand, can declare the parliamentary laws as unconstitutional through its power of judicial review. The Parliament, on the other hand, can amend the major portion of the Constitution through its constituent power.

Integrated and Independent Judiciary

The Indian Constitution establishes a judicial system that is integrated as well as independent.

The Supreme Court stands at the top of the integrated judicial system in the country. Below it, there are high courts at the state level. Under a high court, there is a hierarchy of subordinate courts, that is, district courts and other lower courts. This single system of courts enforces both the central laws as well as the state laws, unlike in the USA, where the federal laws are enforced by the federal judiciary and the state laws are enforced by the state judiciary.

The Supreme Court is a federal court, the highest court of appeal, the guarantor of the fundamental rights of the citizens and the guardian of the Constitution. Hence, the Constitution has made various provisions to ensure its independence—security of tenure of the judges, fixed service conditions for the judges, all the expenses of the Supreme Court charged on the Consolidated Fund of India, prohibition on discussion on the conduct of judges in the legislatures, ban on practice after retirement, power to punish for its contempt vested in the Supreme Court, separation of the judiciary from the executive, and so on.

Fundamental Rights

Part III of the Indian Constitution guarantees six11 fundamental rights to all the citizens:

(a) Right to Equality (Articles 14–18),
(b) Right to Freedom (Articles 19–22),
(c) Right against Exploitation (Articles 23–24),
(d) Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25–28),
(e) Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29–30), and
(f) Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32).

The Fundamental Rights are meant for promoting the idea of political democracy. They operate as limitations on the tyranny of the executive and arbitrary laws of the legislature. They are justiciable in nature, that is, they are enforceable by the courts for their violation. The aggrieved person can directly go to the Supreme Court which can issue the writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, certiorari and quo warranto for the restoration of his rights.

However, the Fundamental Rights are not absolute and subject to reasonable restrictions. Further, they are not sacrosanct and can be curtailed or repealed by the Parliament through a constitutional amendment act. They can also be suspended during the operation of a National Emergency except the rights guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21.

Directive Principles of State Policy

According to Dr. B R Ambedkar, the Directive Principles of State Policy is a ‘novel feature’ of the Indian Constitution. They are enumerated in Part IV of the Constitution. They can be classified into three broad categories—socialistic, Gandhian and liberal–intellectual.

The directive principles are meant for promoting the ideal of social and economic democracy. They seek to establish a ‘welfare state’ in India. However, unlike the Fundamental Rights, the directives are non-justiciable in nature, that is, they are not enforceable by the courts for their violation. Yet, the Constitution itself declares that ‘these principles are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws’. Hence, they impose a moral obligation on the state authorities for their application. But, the real force (sanction) behind them is political, that is, public opinion.

In the Minerva Mills case (1980), the Supreme Court held that ‘the Indian Constitution is founded on the bedrock of the balance between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles’.

Fundamental Duties

The original constitution did not provide for the fundamental duties of the citizens. These were added during the operation of internal emergency (1975–77) by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976 on the recommendation of the Swaran Singh Committee. The 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002 added one more fundamental duty.

The Part IV-A of the Constitution (which consists of only one Article—51-A) specifies the eleven Fundamental Duties viz., to respect the Constitution, national flag and national anthem; to protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of the country; to promote the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people; to preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture and so on.

The fundamental duties serve as a reminder to citizens that while enjoying their rights, they have also to be quite conscious of duties they owe to their country, their society and to their fellow-citizens. However, like the Directive Principles, the duties are also non-justiciable in nature.

A Secular State

The Constitution of India stands for a secular state. Hence, it does not uphold any particular religion as the official religion of the Indian State. The following provisions of the Constitution reveal the secular character of the Indian State:

(a) The term ‘secular’ was added to the Preamble of the Indian Constitution by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976.
(b) The Preamble secures to all citizens of India liberty of belief, faith and worship.
(c) The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws (Article 14).
(d) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on the ground of religion (Article 15).
(e) Equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters of public employment (Article 16).
(f) All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate any religion (Article 25).
(g) Every religious denomination or any of its section shall have the right to manage its religious affairs (Article 26).
(h) No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes for the promotion of a particular religion (Article 27).
(i) No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution maintained by the State (Article 28).
(j) Any section of the citizens shall have the right to conserve its distinct language, script or culture (Article 29).
(k) All minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice (Article 30).
(l) The State shall endeavor to secure for all the citizens a Uniform Civil Code (Article 44).

The Western concept of secularism connotes a complete separation between the religion (the church) and the state (the politics). This negative concept of secularism is inapplicable in the Indian situation where the society is multireligious. Hence, the Indian Constitution embodies the positive concept of secularism, i.e., giving equal respect to all religions or protecting all religions equally.

Moreover, the Constitution has also abolished the old system of communal representation, that is, reservation of seats in the legislatures on the basis of religion. However, it provides for the temporary reservation of seats for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to ensure adequate representation to them.

Universal Adult Franchise

The Indian Constitution adopts universal adult franchise as a basis of elections to the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies. Every citizen who is not less than 18 years of age has a right to vote without any discrimination of caste, race, religion, sex, literacy, wealth, and so on. The voting age was reduced to 18 years from 21 years in 1989 by the 61st Constitutional Amendment Act of 1988.

The introduction of the universal adult franchise by the Constitution-makers was a bold experiment and highly remarkable in view of the vast size of the country, its huge population, high poverty, social inequality, and overwhelming illiteracy.

Universal adult franchise makes democracy broad-based, enhances the self-respect and prestige of the common people upholds the principle of equality, enables minorities to protect their interests and opens up new hopes and vistas for weaker sections.

Single Citizenship

Though the Indian Constitution is federal and envisages a dual polity (Centre and states), it provides for only single citizenship, that is, the Indian citizenship.

In countries like USA, on the other hand, each person is not only a citizen of USA but also a citizen of the particular state to which he belongs. Thus, he owes allegiance to both and enjoys dual sets of rights—one conferred by the National government and another by the state government.

In India, all citizens irrespective of the state in which they are born or reside enjoy the same political and civil rights of citizenship all over the country and no discrimination is made between them excepting in few cases like tribal areas, Jammu and Kashmir, and so on.

Despite the constitutional provision for single citizenship and uniform rights for all the people, India has been witnessing the communal riots, class conflicts, caste wars, linguistic clashes, and ethnic disputes. This means that the cherished goal of the Constitution-makers to build a united and integrated Indian nation has not been fully realized.

Independent Bodies

The Indian Constitution not only provides for the legislative, executive and judicial organs of the government (Central and state) but also establishes certain independent bodies. They are envisaged by the Constitution as the bulworks of the democratic system of Government in India. These are:

(a) Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections to the Parliament, the state legislatures, the office of President of India and the office of Vice-president of India.
(b) Comptroller and Auditor-General of India to audit the accounts of the Central and state governments. He acts as the guardian of public purse and comments on the legality and propriety of government expenditure.
(c) Union Public Service Commission to conduct examinations for recruitment to all-India services15 and higher Central services and to advise the President on disciplinary matters.
(d) State Public Service Commission in every state to conduct examinations for recruitment to state services and to advise the governor on disciplinary matters.

The Constitution ensures the independence of these bodies through various provisions like the security of tenure, fixed service conditions, expenses being charged on the Consolidated Fund of India, and so on.

Emergency Provisions

The Indian Constitution contains eleborate emergency provisions to enable the President to meet any extraordinary situation effectively. The rationality behind the incorporation of these provisions is to safeguard the sovereignty, unity, integrity and security of the country, the democratic political system
and the Constitution.

The Constitution envisages three types of emergencies, namely:

(a) National emergency on the ground of war or external aggression or armed rebellion16 (Article 352);
(b) State emergency (President’s Rule) on the ground of failure of Constitutional machinery in the states (Article 356) or failure to comply with the directions of the Centre (Article 365); and
(c) Financial emergency on the ground of threat to the financial stability or credit of India (Article 360).

During an emergency, the Central Government becomes all-powerful and the states go into the total control of the center. It converts the federal structure into a unitary one without a formal amendment of the Constitution. This kind of transformation of the political system from federal (during normal times) to unitary (during the emergency) is a unique feature of the Indian Constitution.

Three-tier Government

Originally, the Indian Constitution, like any other federal constitution, provided for a dual polity and contained provisions with regard to the organisation and powers of the Centre and the states. Later, the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts (1992) have added a third-tier of government (i.e., local) which is not found in any other Constitution of the world.

The 73rd Amendment Act of 1992 gave constitutional recognition to the panchayats (rural local governments) by adding a new Part IX17 and a new Schedule 11 to the Constitution. Similarly, the 74th Amendment Act of 1992 gave constitutional. recognition to the municipalities (urban local governments) by adding a new Part IX-A18 and a new Schedule 12 to the Constitution.

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Constitutional Values in Constitution of India ( Preamble )

updated on March 19th, 2019

Word “Constitution”

Constitution means a set of fundamental principles, basic rules and established precedents (means standards/instances). It identifies, defines and regulates various aspects of the State and the structure, powers and functions of the major institutions under the three organs of the Government – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. It also provides for rights and freedoms of citizens and spells out the relationships between individual citizen and the State and government.

A Constitution may be written or unwritten, but it contains fundamental laws of the land. ( An unwritten constitution , means the constitution is not codified , but all the Acts and laws are written . I mean its not oral . It is the supreme and ultimate authority. Any decision or action which is not in accordance with it will be unconstitutional and unlawful. A Constitution also lays down limits on the power of the government to avoid abuse of authority. Moreover, it is not a static but a living document, because it needs to be amended as and when required to keep it updated. Its flexibility enables it to change according to changing aspirations of the people, the needs of the time and the changes taking place in society.

The Constitution of any country serves several purposes. It lays down certain ideals that form the basis of the kind of country that we as citizens aspire to live in. A country is usually made up of different communities of people who share certain beliefs, but may not necessarily agree on all issues. A Constitution helps serve as a set of principles, rules and procedures on which there is a consensus. These form the basis according to which the people want the country to be governed and the society to move on. This includes not only an agreement on the type of government but also on certain ideals that the country should uphold. The Indian Constitution has certain core constitutional values that constitute its spirit and are expressed in various articles and provisions. But do you know what is the meaning of the word, ‘value’? You may immediately say that truth, non-violence, peace, cooperation, honesty, respect and kindness are values, and you may continue to count many such values. In fact, in a layman’s understanding, value is that which is very essential or ‘worth having and observing’ for the existence of human society as an entity. The Indian Constitution contains all such values, the values that are the universal, human and democratic of the modern age.

Preamble

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a 1[SOVEREIGN The SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC] and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the 2[unity and integrity of the Nation];

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

Constitutional Values and the Preamble of the Constitution

Have you read the Preamble to the Indian Constitution printed in the beginning of this material? As has been stated above, the constitutional values are reflected in the entire Constitution of India, but its Preamble embodies ‘the fundamental values and the philosophy on which the Constitution is based’. The Preamble to any Constitution is a brief introductory statement that conveys the guiding principles of the document. The Preamble to the Indian Constitution also does so. The values expressed in the Preamble are expressed as objectives of the Constitution. These are: sovereignty, socialism, secularism, democracy, republican character of Indian State, justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, human dignity and the unity and integrity of the Nation. Let us discuss these constitutional values:

1. Sovereignty: You may have read the Preamble. It declares India “a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic”. Being sovereign means having complete political freedom and being the supreme authority. It implies that India is internally all powerful and externally free. It is free to determine for itself without any external interference (either by any country or individual) and nobody is there within to challenge its authority. This feature of sovereignty gives us the dignity of existence as a nation in the international community. Though the Constitution does not specify where the sovereign authority lies but a mention of ‘We the People of India’ in the Preamble clearly indicates that sovereignty rests with the people of India. This means that the constitutional authorities and organs of government derive their power only from the people.

2. Socialism: You may be aware that social and economic inequalities have been inherent in the Indian traditional society. Which is why, socialism has been made a constitutional value aimed at promoting social change and transformation to end all forms of inequalities. Our Constitution directs the governments and the people to ensure a planned and coordinated social development in all fields. It directs to prevent concentration of wealth and power in a few hands. The Constitution has specific provisions that deal with inequalities in the Chapters on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy.

3. Secularism: We all are pleased when anyone says that India is a home to almost all major religions in the world. In the context of this plurality (means more than one or two; many), secularism is seen as a great constitutional value. Secularism implies that our country is not guided by any one religion or any religious considerations. However, the Indian state is not against religions. It allows all its citizens to profess, preach and practise any religion they follow. At the same time, it ensures that the state does not have any religion of its own. Constitution strictly prohibits any discrimination on the ground of religion.

4. Democracy: The Preamble reflects democracy as a value. As a form of governmentit derives its authority from the will of the people. The people elect the rulers of the country and the elected representatives remain accountable to the people. The people of India elect them to be part of the government at different levels by a system of universal adult franchise, popularly known as ‘one man one vote’. Democracy contributes to stability, continuous progress in the society and it secures peaceful political change. It allows dissent and encourages tolerance. And more importantly, it is based on the principles of rule of law, inalienable rights of citizens, independence of judiciary, free and fair elections and freedom of the press.

5. Republic: India is not only a democratic nation but it is also a republic. The most important symbol of being a republic is the office of the Head of the State, i.e. the President who is elected and who is not selected on the basis of heredity, as is found in a system with monarchy. This value strengthens and substantiates democracy where every citizen of India is equally eligible to be elected as the Head of the State. Political equality is the chief message of this provision.

6. Justice: At times you may also realise that living in a democratic system alone does not ensure justice to citizens in all its totality. Even now we find a number of cases where not only the social and economic justice but also the political justice is denied. Which is why, the constitution-makers have included social, economic and political justice as constitutional values. By doing so, they have stressed that the political freedom granted to Indian citizens has to be instrumental in the creation of a new social order, based on socio-economic justice. Justice must be availed to every citizen. This ideal of a just and egalitarian society remains as one of the foremost values of the Indian Constitution.

7. Liberty: The Preamble prescribes liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship as one of the core values. These have to be assured to every member of all the communities. It has been done so, because the ideals of democracy can not be attained without the presence of certain minimal rights which are essential for a free and civilized existence of individuals.

8. Equality: Equality is as significant constitutional value as any other. The Constitution ensures equality of status and opportunity to every citizen for the development of the best in him/her. As a human being everybody has a dignified self and to ensure its full enjoyment, inequality in any form present in our country and society has been prohibited. Equality reflected specifically in the Preamble is therefore held as an important value.

9. Fraternity: There is also a commitment made in the Preamble to promote the value of fraternity that stands for the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India. In the absence of fraternity, a plural society like India stands divided. Therefore, to give meaning to all the ideals like justice, liberty and equality, the Preamble lays great emphasis on fraternity. In fact, fraternity can be realized not only by abolishing untouchability amongst different sects of the community, but also by abolishing all communal or sectarian or even local discriminatory feelings which stand in the way of unity of India.

10. Dignity of the individual: Promotion of fraternity is essential to realize the dignity of the individual. It is essential to secure the dignity of every individual without which democracy can not function. It ensures equal participation ofevery individual in all the processes of democratic governance.

11. Unity and integrity of the Nation: As we have seen above, fraternity also promotes one of the critical values, i.e. unity and integrity of the nation. To maintain the independence of the country intact, the unity and integrity of the nation is very essential. Therefore, the stress has been given on fostering unity amongst all the inhabitants of the country. Our Constitution expects from all the citizens of India to uphold and protect the unity and integrity of India as a matter of duty.

12. International peace and a just international order: The value of international peace and a just international order, though not included in the Preamble is reflected in other provisions of the Constitution. The Indian Constitution directs the state (a) to promote international peace and security, (b) maintain just and honourable relations between nations, (c) foster respect for international law and treaty obligations, and (d) encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration. To uphold and observe these values is in the interest of India. The peace and just international order will definitely contribute to the development of India.

13. Fundamental Duties: Our Constitution prescribes some duties to be performed by the citizens. It is true that these duties are not enforceable in the court of law like the fundamental rights are, but these duties are to be performed by citizens. Fundamental duties have still greater importance because these reflect certain basic values like patriotism, nationalism, humanism, environmentalism, harmonious living, gender equality, scientific temper and inquiry, and individual and collective excellence.

Do You Know

The following provisions under the Directive Principles of State Policy promote the value of socialism:

“The State shall, in particular, strive to minimise the inequalities in income, and endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations. “


Article 38(2)

“The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing- (a) that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood; (b) that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good; (c) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment; (d) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;…”


(Article 39)

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Article 395

Article 395

Repeals.

The Indian Independence Act, 1947, and the Government of India Act, 1935, together with all enactments amending or supplementing the latter Act, but not including the Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act, 1949, are hereby repealed.

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Article 394 A

Article 394 A

Authoritative text in the Hindi language.

394A. (1) The President shall cause to be published under his authority,—
(a) the translation of this Constitution in the Hindi language, signed by the members of the Constituent Assembly, with such modifications as may be necessary to bring it in conformity with the language, style and terminology adopted in the authoritative texts of Central Acts in the Hindi language, and incorporating therein all the amendments of this Constitution made before such publication; and
(b) the translation in the Hindi language of every amendment of this Constitution made in the English language.

(2) The translation of this Constitution and of every amendment thereof published under clause (1) shall be construed to have the same meaning as the original thereof and if any difficulty arises in so construing any part of such translation, the President shall cause the same to be revised suitably.

(3) The translation of this Constitution and of every amendment thereof published under this article shall be deemed to be, for all purposes, the authoritative text thereof in the Hindi language.

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Article 394

Article 394

Commencement.

394. This article and articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 shall come into force at once, and the remaining provisions of this Constitution shall come into force on the twenty-sixth day of January, 1950, which day is referred to in this Constitution as the commencement of this Constitution.

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Article 392

Article 392

Power of the President to remove difficulties.

392. (1) The President may, for the purpose of removing any difficulties, particularly in relation to the transition from the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, to the provisions of this Constitution, by order direct that this Constitution shall, during such period as may be specified in the order, have effect subject to such adaptations, whether by way of modification, addition or omission, as he may deem to be necessary or expedient:

Provided that no such order shall be made after the first meeting of Parliament duly constituted under Chapter II of Part V.

(2) Every order made under clause (1) shall be laid before Parliament.

(3) The powers conferred on the President by this article, by article 324, by clause (3) of article 367 and by article 391 shall, before the commencement of this Constitution, be exercisable by the Governor-General of the Dominion of India.

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Article 378 A

Article 378 A

Special provision as to duration of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

378A. Notwithstanding anything contained in article 172, the Legislative Assembly of the State of Andhra Pradesh as constituted under the provisions of sections 28 and 29 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, shall, unless sooner dissolved, continue for a period of five years from the date referred to in the said section 29 and no longer and the expiration of the said period shall operate as a dissolution of that Legislative Assembly.

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Article 378

Article 378

Provisions as to Public Service Commissions.

378. (1) The members of the Public Service Commission for the Dominion of India holding office immediately before the commencement of this Constitution shall, unless they have elected otherwise, become on such commencement the members of the Public Service Commission for the Union and shall, notwithstanding anything in clauses (1) and (2) of article 316 but subject to the proviso to clause (2) of that article, continue to hold office until the expiration of their term of office as determined under the rules which were applicable immediately before such commencement to such members.

(2) The members of a Public Service Commission of a Province or of a Public Service Commission serving the needs of a group of Provinces holding office immediately before the commencement of this Constitution shall, unless they have elected otherwise, become on such commencement the members of the Public Service Commission for the corresponding State or the members of the Joint State Public Service Commission serving the needs of the corresponding States, as the case may be, and shall, notwithstanding anything in clauses (1) and (2) of article 316 but subject to the proviso to clause (2) of that article, continue to hold office until the expiration of their term of office as determined under the rules which were applicable immediately before such commencement to such members.

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Article 377

Article 377

Provisions as to Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.

377. The Auditor-General of India holding office immediately before the commencement of this Constitution shall, unless he has elected otherwise, become on such commencement the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and shall thereupon be entitled to such salaries and to such rights in respect of leave of absence and pension as are provided for under clause (3) of article 148 in respect of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and be entitled to continue to hold office until the expiration of his term of office as determined under the provisions which were applicable to him immediately before such commencement.

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Article 376

Article 376

Provisions as to Judges of High Courts.

376. (1) Notwithstanding anything in clause (2) of article 217, the Judges of a High Court in any Province holding office immediately before the commencement of this Constitution shall, unless they have elected otherwise, become on such commencement the Judges of the High Court in the corresponding State, and shall thereupon be entitled to such salaries and allowances and to such rights in respect of leave of absence and pension as are provided for under article 221 in respect of the Judges of such High Court. Any such Judge shall, notwithstanding that he is not a citizen of India, be eligible for appointment as Chief Justice of such High Court, or as Chief Justice or other Judge of any other High Court.

(2) The Judges of a High Court in any Indian State corresponding to any State specified in Part B of the First Schedule holding office immediately before the commencement of this Constitution shall, unless they have elected otherwise, become on such commencement the Judges of the High Court in the State so specified and shall, notwithstanding anything in clauses (1) and (2) of article 217 but subject to the proviso to clause (1) of that article, continue to hold office until the expiration of such period as the President may by order determine.

(3) In this article, the expression “Judge” does not include an acting Judge or an additional Judge.

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