Main features of the constitution – “Key Features of the Constitution”
Each constitution has its own characteristics, seeing which can be known about its entire system. The same thing can be said about the Constitution of India, which ‘we the people of India’ has made ‘for the people of India’. These characteristics can be summarized as follows:
1. Key Features of the Constitution is Derivations :
The framers of the constitution were aware of the needs of their country, the aspirations of the people and the contemporary conditions. Therefore, he took those systems and institutions of the constitutions of other countries which could be suitable and useful for his country.
For example, Britain’s parliamentary system of government was adopted, then the system of Supreme Court judicial review was taken from America. When the federal government of Canada’s model was established, the idea of the Directive Principles was taken from the Constitution of Ireland. All such arrangements and institutions have been adjusted in such a way that it can be likened to a beautiful bouquet.
2. Key Features of the Constitution is Created and written constitution:
Our constitution is not a product of long development, as we see about the British constitution. It was created by the Constituent Assembly, in which there were a total of 389 members, but their number was reduced after the partition of the country.
It took about three years. Apart from this, it is the longest written constitution in the world. After the Preamble, there are 395 articles in it, which are contained in 22 parts. At the end are the schedules, whose number was eight earlier but is now twelve.
3. Key Features of the Constitution is Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic:
This made India a sovereign state. Now India is not under any foreign power. It has recognized democratic socialism, whose form is similar to the Fabianism of England. There are many religions and beliefs in India, so all have been given equal importance.
India is secular, that is, there can be no discrimination on the basis of religion. There is a democratic system in the country. Power is with the people, the exercise of which is in the hands of their elected representatives. Government is limited and responsible. The office of the President is elected, he is the head of the state. Hence India is a republic.
4. Key Features of the Constitution is Parliamentary Government System:
India has a parliamentary system of government. Therefore, the President has been made the head of state, whose power is nominal. The real power rests with the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, who is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
The Council of Ministers can remain in office only as long as it has the confidence of the Lok Sabha. Such a system is also in the states, where the Governor has been made the Speaker, but the real power lies with the Council of Ministers, which is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly. The 42nd Constitutional Constitution of 1976 made it binding on the President to act in accordance with the advice of his Council of Ministers.
5. Key Features of the Constitution is Integrated Judiciary:
In the federal system, powers are divided between the center and the provinces, so that both the governments can work in their respective areas. The provinces have their own judiciary, but in India the Supreme Court is placed at the top, the High Courts of the states are below it.
Parliament can by its law determine the jurisdiction of the High Courts and the Supreme Court can overturn the decision of any High Court. The directions of the Supreme Court are applicable to all the courts of the country.
6. Key Features of the Constitution is judicial review:
The Supreme Court and the High Courts have been given the power to review any challenged law or order of the state and keep it in the state of being unconstitutional. Since the decision of the High Court can be challenged in the Supreme Court, the decision of the Supreme Court is final.
7. Key Features of the Constitution is Fundamental Rights and Duties:
A detailed list of Fundamental Rights is given in Part III of the Constitution. These rights are of six types, such as the right to equality, the right to freedom, the right against exploitation, the right to religion, cultural and educational rights, and the right to constitutional remedies.
In 1978, the 44th Constitutional Amendment took place which removed the right to property from this part. These rights are binding, so they can be protected with the help of courts. If any law or order of the state violates any fundamental right, then it can be challenged in the High Court or the Supreme Court.
If it is unconstitutional, the court can stay it. The 42nd Amendment of 1976 has added a part of the fundamental duty of citizens, so it is their duty to respect the national flag and national anthem, follow the constitution, protect the motherland etc.
8. Key Features of the Constitution is Allied Federalism:
There is a federal system in India, in which a strong center has been established like Canada. The position of states is not as powerful as that of American states or Swiss cantons. Powers are divided between the center and the states. If any objection arises, it can be disposed of as per the interpretation of the Supreme Court.
If any legal dispute arises between the Center and the States, it can be settled by the decision of the Supreme Court. Efforts have been made to maintain cooperation and coordination between the Center and the States. Therefore, some special arrangements have been made, such as, regional council, inter-state council, finance commission, etc.
9. Key Features of the Constitution is Directive Principles of State Policy:
Directive principles have been given in the fourth part of the constitution, whose aim is to establish social and economic democracy in India.
There are some important principles – the state will generate enough employment opportunities for all, the resources of the nation will be used in the interest of all; equal pay for equal work; humane conditions of work shall be established; Everyone will have the right to work and education; Uniform Civil Code will apply throughout the country; The standard of living of the people will be raised; Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will be done; Cow slaughter will be banned; There will be a separation of the judiciary and the executive and India will adopt a policy of international peace and security.
These principles are not mandatory or justifiable, but it is expected that the state will consider them fundamental in the administration of the country.
10. Key Features of the Constitution is Democratic Decentralisation:
The original constitution had provisions regarding the governance of the center and the states, but those and those constitutional amendments of 1992 have also given constitutional status to village panchayats and municipalities. In the 11th schedule, 18 functions have been given to the municipalities. This shows that now democracy has been ensured on the ground.
11. Key Features of the Constitution is bicameralism:
There are two houses in the Parliament. The Lok Sabha is the first or lower house, the members of which are directly elected by the people. Rajya Sabha is the second or upper house, whose members are elected by the state legislatures.
The Rajya Sabha is a permanent house, with one-third of its members being removed after every two years. The normal term of Lok Sabha is five years, which can be extended in case of emergency. The President can dissolve the Lok Sabha at any time.
12. Key Features of the Constitution is A strange mix of flexibility and rigidity:
If the amendment process of the constitution is very simple, then the constitution is flexible. Parliament makes the Constitution Amendment Act by passing the bill with its simple majority. Therefore, there is no difference between ordinary law and constitutional law as we can see about the British Constitution. On the contrary, a rigid constitution is one whose amendment process is very difficult.
The bill for amendment is passed by the Parliament by a special majority i.e. two-thirds majority and it may be later that a public decision should be taken on it or it may also be supported by the provinces in the federal system. The constitutions of America, Canada, Switzerland, France and Australia are rigid.
In such countries there is a clear distinction between ordinary law and constitutional law; Because the above method is considered to be the highest law of the country. The situation in India is strange. Many provisions of the Constitution can be changed by the ordinary law made by the Parliament, such as, in a state, to create or break a Legislative Council, to give state status to a union territory, to change the area or name of a state, etc. But there are some provisions (such as Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy) in which the bill for amendment should be passed by two-thirds majority in both the houses of Parliament.
Then there are some provisions (such as the election of the President, the representation of the states in the Rajya Sabha in relation to the legislation of the Center and the states, etc.), whose amendment bill is passed by both the Houses of Parliament by the legislatures of at least half of the states. If supported by a simple majority, then the President will assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill.
13. Key Features of the Constitution is Single Citizenship:
Where there is federal rule, people get dual citizenship, that is, dual citizenship of the whole country and their province, but in India everyone has a single citizenship. He is a citizen of India and not of any province or territory. Parliament can by its law determine the conditions of acquisition or loss of citizenship.
14. Key Features of the Constitution is Critical Sections:
If there is a crisis in the country or any part of it or there is a possibility of it coming, then the President can exercise his emergency powers. If there is war or external aggression or armed rebellion in any place, then under Article 352 a state of emergency can be declared.
Such declaration shall affect the whole or any part of the country. According to Article 356, a state of emergency can be declared in any state of India (except Jammu and Kashmir) if that constitutional machinery fails.
Under Article 360, a state of emergency can be declared if the credit or financial stability of the country is threatened in India or any part thereof. These powers do not make the President a dictator because he acts on the advice of his Council of Ministers, which is responsible to the Lok Sabha.
Our constitution is the cornerstone of our nation. It was inaugurated in 1950 and has been running ever since. Unfortunately, its implementation has declined at the present time. President Narayanan rightly said: “The Constitution did not make us a failure, but we have made the Constitution a failure.” Based on this remark, in 2000, he said: “There is no need to create a National Constitution Review Commission.”
We must remember Dr. Ambedkar’s splendid remark: “However bad the Constitution may be, it can certainly be good, if the people entrusted with its implementation prove to be good.”
While delivering his speech at the closing ceremony on November 25, 1949, the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, said these important words: “This Constitution may or may not organize something, but the welfare of the country will depend on those people, who will administer it accordingly. .
It is a common saying that a country gets the administration it deserves. If the people who are elected are very capable and have integrity of character, then they will be able to make a bad constitution look good but if they lack such abilities, then the constitution cannot save the country.
After all, the constitution is like a machine, a non-living animal. It comes alive only when its implementers intuit and run it. There is no greater need for India today than to have honest people who put the interest of the country before themselves.