This article is written by Anurag Maharaj, student of law at Lloyd Law School, Greater Noida. He has tried to define the sources and framing of the Indian Constitution in this article.
Constitution is the system of basic principles which governs a country, state, company, or the like. It is the backbone of our country’s democracy. Indian Constitution is the longest written constitution in the world containing 395 Articles, 22 Parts and 12 Schedules. India’s constitution was drawn up by a Representative Assembly. The Assembly, under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, formed a drafting committee to create a constitution for India. The first meeting of the Assembly was on 9 December 1946. On 26 November 1949, the Indian Constitution was adopted and came into force on 26 January 1950.
After ransacking all the world’s major constitutions, the Indian Constitution was formed. The sources of the Indian Constitution are:-
1. United States of America
● Impeachment of president:- Article 61 of the Constitution calls for the President of India to be impeached. The President may be disqualified from office for breach of the Constitution by impeachment. Impeachment proceedings may be levied at any Parliament house.
● Removal of judges:- Article 124(4) of the Constitution allows the President to remove a judge for proven misconduct or incapacity if the parliament approves a majority of the total membership of each house for impeachment and not less than two-thirds of the members of each house present.
● Fundamental Rights: Articles 12 to 32 of the Constitution of India include all the fundamental rights:- Basic rights are the fundamental human rights given to the country’s people in order to ensure them of an equal place in society.
● Judicial independence:- The idea of judicial independence is that the judiciary should be separate from other government branches.
● Preamble:– The Preamble is an introduction to the Constitution. It guarantees justice, freedom, equality for all Indian citizens, and fosters fraternity among the people.
● Judicial Review: The Judicial Review provision gives the judiciary an upper hand in interpreting the Constitution. Therefore, the judiciary can annul any order by the legislature or executive if that order conflicts with the country’s constitution
● Functions of president and Vice president:- The President of India, is the head of state of and the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
● Article 63 of the Indian Constitution states that “There shall be a Vice President of India.” The Vice President shall serve as President in the absence of a President by reason of death, resignation, impeachment or other circumstances. India’s vice president is now ex officio secretary of Rajya Sabha.
2. The United Kingdom
● Single citizenship:- India’s constitution grants the country’s residents single citizenship. The residents of the country are all citizens regardless of the states or territories in which they live.
● Legislative procedure:– Legislative proposals shall be brought in the form of a bill before either Parliament House of India. A bill is the draft legislative legislation that, when passed by both parliamentary houses and approved by the President, becomes a parliamentary act.
● Rule of Law: This essentially states that a State is governed by the laws of that country, not by the representatives or the citizens and it states that everybody is equal before the law; including the ones who make it. Article 14 of the Constitution of India codifies the rule of law
● Cabinet system:- A group of persons appointed by a head of state or a prime minister to head the government’s executive departments and serve as official advisers.
● Parliamentary form of government:- The President is the head of state, and the head of government is the Prime Minister. In such a form of government, a cabinet of ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, governs the country. The Parliament consists of two houses – Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
● Directive Principle of State Policy:- The Directive Principle of State Policy is stated in Part IV of the Indian Constitution, and it explicitly states that it is the State’s responsibility to follow certain principles in the law-making process. There are three major types of these concepts – Democratic Guidelines, Gandhian Guidelines and Liberal Intellectual Guidelines. Ireland is also borrowing the process for appointing members to the Rajya Sabha
● The method of the election of the head of the state i.e the President
● Article 108:- The joint sitting of both the houses in some cases.
● Concurrent list:- It includes the power to be considered by both the union and state government.
● Freedom of trade and commerce:– Trade and commerce freedom within the nation and between States. Sections 301 to 307 of the Indian Constitution set down the same provisions
5. France:- The Indian preamble borrowed from the French Constitution its principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. In the tradition of France’s Constitution, the Indian state came to be known as the ‘Republic of India.’
● Federal system with a strong central government.
● Power-sharing between the central government and state governments
● The advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
● Appointment of State governors by the Centre
7. Soviet Union (USSR)
● A Constitutionally appointed Planning Commission to supervise the economic growth.
● The Fundamental Duty, given in Article 51 A(g):- Mentions the duty of the citizen to protect the environment.
8. South Africa :- Gave us the provisions of the amendment process and the election of Members of Rajya Sabha
9. Germany:- Gave us an immediate clause for the suspension of the fundamental rights.
10. Russia:- Idea of Social, Economic, and Political Justice in Preamble.
11.Government of India Act 1935
● Federal Legislature: The act stated that there should be two houses of the legislature, i.e. the Council of States and a Federal Assembly
● Provincial Autonomy:- Federal Legislature: The act stated that there should be two houses of the legislature, i.e. the Council of States and a Federal Assembly
Framing of the Constitution
India’s Constitution was adopted by a Constituent Assembly formed under the 1946 Cabinet Mission Plan. The Constituent Assembly formed 13 commissions to frame the Constitution. A draft Constitution was drafted by a seven-member drafting committee under the chairmanship of Dr B R Ambedkar on the basis of the reports from these committees. In January 1948, the drafting Constitution was released and citizens were given eight months. After the citizens, the press, the provincial assemblies and the Constituent Assembly had debated the draft in the light of the suggestions received, the same was finally adopted on November 26, 1949, and signed by the President of the Assembly. Thus it took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days for the Constituent Assembly to complete the task. And as I have discussed above the Indian Constitution is borrowed Constitution. The legislative system, common citizenship, rule of law, Directive state policy etc. all are borrowed features of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution of India incorporated the best features of a number of existing constitutions.
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