salient feature of indian constitution

salient feature of indian constitution

Written and lengthy

The Indian Constitution is the world’s lengthiest written constitution with its Preamble, 25 parts and 12 schedules. The Preamble states the constitution’s basic philosophy. The Parts deal with the distribution of powers between the Centre and the states.

Parts and schedules

The Constitution of India has 448 articles in 25 parts. It also consists of 12 schedules.

The main parts of the Indian constitution are:

I. The Union and its Territory

II. Citizenship

III. Fundamental Rights

IV. Directive Principles of State Policy

V. The Union (Union legislative, executive, judiciary)

VI: The States (State legislative, executive, judiciary)

VII: The states in the B part of the first schedule (administration, legislative assembly)

Federal system with Unitary Bias

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Rigid and Difficult Amendment Procedure

As per Article 368 of the Constitution, an amendment of the Constitution can be initiated only by the introduction of a Bill for the purpose in either House of Parliament. However, Constitutional Amendments are not passed in Parliament by simple majority like other ordinary legislative bills. In order to become an Amendment to the Constitution, it must receive a two-thirds majority vote in both Houses of Parliament and also be ratified by at least half of the State Legislatures.[4] Since all constitutional amendments must be ratified by more than half of the state legislatures (and not just those present and voting), there is no true upper limit to how difficult it may be to enact a constitutional amendment. The process is intentionally difficult because the constitution is intended to reflect long term decisions and developments.

There has been an amendment made which says that “In India, no amendment may be made under Article 368 which affects any Basic Structure or framework” of the Constitution. Therefore, as per this ruling given by Supreme Court, a basic structure cannot be amended even if there is unanimous consent from both houses.[5]

Independent Judiciary

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in India. It comprises a Chief Justice and 25 other judges. The High Courts are the courts of appeal for district courts. Subordinate courts are those that exist below the High Court levels to administer justice in civil cases and to try criminal cases at the first instance.

The Judiciary is an important pillar of Indian democracy as it ensures that laws are followed by all organs of government and it also provides a platform for settlement of disputes for ordinary citizens. The Judiciary also acts as a check on abuse of power by other organs of government with its powers such as that of Judicial Review, Judicial Activism etc. However, there are many aspects related to judicial reform that need to be addressed so that judiciary can fulfill its role more effectively in upholding rule of law and good governance.

Directive Principles of State Policy

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Equality, Liberty and Fraternity as the guiding principle.

The Preamble of the Constitution of India is a short introductory statement that sets out the guiding purpose and principles of the document. It declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic; assures its citizens justice, equality, and liberty; and promises to promote fraternity among them.

This article explains the features of Preamble in detail.

Right to Constitutional Remedies

The Supreme Court and the High Courts are empowered to issue writs under Article 32 and 226 respectively for the enforcement of

fundamental rights. The writs that may be issued by these courts are; Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo-Warranto and Certiorari.

Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties

The Indian Constitution provides six fundamental rights to its citizens. These are:

  • The Right to Equality
  • The Right to Freedom
  • The Right against Exploitation
  • The Right to Freedom of Religion
  • Cultural and Educational Rights
  • The Right to Constitutional Remedies


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