Constitution

India, that is Bharat

India, that is, Bharat became a Sovereign Democratic Republic officially on 26 January 1950. Earlier the Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949. This date of January 26 was taken as a day of reckoning for becoming India a Republic because this was the day when India Celebrated its Poorna Swaraj Diwas (Complete independence day) earlier on 26th January 1930. It should be noted that till December 1929 Congress fought for Swaraj only asking for Dominion status just like Canada and Australia within British empire. But Bose and Nehru prevailed upon Gandhi and Patel to change the mode of freedom struggle to drive the British out fully from the soil of India for ever. At last Congress declared Poorna Swaraj its sole aim in December 1929.

And it is also important to note that there was not a single English man in the The Constituent Assembly. All the members were Indians elected by the People of India. And the Constituent Assembly met for the first time in New Delhi on 9 December 1946 and conducted its sessions debating each and every Article threadbare till 26th November 1949. And ultimately adopted the Constitution on 26th January 1950 declaring India a Sovereign Democratic Republic.

Jawaharlal Nehru

On 13.12.1946 first Assembly meeting was held with Sachchidananda Sinha as provisional chairman. At that time the scope of the Assembly was delineated by Jawaharlal Nehru like this, “The first task of this Assembly is to free India through a new Constitution, to feed the starving people, and to clothe the naked masses, and to give every Indian the fullest opportunity to develop himself according to his capacity. This is certainly a great task. Look at India today. We, are sitting here and there in despair in many places, and unrest in many cities. The atmosphere is surcharged with these quarrels and feuds which are called communal disturbances, and unfortunately, we sometimes cannot avoid them. But at present the greatest and most important question in India is how to solve the problem of the poor and the starving. Wherever we turn, we are confronted with this problem. If we cannot solve this problem soon, all our paper Constitutions will become useless and purposeless. Keeping this aspect in view, who could suggest to us to postpone and wait?”

Jawaharlal Nehru addressing the First sitting of the Constituent Assembly in 1946.
Jawaharlal Nehru addressing the First sitting of the Constituent Assembly in 1946.

Originally Jawaharlal Nehru and Sachchidananda Sinha created the first draft of Indian Constitution. B N Rau also furnished a draft constitution as an Advisor to Constituent Assembly. It must be remembered that B N Rau was instrumental in the preparation of Government of India Act 1935 with respect to Federal structure of the Indian Unioin.

During the process of drafting of the Constitution the Objectives Of Indian Constitution and goals of The Constitution’s were articulated in a resolution proposed by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and ratified by the Legislative Council on December 13, 1946. The resolution’s central tenets were as follows:

India should be declared an independent sovereign republic by Resolve.

To create a democratic Community with equitable self-government to all its component members.

The people give the union government and the governments of the constituent elements all of their power and authority.

To ensure and safeguard the safety of all Indians. Moral, fiscal, and political justice are all important.

equality of position, opportunity, and legal standing.

the freedom of thinking, speech, religion, faith, worship, affiliation, and action

Minority groups in underdeveloped and rural regions and the impoverished and perhaps other backward groups have proper protections.

Maintaining the Nation’s territorial sovereignty and right of self-determination on ground, sea, and air under the equity and law of civilized countries. To ensure India’s legitimate and respected position in the globe.

Assist in the advancement of world peace and humanity’s well-being. These goals are enshrined in the Constitution’s Preamble.

Benegal Narsimha Rau, B N Rau

Actually, Benegal Narsimha Rau was appointed as Advisor for making the Constitution and he was instrumental in framing the rules of Federal structure of the Indian Union in the Constitution. He visited several countries like France and USA to study their federal systems. The draft of B.N. Rau consisted of 243 articles and 13 schedules which came to 395 articles and 8 schedules after discussions, debates and amendments.

B. R. Ambedkar in his concluding speech in constituent assembly on 25 November 1949 stated that: “The credit that is given to me does not really belong to me. It belongs partly to Sir B.N. Rau the Constitutional Advisor to the Constituent Assembly who prepared a rough draft of the Constitution for the consideration of Drafting Committee.”

Jawaharlal Nehru headed Committees on Union Constitution, Union Powers and States Committee. Sardar Patel headed Provincial Constitution Committee.

And Steering Committee was headed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad. And he was the President of the Constituent Assembly and also, he was the President of India at that time.

Dr. B R Ambedkar

Dr. B R Ambedkar was Chairman of Drafting committee of the Constitution of India.

Constituent Assembly

The Concept of having a Constituent Assembly was first mooted by M N Roy in 1934. Earlier Motilal Nehru presented a proposal for Constitution in 1928 which was called as Nehru Report. Actually this report formed the basis for Government of India Act. of 1935. Benegal Narsimha rau made his valuable contribution in the drafting of 1935 Act especially with respect to Federal structure of the Constitution.

210 members elected from Provinces, and 64 members nominated by the Princely States participated in in the debates of the Constituent Assembly.

The Assembly met for a total number of 165 days between 1946 and 1950. Out of which 46 days were spent on preliminary discussion in the Assembly and 101 days were spent on the clause-by-clause discussion of the draft Constitution. The issue of Fundamental Rights was discussed for 16 days.  

Here I give some important Articles beginning from Preamble of the Constitution for ready reading as it is from the Constitution

Preamble

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN 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 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.

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Article 1, India a Union of States

Name and Territory of the Union

(1) India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.

(2) The States and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.

(3) The territory of India shall comprise —

(a) the territories of the States;

(b) the Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and

(c) such other territories as may be acquired.

Article 2, New States

Admission or establishment of new States

Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

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Hanuman

Brahmavarta

Aryanism

Saraswati river

Article 3, Alteration of State boundaries.

Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States

Parliament may by law—

(a) form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State;

(b) increase the area of any State;

(c) diminish the area of any State;

(d) alter the boundaries of any State;

(e) alter the name of any State:

Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon within such period as may be specified in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow and the period so specified or allowed has expired.

Explanation I.—In this article, in clauses (a) to (e), “State” includes a Union territory, but in the proviso, “State” does not include a Union territory.

Explanation II.—The power conferred on Parliament by clause (a) includes the power to form a new State or Union territory by uniting a part of any State or Union territory to any other State or Union territory.

Article 4

Laws made under articles 2 and 3 to provide for the amendment of the First and the Fourth Schedules and supplemental, incidental and consequential matters

(1) Any law referred to in article 2 or article 3 shall contain such provisions for the amendment of the First Schedule and the Fourth Schedule as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of the law and may also contain such supplemental, incidental and consequential provisions (including provisions as to representation in Parliament and in the Legislature or Legislatures of the State or States affected by such law) as Parliament may deem necessary.

(2) No such law as aforesaid shall be deemed to be an amendment of this Constitution for the purposes of article 368.

Article 5, Citizenship

Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution

At the commencement of this Constitution, every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and —

(a) who was born in the territory of India; or

(b) either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or

(c) who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement,

shall be a citizen of India.

Article 12, State means Union and States

Definitions

In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, “the State’’ includes the Government and Parliament of India and the Government and the Legislature of each of the States and all local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India.

Article 13, Fundamental rights inalienable

Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights

(1) All laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.

(2) The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void.

(3) In this article, unless the context otherwise requires,—

(a) “law” includes any Ordinance, order, bye-law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usage having in the territory of India the force of law;

(b) “laws in force” includes laws passed or made by a Legislature or other competent authority in the territory of India before the commencement of this Constitution and not previously repealed, notwithstanding that any such law or any part thereof may not be then in operation either at all or in particular areas.

(4) Nothing in this article shall apply to any amendment of this Constitution made under article 368.

Article 51A, Fundamental duties

It shall be the duty of every citizen of India—

(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;

(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;

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

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

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

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

(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

(j) 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;

(k) who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case

may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

Article 52, The President of India

There shall be a President of India.

Article 53, Executive Power of the Union

(1) The executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with this Constitution.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, the supreme command of the Defence Forces of the Union shall be vested in the President and the exercise thereof shall be regulated by law.

(3) Nothing in this article shall—

(a) be deemed to transfer to the President any functions conferred by any existing law on the

Government of any State or other authority; or

(b) prevent Parliament from conferring by law functions on authorities other than the President.

Article 54, Election of President

The President shall be elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of—

(a) the elected members of both Houses of Parliament; and

(b) the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States.

Explanation.—In this article and in article 55, “State” includes the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union territory of Puducherry.

Dr. B R Ambetkar presenting the Constitution to Dr. Babu Rajendraprasad.
Constitution Drafting Committee chairman Dr. B R Ambetkar presenting the Constitution to Constituent Assembly President Dr. Babu Rajendraprasad.

Article 55, Election of the President.

(1) As far as practicable, there shall be uniformity in the scale of representation of the different States at the election of the President.

(2) For the purpose of securing such uniformity among the States inter se as well as parity between the States as a whole and the Union, the number of votes which each elected member of Parliament and of the Legislative Assembly of each State is entitled to cast at such election shall be determined in the following manner:—

(a) every elected member of the Legislative Assembly of a State shall have as many votes as there

are multiples of one thousand in the quotient obtained by dividing the population of the State by the

total number of the elected members of the Assembly;

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(b) if, after taking the said multiples of one thousand, the remainder is not less than five hundred,

then the vote of each member referred to in sub-clause (a) shall be further increased by one;

(c) each elected member of either House of Parliament shall have such number of votes as may be

obtained by dividing the total number of votes assigned to the members of the Legislative Assemblies

of the States under sub-clauses (a) and (b)by the total number of the elected members of both Houses

of Parliament, fractions exceeding one-half being counted as one and other fractions being disregarded.

(3) The election of the President shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.

Explanation.—In this article, the expression “population” means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published:

Provided that the reference in this Explanation to the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published shall, until the relevant figures for the first census taken after the year 2026 have been published, be construed as a reference to the 1971 census.

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Article 246A, GST

Special provision with respect to goods and services tax

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in articles 246 and 254, Parliament, and, subject to clause (2), the Legislature of every State, have power to make laws with respect to goods and services tax imposed by the Union or by such State.

(2) Parliament has exclusive power to make laws with respect to goods and services tax where the supply of goods, or of services, or both takes place in the course of inter-State trade or commerce.

Explanation.—The provisions of this article, shall, in respect of goods and services tax referred to in clause (5) of article 279A, take effect from the date recommended by the Goods and Services Tax Council.

Article 265, Taxes statutory only

No tax shall be levied or collected except by authority of law.

Article 266, Consolidated Fund

Consolidated Funds and public accounts of India and of the States

(1) Subject to the provisions of article 267 and to the provisions of this Chapter with respect to the assignment of the whole or part of the net proceeds of certain taxes and duties to States, all revenues received by the Government of India, all loans raised by that Government by the issue of treasury bills, loans or ways and means advances and all moneys received by that Government in repayment of loans shall form one consolidated fund to be entitled “the Consolidated Fund of India”, and all revenues received by the Government of a State, all loans raised by that Government by the issue of treasury bills, loans or ways and means advances and all moneys received by that Government in repayment of loans shall form one consolidated fund to be entitled “the Consolidated Fund of the State”.

(2) All other public moneys received by or on behalf of the Government of India or the Government of a State shall be credited to the public account of India or the public account of the State, as the case may be.

(3) No moneys out of the Consolidated Fund of India or the Consolidated Fund of a State shall be appropriated except in accordance with law and for the purposes and in the manner provided in this Constitution.

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Article 267, Contingency Fund

(1) Parliament may by law establish a Contingency Fund in the nature of an imprest to be entitled “the Contingency Fund of India” into which shall be paid from time to time such sums as may be determined by such law, and the said Fund shall be placed at the disposal of the President to enable advances to be made by him out of such Fund for the purposes of meeting unforeseen expenditure pending authorisation of such expenditure by Parliament by law under article 115 or article 116.

(2) The Legislature of a State may by law establish a Contingency Fund in the nature of an imprest to be entitled “the Contingency Fund of the State” into which shall be paid from time to time such sums as may be determined by such law, and the said Fund shall be placed at the disposal of the Governor of the State to enable advances to be made by him out of such Fund for the purposes of meeting unforeseen expenditure pending authorisation of such expenditure by the Legislature of the State by law under article 205 or article 206.

Article 330, SC and ST reservations

Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People

(1) Seats shall be reserved in the House of the People for —

(a) the Scheduled Castes;

(b) the Scheduled Tribes except the Scheduled Tribes in the autonomous districts of Assam; and

(c) the Scheduled Tribes in the autonomous districts of Assam.

(2) The number of seats reserved in any State or Union territory for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes under clause (1) shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats allotted to that State or Union territory in the House of the People as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the State or Union territory or of the Scheduled Tribes in the State or Union territory or part of the State or Union territory, as the case may be, in respect of which seats are so reserved, bears to the total population of the State or Union territory.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (2), the number of seats reserved in the House of the People for the Scheduled Tribes in the autonomous districts of Assam shall bear to the total number of seats allotted to that State a proportion not less than the population of the Scheduled Tribes in the said autonomous districts bears to the total population of the State.

Explanation.—In this article and in article 332, the expression “population” means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published:

Provided that the reference in this Explanation to the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published shall, until the relevant figures for the first census taken after the year 2026 have been published, be construed as a reference to the 2001 census.

Article 343, Hindi Official Language

Official language of the Union.

(1) The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script. The form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union shall be the international form of Indian numerals.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in clause (1), for a period of fifteen years from the commencement of this Constitution, the English language shall continue to be used for all the official purposes of the Union for which it was being used immediately before such commencement:

Provided that the President may, during the said period, by order authorise the use of the Hindi language in addition to the English language and of the Devanagari form of numerals in addition to the international form of Indian numerals for any of the official purposes of the Union.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in this article, Parliament may by law provide for the use, after the said period of fifteen years, of—

(a) the English language, or

(b) the Devanagari form of numerals,

for such purposes as may be specified in the law

Article 345, Official language of a State

Official language or languages of a State.

Subject to the provisions of articles 346 and 347, the Legislature of a State may by law adopt any one or more of the language in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that State:

Provided that, until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides by law, the English language shall continue to be used for those official purposes within the State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement of this Constitution.

Article 356, Governor’s rule in a State

Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in States

(1) If the President, on receipt of a report from the Governor of a State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the Government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by Proclamation—

(a) assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or any body or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State;

(b) declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament;

(c) make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the President to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provisions of this Constitution relating to any body or authority in the State:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall authorise the President to assume to himself any of the powers vested in or exercisable by a High Court, or to suspend in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to High Courts.

(2) Any such Proclamation may be revoked or varied by a subsequent Proclamation.

(3) Every Proclamation under this article shall be laid before each House of Parliament and shall, except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, cease to operate at the expiration of two months unless before the expiration of that period it has been approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament:

Provided that if any such Proclamation (not being a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation) is issued at a time when the House of the People is dissolved or the dissolution of the House of the People takes place during the period of two months referred to in this clause, and if a resolution approving the Proclamation has been passed by the Council of States, but no resolution with respect to such Proclamation has been passed by the House of the People before the expiration of that period, the Proclamation shall cease to operate at the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the House of the People first sits after its reconstitution unless before the expiration of the said period of thirty days a resolution approving the Proclamation has been also passed by the House of the People.

(4) A Proclamation so approved shall, unless revoked, cease to operate on the expiration of a period of six months from the date of issue of the Proclamation:

Provided that if and so often as a resolution approving the continuance in force of such a Proclamation is passed by both Houses of Parliament, the Proclamation shall, unless revoked, continue in force for a further period of six months from the date on which under this clause it would otherwise have ceased to operate, but no such Proclamation shall in any case remain in force for more than three years:

Provided further that if the dissolution of the House of the People takes place during any such period of six months and a resolution approving the continuance in force of such Proclamation has been passed by the Council of States, but no resolution with respect to the continuance in force of such Proclamation has been passed by the House of the People during the said period, the Proclamation shall cease to operate at the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the House of the People first sits after its reconstitution unless before the expiration of the said period of thirty days a resolution approving the continuance in force of the Proclamation has been also passed by the House of the People:

Provided also that in the case of the Proclamation issued under clause (1) on the 11th day of May, 1987 with respect to the State of Punjab, the reference in the first proviso to this clause to “three years” shall be construed as a reference to five years.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (4), a resolution with respect to the continuance in force of a Proclamation approved under clause (3) for any period beyond the expiration of one year from the date of issue of such Proclamation shall not be passed by either House of Parliament unless—

(a) a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, in the whole of India or, as the case may be, in the whole or any part of the State, at the time of the passing of such resolution, and

(b) the Election Commission certifies that the continuance in force of the Proclamation approved under clause (3) during the period specified in such resolution is necessary on account of difficulties in holding general elections to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to the Proclamation issued under clause (1) on the 11th day of May, 1987 with respect to the State of Punjab.

Article 368, Amending power of Parliament

Power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure therefor

(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament may in exercise of its constituent power amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any provision of this Constitution in accordance with the procedure laid down in this article.

(2) An amendment of this Constitution may be initiated only by the introduction of a Bill for the purpose in either House of Parliament, and when the Bill is passed in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting, it shall be presented to the President who shall give his assent to the Bill and thereupon] the Constitution shall stand amended in accordance with the terms of the Bill:

Provided that if such amendment seeks to make any change in—

(a) article 54, article 55, article 73, article 162, article 241 or article 279A; or

(b) Chapter IV of Part V, Chapter V of Part VI, or Chapter I of Part XI; or

(c) any of the Lists in the Seventh Schedule; or

(d) the representation of States in Parliament; or

(e) the provisions of this article,

the amendment shall also require to be ratified by the Legislatures of not less than one-half of the States by resolutions to that effect passed by those Legislatures before the Bill making provision for such amendment is presented to the President for assent.

(3) Nothing in article 13 shall apply to any amendment made under this article.

(4) No amendment of this Constitution (including the provisions of Part III) made or purporting to have been made under this article whether before or after the commencement of section 55 of the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 shall be called in question in any court on any ground.

(5) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that there shall be no limitation whatever on the constituent power of Parliament to amend by way of addition, variation or repeal the provisions of this Constitution under this article.