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Significant Provisions of the Indian Constitution (Part 2)

The Constitution of India is quite distinctive as the land's supreme law. It frames fundamental political principles, procedures, practices, rights, powers, and government duties. It imparts constitutional supremacy and not parliamentary supremacy, as it was created by a Constituent Assembly, and adopted by its people, with a declaration in its preamble. 

The concept of single citizenship is borrowed from the British Constitution. It is enshrined in Part II (Article 5-11) of the Indian Constitution. The constitution of India talks about the federal structure and a dual polity (center and state), but it only allows for single citizenship. Other federal countries, such as the USA and Switzerland, have the provision for dual citizenship. This means that in the USA, every person is treated as a citizen of the USA and also the state to which he/she belongs. The Citizenship Act, 1955 contains the provision for the acquisition and loss of citizenship after the inception of the Indian Constitution. This act has been amended 6 times over the years. It provides for citizenship by birth, descent, registration, naturalization, and incorporation of territory.

The Fundamental Duties are dealt with in Article 51A under Part-IV A of the Indian Constitution. Just like DPSPs they too are non-justiciable in character. The 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 on the recommendation of the Swarn Singh Committee added 10 Fundamental Duties to the Indian Constitution, which are as follows:

  1. Abide by the Constitution and respect the national flag & National Anthem

  2. Follow the ideals of the freedom struggle

  3. Protect the sovereignty & integrity of India

  4. Defend the country and render national services when called upon

  5. Developing the spirit of common brotherhood

  6. Preserve the composite culture of the country

  7. Preserve natural environment

  8. Develop scientific temper and humanity

  9. Safeguard public property and avoid violence

  10. Strive for excellence in all spheres of life.

  11. Parents and wards provide opportunities for education to their child or ward between the ages of six and fourteen years. (This duty was added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002)

Fundamental Duties

The doctrine of Separation of Powers deals with the mutual relations among the three organs of the Government namely legislature, executive, and judiciary. Though it has no place in a strict sense in the Indian Constitution, the functions of various organs of the Government have been sufficiently differentiated, so that one cannot usurp the function of the other. Under the Indian Constitution, the three wings are divided into the 

  • Legislature: the Parliament ( Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha), State legislative bodies; 

  • Executive: The President (at the central level), Governor (at the state level), and 

  • Judiciary: Supreme Court, High Court, and all other subordinate courts. 

Article 50 of the Indian Constitution puts an obligation on the State to separate the judiciary from the executive. But, since this falls under the Directive Principles of State Policy, it is not enforceable. Articles 53 and 154 provide that the executive power of the Union and the State shall be vested with the President and the Governor and they enjoy immunity from civil and criminal liability. Articles 121 and 211 provide that the legislatures cannot discuss the conduct of a judge of the Supreme Court or High Court. They can do so only in case of impeachment. Article 123 strictly states that The President, being the executive head of the country, is empowered to exercise legislative powers (Promulgate ordinances) in certain conditions. Article 361 states that The President and Governors enjoy immunity from court proceedings., they shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office.

Universal adult franchise grants the right to vote to all adult citizens who are 18 years or above, (The 61st Amendment Act of 1989 reduced the minimum age to exercise voting from 21 to 18 years.) irrespective of their gender, race, social status, wealth, political stance, or any such criteria and this is very well incorporated in Article 326 of the Indian Constitution. The principle of Universal Adult Franchise is laid on the principle of equality which emanates from democracy.

Universal Adult Suffrage

The Constitution of India is a complete blend of all the provisions, and thus the provisions and articles in itself make it the apex law of the state. The soul of the Constituent Assembly in implementing and interpreting any article of the Constitution must always be considered. The framers of the Constitution have tried to incorporate the significant provisions in the Constitution so that there is no scope for ambiguity pertaining as to how governance would take place in the country.


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