Welcome to the official blog of the Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates, where we are dedicated to providing litigation support services for matters related to Constitution. In today’s blog post, we aim to shed light on the prevailing issues surrounding Constitution, the legal framework in place for their protection, and the steps we can take as a society to combat these acts. Join us as we explore this critical subject and empower you with the knowledge to protect your rights and safety.
What is Indian Constitution?
The Indian Constitution is the supreme law of India. It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26th November 1949 and came into effect on 26th January 1950, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. The Constitution lays down the framework that defines the political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of the government institutions, and sets out the fundamental rights, directive principles, and responsibilities of citizens.
The Indian Constitution is a comprehensive document consisting of a preamble and 470 articles, divided into 25 parts. It provides for a federal system of government, with powers divided between the central government and the states. The Constitution establishes a parliamentary system of government, with a President as the head of state and a Prime Minister as the head of government.
What is the Preamble Of the Indian Constitution?
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution establishes India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, and republican country. It also encompasses other important principles such as justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity.
The term “sovereignty” emphasizes the supreme power and authority of the government, which resides within the people. It encompasses both internal sovereignty, allowing states to govern themselves and make laws, and external sovereignty, granting the government the authority to acquire or cede territory for legitimate reasons.
Secularism is included to promote peace and unity among different religious communities in India. The principle of secularism ensures that religion does not have a place in matters of state and prohibits discrimination based on religion.
Democracy grants power to the people, enabling them to govern themselves. India follows a representative form of government due to its large population. Democracy allows citizens to choose their own representatives and safeguards them from authoritarian leaders.
The concept of socialism promotes equality and welfare among people. The term “socialist” was added to the Preamble through the 42nd Amendment. It aims to reduce income and status inequalities and provide equal opportunities and facilities for all citizens.
The idea of a republic, borrowed from the Constitution of France, ensures that there are no hereditary rulers and that the head of state (the President) is elected by the people for a fixed tenure. It emphasizes the principle of popular sovereignty.
The Preamble guarantees three types of justice:
- Social Justice: This concept promotes equal treatment, the rule of law, and the absence of discrimination among citizens based on various grounds. Part III of the Constitution, which outlines fundamental rights, also ensures social justice.
- Economic Justice: Economic justice aims to eliminate gender-based discrimination, provide equal work opportunities, and ensure the equitable distribution of wealth.
- Political Justice: Political justice grants all citizens the right to participate in political processes and decision-making.
Liberty and Fraternity:
The Preamble includes the principles of liberty and fraternity, which were inspired by the French Revolution. Liberty emphasizes individual freedom, while fraternity emphasizes the sense of brotherhood and unity among citizens.
Directive Principles Of the Indian Constitution
The Directive Principles of State Policy are a set of guidelines or principles outlined in Part IV of the Indian Constitution (Articles 36-51). These principles provide a framework for the government to promote the welfare of the people, establish social justice, and achieve a just and equitable society. While not legally enforceable, they are considered fundamental in the governance of the country. Here are some key directive principles of the Indian Constitution:
- Social Justice:
The state shall strive to promote social justice and eliminate inequalities based on various factors such as caste, religion, gender, or disability. It includes ensuring equal opportunities and equal access to resources for all citizens.
The state shall work towards securing equality in all aspects, including economic, social, and political spheres. It aims to eliminate discrimination and promote a sense of equal citizenship.
- The Welfare of the People:
The state shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting their rights to adequate means of livelihood, education, healthcare, and a decent standard of living.
- Promotion of Education:
The state shall endeavour to provide free and compulsory education for children up to the age of 14 and promote educational institutions for the advancement of knowledge.
- Protection of Cultural and Educational Rights:
The state shall protect the diverse cultural, linguistic, and educational rights of different sections of society, including minorities, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other disadvantaged groups.
- Protection of the Environment:
The state shall protect and improve the environment, safeguard forests, wildlife, and natural resources, and work towards sustainable development.
- Promotion of Agriculture and Rural Development:
The state shall take measures to promote agriculture, improve agricultural productivity, ensure proper utilization of land resources, and develop rural areas.
- Promotion of Cottage Industries:
The state shall encourage and promote cottage industries to provide employment opportunities and foster economic growth at the grassroots level.
- Uniform Civil Code:
The state shall endeavour to secure a uniform civil code for citizens throughout the country, which would address personal laws relating to marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc.
- Promotion of Scientific Temper:
The state shall foster a scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform among citizens.
Fundamental Rights Of the Indian Constitution
The Fundamental Rights are enshrined in Part III of the Indian Constitution (Articles 12-35) and guarantee certain basic rights and freedoms to all citizens of India. These rights are considered essential for the development and well-being of individuals and ensure their dignity, equality, and justice. Here are the Fundamental Rights provided by the Indian Constitution:
- Right to Equality (Articles 14-18):
- Equality before the law (Article 14)
- Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth (Article 15)
- Equality of opportunity in public employment (Article 16)
- Abolition of untouchability (Article 17)
- Abolition of titles (Article 18)
- Right to Freedom (Articles 19-22):
- Freedom of speech and expression (Article 19(1)(a))
- Freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms (Article 19(1)(b))
- Freedom to form associations or unions (Article 19(1)(c))
- Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India (Article 19(1)(d))
- Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the country (Article 19(1)(e))
- Freedom to practice any profession, occupation, trade, or business (Article 19(1)(g))
- Protection of certain rights regarding conviction for offences (Article 20)
- Protection of life and personal liberty (Article 21)
- Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases (Article 22)
- Right against Exploitation (Articles 23-24):
- Prohibition of trafficking in human beings and forced labour (Article 23)
- Prohibition of child labour (Article 24)
- Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25-28):
- Freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion (Article 25)
- Freedom to manage religious affairs (Article 26)
- Freedom from payment of taxes for the promotion of any particular religion (Article 27)
- Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in educational institutions is wholly maintained by the state (Article 28)
- Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29-30):
- Protection of the interests of minorities with regard to their language, script, and culture (Article 29)
- Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions (Article 30)
- Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32):
- Right to move to the Supreme Court for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights
These Fundamental Rights collectively ensure the protection of individual liberties, freedom of expression, equality, and the right against exploitation. They form the cornerstone of the Indian Constitution and are considered essential for the functioning of a democratic and inclusive society. Top of Form
Fundamental Duties Of the Indian Constitution
The Fundamental Duties of Indian citizens are enshrined in Part IV-A of the Indian Constitution, specifically in Article 51A. These duties were added through the 42nd Amendment Act in 1976 to emphasize the responsibilities of individuals towards the nation. While they are not legally enforceable, they serve as moral and ethical obligations for citizens. Here are the Fundamental Duties of Indian citizens:
- To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions.
- To cherish and follow the noble ideals that inspired the national struggle for freedom.
- To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.
- To defend the country and render national service when required.
- To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among all citizens, transcending religious, linguistic, and regional diversities.
- To value and preserve the rich heritage of India’s composite culture.
- To protect and improve the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.
- To develop a scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
- To safeguard public property and avoid violence and vandalism.
- To strive for excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity to contribute to the nation’s progress.
- To provide education to children between the ages of six and fourteen.
- To promote and encourage the spirit of community service.
- To strive towards the eradication of social evils such as untouchability and the practice of dowry.
- To protect and preserve the national heritage, monuments, and cultural assets.
- To promote international peace and goodwill and maintain harmonious relations with other nations.
Marbury v. Madison (1803), the US Supreme Court established judicial review, allowing the judiciary to question legislative actions without a specific provision in the US Constitution.
Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala introduced the basic structure doctrine, stating that constitutional amendments must respect the basic structure of the Constitution.
A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras limited the judicial review of preventive detention laws.
State of Madras v. V.G. Row emphasized that judicial review is fundamental, limiting legislative supremacy and requiring the court to invalidate laws violating the Constitution.
Binoy Viswam v. Union of India discussed the scope of judicial review of legislative actions.
Shayara Bano v. Union of India, it was highlighted that judicial review should consider social values and evolving societal needs.
L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India confirmed that the power of judicial review under Article 226 cannot be excluded by a Constitutional Amendment. Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India addressed the judicial review of subordinate legislation, emphasizing that it lacks the same immunity as statutes passed by a competent legislature.
A constitution is a fundamental legal document that forms the backbone of a country’s governance system. It outlines the principles, structure, and powers of the government, as well as the rights and duties of its citizens. Salient features of a typical constitution include a preamble that expresses the guiding values, fundamental rights protecting citizens’ freedoms, separation of powers among the legislature, executive, and judiciary, and ensuring checks and balances.
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