Features of the Indian Constitution: What and How?

1. It is one of the largest constitutions in the world. : Features of the Indian Constitution mean what are various attributes of the Indian Constitution.

Some features of Indian constitution makes it unique as the maker of Indian constitution tried to adapt to the diverse need of the country.
Features of Indian constitution,
Source: erewise.com

 Indian Constitution is very voluminous having 395 articles in original. Now the number of articles has increased up to 444. The question arises here why it is so? There are various reasons for it.

(a) Single Constitution: Indian Constitution contains provisions for both the center as well as the state. The state does not have any separate constitution.

(b) Detailed administrative provisions: Indian Constitution contains detailed administrative provisions like election, function, and removal of various constitutional posts and bodies like President, Vice President, Council of Ministers, UPSC, CAG, Governor…etc.

(c)  It tries to solve some peculiar problems: Various articles of the Indian Constitution are dedicated to solving the problem of states like Article 370 of the Indian Constitution provides special provisions for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly, Article 371 has special provisions for the states like Gujrat, Maharastra, Sikkim, Nagaland..etc. Article 262 deals with river water disputes with different states.

(d) Federal relations are elaborated in a detailed way.

(e) Both justiciable and nonjusticiable rights are included in it i.e. it contains both Fundamental Rights as well as DPSP.

(f) It incorporated the accumulated experience of different constitutions.

Fundamental Rights from USA, Parliamentary system of government from the U.K. DPSP from Ireland. Emergency Provisions from Germany.



2. Drawn from different sources : 

(a)As per B.R.Ambedkar “We have the experience of more than 100 years when the first constitution was written. The only new things, if there be any in a constitution framed so late in the day is the variation made to remove the faults and to accommodate it to the need of the country”.

(b) The familiarity with the form of government present. In India, the constitution had evolved during the British period. During the time of independent people were familiar with the parliamentary form of government. In-country where illiteracy is a high new form of government would have quite difficult to implement. So most of the provisions of the Government of India Act 1935 were incorporated in the constitution.

(c) The prevailing situation in the country: During the time of independent country was divided and there was chaos in the society. The need of the hour was an effective government for that constitution must have drawn first so that the government can run effectively.

3. More flexible than rigid : 

Amendment to few provisions of the constitution requires Special Majority plus ratification by state legislature even then ratification by only 1/2 of them would suffice.

examples: GST Bill, 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, Any bill related to altering the federal features.

The rest of the constitution may be amended by a Special Majority of the Union Parliament i.e. a Special Majority of not less than 2/3rd of the member of each house present and voting, again must be the majority of the total membership of the house.

Examples: Amending Fundamental Rights and DPSP.

On the other hand, parliament has been given the power to alter or modify any of the provisions of the constitution by a Simple Majority as is required for general legislation.

(a) Changes in the names and boundaries, areas of and amalgamation and separation of states.[Article 4].

(b) Abolition and Creation of the second chamber of a state legislature.[Article 169] .

(c) Administration of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes[5th and 6th Schedule].

(d) Creation of Legislature and Council of Ministers for certain Union Territories.

4. Legislation as supplementing the Constitution: 

In various articles, the constitution lays down certain basic principles and empowers parliament to supplement these principles by legislation.

(a) Citizenship: Article (11) vests plenary power in the hand of parliament to legislate on the subject.

In pursuance of these power Parliament has enacted the Citizenship Act 1955.

(b) Article (17): Aims to the abolition of untouchability but does not provide detailed provisions to abolish it. Parliament has enacted a law “Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955” which provides punishment for practicing untouchability.

(c) President and Vice President Election Act 1952.

The obvious advantage of this scheme is that the law made by the parliament may be modified without according to the exigencies for the time being without having to resort to a constitutional amendment.

5. Reconciliation of the Written Constitution with Parliamentary Sovereignty.

6. Fundamental Rights and Constitutional Remedies.

This is one of the unique features of the Indian constitution. It gives more teeth to the Fundamental Rights and enables to secure the fundamental rights.

7. Role of Convention under the constitution 

Example: The question of whether the ministry should resign whenever there is an adverse vote against him in the house of people.

8. Judicial Review makes the constitution legalistic.

9. Compromise between Judicial Review and Parliamentary Supremacy:

By endowing the judiciary with the power of declaring a law as unconstitutional if it is beyond the competence of the legislature according to the distribution of power provided by the constitution or if it is in contravention of fundamental rights or for any other reasons but at the same time depriving the judiciary of any power of judicial review of the wisdom of legislative policy.

  On the other hand, the judiciary has gained ground by itself declaring that Judicial Review is the Basic Feature of the constitution.

10. Fundamental Rights are subject to reasonable regulation by the Legislature.

Though the concept of fundamental rights is borrowed from the USA constitution. These features of the Indian constitution have been made different by making it subject to regulation while the Fundamental Rights in the USA are absolute.

Example: Article 15(1) that states will not discriminate on the basis of Caste, Religion, Sex, Race, and Place of birth. But Article 15(3) says that “Nothing in this Article that shall prevent the state from making any special provision for women and children.

11. Fundamental Rights are checkmated by Fundamental Duties.

12. Universal Franchise without communal Representation.

The provision of the separate electorate which was the features in the British period was removed from the features of the Indian constitution.

13. Parliamentary government combined with an elected president at the head.

14. Federal System with Unitary Bias: Though normally the system of government is federal, the constitution enables the federation to transform itself into a unitary state in an emergency. Also, there are various provisions in the constitution which makes the Union government more powerful as compared to the state. Likes Residuary powers, the appointment of the governor, All India Services, Financial Position ..etc.

Which features of Indian constitution borrowed from US?

The provision of the Fundamental Rights and preamble in the Indian constitution is borrowed from the constitution of USA

Features of Preamble in constitution is borrowed from?

The feature of the preamble and Fundamental Rights to be included in the constitution of India is borrowed from the USA constitution.

What are the five features of a written or codified constitution?

The five features of a written constitution are
The supremacy of the constitution.
Rigidity of constitution
Independence of Judiciary.
It can have been either unitary or federal structure.
Well organized constitution

what are the salient features of constitution?

Indian constitution has both unitary as well as federal features. To know more visit :https://gslearner.com/features-of-indian-constitution/

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