The constitution of India is supreme in our country. It gives powers to other Acts, enactments, bills, laws, etc. All the laws which were enacted or in the future going to have to be under the guidance of it and run according to its basic structure. There are some features of it and they all are some kind of characteristics also of it.it has its basic features or has some very own unique features which are not in any other constitution of other countries. In this topic, we talk about some of the unique features/characteristics of it.
About the Constitution of India
- It is our supreme law in India no law or the enactment is above it and cannot overpower it by any means. It was enacted or come into effect on 26th January 1950.
- The document lays down the framework demarcating fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens.
- The constitution declares a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens’ justice, equality, and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity.
- All the laws or the Acts which has been made have to compete with the basic structure of the constitution or does not violate any of the fundamental rights of it.
Unique Features of Indian Constitution
The unique features of the constitution of India are:
1.World’s lengthiest constitution
It is one of the lengthiest written constitutions of the world at present, it has a preamble and 470 articles, which are grouped into 25 parts. With 12 schedules and five appendices, it has been amended 104 times; the latest amendment became effective on 14 January 2019.
2.Compilation from the various sources
The Indian constitution is the blend of the various constitutions of different countries by borrowing their articles, fundamental rights, duties, cabinet government’s, etc. it is the blend of the 10 different countries constitutions which help us to be better and more and more effective.
The countries which are involved are: –
- Parliamentary government
- Concept of single citizenship
- Rule of law
- The legislative speaker and their role
- Legislative procedure
- Bill of Rights
- The federal structure of government
- Electoral College
- Independent judiciary and separation of powers
- Judicial review
- President as commander-in-chief of the armed forces
- Equal protection under the law
- Directive principles of state policy
- Freedom of trade between states
- National legislative power to implement treaties, even on matters outside normal federal jurisdiction
- Concurrent List
- Preamble terminology
- Notions of liberty, fraternity
- Quasi-federal government—a federal system with a strong central government
- Distribution of powers between the central and state governments
- Residual powers, retained by the central government
- Fundamental Duties under article 51-A
- Mandated planning commission to oversee economic development
- The emergency provision under article 356
- Amending the constitution
- Due process
3. A unique blend of the federal system and unitary feature
It is the blend of the federal system because in India there are all the characteristics of federalism because we have a dual governance system i.e., central or state government.
We also have the division of the power system in our country because of the constitution between the state organs i.e., legislature, executive, and judiciary for the peace in the state and promote law & order.
The process of bicameralism i.e., lower house or upper house in the parliament.
On the other hand, the unitary feature talks about all the services and the duties that are common to the both state and central govt because the state has to appoint the governor or other necessary officials to aid or help the central govt for the discharge of functions.
Indeed, Article 1 talks about the “union of the states” not the federal of states.
4. The sovereignty of parliament and supremacy of judiciary works together
As we know that, the judiciary can strike down any Act or the law and even the Article of the constitution or any parliamentary law by its power of the “judicial review” under Article 32 or 13 which has been violating the basic structure of the Indian constitution.
On the other hand, the parliament is the representative of the people’s will and works for the people’s welfare, they have the power to amend any major article or repeal it with power vested on them under article 368.
5. The integrated and independent judicial system
India has its judicial system which has also several hierarchies in it due to the several courts to deal with the different offenses at the different levels. It helps to create a division of labor among us as we have several courts i.e., District courts, High courts for every state, and the apex court commonly known as the Supreme Court of India.
Not only is it integrated as well as it is independent due to given powers: –
- Appointment of the judges of the district court, high court, or Supreme Court.
- Removal of judges for the reason of impeachment procedure by parliament.
- Ban of practice after appointment as a judge and also ban the judgeship after retirement.
- Salaries, allowances, or other incentives set by parliament.
- Power to punish for the crime.
- Power to punish self- disregard.
6. Combination of rigidity and flexibility
The constitution of India is very rigid because any kind of amendment takes a lot of time and sometimes it’s very tough to amend any part or article of it because of its rigidness and its long procedure to amend. Any kind of modification via amendment takes a lot of effort from parliament to change it for public good and welfare that’s why it is rigid.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
With the following of the basic procedure of the amendment Parliament can amend the constitution for the welfare by the two-process mentioned in itself are: –
- Some provisions may be amended by a special parliamentary majority, i.e., a 2/3rd majority of the members of each House present and vote and majority (i.e., more than 50 %) of each House’s total membership.
- Some other provisions can be amended by a special parliamentary majority and with half of the total states ratifying them. This ensures that with the widest possible majority, the Constitution is amended.
At the same time, in the manner of the ordinary legislative process, certain provisions of the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority of Parliament. Such amendments are not within the scope of Article 368.
So, by this above process parliament can amend it, that’s why it is a blend of rigidity and flexibility.