Responsive Ad Slot



A Brief Outline of the Constitution

Thursday, June 6, 2019

/ by Satyagrahi

The Preamble sets out the aspirations, hopes, ideals & results anticipated to be achieved by the people via the path of the Constitution.

The First Part of the Constitution constitutes India as a Union of States & for the formation, reformation, reorganization of the States comprising the Union.

Citizenship is provided for in the second part.

Part III specifies the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Article 12 defines ‘State’ against whom the Fundamental Rights can be enforced. Article 13 declares invalid all laws offending the Fundamental Rights.

Article 14, apparently considered the moat important of all the Fundamental Right(s) and guarantees all citizens the right to equality & equal protection of laws. Article 15 & 16 which are in nature of corollaries to Article 14 confer on the Backward Classes and Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe the right to reservation of quotas in admissions to educational institutions coupled with public services.

Article 15 while providing that there shall be no discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth also stipulates that there may be special provisions for the advancement of BCs, SCs & STs.

Article 16 also provides for special provision for for SCs, STs & BCs in the matter of public employment.

Article 17 & 18 prohibits untouchabilty & titles respectively. 

Article 19, an important Article, guarantees several democratic rights in which freedom of speech & expression stands on frontier. 

Article 20 deals about Expost facto Law, Double Jeopardy & Protection against Self Incrimination.

Article 21 stipulates ‘No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except the procedure established by law’.

Article 22 provides for Preventive Detention & the safeguard against such preventive detention.

Articles 23 & 24 prohibit exploitation, forced labour, traffic in human beings & employment of children in factories.

Article 25, 26, 27 & 28 respects the rights of minorities.

Article 29 & 30 deals with cultural & educational rights.

Article 31 which guaranteed Right to Property was omitted by 42nd Amendment Act.

Article 31-A, 31-B, 31-C are designed to protect various land reform legislations coupled with Schedule IX.

Article 32 prescribes upon five sort of writs conferring with Apex Court to prevent law making inroads into Fundamental Rights.

Part IV of the Constitution, concerns itself with Directive Principles of State Policy, which, though stated to be not enforceable by any court are nevertheless declared to ve fundamental in the governance of the nation.

The DPSPs are apparently & specifically designed to make the State as welfare State.

Part IV-A introduced by 42nd Amendment Act sets out Fundamental Duties, which are in the nature of moral precepts to ve observed by the citizens.

Thereafter follow several chapters dealing with the powers of the President, Parliament, Governor, State Legislatures.

Chapter IV of Part V deals with the Supreme Court , the appointment of the Chief Justice & other Judges of Supreme Court, its appellate and numerous other powers coupled with the express provision that the law declared by the Supreme Court to be binding on all courts. There is a further direction that all civil & judicial authorities should act in aid of the Supreme Court.

Chapter V of Part VI contains provisions for the constitution of High Courts for States, the appointment of the Chief Justice & other Judges. The court is also empowered to issue writs for any purpose under Article 226 and to exercise superintendence over all courts & tribunals subordinate to it under Article 227.

Part XI deals with the distribution if powers between the Parliament & the State Legislatures and their concurrent powers. In also mentions about the three Lists and address the doctrine of repugnance.

It should be added here that under Article 356, which is mentioned in Part XVIII (Emergency Provision), the President is empowered under the circumstances mentioned therein to assume to himself all the powers & functionaries of the State.

Part XII deals with ‘Finance, Property, Contracts & Suits’. In particular provision is made for the levy of taxes by the Union and the State & further provides for the creation of a consolidated fund & distribution of fund between Center & the States. Nevertheless the newly entrance, G.S.T. do locate its place only under this Part. Right to Property after its dilution from the compartment of fundamental right, locates its position under Article 300-A added thereby 44th  Amendment Act.

Part XIV of the Constitution next deals with ‘Services under the Union & the States’. Article 311 provides for an opportunity rendered to a civil servant ti show cause in respect of charges made against him & a further opportunity against the penalty to be imposed, if the proposed penalty is dismissal or removal from service.

Part XV deals with Election to Parliament & State Legislatures and provides for the constitution of a Delimination Commission & an Election Commission.

Part XVIII includes the provision for the President, under the circumstances and after the procedure prescribed therein Article 352, to declare an emergency by proclamation. Article 358 provides for the suspension of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by Article 19 during the subsistence of emergency proclaimed under Article 352. Article 359, as it originally stood, provided for the suspension of all Fundamental Rights but the Article was later amended to except Article 20 & 21.

Part XX prescribes the procedure for amendment under Article 368. The question whether a law amending the Constitution by following the procedure prescribed by Article 368 was a law within the meaning of Article 13 of the Constitution raised considerable debate in the Apex Court and was responsible for the decision of the court in Golaknath v. State of Punjab (AIR 1967 SC 1643) which fortunately was overruled by Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala (AIR 1973 SC 1641).

After Parts XXI & XXII, about which it is not necessary to say anything in particular, follow the Schedules to the Constitution. Originally there were 8 Schedules attached to the Constitution but the number has been increased to 12 and the number of items under Schedule IX have been increased from the original 8 to number exceeding 250. The inclusion of the first few items in Schedule IX, as it stood originally by the Constitution (First Amendment) Act was upheld in Kesavananda Bharati verdict and the inclusion of the additional items to the extent they offended the basic structure of the Constitutuon has been held to be bad in I.R.Coelho Case (AIR 2007 SC 861).


The author is a BBA.LLB (Constitutional Law Hons.) graduate from New Law College, BVDU, Pune. The article was first posted on the author's personal blog "LawFreaker".

No comments

Post a Comment

Don't Miss
© all rights reserved