The constitution is the system of basic principles that govern a country, state, company or people. There are various sources of Indian constitution and for some features of it are borrowed. The Constituent Assembly of India drafted the constitution considering features of constitutions of the other countries as well as from the Government of India Act 1935.
Indian constitution is the backbone of our country’s democracy. The Indian Constitution is the longest written constitution in the world with 395 articles, 22 parts and 12 schedules. It originally consisted of 395 articles which have now increased to 448 articles after 105 amendments, as of August 2021.
The Constitution of India was prepared by a House of Representatives. The Legislative Assembly, under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, constituted a draft committee to enact a constitution for India. The first assembly meeting was held on 9 December 1946. On 26 November 1949, the Indian Constitution was adopted and came into force on 26 January 1950. After sabotaging all major organizations in the world, the Indian Constitution was formed.
The sources of the Indian constitution
1. United States of America
- Impeachment of the President: – Article 61 of the Constitution calls for the impeachment of the President of India. The President may be disqualified from office by impeachment. Impeachment proceedings can be taken in any Parliament House.
- Removal of Judges: – Article 124 (4) of the Constitution allows the President to remove a judge for misconduct or incapacity, if Parliament approves a majority of the total membership of each House for impeachment and less than two-thirds of the members don’t Present in each house.
- Fundamental Rights: – Articles 12 to 32 of the Constitution of India include all fundamental rights. Basic rights are the fundamental human rights given to the people of the country to ensure an equal place in society.
- Judicial independence: – The idea of judicial independence is that the judiciary should be different from other government branches.
- Preamble: – The Preamble is introduction of the Indian constitution. It guarantees justice, freedom, equality for all Indian citizens, and fosters fraternity among the people.
- Judicial Review: – The judiciary has the upper hand in interpreting the constitutional review provision. Therefore, the judiciary can rescind any order by the legislature or executive if that order conflicts with the constitution of the country.
- Functions of President and Vice President: – The President of India is the head of the Indian Armed Forces and the Commander-in-Chief.
- Article 63 of the Indian Constitution states that “there shall be the Vice-President of India.” Due to death, resignation, impeachment or other circumstances, the Vice- President shall act as President in the absence of the President. The Vice President of India is now the ex-officio Secretary of the Rajya Sabha.
2. The United Kingdom
- Single citizenship: – The Constitution of India grants single citizenship to the residents of the country. The residents of the country are all citizens regardless of the states or territories in which they reside.
- Legislative process: – The legislative proposal will be brought before the Parliament House of India in the form of a bill. A bill is a draft legislative law which, when passed by the Parliamentary Houses and approved by the President, becomes a Parliamentary Act.
- Rule of law: – It essentially states that a state is governed by the laws of that country, not by representatives or citizens and states that everyone is equal before the law and those who make it are also included. Article 14 of the Constitution of India codifies the rule of law.
- Cabinet system: – A group of persons appointed by the head of state or prime minister who is the head of the executive departments of the government and acts as an official advisor.
- Parliamentary form of government: – The President is the head of the state, and the head of the government is the Prime Minister. In such form of government, a cabinet of ministers headed by the Prime Minister rules the country. The Parliament consists of two Houses: – Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
- Direct Principles of State Policy: – The Directive Principle of State Policy is stated in Part IV of the Indian Constitution, and it clearly states that it is the responsibility of the state to follow certain principles in the process of law making. There are three major types of these concepts i.e., Democratic guidelines, Gandhian guidelines and liberal intellectual guidelines. Ireland is also borrowing the process of appointing members to the Rajya Sabha.
- Method of election of head of state i.e. President.
- Article 108: – Joint sitting of both houses in some cases.
- Concurrent List: – This includes the power to be considered by both the Union and the State Government.
- Freedom of trade and commerce: – Freedom of trade and commerce within the nation and between states. Similar provisions are laid down in sections 301 to 307 of the Indian Constitution.
- Federal system with a strong central government.
- Power-sharing between central government and state governments.
- Advisory jurisdiction of Supreme Court.
- Appointment of State Governors by the Center.
6. Soviet Union (USSR)
- A constitutionally appointed Planning Commission to oversee economic development.
- The fundamental duty given in Article 51A (G) refers to the duty of a citizen to protect the environment.
- The ideology of Social, Economic and Political justice in the preface.
- Gave us an immediate clause for suspension of fundamental rights.
9. South Africa
- Provided us with the provision of amendment process and election of members of Rajya Sabha.
The preamble of Indian Constitution borrowed its principles of freedom, equality and fraternity from the French Constitution. In the tradition of the Constitution of France, the Indian Constitution is known as the Republic of India.
11. Government of India Act 1935
- Federal Legislature: – The Act stated that the legislature should have two houses, namely the Council of States and a Federal Legislative Assembly.
Major Sources of Indian Constitution
|Constitution of the United States||1. Preamble|
2. Fundamental Rights
3. Federal structure of government
4. Electoral College
5. Independence of the judiciary and separation of powers among the government
6. Judicial review
7. President as Supreme Commander of Armed Forces
8. Equal protection under law
|British constitution||1. Parliamentary form of government|
2. The idea of single citizenship
3. The idea of the Rule of law
5. Institution of Speaker and his role
6. Law making procedure
7. Procedure established by Law
|Canadian constitution||1. A quasi-federal form of government – a federal system with a strong central government|
2. Distribution of powers between the central government and state governments
3. Residual powers retained by the central government
|Irish constitution (Ireland)||1. Directive Principles of State Policy|
2. Nomination of members to Rajya Sabha
3. Method of Election of President
|French constitution||1. Republic and the ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in the Preamble|
|Australian constitution||1. Freedom of trade and commerce within the country and between the states|
2. Power of the national legislature to make laws for implementing treaties
3. Concurrent List
|Constitution of Soviet Union (USSR)||1. Fundamental Duties under Article 51-AA |
2. Constitutionally mandated Planning Commission to oversee the economy
|Constitution of South Africa||1. Procedure for amendmentElection of Rajya Sabha members|
|Constitution of Germany||1. Emergency powers to be enjoyed by the Union|
2. Suspension of Fundamental Rights during emergency.
|Constitution of Russia||1. Fundamental DutiesIdea of Social, Economic, and Political Justice in Preamble|
|Constitution of Japan||1. Procedure Established by Law|
|Government of India Act 1935||1. Federal Scheme|
2. Emergency Provisions
3. Public Service Commissions
4. Office of Governor
6. Administrative Details
Framing of the constitution
- The constitution of India was adopted by a Constituent Assembly formed under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946. The Constituent Assembly constituted 13 commissions to outline the constitution.
- Based on the reports of these committees, a draft constitution was drafted by a seven-member drafting committee headed by Dr. BR Ambedkar.
- In January 1948, the draft constitution was issued and citizens were given eight months.
- After the citizens, the draft was debated in view of the suggestions received by the press, provincial assemblies and the Constituent Assembly, finally adopted on 26 November 1949 and signed by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
- Therefore, the Constituent Assembly took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to complete the constitution of India. And as discussed above the Indian constitution is a borrowed constitution.
- The legislative system, general citizenship, rule of law, normative state policy, etc. are all borrowed features of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution of India incorporated the best features of many existing structures.