Constitution of India – A Journey and Understanding


This is an article to understand about how The Constitution of India had its journey in making and its principles. By definition, A written down document which constitutes a legal framework, fundamental principles of polity and responsibility of a STATE.

There are certain words which appears similar, but has distinct meaning when it comes to the defining a Nation [ STATE (Rajya) ]; as a Noun: ‘STATE’ is condition of a person or thing but when used as an adjective, it means with respect to structure relating to Governance, Law or its authority.

What’s today is an outcome of what we did yesterday, it is understood backwards for a better move forward.

This is true in sense of society building and in larger perspective, building a state.

BEFORE understanding the subject, would like to explain the words which are used in context of STATE (Rajya) and its nature in this world and in its History.

Monarchy or Monarch State / Autocracy / Theocracy

A System of Government where a King or Queen is head of State with absolute authority in Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. It used to be the most common forms of State before 20th century. The nature of succession was not selection, rather it use to be hereditary. Some examples can be taken from England, France, Russia and entire Europe.

Somewhat similar nature of State where the absolute authority lies with one person by way of force, mechanism of controlling legislature through popularity or through military coup is termed as Autocracy. Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia, Mussolini in Italy and Mao in China are some examples from modern history. Here the succession is not hereditary whereas, Theocracy is a State where the head of state is a person who uses the name of God or religion to rule and laws are derived from one religious belief and most monarchies had evolved from theocracy over several decades. Ottomans were the most prominent example of theocratic state and somewhat Vatican as a country can also be termed as a theocratic state. Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are also similar examples.

French revolution, American revolution, Russian revolution etc. are events related to fall of monarchies along with two World Wars collectively changed the nature of State. Britain evolved from absolute Monarchy through bloodless revolution but still a Constitutional Monarchy where the head of state remains a King or a Queen.

Religious State

A state which favours a specific religion, either as an official, government-endorsed religion or by giving preferential treatment over other faiths. In current period, Islam is the most common government-endorsed faith, most in the Middle East and North Africa region, officially enshrining Islam as their state religion. Some European countries designate Christianity or a particular Christian denomination as their state religion. Israel, in spite being a democratic state, but calls it self a Jewish state. There must be at least 75 – 80 countries of such nature, irrespective of their sovereignty.

Dependency State

The term dependency state or “colony” or was common way to take control of new territories mostly by European countries and pre-dominantly by Britain, France, Russia, Portuguese etc. India in pre-independence era was a colony of Britain and within current Indian territory French and Portuguese colony also existed. The nature of state has all its Executive, Legislature and Judicial authority lies with external state.

Suzerain State

Suzerainty is a relation between two states where the subservient nation has its own government, but matters like defence, international trade and relations lies with the superior state. A similar nature of state is also called a protectorate. Examples in Indian context, Sikkim since 1947 till 1975 was in suzerainty of India, most of princely states in British India including Nepal was under British suzerainty.

Dominion State

A fully independent state with the head of state belongs to some other state. The head may or may not have any Executive or Legislative powers, but the provision for the head of state remains in system as a symbol. Some of the countries after having their independence from their Colonizers still are a dominion state, examples are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa.

In Indian context, when got its Independence from Britain, it was divided in two dominion state of India and Pakistan till the adoption of our constitution or for sake, till our first constituent assembly named an Indian Governor General. [detail explanation in up-coming sections]

Sovereign State

A fully independent state with defined territories and having absolute control over its Executive, Legislature and Judiciary along with defense and international policies. There is no dependency in any terms on any other state. The nature of a sovereign may have some differences in their formation, like a Federal State means that there exists a national government [ central ] and governments of the internal states and both have their own powers. United States of America is a classic example of a Federal Republic State, “republic” is a form of government in which the people hold power and elect Legislative representatives to exercise that power.

India is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary form of government which is federal in structure with unitary features. There is a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minster as its head to advice the President who is the constitutional head of the state/nation/country.

Background and Journey of Indian Constitution:

The Journey of the Constitution of India has got no particular day when it kick started, rather the period of Colonial Era of British India [ mid 19th Century  – 1947 ]

To understand its journey, which had its seed when the first Government of India Act in the year 1833 was passed in British parliament which ended the monopoly of British East India Company and entered in administration from trade, it also created a post of Governor General of India and deprived individual legislative powers of the Madras and Bombay presidency. Government of India was formed under first Governor General, William Bentinck with a council, having British citizens.

The second Government of India Act was passed in British parliament in the year 1858, just after Rebel and uprising of 1857, also sometimes referred as the first war of Independence. By this time British government and Crown had realised that the East India Company is no more in position to control and govern India and by this act, formally all the powers of East India Company  were liquidated and transferred to British Crown [ as State Head ]. A council was also formed with a Secretary of State for India matters in British parliament to bridge between Britain and India. The post of Governor General of India remained to control Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. An additional post of Viceroy [ Voice of the Crown ] was created however it was always one person who use to be the Governor General of India. This act also provisioned Indian Civil Service [ ICS – Imperial Civil Service ] for running the government and its Executive functions.

Our current constitution has its foot around this period when India came under direct British rule. Though, the first Law commission was formed in 1853 to formulate governing rules in India related to Criminal and Civil Laws. Contributions from social reformers and thinkers also contributed in order to make British rule understand the nature of the society and started demanding liberal laws on feudal practices in society. People like Raja Rammohan Roy, Vishnu Shastri, Eishwar Chand Vidyasagar etc. were vocal about making laws which are more liberal and progressive.

Some Important Acts passed and applied during Company Rule and British Rule:

On Civil Matters

Bengal Sati Regulation Act of 1829 made Hindu practice of Sati an illegal and punishable act.

Slavery Act, 1843, which outlawed financial transaction associated with slavery and abolition to slavery.

Caste Disabilities Removal Act, 1850, for equal rights in case of religious conversions

Hindu Widow Remarriage act 1856, providing legal rights to Hindu Women to re-marry after death of her husband.

Indian Divorce act 1869

Christian marriage act 1872

On Criminal Matters;

CPC [ Civil Protection Law ], 1859

IPC [ Indian Penal Code ], 1860

CrPC [ Code of Criminal Procedure ], 1861

Indian Evidence Act, 1872

And many more, which laid the foundation our constitution that we experience in current day, there were amendments being made in each one of them. since then but the basis of our existing criminal laws remain as it attained legitimacy about 160 years back.

From 1833 till 1935 there were all together eight acts passed by British Parliament to govern India with were several articles, sections and schedules. Finally in year 1935 the last in the series, Government of India Act – 1935 got the royal accent which contained 321 sections and 10 schedules. This act separated Burma [ now Maynmar ] from British India rule which was earlier a part of Bengal presidency and then a province of British India. This act also made provisions to establishment of Reserve Bank of India, mandated the Provincial Elections in 11 provinces of British India which was held in 1936 where Congress got decisive majority. [Note: Princely States were not part of British India – mostly they were in suzerainty ]

As we all know that India got independence on 15th of August 1947, but what and how it actually happened which gave India its independence from British Rule?

In other words, what process were followed in legal terms that liberated India from British rule, to understand this, lets refresh the nature of STATE explained in the initial section of this article and then we will have a better understanding:

It was more over clear by 1945 that the days of British rule in India were limited because of long Independence struggle by Indians and it was an age of austerity for Britain during second world war.

Parallelly a Constituent Assembly [ Samvidhan Sabha ] was elected by the members from provincial assembly having 389 members to start with. This assembly at the time of formation, had disputes related to AIML [Muslim League] objections, it was widely known that there would be a partition. So effectively on 9th of December, 1946, 299 members were given the responsibility to write the constitution of India where Dr. Rajendra Prasad was appointed president of this assembly and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as the Chairman of the Drafting-Committee along side B.N. Rau as an advisor. B.N. Rau was a civil servant in British India during his tenure, he also served as a Judge in Bengal province and for a short period of time, as Prime Minister of princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

In an important development, there was an announcement by then Prime Minister of Britain [ Clement Attlee ] in Feb 1947 that India would be granted full independence and self-rule by June 1948 AND finally an act was passed in British Parliament called Indian Independence Act – 1947 on 18th July 1947 with following highlights:

Highlights of, THE, Indian Independence Act – 1947

British India would be divided into the two new dominions, The Dominion of India and The Dominion of Pakistan with effect from 15 August 1947

The princely states who were under British suzerainty [ total 552 ] stands terminated and these states could decide to join either India or Pakistan. [549 later agreed to join India]

The post of Governor General would remain till each of the two Dominions write and enact a constitution separately. [Louis Mountbatten remained by consensus for India]

Independent India to be governed through Government of India Act of 1935 till the Constituent Assembly draft and adopt a new constitution.

British parliament cannot pass any law for India and Constituent Assembly have all the powers, even repeal all previous acts including Independence act of 1947

Boundaries for most of British governed territories were decided and few to be decided by referendum and princely states through talks, consensus before accession.

*This entirely a long subject but not relevant for this article, so lets move forward to the day of independence.

Adopt and Enact of the Constitution

From the stroke of mid night, on 15th August 1947 India got its independence which means, from a Dependency State to a Dominion State. The Constituent Assembly has two responsibilities, one is to write the constitution and other to act as parliament with council of ministers, so, Jawahar Lal Nehru became the acting Prime Minister along with Ballabh Bhai Patel as his deputy and Home minister, Louis Mountbatten as Governor General and head of state. Mountbatten remained for only 10 months, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was appointed as the first non-British and last governor general of India in June, 1948 and remained till enactment of constitution, after which the post of Governor General of India was abolished.

The Constituent Assembly [ Samvidhan Sabha ] took almost 3 years to draft the constitution and the longest for any sovereign nation, The Constitution of India with 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules was passed and adopted on 26th of November 1949. This day is celebrated as Samvidhan Diwas [Constitution Day]. Many think, when it was adopted on 26 Nov, so why 26th January is our republic day?

The answer to this is procedural as well as notional in terms of the importance of this day. Leaders of Congress and Constituent Assembly wanted the country to remember 26th January because of its background which takes it to year 1929, when, Congress session happened in Lahore. There was denial of reforms, opposition of Simon commission, there were issues related to political rights and ignorance of Indian political parties resulted the Indian National Congress to unite the party in the desire to outset the British from India completely. They also refused the idea of dominion and in this session they declared and resolved complete independence [ Poorn Swaraj ]. Then president of the party, Nehru hoisted Indian Flag and the official declaration of Independence was publicly declared on 26 January 1930. Hereon each year till independence, congress celebrated this day as Independence day and for nation to remember this day as Republic Day after India becomes independent.

The procedural part was defined in Article 394 and it says:

Articles 5-9 [ Related to citizenship], 60 [ Related to Oath by President], 324 [ direction and control of elections], 366-367 [ definitions ], 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 [ power of president and titles] shall come into force at once i.e. 26th Nov, 1949, and the remaining provisions of this Constitution shall come into force on the 26th day of January, 1950 , which day is referred to in this Constitution as the commencement of this Constitution. From this date President of India was elected as Head of State and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was given the responsibility till 1st formal elections.

As we all know 26th January, 1950 is the day when India become republic which means the newly drafted constitution came into effect and it had taken references from almost all available written constitutions of the world, primarily from United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland etc and a major portion from Government of India Act 1935. Best practice prevails, and here we have, The Constitution of India which is in current day, the longest in world with 470 articles in 25 parts and 12 schedules. The learning continues and 105 amendments have been made since 1950 till date.

Also very Important to understand here, after this day all Acts through which India was being governed till 26 Jan 1950 were repealed through the last Article-395 of our constitution which says

The Indian Independence Act, 1947, and the Government of India Act, 1935, together with all enactments amending or supplementing the latter Act, but not including the Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act, 1949, are hereby repealed.

Reading the Constitution

In simple terms, the Basic Structure of Governance is divided in Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and the written structure of the constitution organised as:

Preamble: An introductory statement stating intent of governance, source, nature and purpose of authority/governance.

Parts: Constituent Assembly had combined the related subject of constitution in parts and in original constitution were divided in 22 Parts [ I to XXII ] In current day there are total 25 Parts. Part I to XXII [ 1 to 22 ] where Part IV-A, IX-A, IX-B and XIV-A where added and Part VII was deleted via constitutional amendments since inception.

Chapters: The parts which covers subjects of wide range are further divided in Chapters of the belonging Parts. All parts do not have chapters but Parts like five, which covers subjected matters of Union Government are further subdivided in five chapters.

Articles: Articles are the actual unitary number given to a written legal rule, law, act or any matter that have been agreed upon in a framework. In current day we have 470 articles falling under Parts and chapters from 1 to 395 where few inserted articles suffixed as A,B C etc. along side few that has been deleted over the period of time through amendments. There are also clause and sub clause of articles where the subjected definition is to be further classified within the Article.

Schedule: Schedules are the list of subjects which elaborates certain articles of related subject and are clubbed in twelve schedules. Like, second schedule contains, provisions related to allowances of President, Governors, Judges, CAG, Speaker of various houses etc. and the referring articles falls in various parts of constitution, so ease it out, some subjects are made as part of schedules and placed at the end of our written constitution. Original constitution contained 8 schedules and in current day its 12.

The Constitution provides for a Parliamentary form of government which is federal in structure with certain unitary features. The constitutional head of the Executive of the Union is the President.

The council of the Parliament of the Union consists of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha).

A Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President, who shall exercise his/her functions in accordance to the advice. The real executive power is thus vested in the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as Head of Government

As we all know and have done academic reading of the preamble of Indian Constitution which is as below,


“WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;


The preamble was adopted in the beginning [13th December 1946] with common consensus among constituent assembly members as an Objective Resolution proposed by Jawahar Lal Nehru. [ The idea was conceptually adopted from America and references taken from Soviet Union, France etc. ] however by way of 42nd Amendment the Preamble was further modified, the nature of Indian state from “sovereign, democratic republic” to a “sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic”, and also changed the words “unity of the nation” to “unity and integrity of the nation”.

The Preamble interprets :

Source of Authority [ WE THE PEOPLE, as per the articles of Part II (5-9) related to citizenship ]



and also: The Fundamental Rights, not only to citizens but to all people further described in Part III- Article 12-35. Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) described in Part IV-Article 36-51 by providing liberal social, economic and political justice and set the path towards the welfare state.

Quickly if we run through the first two parts I and II, where in;

Part I – Union and its territory: Indian Constitution is titled The Union and its Territory. It includes articles from 1- 4 and states that, India, that is Bharat shall be Union of States and how admission and establishment, formation and alteration of states can be done. A compilation of laws pertaining to the constitution of India as a country and the union of states that it is made of. This part of the constitution contains the law in the establishment, renaming, merging or altering the borders of the states. Articles under Part I were invoked when West Bengal was renamed, and for formation of relatively new states such as Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Telengana etc

Part II –Citizenship: Article 5 – 11 describes who are the citizens of India at the time of commencement of this constitution, rights of who migrated as a result of partition, rights of Indians living outside the country. It also defines continuance of citizen rights and parliament having rights to regulate citizenship by law.

Part III – The Fundamental Rights: This is one of the most important and elementary to our constitution where Part III of the Constitution (Articles 12-35) talks about six Fundamental Rights to Citizens.

  1. Right to equality (Articles 14–18) Ensures, Equality before law and equal protection of law within Indian territory and this protection is available to citizens, foreigners, companies and legal groups. Protection from discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, sex, race etc. Equal opportunity in public employment, abolition of untouchability and abolition of titles.
  2. Right to freedom (Articles 19–22) Provide Rights to Freedom of Speech and expression, peaceful assembly, free movement and reside, formation of groups and practice any profession. Protection of life and personal liberty, right to education, Protection against arrests, detention and conviction.
  3. Right against exploitation (Articles 23–24) Prohibits human trafficking, forced labour and child labour.
  4. Right to freedom of religion (Articles 25–28) Provides freedom to practice, manage and propagate religion and conscience
  5. Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29–30) Provides protection of language, culture of minorities and right to minorities to establish educational institutions.
  6. Right to constitutional remedies (Article 32) and finally to ensure and enforce these rights and protection, rights are given to move to courts to issue orders and writs.

Right to property under Article 31 was part of fundamental rights. However, it was deleted by the 44th Amendment Act, 1978 and made a legal right under Article 300-A in Part XII of the Constitution. This was primarily done to avoid judicial intervention in case of land reforms.

BUT, these fundamental rights are not absolute and rather given with reasonable restrictions and also these articles provides protection and guarantee of legal rights of the citizens, some of the rights are available only to the citizens while others are available to all persons whether citizens, foreigners or legal persons like corporations or companies. These rights are not sacrosanct, permanent, or absolute and the Parliament can curtail or repeal them by Due Process of Law.

Classic example: In the period of COVID pandemic, rights related to free movement and assembly were restricted, management of religious events were also revoked by State following due process of law by activating several sections of CrPC and IPC.

Also, rights can be suspended during the operation of a National Emergency of any nature but the rights guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21 [ Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences and Protection of Life and Personal Liberty ] still cannot be suspended and further, the rights guaranteed by Article 19 can be suspended only when there is an external emergency war or external aggression) and not on the ground of armed rebellion (i.e., internal emergency).

Inspite the rights are not absolute but qualified, the state can impose reasonable restrictions on them, however, the reasonability of the restrictions is decided by the courts. These articles also allow persons to move the courts for their enforcement, if and when they are violated.

Article 13 of Part III of the Indian constitution also declares that all laws that are inconsistent with any of the fundamental rights shall be void and Supreme Court under Article 32 and the high courts under Article 226 are given powers to issue directions, orders or writs for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred or found inconsistent by this Part.

As a basic understanding of Law, one must understand that any case Civil or Criminal cannot start directly in Supreme or even High Court but any aggrieved person can directly go to the Supreme Court in case of violation of any their fundamental rights.

We have often heard about writ petitions in Supreme and High Courts, basically a writ is a formal written order by the court to an individual, organization, or the state where they command the constitutional remedies against the violation of fundamental rights. Supreme Courts using Articles 32 and High Courts using Article 226 enable Indian citizens to approach them directly in case of violation of their fundamental rights.

Part IV – Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

The source of the concept of Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) has its influence from Irish Constitution who earlier had adopted it from the Spanish Constitution.

The Provisions are given in Article 36 to 51 and contains the direction given to State for the welfare of Citizens and ensuring socioeconomic justice. An idea that a Welfare State should follow and keep in mind while formulating policies and enacting laws for the country in an affirmative way.

Since DPSP’s are directions and is not enforceable by law but at the same time laws being made must follow Socialist, Gandhian, Liberal and Intellectual Principles


  • To maintain Social order by ensuring social, economic and political justice and by minimising inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities
  • Adequate means of livelihood to all the citizens, avoid concentration of wealth in a few hands.
  • Equal pay for equal work for both men and women and ensure citizens are not exploited.
  • Right to work in humane conditions, to provide education, public health and improved standard of life.
  • Promotion of village panchayats, promote cottage industries on an individual or cooperative basis in rural areas.
  • Promote educational and economic interests of the weaker sections particularly that of the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other weaker sections.
  • Endeavour to secure for the citizen a Uniform Civil Code through the territory of India.
  • Steps to separate judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.

As these are directives to State and not enforceable like fundamental rights, the governing dispensations at union and state level perform and act on their political will. India at the time of Independence was a poor country and for the purpose of Public Welfare and as here directions given in DPSP, major reforms were required in distribution of land, education, upliftment of poor etc. and when State started enacting, the conflicts between Fundamental Rights and DPSP started to emerge as hurdle.

Like as we now know that Right to Property was a fundamental right as per original constitution under Article 31, was changed from fundamental right to legal right as a result of the initial contradictions of constitutional provisions between DPSP and article 31. Indian States wanted land ceiling for Jamindars [ Land Lords ] and Raja / Maharaja for social equality but in view of this being a fundamental right, any law that was being passed by States post-independence were challenged in Courts and Courts had no other option to give relief in view of basics of constitution. So the constitutional amendments were done for this purpose to empower states to carry forward their reforms. There are many such cases that landed in Supreme Court for a solution where rulings were passed to empower State to carry out the directions in DPSP.

The contradictions reflected in some court cases where

Champakam Dorairajan v the State of Madras (1951): In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that in case of any conflict between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles, the former would prevail.

It declared that the Directive Principles have to conform to and run as subsidiary to the Fundamental Rights.

It also held that the Fundamental Rights could be amended by the Parliament by enacting constitutional amendment acts.

Golaknath v the State of Punjab (1967): In this case, the Supreme Court declared that Fundamental Rights could not be amended by the Parliament even for implementation of Directive Principles.

It was contradictory to its own judgement in the ‘Shankari Parsad case’.

Kesavananda Bharati v the State of Kerala (1973): In this case, the Supreme Court overruled its Golak Nath (1967) verdict and declared that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution, but it cannot alter its “Basic Structure”.

Thus, the Right to Property (Article 31) was eliminated from the list of Fundamental Rights.

Minerva Mills v the Union of India (1980): In this case, the Supreme Court reiterated that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution but it cannot change the “Basic Structure” of the Constitution.

Implementation of DPSP: Associated Acts and Amendments

Land Reforms: Almost all the states have passed land reform laws to bring changes in the agrarian society and to improve the conditions of the rural masses. These measures include:

Abolition of intermediaries like zamindars, jagirdars, inamdars, etc

Tenancy reforms like security of tenure, fair rents, etc

Imposition of ceilings on land holdings

Distribution of surplus land among the landless labourers

Cooperative farming

Labour Reforms: The following acts were enacted to protect the interests of the Labour section of the society.

The Minimum Wages Act (1948), Code on Wages, 2020

The Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act (1970)

The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act (1986)

Or The Child and Adolescent Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986 in 2016.

The Bonded Labour System Abolition Act (1976)

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957

The Maternity Benefit Act (1961) and the Equal Remuneration Act (1976) have been made to protect the interests of women workers.

Panchayati Raj System: Through 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992, government fulfilled constitutional obligation stated in Article 40.

Three tier ‘Panchayati Raj System’ was introduced at the Village, Block and District level in almost all parts of the country.

Cottage Industries: To promote cottage industries as per Article 43, the government has established several Boards such as Village Industries Board, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, All India Handicraft Board, Silk Board, Coir Board, etc., which provide essential help to cottage industries in finance and marketing.

Education: Government has implemented provisions related to free and compulsory education as provided in Article 45.

Introduced by the 86th Constitutional Amendment and subsequently passed the Rights to Education Act 2009, Elementary Education has been accepted as Fundamental Right of each child between the 6 to 14 years of age.

Rural Area Development: Programmes such as the Community Development Programme (1952), Integrated Rural Development Programme (1978-79) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA-2006) were launched to raise the standard of living particularly in rural areas, as stated in the Article 47 of the Constitution.

Health: Central Government sponsored schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Swasthya Yojana (PMGSY) and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) are being implemented to fulfil the social sector responsibility of the Indian State.

Environment: The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 have been enacted to safeguard the wildlife and the forests respectively.

The Water and Air Pollution Control Acts have provided for the establishment of the Central Pollution Control Board.

Heritage Preservation: The Ancient and Historical Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (1958) has been enacted to protect the monuments, places and objects of national importance.

Article 51A is the only article in Part IV-A added by way of 42nd amendment which defines The Fundamental duties of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and its ideals and institutions also to protect, follow and uphold the real essence of our constitution.

Up-till now we have a fair idea about the Law system works and why they are made, to understand even further:

Definition of Law, Acts and Code: Article 13 of the constitution [13.3] defines what is LAW, includes any ordinance, order, bye law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usages having in the territory of India.

To understand how these are made, who can make these and who can scrutinize. A law as defined in 13.3 is made by parliament, state legislative assemblies and in few cases, an autonomous council and following terms are associated with this:

Any law before being present in parliament/legislative assembly is called a Draft Bill, legislatures discuss and advice to make changes at this stage and once its presented in the house it becomes a Bill. The house then needs to pass the bill as per the provisions and procedures laid down in of Article 123 in case of Parliament and Article 312 in case of State Assembly. Once passed it becomes an Act. Most of the Acts passed automatically become part of Constitution and then the associated Rules and Regulations are made for the Act to implement on ground. In case of parliament to pass a general Act, a simple majority of present members are required from both the houses [ Lok Sabha (Lower House) and Rajya Sabha (Upper House)]. In case Lok Sabha passes and if it gets rejected in Rajya Sabha, a provision for Joint session is in place to pass any bill.

Example to pass a general Bill: If on the day when bill is presented, there are 300 out of 543 members present in lok sabha, 151 votes are required to pass and is called simple majority [50% of present and voting] and same is the case with Rajya Sabha out of 245 members.

This simple majority is not applied on Bills which comes under Constitutional Amendments, where a two third majority from each house and a consent from more than half of State assemblies. There is no provision for a Joint Session.

There is also a provision of Money Bill and is given in Article 110 of the Constitution and can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha by a minister and only on the recommendation of the president of India. Rajya Sabha here can only give their recommendations on this bill but Lok Sabha is not bound to address them and can be passed.

Ordinance: There are provisions for the parliament to assemble and are called session and are, Budget, Monsoon and Winter Session. The dates and duration is not fixed whereas there is a compulsion that; no two sessions can go beyond six months. Article 123 of the constitution give powers to the President to promulgate Ordinances during recess of Parliament on recommendation of the Union Cabinet. The ordinance becomes an Act with immediate effect but the same must be passed by the Parliament as a regular bill within a maximum period of 6 months and 6 weeks. The ordinance needs to be presented in next session which is in no case is beyond six months and another six weeks for the parliament to pass it, failing which it lapses and becomes null and void.

Before we move ahead, we need to understand very important definitions related to how law is interpreted, one is Due Process of Law and other Procedure Established by Law. In general context both appears to be same but has elementary difference when it comes to ensuring citizen rights. In case of procedure established by law, a state can make a law which violates or restricts some rights and since its done by a legal procedure it cannot be challenged while in due process of law the judiciary can check the essence of law itself and ensure no rights are violated, reduced or restricted. Procedure established by law is valid if a law is made using right procedures and by following right process and the law itself can be; arbitrary example: “Any citizen can be sent to life imprisonment if s/he violates traffic” and since its been passed using right procedure and followed right process, it cannot be challenged. It’s a very vague example but better for understanding. While in due process of law the judiciary can also check the fairness of law along with procedure and process. This contradiction was experienced in some court cases as well. Similarly

Personal Laws and Uniform Civil Code: Code is simply a collection of Laws of similar matters. The laws are further classified in two segments, Criminal [‘Fauzdari’] and Civil [‘Diwani’] and both has its substantive and procedural part.

Like in criminal law, the substantive part is called as IPC [ Indian Penal Code ] where the definition of what/which offense is criminal in nature and its procedural part called as CrPC [ The Code of Criminal Procedure ] defines the procedure to deal with it. Indian Evidence Act is also a procedural part of it defining how evidences are to be collected while investigation.

Civil matters in its substantive part is for Family Laws having laws for Marriage, Divorce, Alimony Succession, Guardianship, Wardship and Adoption. Other substantive part is for Property and Contracts.

Please note that IPC, CrPC and CPC is not a part of Constitution, the main difference between Indian constitution and these codes is that constitution describes powers and restrictions of the state which is [Executive, Legislature and Judiciary] whereas IPC and CPC etc. describes on restrictions of people, punishments for those who misuse the power and violate the rights provided to individuals under constitution.

Article 44 of Indian Constitution which is a part of DPSP [Directive to State] says that the State shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for Citizens, but till now these are not codified which is applied to each citizen. As far as Criminal Laws are concerned, moreover its uniform for each citizen but the deviations are seen in Civil Laws. These deviations are primarily based on Religion and Civil Laws which are applied on such sections of Citizens are called Personal Laws. Like Muslims in India has their own law for Civil matters called as Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, Hindus including Silkhs, Jains and Buddhists in India also have Civil Laws, since all of them are not codified in one, they remain as separate Acts as a part of our law system widely called Hindu Code. In India almost 82 percent of population [Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists] is having Hindu Code and 14 percent Muslims having their own personal Law, rest 4 percent have few acts for their special provisions and exceptions in civil matters.

It again takes us back to the period from where to now, the journey of Civil laws can be understood. The peninsula today called India had its long history where people from different areas of this world with different ethnicity, religion and believes came here, few settled and became homogenous and few remained with their own set of rules and regulations. The history of codification of civil laws in Hindus were on Manusmriti and Yajnavalkya smriti with some sub texts in Mitakshra and Dayabhag. The matters related to criminal and civil were being addressed by the mentioned rules for Hindus. All changed in Mughal period and majorly in Aurenzeb era when in his period he codified the civil laws in Fatwa-e-Alamgiri and was applied on citizens of this land till British East India Company gained its control and later after 1858 things started to get formalized as we see in current day under British India. British crown wanted to have codified criminal and civil laws to govern India in a formal way but it was too difficult for them as well to have a common law for all, so they went slow in making laws. The role of social reformists in Hindu society was most important where they supported British to do reforms in Hindu laws whereas the reluctance in Muslim society was far too high and hence their laws underwent very little change in course and journey of their civil laws. This can be observed by the series of Acts they passed from 1829 till 1870 in civil matters of Hindu society. Later the British government formed a law commission and also B.N. Rau was given responsibility to draft civil code and the reference was taken by the Constituent Assembly, B.R. Ambedekar was strongly wanted to make a Uniform Civil law and Nehru supported him but there was lot of opposition mainly by Hindu Mahasabha, Rajendra Prasad etc. So the consensus came upon mentioning in Article 44 which is a DPSP that the State shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for Citizens.  After independence and enact of constitution, The first union government of India wanted to have a Hindu Code but again, too much of resistance from right leaning section. Dr. B.R. Ambedekar was also Law minister in independent India and because of his inability to formalize such law he soon resigned. It became only possible after first elections in 1952 when after having full majority, Jawahar Lal Nehru codified civil laws for Hindus [ including Sikhs, Jain, Buddhist ] in form of 4 acts, which almost gave equal rights across caste and gender. In the year 1955-56, Nehru administration succeeded in passing four Hindu code bills and they are, Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Succession Act, Hindu Minor(ity) and Guardianship Act, and Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. This in broader sense brought uniformity in civil laws of most population but somehow Muslims and their society never wanted let go their patriarchy laws almost no change had happened in their Personal Law.

Point of View: Many countries in this world have adopted a uniform civil laws for each citizens BUT when we look at the cultural, linguistic and religious demographics of India, it is diverse and a mammoth task to arrive at any common consensus on each of the civil matters.

I will end this part here… and up-coming article, will come up with understanding of administrative and related articles which is majorly in subsequent parts.

Part V and VI – Union and State Government: These 2 parts are, which contains the definitions and process to be followed by Union Government and State Governments Article 52 to 151 is for the Union Government where executive powers of Union Government, functioning and powers of Parliament, Legislative Powers of President, Judiciary and CAG of India is defined similarly Article 152 to 237 is for State Governments with General rules, power of Executive, State Legislature, Legislative Powers of the Governor, High Courts and Subordinate Courts are defined.

There are several books available to read the parts, its chapters and articles of our constitution, below is the summary:

I Union and its territory 1 4
II Citizenship 5 11
III Fundamental Rights 12 35
IV DPSP- Directive Principles of State Policy 36 51
ADDED IV-A Fundamental Duties 51-A 42nd Amendment, 1976
V Union Government 52 151
II – Parliament 79 122
III – Legislative Powers of President 123
IV – Judiciary 124 147
V – CAG of India 148 151
VI State Government 152 237
I -General
II – Executive
III – State Legislature
IV – Legislative Powers of the Governor
V – High Courts
VI – Subordinate Courts


VII States in Part B of the first schedule 238 7th Amendment, 1956
VIII Union Territories 239 242
IX Panchayti Raj 243
ADDED IX-A Municipalities 243 74th Amendment, 1992
ADDED IX-B Cooperative Societies 243 97th Amendment, 2011
X Scheduled Tribal Areas 244
XI Relations between Union and the States 245 263
XII Property, Contracts, Finance 264 300
XIII Trade and Commerce withing India 301 307
XIV Services under Union and States 308 323
ADDED XIV-A Tribunals 323 42nd Amendment, 1976
XV Elections 324 329
XVI Special Provisions to Certain Classes 330 342
XVII Official Language 343 351
XVIII Emergency Provisions 352 360
XIX Miscellaneous 361 367
XX Amendment of Constitution 368
XXI Special Provisions – Temporary and Transitional 369 392
XXII Title, Commencement, Text in Hindi 393 395

 Coming Soon…… Part – II

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