Features of the Constitution
F)-Synthesis of Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy
Doctrine of sovereignty of Parliament is associated with the British Parliament
While the principle of judicial supremacy with that of the American Supreme Court.
Just as the Indian parliamentary system differs from the British system, the scope of judicial review power of the Supreme Court in India is narrower than that of what exists in US.
This is because the American Constitution provides for ‘due process of law’ against that of ‘procedure established by law’ contained in the Indian Constitution (Article 21).
Framers of the Indian Constitution have preferred a proper synthesis between the British principle of parliamentary sovereignty and the American principle of judicial supremacy.
Supreme Court, on the one hand, can declare the parliamentary laws as unconstitutional through its power of judicial review.
Parliament, on the other hand, can amend the major portion of the Constitution through its constituent power.
G)-Integrated and Independent Judiciary
Indian Constitution establishes a judicial system that is integrated as well as independent.
Supreme Court stands at the top of the integrated judicial system in the country.
Under a high court- hierarchy of subordinate courts- district courts and other lower courts.
Single system of courts enforces both
1)-The central laws
2)-The state laws,
Unlike in USA, where the
1)- Federal laws are enforced by the federal judiciary and
2)-The state laws are enforced by the state judiciary.
Supreme Court is a federal court, the highest court of appeal.
Fundamental rights of the citizens and the guardian of the Constitution.
Constitution has made various provisions to ensure its independence
1)- Security of tenure of the judges,
2)-Fixed service conditions for the judges,
3)-All expenses of the Supreme Court charged on the Consolidated Fund of India,
4)-Prohibition on discussion on the conduct of judges in the legislatures,
5)-Ban on practice after retirement,
6)-Power to punish for its contempt vested in the Supreme Court,
7)-Separation of the judiciary from the executive etc.
Part III of the Indian Constitution guarantees six fundamental rights to all the citizens:
(a) Right to Equality (Articles 14–18),
(b) Right to Freedom (Articles 19–22),
(c) Right against Exploitation (Articles 23–24),
(d) Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25–28),
(e) Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29–30),
(f) Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)
Fundamental Rights are meant for promoting the idea of political democracy.
They operate as limitations on the tyranny of the executive and arbitrary laws of the legislature.
They are justifiable in nature-> are enforceable by the courts for their violation.
Fundamental Rights are not absolute and subject to reasonable restrictions.
They are not sacrosanct(पुण्यमय) and can be curtailed or repealed by the Parliament through a constitutional amendment act.
They can also be suspended during the operation of a National Emergency except the rights guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21
I)-Directive Principles of State Policy
Dr B R Ambedkar- Directive Principles of State Policy is a ‘novel feature’.
They are enumerated in Part IV of the Constitution.
They can be classified into three broad categories—
Directive principles are meant for promoting the ideal of social and economic democracy.
They seek to establish a ‘welfare state’ – unlike the Fundamental Rights, the non-justiciable.
Constitution itself declares that ‘these principles are fundamental in the governance of the
country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws’.
They impose a moral obligation on the state authorities for their application.
But, the real force (sanction) behind them is political, that is, public opinion.
Minerva Mills case12 (1980)- Supreme Court held that ‘the Indian Constitution is founded on
the bedrock of the balance between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles’.
Original constitution did not provide for the fundamental duties of the citizens.
Added during emergency (1975–77)- 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976
On the recommendation of the Swaran Singh Committee.
86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002-> Q-? Added one more fundamental duty.
Part IV-A of the Constitution (Article—51-A) specifies the eleven Fundamental Duties viz.,
1)-To respect the Constitution, National flag and national anthem;
2)-To protect the sovereignty, Unity and integrity of the country;
3)-To promote the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people;
4)-To preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture etc
FD- reminder to citizens that while enjoying their rights, they have also to be quite conscious
of duties they owe to their country, their society and to their fellow-citizens.
However, like the Directive Principles, the duties are also non-justifiable in nature.
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