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Important articles & schedules of Constitution/Fundamental Rights

 


17th Apr 2021

The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. 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. 

It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and became effective on 26 January 1950. The constitution replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the country’s fundamental governing document, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India. To ensure constitutional autonomy, its framers repealed prior acts of the British parliament in Article 395. 

The constitution declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens justice, equality and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity. The original 1950 constitution is preserved in a helium-filled case at the Parliament House in New Delhi. The words “secular” and “socialist” were added to the preamble in 1976 during the emergency.

The Indian constitution is the world’s longest for a sovereign nation. At its enactment, it had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules. At about 145,000 words, it is the second-longest active constitution – after the Constitution of Alabama – in the world.

Articles in Indian Constitution: As the written constitution is a compact document like a book, it has various parts, parts have various chapters, chapters have various articles.

The constitution has a preamble and 395 articles, which are grouped into 25 parts. With 12 schedules and five appendices, it has been amended 103 times; the latest amendment became effective on 14 January 2019. Despite various amendments, the number of articles in the Constitution still remains 395. There is nothing like Article 396. The new articles are always inserted in between i.e. Article 31A.

IMPORTANT TITBIT:  If counted separately there are 444 Articles but in the Constitution of India there are only 396 Articles. The rest are merely clauses or sub-clauses added later. The reason behind this is that there is a rule that no one can alter the basic structure of the COI. Now a problem came up, which was how to include more articles as you cannot add a 397th article as it would be against the Basic Structure Doctrine, so a solution that came up, which was that to include the new articles in clauses or sub-clauses of the existing articles.

Here are the lists of various important Articles of the Indian Constitution: 
S.No  
Article  
Deals with
1 1 Name and Territory of Union
2 3 New States Formation, Alteration of Boundaries, etc.
3 13 Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the Fundamental Rights
4 14 Equality before Law (popularly known as Right to Equality)
5 15 Prohibition of Discrimination (on basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth)
6 16 Equality in case of Public Employment
7 17 Abolition of Untouchability
8 18 Abolition of Titles
9 19 Protection of Certain Rights to Freedom (popularly known as Right to Freedom)
10 19 (a) Freedom of Speech & Expression
11 19 (b) Right to Peaceful Assembly
12 19 (c) Freedom of Association
13 19 (d) Right to Move Freely through India
14 19 (e) Freedom of Settlement & Residence
15 19 (f) (Omitted as a fundamental right – governed by article 300A.) Right to Own Personal Property.
16 19 (g) Freedom to Practise any Profession, Occupation, Trade or Business
17 21 Right to Life and Personal Liberty
18 21A Right to Education
19 23 Prohibition of Human Trafficking and Forced Labour
20 24 Prohibition of Child Labour
21 25 Freedom to Practise & Propagate Religion Freely
22 29 Protection of Interests of Minorities
23 32 Remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights including writs
24 44 Uniform Civil Code
25 50 Separation of Judiciary from Executive
26 51 Promotion of International Peace and Security
27 51A Fundamental Duties
28 72 Powers of President to Grant Pardons etc.
29 76 Attorney-General of India
30 78 Duties of Prime Minister
31 85 Sessions of Parliament, Prorogation and Dissolution
32 93 The Speaker & Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha
33 100 Voting in Houses
34 105 Powers, Privileges, etc. of Members of Parliament
35 106 Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament
36 108 Joint Sitting of both Houses of Parliament
37 109-110 Money Bills
38 112 Budget
39 123 President’s Power to Promulgate Ordinance while Parliament in Recess
40 127 Appointment of ad hoc Judges in the Supreme Court
41 139 Supreme Court’s Powers to Issue Certain Writs
42 141 Supreme Court’s Law Binding on All Courts
43 148-149 Comptroller and Auditor-General of India
44 155 Appointment of Governor
45 161 Power of Governors to Grant Pardon etc.
46 165 Advocate-General for the State
47 167 Duties of Chief Minister
48 224 Appointment of Additional & Acting Judges in High Courts
49 224A Appointment of Retired Judges in High Courts
50 226 Power of High Courts to issue writs
51 280 Finance Commission
52 312 All India Services
53 324 Election Commission
54 335 SCs and STs claim to Services and Posts
55 343 Official Language
56 352 National Emergency
57 356 President’s Rule in case of Failure of Constitutional Machinery in States
58 360 Financial Emergency
59 368 Power of Parliament to Amend the Constitution
60 370 Temporary provisions with respect to the state of Jammu and Kashmir
61 392 Power of the President to remove difficulties

Schedules of the Indian Constitution

Like a book contains appendices to explain things and provide extra info, the constitution contains various schedules. They are Lists that categorize and tabulate bureaucratic activity and policy of the Government. They are kept separate because it is a lengthy document and hence, not included in the original text of constitution but they are very much part of the constitution. 

Important Titbits:

  1. Originally they were 8 in number, now they are 12. 
  2. The 4 new schedules were added: IX through the 1st Constitution Amendment Act 1951); X through Anti-Defection Law 52nd CAA 1985; XI through the 73rd CAA Panchayati Raj 1992 and XII through the 74th CAA Municipality 1992.
  3. Matters added to the 9th schedule after 24th April 1973 (Kesavananda Bharati Case) are not immune to judicial review (I.R. Coelho case)

Schedules of Indian Constitution

Numbers  
Subject Matter
First Schedule
  1. Names of the States and their territorial jurisdiction.
  2. Names of the Union Territories and their extent.
Second Schedule Provisions relating to the emoluments, allowances, privileges and so on of:
  1. The President of India
  2. The Governors of States
  3. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha
  4. The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
  5. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the states
  6. The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council in the states
  7. The Judges of the Supreme Court
  8. The Judges of the High Courts
  9. The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India
Third Schedule Forms of Oaths or Affirmations for:

1. The Union ministers

2. The candidates for election to the Parliament

3. The members of Parliament

4. The judges of the Supreme Court

5. The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India

6. The state ministers

7. The candidates for election to the state legislature

8. The members of the state legislature

9. The judges of the High Courts

Fourth Schedule Allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha to the states and the union territories.
Fifth Schedule Provisions relating to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.
Sixth Schedule Provisions relating to the administration of tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
Seventh Schedule Division of powers between the Union and the States in terms of List I (Union List), List II (State List) and List III (Concurrent List). Presently, the Union List contains 100 subjects (originally 97), the state list contains 61 subjects (originally 66) and the concurrent list contains 52 subjects (originally 47).
Eighth Schedule Languages recognized by the Constitution. Originally, it had 14 languages but presently there are 22 languages. They are: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri (Dongri), Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Mathili (Maithili), Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. Sindhi was added by the 21st Amendment Act of 1967; Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added by the 71 st Amendment Act of 1992; and Bodo, Dongri, Maithili and Santhali were added by the 92nd Amendment Act of 2003.
Ninth Schedule Acts and Regulations (originally 13 but presently 282) 19 of the state legislatures dealing with land reforms and the abolition of the zamindari system and of the. Parliament dealing with other matters. This schedule was added by the 1st Amendment (1951) to protect the laws included in it from judicial scrutiny on the ground of violation of fundamental rights. However, in 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the laws included in this schedule after April 24, 1973, are now open to judicial review.
Tenth Schedule Provisions relating to the disqualification of the members of Parliament and State Legislatures on the ground of defection. This schedule was added by the 52nd Amendment Act of 1985, also known as Anti-defection Law.
Eleventh Schedule Specifies the powers, authority and responsibilities ofPanchayats. It has 29 matters. This schedule was added by the 73rd Amendment Act of 1992.
Twelfth Schedule Specifies the powers, authority, and responsibilities of Municipalities. It has 18 matters. This schedule was added by the 74th Amendment Act of 1992.

Fundamental Rights

  • Enshrined in Part-III of Indian Constitution, Fundamental Rights are the basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India. The six fundamental rights include Right to Equality, Right to freedom, Right against exploitation, Right to freedom of Religion, Cultural and Educational Rights and Right to constitutional Remedies.
  • Fundamental Rights is one of the important topics in Indian polity subject in UPSC Syllabus. In this article, we will touch upon some of the most important points from this topic. We’ll also discuss some of the previously asked questions centered around Fundamental Rights.
  • Originally Right to property (Article 31) was also included in the Fundamental Rights. However, by the 44th Constitutional Ammendment Act, 1978, it was deleted from the list of Fundamental Rights and made a legal right under Article 300A in Part XII of the constitution.

Fundamental Rights in India (Article 12-35)

  • The development of Fundamental Rights in India is heavily inspired by United State’s Bill of Rights. These rights are included in the constitution because they are considered essential for the development of the personality of every individual and to preserve human dignity.
    • Fundamental Rights are included in Part-III of the Indian constitution which is also known as Magna Carta of Indian Constitution.
    • These rights are called fundamental rights because they are justiciable in nature allowing persons to move the courts for their enforcement, if and when they are violated

Features of the Fundamental Rights

  • FRs are protected and guaranteed by the constitution.
  • FRs are NOT sacrosanct or absolute: in the sense that the parliament can curtail them or put reasonable restrictions for fixed period of time. However, the court has the power to review the reasonablity of the restrictions.
  • FRs are justifiable: The constitution allow the person to move directly to the Surpreme Court for the reinforcement of his fundamental right as and when they are violated or restricted.
  • Suspension of Fundamental Rights: All the Fundamental Rights are suspended during National Emergencies except the rights guaranteed under Article 20 and 21.
  • Restriction of Fundamental Rights: The Fundamental Rights can be restricted during the military rule in any particular area.

Important Articles Related To Fundamental Rights

Let us now look at some of the important articles related to the Fundamental Rights in India:

Article 12: Defines the State

Article 12 of the Indian Constitution defines The State as:

  • The Government and Parliament of India,
  • The Government and legislatures of the states,
  • All local authorities and
  • Other authorities in India or under the control of the Government of India.

Article 13: Defines Laws Inconsistent with or In derogation of Fundamental Rights

  • Article 13 of the Indian Constitution states that:
  • All laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.
  • The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void.
  • In this article, unless the context otherwise required, –

(a) “law” includes any Ordinance, order, bye-law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usage having in the territory of India the force of law;

(b)“laws in force” includes laws passed or made by a Legislature or other competent authority in the territory of India before the commencement of this Constitution and not previously repealed, notwithstanding that any such law or any part thereof may not be then in operation either at all or in particular areas.

  • Nothing in this article shall apply to any amendment of this Constitution made under article 368.

Classification of Fundamental Rights

The fundamental rights are classified into the following six categories:

Article 12: Defines the State

Article 12 of the Indian Constitution defines The State as:

  • The Government and Parliament of India,
  • The Government and legislatures of the states,
  • All local authorities and
  • Other authorities in India or under the control of the Government of India.

Article 13: Defines Laws Inconsistent with or In derogation of Fundamental Rights

  • Article 13 of the Indian Constitution states that:
  • All laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.
  • The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void.
  • In this article, unless the context otherwise required, –

(a) “law” includes any Ordinance, order, bye-law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usage having in the territory of India the force of law;

(b)“laws in force” includes laws passed or made by a Legislature or other competent authority in the territory of India before the commencement of this Constitution and not previously repealed, notwithstanding that any such law or any part thereof may not be then in operation either at all or in particular areas.

  • Nothing in this article shall apply to any amendment of this Constitution made under article 368.

Classification of Fundamental Rights

The fundamental rights are classified into the following six categories:

(1) Right to Equality

Art 14 – Equality before Law

Art 15 – Prohibition of Discrimination

Art 16 – Equality of Opportunity in Public Employment

Art 17 – Abolition of Untouchability

Art 18 – Abolition of Titles

(2) Right to Freedom

Art 19 – Protection of 6 Rights:

  • Right to freedom of speech and expression.
  • Right to assemble peaceably and without arms.
  • Right to form associations or unions or co-operative societies.
  • Right to move freely throughout the territory of India.
  • Right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.
  • Right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

Art 20 – Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences

Art 21 – Protection of Life and Personal Liberty

Art 21-A Right to Education

Art 22 – Protection against Arrest and Detention

(3) Right against Exploitation          

Art 23 – Prohibition of Human Trafficking and Forced Labor

Art 24 – Prohibition of Child Labor

(4) Right to Freedom of Religion   

Art 25 – Freedom of Conscience, Profession, Practice, and Propagation

Art 26 – Freedom to Manage Religious Affairs

Art 27 – Freedom from Taxation for Promotion of a Religion

Art 28 – Freedom from Attending Religious Instruction

(5) Educational and Cultural Rights

Art 29 – Protection of Interests of Minorities

Art 30 – Right of Minorities to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions

(6) Right to Constitutional Remedies         

Art 32 – Right to remedies for the enforcement of the fundamental rights using five writs:

  • Habeas Corpus – to direct the release of a person detained unlawfully.
  • Mandamus – to direct a public authority to do its duty.
  • Quo Warranto – to direct a person to vacate an office assumed wrongfully.
  • Prohibition – to prohibit a lower court from proceeding on a case.
  • Certiorari – power of the higher court to remove a proceeding from a lower court and bring it before itself.

Art 33 – Empowers the Parliament to restrict or abrogate the fundamental rights of the ‘Members of the Armed Forces, paramilitary forces, police forces, intelligence agencies, and analogous forces

Art 34 – Provides for the restrictions on fundamental rights while martial law (military rule) is in force

Art 35 – Empowers the Parliament to make laws on Fundamental Rights

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