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 To ensure constitutional autonomy, its framers repealed prior acts of the British parliament in Article 395.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.
|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||19a||Freedom of Speech & Expression|
|11||19b||Right to Peaceful Assembly|
|12||19c||Freedom of Association|
|13||19d||Right to Move Freely through India|
|14||19e||Freedom of Settlement & Residence|
|15||19f||(Omitted as a fundamental right – governed by article 300A.) Right to Own Personal Property.|
|16||19g||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|
|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|
|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|
|52||312||All India Services|
|54||335||SCs and STs claim to Services and Posts|
|57||356||President’s Rule in case of Failure of Constitutional Machinery in States|
|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.
- Originally they were 8 in number, now they are 12.
- 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.
- 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
|Second Schedule||Provisions relating to the emoluments, allowances, privileges and so on of:
|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.|