Constitution of India

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  • Topic: Constitution of India, Law, India
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  • Published : March 19, 2013
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Neha Kaveri M.D
1211043 2 B.Com T

The Constitution of India is the Supreme Law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 448  articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules and 118 amendments. Besides the English version, there is an official Hindi translation. Dr B.R. Ambedkar is widely regarded as the father of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950.  The date 26 January was chosen to commemorate the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence of 1930. With its adoption, the Union of India officially became the modern and contemporary Republic of India and it replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the country's fundamental governing document. The Constitution declares India to be a sovereign,socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens of justice, equality, and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity among them.  The words "socialist" and "secular" were added to the definition in 1976 by constitutional amendment. India celebrates the adoption of the constitution on 26 January each year as Republic Day.

On the 14 August 1947 meeting of the Assembly, a proposal for forming various committees was presented. Such committees included a Committee on Fundamental Rights, the Union Powers Committee and Union Constitution Committee. On 29 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed, with Dr B. R. Ambedkar as the Chairman along with six other members assisted by a constitutional advisor. These members were Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi (K M Munshi, Ex- Home Minister, Bombay), Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer (Ex- Advocate General, Madras State), N Gopalaswami Ayengar (Ex-Prime Minister, J&K and later member of Nehru Cabinet), B L Mitter (Ex-Advocate General, India), Md. Saadullah (Ex- Chief Minister of Assam, Muslim League member) and D P Khaitan (Scion of Khaitan Business family and a renowned lawyer). The constitutional advisor was Sir Benegal Narsing Rau (who became First Indian Judge in International Court of Justice, 1950–54). Later B L Mitter resigned and was replaced by Madhav Rao (Legal Advisor of Maharaja of Vadodara). Owing to death of D P Khaitan, T T Krishnamachari was chosen to be included in the drafting committee. A Draft Constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on 4 November 1947. Draft constitution was debated and over 2000 amendments were moved over a period of two years. Finally on 26 Nov. 1949, the process was completed and Constituent assembly adopted the constitution. 284 members signed the document and the process of constitution making was complete. The architects of Indian constitution were most heavily influenced by the British model of parliamentary democracy. In addition, a number of principles were adopted from the Constitution of the United States of America, including the separation of powersamong the major branches of government, the establishment of a supreme court, and the system of having a President as well as a Prime Minister. The principles adopted from Canada were Unitary government with strong center and also distribution of powers between central government and provinces along with placing residuary powers with central government.From Ireland, directive principle of state policy was adopted. From Germany the principle of suspension of fundamental rights during emergency was...
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