There are several Factors and Features that have contributed to this bulky size of our Constitution.

Longest Constitution 

  • The present Constitution of India is the largest and most comprehensive among all the written Constitutions in the world. 
  • It consists of 443 Articles and 12 Schedules. 
  • The Government or India Act, 1935 was the lengthiest statute ever passed by the Parliament in the U.K Since the framers of our Constitution adopted this statute as a model, the new Constitution became bulky. 
  • Immense diversity of India:  There are various religions, languages, castes, races here. It is said to be a multiracial, multilingual, and multireligious country. Various provisions have been provided in the Constitution to meet the needs of different people in India. 
  • A special provision has been made to safeguard the interests of the minorities. The Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes have been accorded special benefits under the Constitution. 
  • The detailed chapters on the Fundamental Rights, Centrestate Relations, Directive Principle of State Policy (DPSP), Emergency provisions, Fundamental duties etc. have contributed to the lengthy size of the Constitution. 

Parliamentary System 

  • Unlike the United States of America with its Presidential executive and the Swiss Constitution with its collegiate executive, the Indian Constitution proposes a Parliamentary system of government for the country. This is because of the British influence. 
  • The framers of the Constitution adopted the Parliamentary form of government because of our long association with Britain, the mother of Parliamentary system. 
  • The earlier Acts of the British Government like the Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935, had already introduced a limited parliamentary government in India. 

Indian made Federalism: Federal in Form but Unitary in Spirit 

The Indian Constitution accommodates an elected type of government. Federalism is not an endowment of the British Parliament, but rather it originates from the desires of the general population. The Federalism of India is unique in relation to the American model. It is designed on the premise of Canadian model.
  •  Art. 1 of the Constitution declares India as the 'Union of States.' The structure of the Indian Polity is made federal and there is a dual polity and Constitutional division of powers. All federal features are there in our Constitution, but at the same time the unitary spirit of the Constitution is not ruled out.
  • The Union is more powerful than Units.
  • There is a provision of emergency in which the state governments can be suspended and put under the central administration.
  • The appointment of Governors, the provisions of all India services, integrated judiciary, single citizenship etc. are some of the features in our Constitution which promote Unitarianism.
  • This has led critics to say that our CONSTITUTION is partly unitary or a 'quasi-federal' one.
  • It seems that there is a happy blend between Unitarianism and Federalism in our Constitution. Fundamental Rights, Duties and DPSP
  • Our Constitution incorporates a set of Fundamental Rights guaranteed to all citizens of India. Part III of the Constitution which contains 24 Articles (Article 12 to 35) deals with six categories of the Fundamental Rights.
  • Similarly there are 11 Fundamental Duties incorporated in the Constitution provided by the 42nd Amendment Act 1976 and one duty added by 86th Amendment, 2002 of the Constitution. These are added in Article 51A in the Chapter of DPSP.
  • The DPSP are in the nature of a set of instructions issued to the government for implementation. The underlying idea behind these directives is that the party holding the reign of administration should implement these Constitutional ideas.

Fundamental Rights, Duties and DPSP 

  • Our Constitution incorporates a set of Fundamental Rights guaranteed to all citizens of India. Part III of the Constitution which contains 24 Articles (Article 12 to 35) deals with six categories of the Fundamental Rights. 
  • Similarly there are 11 Funda- mental Duties incorporated in the Constitution-10 provided by the 42nd Amendment Act 1976 and one duty added by 86th Amendment, 2002 of the Constitution. These are added in Article 51-A in the Chapter of DPSP. 
  • The DPSP are in the nature of a set of instructions issued to the government for implementation. The underlying idea behind these directives is that the party holding the reign of adminis- tration should implement these Constitutional ideas.

Parliamentary Sovereignty Vs. Judicial Supremacy

  • In the British Parliamentary system the Parliament is supreme and sovereign. There are no limitations on its powers.
  • In the US system the Supreme Court has assumed supremacy.
  • In India, the Constitution has arrived at a middle course and a compromise between the British Sovereignty of Parliament and the American Judicial Supremacy.
  • We are governed by a rule of law and judicial review of the administrative action is an essential put of the rule of law. Thus courts can determine not only the constitutionality of the law but also the procedural part of the administrative action. But, since we have a written Constitution and powers and functions of every organ are defined and delimited by the Constitution, there is no question of any organ being absolute sovereign.
  • Both the Parliament and the Supreme Court are Supreme in their respective spheres. While SC can declare a law passed by Parliament ultra vires as being violation of the Constitution, Parliament may within certain restrictions amend most parts of the Constitution.

Adult Franchise 

Dr. Ambedkar said in Constituent Assembly that 'by Parliamentary democracy we mean one man, one vote'. Almost as an act of faith, the founding fathers decided to opt for universal adult suffrage with every adult Indian without any distinction at once having equal voting rights. This was particularly remarkable in the context of the vast poverty and illiteracy of the Indian populace. Citizenship In keeping with their aim of building an integrated Indian fraternity and a united nation, the founding fathers provided for one single citizenship despite the federal structure.

Independent Judiciary :

The Constitution of India established an independent judiciary with powers of judicial review. The High Courts and the Supreme Court form a single integrated judicial structure with jurisdiction of all laws Union, State, Civil, Criminal or Constitutional. Unlike US , in India the entire judiciary is one hierarchy of courts; there is no separate federal and state court system. 

Procedure for the Creation of New States
  • Art 3 deals with the formation of a new state out of the territories of the existing states.
  • No bill for the formation of new states or alteration of the boundaries or names of the existing state shall be introduced in either house of the parliament except on the recommendation of the President. 
  • The President, before introducing the Bill in the Parliament, shall refer it to the state Legislature concerned for its opinion within a specified time limit. 
  • The Parliament is not bound to accept or act upon the views of the state legislature.

Citizenship :

 In keeping with their aim of building an integrated Indian fraternity and a united nation, the founding fathers provided for one single citizenship despite the federal structure.

Five Modes of Acquiring Citizenship in India

  • (i) By birth : Born on the soil of India whose one or both parents are Indian citizens.
  • (ii) By Registration : 
  • Certain categories who can acquire Indian citizenship by registration, before the prescribed authority.
  • (a) People of Indian origin
  • (b)Citizens of a country mentioned in the first schedule
  • (c) Woman married to an Indian citizen
  • (d) Minor children of Indian citizens
  • (iii) By Descent :
  •  A person from outside India on or after January 16, 1950 shall be a citizen of India if his father is a citizen of India at the time of the person's birth. 
  • (iv) By NaturalisationA foreigner can acquire citizenship on application for naturalisation to government of India. A person acquiring citizenship by naturalisation has to take an oath of allegiance by the constitution of India.

Termination of Indian Citizenship

  • The three modes of losing citizenship are as follows : 
  • (i) Renunciation : An Indian citizen may voluntarily renounce his Indian citizenship.
  • (ii) Termination : Termination of Indian citizenship automatically takes place if a person voluntarily acquires citizenship of some other country. 
  • (iii) Deprivation : This is a compulsory termination of the citizenship obtained by Registration or Naturalisation on charges of using fraudulent means to acquire the citizenship. 
  • The Indian constitution, though federal, provides for a single citizenship, namely, the citizenship of India.

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