Polity & Constitution: Compendium-2

What is a unitary constitution?
What is a Federal Constitution ?
What Kind of Constituion is of India?
Which is the Lengthiest Constituion of the world?
What are the Objectives Enshrined in Indian Constitution?
When did the First meeting of constituion assembly take place?
What is ” Socialist” in Preamble of Indian Constitution?
What is ” Doctrine of real effect” ?
What is ” Doctrine of Severability” ?
What is Doctrine of Eclipse?

What is a Unitary Constitution?
In a Unitary constitution the powers of the government are centralized in one Government wiz. the Central Government and the provinces are subordinates to the central government. A unitary constitution recognizes that sovereignty resides only in the centre of the state. In the UK, the constitutional doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty dictates than sovereignty is ultimately contained at the centre.

What is a Federal Constitution?
In a federal Constitution there is a Division of powers between the centre and peripheral/provincial regions of the state. Example is Canada. There is a written constitution and it’s supreme cannot be easily amended. Judiciary has the final authority to interpret & guard the provisions of the constitution.

What Kind of Constitution is of India?
Indian constitution is Quasi federal or “federal with unitary features”.

Which is the Lengthiest Constitution of the world?
Indian Constitution is the largest and the most detailed of the written constitutions of the world. It originally consisted of 395 articles, divided into 22 parts and 9 schedules. After the 92nd amendment Act 2003, the Indian Constitution comprises 447 articles divided into 26 parts and 12 schedules.

What are the Objectives Enshrined in Indian Constitution?
Justice, Liberty , Equality and Fraternity.
Justice means social Economic and political justice
Liberty means liberty of thought, expression, belief , faith and worship
Equality means equality of Status and Opportunity
Fraternity means assuring dignity of individual & unity of the nation.

When did the First meeting of constitution assembly take place?
On 9th December 1946. On December 11, 1946 Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as its permanent chairman. The assembly adopted an ” objective Resolution” which later became the preamble of the constitution. On August 19 , 1947 a Drafting Committee of 7 members was formed under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ambedkar. The draft Constitution was published in January 1948. The people of India were given 8 months to discuss the draft and propose amendments. As more as 7635 amendments were proposed and 2473 were actually discussed. There were 11 sessions of the constitution assembly and Draft Constitution was considered for 114 days. In all, constitutional assembly sat for 2 yrs. 11 months & 18 days. On 26th November 1949, the New Constitution of India was adopted and signed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad and at once articles 5,6,7,8,9 60, 324, 366, 367, 372, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 came into force. The whole constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.

What is ” Socialist” in Preamble of Indian Constitution?
” Socialist ” term was inserted in the Preamble by the Constitution 42nd amendment Act 1976.

What is ” Doctrine of real effect” ?
The doctrine of direct and inevitable effect is also called as the doctrine of intended or real effect. The court must consider the direct and inevitable consequence of state action. If the effect of state action on a fundamental right is direct and inevitable, then a fortiori it must be presumed to have been intended by the authority taking the action. The Supreme Court in various cases has laid down the tests to determine whether a state action infringes fundamental rights or not right from R.C. Cooper to Man Singh Vs. State of Punjab.

What is “Doctrine of Severability” ?
The doctrine of severability means just when some particular provision of a statue violates the constitutional provision, but that provision is severable from rest of the statute, only that offending provision will be declared void by the court and not the whole statute. In other words, an Act may not be void as a whole; only a part of it may be void. If that part is severable from the rest, then the rest part may continue to stand. The doctrine of severability has been considered in various cases such as – A. K. Gopalan’s case.

What is Doctrine of Eclipse?
A law which violates Fundamental Rights is not void ab initio (ab initio : from the starting) but becomes unenforceable. This means this law becomes overshadowed by Fundamental Rights and becomes dormant, however not dead. This means that they are not wiped out from the book.


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  • bagherwal

    above info is lttle incorrect. indian constitution is divided in to 24 parts and 12 schedules.