Salient and Unitary Features of Indian Constitution

By | February 24, 2015

12 Features of the Indian Constitution

  1. Three-tier Government in India
    1. Central Government
    2. State Government
    3. Panchayati Raj Government
  2. Lengthiest Written Constitution
    Constitution consisted of a Preamble, 395 articles (which were divided into 22 parts) and 8 Schedules.
  3. Federal System with Unitary Bias Essential characteristics of a federation are:
    • Minimum two tiers of governments (India has 3 tiers of government).
    • Distribution of powers between the units forming the federation.
    • Supremacy of Constitution
    • written Constitution.
    • Rigidity of Constitution.
    • Independent judiciary.

    However, the Indian Constitution also contains a large number of unitary or non-federal features i.e. a strong Centre, Single citizenship, single Constitution all India services, emergency provisions and so on.

  4. Parliamentary form of Government
    Features for government of parliamentary form are:

    • Presence of nominal and real executives.
    • Majority party rule.
    • Collective responsibility of the executive to the Legislature.
    • Leadership of the Prime Minister of the Chief minister
    • Dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
  5. Synthesis of Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy
  6. Integrated and Independent Judiciary
  7. Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties
  8. Directive Principles of State Policy
  9. Universal Adult Franchise & Single Citizenship
  10. Emergency Provisions
  11. Blend of Rigidity and Flexibility

Unitary Features of Indian constitution:

  • The States of Indian Don’t have their own constitution as in the states of USA and Australia have their own constitution.
  • Uniform and single Citizenship in India (Australia and USA have double citizenship).
  • Parliament can make the changes of territorial extent of a State without its consent.
  • Parliament has full control over the Union list subjects as well as residuary power vests with the centre.
  • With the two-third majority, Rajya Sabha can authorize Parliament to make laws on any State subject (Article 249).
  • If there is any national emergency, Parliament has the right to make laws with respect to State subjects automatically (Article 250).
  • On the request of two or more states, Parliament can legislate on particular State subject (Article 252).
  • parliament can make laws on State Lists to comply with the international agreements (Article 253).
  • In the case of president’s rule in state all the powers will be handed over to Parliament (Article 356).
  • The governor of the state is appointed by the President and the former is not responsible to the State Legislature (Article 155).
  • Parliament can give some financial orders or can order to reserve money bills passed by states (Article 160).
  • Centre can give administrative directions to the States (Article 256).
  • The all Indian services official are appointed by centre but salary are paid and controlled by States (Article 312).
  • Judges of High Courts are appointed by the President of India (Article 216), and states don’t play any role in this.