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Chapter 1

LANDMARKS IN THE
CONSTITUTIONAL
DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA

T he Constitution of India, as opted


by the Constituent Assembly in
1949, was not something absolutely
a Council of four members who
exercised their authority jointly, (ii)
the governments of the Presidencies
new. It was, to a great extent, of Bombay and Madras were sub-
influenced by the Government of India ordinated to the government in
Act of 1935 that was passed by the Calcutta and (iii) it empowered the
British Parliament. In order to British Crown to establish a Supreme
understand and appreciate the Court in Bengal with jurisdiction over
Constitution, it is necessary to glance Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
at the constitutional development The Act subjected the legislative
during the British rule in India. Some authority of the Governor-General and
of the landmarks in the constitutional Council to certain limitations: (i) the
development are given in the following rules and regulations made by them
passages. were not to be repugnant to the laws of
The foundation of British authority England, (ii) they required registration
in India was laid in down through the by the Supreme Court which was given
establishment of East India Company the power to veto them, (iii) there could
in England under a Charter of the be an appeal against them to the British
British Queen Elizabeth. Under the Government and (iv) the Governor-
Charter the Company was given an General and the Council were under
exclusive right of trading with India. In the duty to forward all such rules and
the beginning the Company was purely regulations to England and the King-
a trading organization, but later on due in-Council was competent to dis-
to political circumstances, it acquired approve them at any time within
territorial power. two years.
Regulating Act of 1773 The Charter Act of 1833
With the expansion of political power To make the legislative functions of the
of the Company, it was felt in England government distinct, the British
that the affairs of the Company needed Government enacted the Charter Act of
some regulation. As a result, the 1833. It made substantial changes in
Regulating Act of 1773 came into the constitutional set up of India. The
being. Some of the salient features of sole legislative power in India was
the Act were as follows – (i) it set up a vested in the Governor-General-in-
government in Calcutta Presidency Council. The Council was to consist of
consisting of a Governor- General and four members, of whom one was to be
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INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
a Law Member, who could attend the constitutional set-up. Some of the
Council meetings, as a matter of right, important changes were: (i) it abolished
only when it was to perform legislative the Board of Directors and the Board
functions. The Council’s functions of Control and vested their powers in
were, thus, divided into two categories. one of Her Majesty’s Secretary (a
When it performed executive functions, Minister in the British Cabinet), (ii) he
it consisted of the Governor-General was designated as the Secretary of State
and three members only. But, when it for India and was empowered to
performed legislative functions, it superintend, direct and control all the
consisted of the Governor-General governmental affairs in India, (iii) the
and the four members. In this way, the Secretary of State was to be assisted by
Act laid the foundation of the future a Council of India, (iv) the Governor-
Central Legislature, also called Imperial General and Governors of the
Legislative Council. Presidencies were to be appointed by
the Crown and the members of their
The Charter Act of 1853
Councils by the Secretary of State-in-
In order to strengthen the legislative Council, (v) Lieutenant Governors were
machinery the Charter Act of 1853 was to be appointed by the Governor -
enacted. The Act further extended the General, subject to the approval of Her
machinery of legislation. Under the new Majesty and appointments to the
Act, the Governor-General’s Council, covenanted civil service were to be made
when acting in its legislative capacity, through open competition with the
was enlarged by the addition of six new assistance of the Civil Service
members. Among these six members, Commission.
one was to be an official representative
from each of the four Provinces Indian Councils Act of 1861
viz., Madras, Bombay, Bengal and In 1861 the British Government
North Western Provinces, and the decided to expand the legislative
Chief Justice and a puisne judge of Councils. This was done through the
the Supreme Court. Besides, the Indian Councils Act of 1861. The main
Commander-in-Chief was also given an provisions of the Act were as follows –
extraordinary membership. Thus, the (i) the Governor-General’s Council was
strength of the Legislative Council expanded for legislative purposes by
became twelve. adding 6-12 new members, to be
nominated for two years, (ii) prior
The Act of 1858
sanction of the Governor-General was
The First War of Independence of 1857 essential for introducing some
brought the era of the East India measures, (iii) every Act passed by the
Company to an end. In 1858 the Legislature in India was subject to
British Crown took over the rights approval of Her Majesty acting through
of the Company’s Government in the Secretary of State-in-Council, (iv) the
India in its own hands. The Act Governor-General was authorised to
brought substantial changes in the exercise a veto and issue ordinances in
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LANDMARKS IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA
an emergency and (v) the strength of Council. There were four categories
the Governor-General’s Council for of members i.e. ex-officio members,
executive purposes was raised to five nominated officials, nominated
by addition of one more member. non-officials and elected members.
Indian Councils Act of 1892 (c) It provided for non-official majority
in the Provincial Legislatures But
In 1892 another Act was passed to
further expand and strengthen the then, the combined strength of
legislative councils. The main features official and nominated non-official
of the Act were as follows – (i) the members out-numbered the
strength of the central and provincial elected members.
legislative councils was expanded (d) The Act enlarged the functions of
by adding 8–20 new members, (ii) two- the Legislative Councils. This Act
fifth of these new additional members (i) empowered the members to
were to be non-officials, (iii) the discuss the budget and move
Governor -General-in-Council was resolutions before it was finally
authorized to make rules subject to the approved, (ii) they were allowed to
sanction of the Secretary of State-in- ask supple-mentary questions, to
Council, for discussion of annual move resolutions on matters
financial statements and for asking relating to loans to local bodies,
questions. additional grants and new taxes
Indian Councils Act of 1909 and (iii) it also extended to the
members the right to discuss
During the beginning of the twentieth
matters of public interest, adopt
century, the British Government was
resolutions or demand a division on
confronted with three types of
them, but the resolutions adopted
pressures. While on the one hand the
moderates were appealing for more by the House were not binding on
reforms and the extremists were the government.
agitating for getting Swarajya, the (e) One of the most important and
revolutionaries, on the other hand, were unfortunate feature of this Act was
resorting to terrorist activities to achieve the introduction of separate and
their goal, i.e. end of the alien rule. In discriminatory electorate. The
order to mollify the discontent, to some electorate for returning the re-
extent, the government enacted the presentatives to the councils was
Indian Councils Act of 1909. divided on the basis of class,
The salient features of the Act were as community and interests. For the
follows – provincial councils the electorate
(a) The Act provided for the expansion provided for three categories, viz.,
of the Legislative Councils at both general, special and class (such as
the levels, Central as well as land owners and chambers of
Provincial. commerce). For the Central Council
(b) It maintained the majority of official one more category viz. Muslim was
members in the Central Legislative added to it.
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INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
The qualification of the electorate the ministers responsible to the
based on income, property and legislature while in the reserved
education differed from community to subjects the Governors were to be
community and region to region. advised by the councillors who were not
The Government of India Act accountable to the legislature. Thus, in
of 1919 the provinces a new form of government,
dyarchy, was introduced. Dyarchy
During the First World War, Gandhiji means dual set of governments, e.g.
had requested the nation to help the
accountable and non-accountable.
allies in their war efforts because they
(c) Categories of Members: The Act
were fighting for the cause of
provided for three categories of
democracy. After the war was over, the
members: elected, nominated officials
people were feeling that they would also
get democratic reforms. The Govern- and nominated non-officials. The first
ment of India Act of 1919 was enacted category had about 70% members, the
to satisfy the people of India to some second had about 10% and the third
extent. category had about 20%. There was
majority of elected members.
The salient features of the Act
(d) The constituencies and fran-
were as follows : (a) Preamble: The
Act provided for a Preamble that laid chise: The Act provided for restricted
down the basic principles and policies franchise and communal electorate.
upon which it was based. According to The voting qualification varied from
it the policy of the British Parliament province to province and within the
was – (i) to provide for the increasing same province it differed from rural to
association of Indians in every branch urban areas. The constituencies were
of Indian administration, (ii) to develop divided into two categories: general and
self governing institutions with a view special. The general constituencies were
to the progressive realisation of demarcated to return Hindus, Muslims,
responsible government in British India Christians, Anglo-Indians, Sikhs etc.
as an integral part of the empire; (iii) Special constituencies were devised to
the time and manner of gradual give representation to land holders,
advance towards this goal was to be universities, chambers of commerce etc.
decided by the British Parliament (e) Strength of Central Legislature:
and (iv) accordingly, the Preamble The Act introduced bicameral
suggested for a decentralised unitary legislature at the centre comprising the
form of government.
Council of States and the Central
(b) Distribution of Functions: The Act
divided the functions of government in Legislative Assembly. The former had
two categories: central and provincial. 60 members, of whom 33 were to be
The provincial subjects were further elected and 27 to be nominated. The
subdivided into transferred and latter consisted of 145 members, of
reserved. In the transferred subjects whom 104 were to be elected and 41 to
the Governors were to be assisted by be nominated,
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LANDMARKS IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA
(f) Powers of Central Legislature: empowered to return any bill to the
The central legislature was empowered house for reconsideration or reserve it
to consider, pass or reject legislation on for the consideration of the Governor-
any of the subjects enumerated in the General who in his turn could reserve
Central list. But, the Governor-General it for the opinion of the Crown. The
had the last word on any Bill passed Governor could also veto any bill passed
by the Legislature. He possessed the by the Legislative Council. If the
power to prevent the consideration of a Council refused to introduce or failed
Bill or any of its part, on the plea that it to pass a bill relating to a reserved
was injurious to the peace and subject, the Governor by his power of
tranquillity of the country. He could certification could pass it on the plea
disallow a question in the legislature. that it was essential for the discharge
He had the power to withhold his assent of his responsibility.
to any Bill passed by the legislature The Act gave the legislative councils
without which it could not become an some measure of control over the
Act. He also had the power to disallow finance of the province but its financial
an adjournment motion or debate on powers were very much narrowed and
any matter. He could enact a law, which circumscribed by the special powers of
he considered essential for the safety the Governor. The budget was divided
and tranquillity of the empire even if the into two parts. There were about 70%
legislature had refused to pass it. non-votable items on which only
The financial powers of the central discussion could take place in the
legislature were also very much limited. house. The remaining 30% of the
The budget was to be divided into two budget included such demands for
categories, votable and non-votable. wants as could be reduced or rejected
The votable items covered only one- by the house, but the Governor
third of the total expenditure. Even in retained the power to restore such
this sphere the Governor-General was demands by certifying that it was
empowered to restore any grant refused essential for the discharge of his
or reduced by the legislature, if in his responsibilities. In case of emergency
opinion the demand was essential for the Governor had the power to sanction
the discharge of his responsibilities. any expenditure on any item.
(g) Powers of Provincial Legislatures: (h) The Executive Council: It was
The strength of provincial legislatures responsible to the Secretary of State and
differed from province to province. The not to the central legislature. The
provincial legislative councils were maximum limit imposed on the
empowered to legislate on provincial membership of the Governor-General’s
subjects. However, the Act armed the Executive Council was removed. Of the
Governor with the extensive powers of six members of the Governor-General’s
legislation. He could stop at any stage Executive Council, other than the
the consideration of a bill on the Commander -in-Chief, three were
ground that it was injurious to safety required to be Indians. A pleader of the
and peace of the province. He was Indian High Court was also made
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INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
eligible for appointment as the Law jurisdiction of the federal legislature
member. did not extend to all the subjects
(i) Secretary of State for India: The mentioned in the federal list in the
control of the Secretary of State for native states. According to the Act,
India over the central and provincial the ruler of every state was required
administration was reduced. to sign an Instrument of Accession
mentioning therein the extent to
The Government of India Act
which it consented to surrender its
of 1935 authority to the federal government.
The three Round Table Conferences (d) The Act also provided that such a
convened in London during 1930-32 federation could come into
had made a number of reco- existence only if as many princely
mmendations regarding constitutional states (which were given the option
reforms in India. The Government of to join or not to join the federation)
India Act, 1935 was the result of these would accept to join it as were
recommendations. Main features of the entitled to one-half of the states’
Act were as follows: seats in the upper house of the
(a) It was a comprehensive and federal legislature and having one-
detailed document. It consisted of half of the total states’ population.
321 Sections and 10 Schedules. It (e) The proposed federal polity was to
described, in detail, not only the have a bicameral legislature at the
machinery of the centre but also of centre. The upper house was to be
the units. called the Council of States. It was
(b) It, for the first time, introduced a to consist of 260 members, of whom
federal form of polity in India. The 156 were to represent the provinces
units of federation fall into two and 104 the native states. Out of
categories: the (British) Indian these 156 representatives of the
provinces and the princely states provinces 150 were to be elected on
(also known as native states). communal lines. While the seats
(c ) The Act divided the functions of the fixed for Hindus, Muslims and
government in three categories. The Sikhs were to be filled by direct
federal list contained 59 subjects, elections, the seats reserved
the provincial list had 54 subjects, for Europeans, Anglo-Indian
while the concurrent list comprised Community and Indian Christians
of 36 subjects. While the federal and were to be filled by an indirect
provincial governments had method through an electoral college
exclusive jurisdiction on the consisting of the members of their
subjects in the federal and community in the provincial
provincial lists respectively, both the legislatures. The remaining six
federal and the provincial govern- members were to be nominated by
ments could legislate on the the Gover nor -General. It is
subjects in the concurrent list. It is interesting to note that the number
interesting to note that the of seats allotted to a state depended
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LANDMARKS IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA
not on the strength of its population Governor- General had the authority to
but on the relative rank and approve or disapprove any Bill passed
importance of that state. The by the federal legislature. Though both
Council of States was to be a the houses exercised some control over
permanent house. One-third of its the executive, by putting questions and
members were to retire every third passing adjournment motions and
year. other resolutions, the Assembly alone
The lower house was to be called the could pass a vote of no confidence
Federal Assembly. It was to consist of against the ministers.
375 members, out of which 250 were Both the houses possessed almost
to represent the provinces and 125 to equal financial powers excepting that
represent the princely states. While the the Money Bill could be introduced only
representatives of the princely states in the Assembly. But, the Act granted
were to be nominated by their rulers, only limited financial powers to the
those representing the provinces were federal legislature. The Act divided the
to be elected indirectly by the provincial budget into two parts. The first part
legislative councils on communal lines. covered 80% of the expenditure that
It is interesting to note that the seats was beyond the control of the federal
allotted to the princely states were legislature. The remaining 20%
disproportionate to their population. required the sanction of the legislature,
Similarly, the seats allotted to the but, the Gover nor -General was
various communities in the provinces empowered to restore the reductions or
were also disproportionate to their sanction any amount rejected by the
population. The term of the Assembly legislature.
was five years but it could be dissolved (g) The Act introduced dyarchy at the
earlier also. federal level. The federal subjects
(f) The federal legislature could make were divided into two categories: the
laws on all the subjects included in reserved and the transferred.
the federal and the concurrent list. The reserved subjects included
It was also empowered to legislate Defence; External Affairs;
on provincial list in an emergency Ecclesiastical Affairs and Tribal
or when two or more provinces Areas. In these matters the
requested it to do so. However, its Governor General possessed
authority over princely states discretionary powers i.e., he acted
extended to those subjects only on the advice of the councillors to
which were mentioned in their be appointed by him. He was not
Instrument of Accession. even required to consult the council
No Bill could become an Act unless of ministers in these matters.
both the houses passed it and also Subjects not included in the above
approved by the Governor-General. In list comprised the transferred
case of differences between the two subjects. These subjects were
houses, provision for a joint session of under the charge of ministers
both the houses was made. The responsible to the federal
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INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
legislature. But, there were certain authority and make the provincial
matters wherein the Governor - autonomy a mockery.
General possessed the powers (j) The Act provided for bicameral
relating to individual judgement. legislatures in six provinces and
These were the powers wherein the unicameral in five provinces. The
Governor-General was required to lower house was to be called
consult the council of ministers but Legislative Assembly and the upper
was not bound by their advice. house, Legislative Council. The
(h) The Act also provided for a Federal strength of the upper and lower
Court that was to consist of a Chief houses varied from province to
Justice and not more than six other province.
judges. They were to be appointed While the Act completely abolished
by His Majesty and retired at the age the categories of the nominated
of 65. They could be removed members from Assemblies, it
earlier also on charges of continued to have a few nominated
misbehaviour or infirmity of mind members in the Councils.
or body by King of England on the The Act suggested direct elections for
recommendation of the Judicial both the houses. The basis of the
Committee of the Privy Council. allotment of the seats to various
The Court had Original, Appellate communities was on the notorious
and Advisory jurisdictions. It was also communal award, given by Ramsay
a Court of Record. But, the Court was Macdonald, as amended by Poona Pact.
not the highest Court of Appeal. Appeal The basic principle of the scheme was
could be filed against its judgments to that the seats reserved for a community
the Privy Council of England. were to be contested only by persons
(i) The Act did away with the dyarchy belonging to that community and they
introduced by the Government of were to be elected by members of that
India Act, 1919 and introduced community alone.
provincial autonomy in the (k) The provincial legislatures were
provinces. Accordingly, the empowered to legislate not only on
Governors were required ordinarily the subjects included in the
to act on the advice of council of provincial list but also on those
ministers responsible to the included in the concurrent list. But
provincial legislature excepting a provincial law on a concurrent
when they exercised their subject held good in so far as it did
discretionary powers or powers of not go against a federal law on the
individual judgment. subject. In case of a conflict, the
It is interesting to note that the Act federal law was to prevail.
did not enumerate the discretionary There were certain limitations on the
powers of the Governor. The Governor, legislative powers of the provincial
at his discretion, decided as to what legislatures. In some cases prior
were his discretionary powers. Thus, permission of the Governor-General
the Governor could misuse his was needed before a Bill could be
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LANDMARKS IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA
introduced in a legislature. Bills relating report, the British Government sent a
to an Act of the British Parliament or committee of three members of the
that of the Gover nor -General or British Cabinet that was authorized to
Governor or affecting the discretionary evolve a formula acceptable to the
powers of the Governor fall in this prominent political parties of India.
category. The Cabinet Committee, accordingly,
Both the houses could exercise some met different leaders of different political
control over the executive of the parties and then offered its re-
province by putting questions, commendations in two instalments. On
supplementary questions or moving May 16, 1946 it announced its
adjournment motions etc. The control proposals for a long-term settlement
of the Assembly, however, was and on June 16, 1946 it outlined a
substantial in the sense that it could procedure for the formation of Interim
pass a vote of censure against the Government.
council of ministers. Proposals for long-term: The main
The legislatures also enjoyed some provisions of the long-term proposals
limited financial powers. The budget of were as follows:
the province was divided into votable (a) There should be a Union of India
and non-votable categories. Votable comprising provinces and the
items constituted 30% of the princely states.
expenditure while non-votable items (b) The Union should have jurisdiction
comprised 70% of the budget. Even in on Foreign Affairs, Defence and
the votable category, the Governor Communication and should have
could restore any reduction or cut necessary powers to raise finances.
passed by the legislature if he (c) The Union should have an executive
considered it necessary for efficient and a legislature consisting of
administration of the province, Representatives of both the provin-
(1) Besides the above, the Act also ces and princely states.
provided for the abolition of India (d) Any question relating to a major
Council, separation of Burma from communal issue in the legislature
India, creation of Federal Railway, should be decided by a majority of
appointments of an Advocate General members present and voting
and a Financial Adviser. belonging to that community as
well as a majority of all the
Cabinet Mission Plan members of the legislature present
After the War (i.e. Second World War) and voting.
was over, elections were held in (e) Provinces should be free to form
England. Labour Party came to power. groups and each group could
It was sympathetic towards the cause determine the provincial subjects to
of India. The British Government sent be taken in common.
a Parliamentary delegation to India to (f) The Constitution of the Union and
get first hand information about the of the groups should contain a
political situation in India. After its provision whereby any province
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INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
could, by a majority vote of the Wester n Muslim majority
Legislative Assembly call for a regions viz., Punjab, North-
reconsideration of the terms of the Western Frontier Province,
Constitution after an initial period Sindh and British Baluchistan.
of ten years and at ten yearly (iii) Territories claimed for Pakistan
intervals thereafter. and representing the North-
Proposals for Constitution making Eastern Muslim majority
machinery: The main provisions of the regions viz., Bengal and Assam.
proposals for Constitution making (c) Each group was to settle the
machinery were as follows: constitution of the provinces
(a) A constituent Assembly should included in it and also whether any
be constituted consisting 389 constitution for the group as a
members, 296 representing the whole to be set up and, if so, the
provinces and 93 the princely extent of its powers.
states. Each province was to be (d) After the group constitutions were
allotted a number of seats settled, the groups were to
proportional to its population. The assemble together to settle the
total number of seats allotted to a Union Constitution.
province was to be divided among (e) After the first general election under
the main communities (General, the new constitution, it was to be
Muslims and Sikhs) in proportion open to any province to come out
to their population and were to be of any group, in which it was
elected by members of the same placed, by a resolution of its
community in the Legislative legislature.
Assembly. The number of seats British Indian Treaty: A treaty will
allotted to each princely state was be negotiated between the Constituent
also to be fixed on the basis of Assembly and the United Kingdom to
provide for certain matters arising out
population but the mode of
of the transfer of power. It was, however,
choosing their representatives was
hoped that India would decide
to be settled in consultation with a
to remain a member of the Common-
Negotiating Committee. wealth. But at the same time, she was
(b) The members of the Constituent given the right to go out of Common-
Assembly, so constituted, would be wealth, if so desired.
divided into the following three Recommendation for Short-Term
groups: Plan: The Plan envisaged immediate
(i) Provinces not claimed for and setting up of an Interim Government
representing Hindu majority in order to carry on administration
regions viz., Madras, Bombay, while the constitution making was in
the United Provinces, Bihar and progress. The interim government was
Orissa. to have 14 members: 6 Congressmen,
(ii) Territories claimed for Pakistan 5 Leaguers, 1 Indian Christian, 1 Sikh
and representing the North- and 1 Parsee.
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LANDMARKS IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA
In the Interim Government all the League members boycotted it. This
portfolios were to be held by Indians made the British Government’s task of
and the British Government was to give transferring power to Indian hands
full co-operation in the accomplish- difficult. Though it declared June 1948
ment of the tasks that confronted the to be the deadline for the transfer of
Interim Government power, it was felt that it would not be
Evaluation of the Plans: All the appropriate for it to transfer power to
major political parties accepted the an Assembly that was not fully
Plan, with all its drawbacks; and representative. In order to workout a
elections were held for a Constituent formula, acceptable to all sections of
Assembly. But differences arose people, for resolving this problem the
between the Congress and the League British Government appointed
regarding the interpretation of the Plan. Mountbatten as the Governor-General
Though the Plan ruled out Pakistan in of India, who reached India on March
name, it definitely conceded in 24, 1947. While on the one hand
substance. This caused trouble and on Mountbatten was negotiating with the
July 10, 1946 the League withdrew its leaders of different parties for evolving
acceptance. a formula, a strong agitation was
Interim Government and Direct started for the partition of Bengal and
Action: On August 14, 1946 an Interim Punjab in the wake of communal riots
Government was formed under the and violence at a vast scale. This gave
leadership of Jawahar Lal Nehru. The an opportunity to Mountbatten to
Muslim League did not join it. The announce his plan for solving the
League declared August 16, 1946 as problem.
‘Direct Action Day. On that day a It declared that partition of India was
systematic killing and looting of the the only possible solution of the Indian
Hindus began which lasted for four problem. The three disputed Provinces
days. About three thousand people viz., Assam, Bengal and Punjab would
were killed and thousands worth of also be partitioned. A referendum
property destroyed. While the carnage would be held in the North-Western
continued in Calcutta, Noakhali, Bihar Frontier Province to decide whether
and other places, attempts were that Province would like to join
continued to bring the League in the Pakistan or India. A referendum would
Interim Government. As a result, be held in the Syllhat division of Assam
League joined the Interim Government also to determine whether it would like
on October 13, 1946. This Government to remain part of Assam or join East
remained in office till the partition of Bengal that would be a part of
India in August 1947. Pakistan.
The Plan indicated a willingness of the
Mountbatten Plan British Government to transfer power
As per Cabinet Mission Plan, the before June 1948. As the Plan was
Constituent Assembly was at work accepted by all the major parities of India,
framing the Constitution, but the a Bill was introduced in the Parliament
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INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
viz., Indian Independence Bill, 1947 constitution for their respective
which was passed by it and it became countries without any limitation
the Indian Independence Act, 1947. whatsoever. They were also free to
withdraw from the British
Indian Independence Act of 1947
Commonwealth.
The main Provisions of the Act are as (h) For the time being, till the new
follows: constitutions were framed, each of
(a) The Act provided for the creation of the Dominions and all the provinces
two independent Dominions, viz., were to be governed in accordance
India and Pakistan. with the Government of India Act,
(b) It provided for the partition 1935 with such modifications,
of Punjab and Bengal and omissions or additions as may be
separate boundary commissions done by the Governor-General-in-
to demarcate the boundaries Council.
between them. (i) In each of the Dominions, the
(c) Besides West Punjab and East- powers of the legislature of the
Bengal, Pakistan was to comprise
Dominion would be exercisable in
territories of Sindh, North Western
the first instance by the Constituent
Frontier Province, Syllhat division of
Assembly of that Dominion.
Assam, Bhawalpur, Khairpur,
(j) The British Government would no
Baluchistan and eight other
longer possess any control over the
relatively minor princely states in
Dominions, provinces or any part
Baluchistan.
thereof after Independence.
(d) The paramount authority of British
(k) The Governor -Generals would
Crown over the princely states was
to lapse, and they were free to join become the constitutional heads,
the Dominion of India or Pakistan empowered to give assent to any
or remain independent. Bill on behalf of the Crown.
(e) The British Government was not to (l) The Governor-General was invested
exercise any authority in future with adequate powers until March,
over the tribal areas and any treaty 1948, to issue orders for the effective
or agreement in force, at the time of implementations of the provisions
passing of the Act, between British of the Indian Independence Act,
Government and any tribal 1947 and the division of assets
authority was also to lapse. between the two Dominions and to
(f) Both the Dominions of India and make suitable changes in the
Pakistan were to have Governor- Government of India Act, 1935 to
Generals appointed by the British remove any difficulty that might
King. The Act also provided for one arise in the transitional period.
common Governor-General if both (m) Those persons who had been
the Dominions so agreed. appointed by the Secretary of State
(g) The Constituent Assemblies of both or Secretary of State-in-Council to
the Dominions were free to frame the a civil service under the Crown in
13
LANDMARKS IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA
India before 15 th August 1947, leave, remuneration, pension,
would continue in that service after disciplinary matters and tenure of
independence and enjoy the same office which had been enjoyed by
privileges and rights in respect of them before Independence.

Exercises

1. What are the salient features of the Indian Councils Act of 1909?
2. Describe the salient features of the Government of India Act of 1919.
3. Explain the meaning of Dyarchy. When was it introduced first in India?
4. What are the main features of the Government of India Act of 1935?
5. Enumerate the main provisions of the Indian Independence Act of 1947.
6. Write short notes on the following:
(a) Cabinet Mission Plan
(b) Mountbatten Plan
Chapter 2
INDIAN NATIONAL
MOVEMENT AND
ITS HERITAGE
Introduction Swami Vivekanand, Theosophical
Society founded by Madame Blavatsky
I ndia got Independence on 15th
August 1947. It was primarily the
result of the Indian National Movement
and Olcott, played a very important role
in creating a new awakening amongst
led by the Indian National Congress. tile people of India. They became proud
Besides the Indian National Congress, of their glorious past and looked ahead
there were other organizations also that for a new resurgence in India.
made their contributions to this (c) Effects of the British Rule:
Movement. The following passages give Though the alien rule of the British was
a brief survey of all those forces. indifferent to the sentiments of the
people, it proved to be a blessing in
Indian National Congress disguise. The network of railways and
Though the Indian National Congress telegraphs aroused and fostered a
was founded in 1885; its genesis can feeling of unity amongst the people
be traced from the various forces at hailing from different parts of India.
work since the mid-nineteenth century. (d) Western Education: The spread
They can be summarized as follows: of western education brought the
(a) Effects of the First War of people in touch with the philosophies
Indian Independence (1857): In this of the western thinkers with their
struggle for the first time rulers, emphasis on nationalism, democracy
soldiers and leaders from different and scientific outlook.
parts of India came in close contact (e) Economic Exploitation: The
with each other. Though it failed in economic policy of the British
achieving its main goal due to lack of Government in India was based on
resources, coordination and economic exploitation. They purchased
appropriate planning, it helped in raw materials from India at very cheap
bringing national consciousness rates and sent it to England to feed the
throughout India. needs of the British industries. The
(b) Impact of the Socio-Religious readymade goods of the British
Movements: The socio religious industries were sold in India at
movements of the nineteenth century, very high rates. The government
such as Arya Samaj founded by Swami discouraged cottage industries of
Dayanand Saraswati, Brahmo Samaj India and dumped the Indian
founded by Raja Rammohan Roy, market with goods manufactured in
Ramakrishna Mission founded by England.
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND ITS HERITAGE 15

(f) Oppressive Agricultural Policy: India which drained the Indian treasury
The British Government charged heavy of millions of rupees. Lord Lytton drew
land revenues on the poor peasants of India which drained the Indian treasury
India who heavily depended on the of millions of rupees. Lord Lytton drew
vagaries of nature. This caused a lot of India into an Afghan war that caused
resentment amongst Indian peasants enormous loss to India in the form of
against the British rule. men and money. While on the one hand
(g) Severe Famines: In the first half of he imposed heavy penalties on Indians
the nineteenth century there occurred for bearing arms without licence, there
seven famines, with an estimated total was no such restriction on the
of one million deaths while in the Europeans. The people of India took
second half, there were twenty-four this as an insult.
famines resulting in twenty million (j) Ilbert Bill Controversy: According
deaths. The British Government did not to the then existing law, an Indian
come out with any substantial help to Magistrate was not empowered to try
relieve the suffering people. and punish Europeans. The Bill wanted
(h) The Role of Vernacular Press: to remove this discrimination against
When the people of India noted that the the Indians. The European Community
English newspapers were hostile to the organized such a strong opposition
cause of Indians, they started against it that it was ultimately
newspapers in Indian languages. These withdrawn. This caused a feeling in the
newspapers began to expose the anti- minds of the people that they could not
people policies of the British get justice from the British Government
Government. This led the Government and that agitation was a means through
to enact Vernacular Press Act that which one could get one’s advance
restricted the freedom of Vernacular redressed.
Press. This provoked a lot of resentment
Birth of Indian National Congress
both in India and in England. This
resulted in its revocation. However, the It is obvious from the above that there
British Government adopted other was a lot of discontent against the
measures to deny freedom of speech British Government in India. It was felt
and expression to the people of India. by some observers that if this
(i) Repressive Measures of Lord discontent was not contained in time it
L ytton: During the Gover nor - might lead to another outburst like the
Generalship of Lord Lytton steps were uprising of 1857. They felt that there
taken which caused bitter feelings was a need of a counter part of His
against the British Government. While Majesty’s Opposition in India that
there was a severe famine in India, in could give the discontent an outlet.
1876, which took away toll of Mr. A.O. Hume belonged to this school
thousands of Indian life, Lord Lytton of thought. He felt that it would be a
held a durbar at Delhi in 1877 to great advantage to the country if
announce that Queen Victoria had leading Indian politicians could be
assumed the title of the empress of brought together once a year on friendly
16
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
footing to discuss social matters. He extremists, on the other hand, believed
discussed this idea with Lord Dufferin, that when a foreign power rules over
the then Governor-General of India and another people, it is not in the interest
got an encouraging response. of the people ruled but the rulers
Accordingly, a meeting was convened themselves. According to them, the
in Bombay on December 28, 1885 that foundation of a foreign rule was
was presided over by W.C. Bonnerji. exploitation. It is through processions,
This meeting decided to form an All protest meetings, boycott of foreign
India organization by the name of goods, strikes, picketing, use of
Indian National Congress. In the very Swadeshi goods and demanding
first meeting, the Congress passed Swarajya that a foreign government
resolutions demanding various political could be forced to concede their
and economic reforms in India. Though demands.
Mr. Hume wanted the Congress to Gopal Krishna Gokhale led the
confine itself to social reforms only, yet moderates, Bal Gangadhar Tilak the
it emphasized political and economic extremists. The difference in the
reforms. Thus, in 1885 a firm approach between the two clearly
foundation was laid for an organised brings out the difference between the
Indian National Movement. moderates and the extremists. In the
words of Pattabhi Sitaramayya,
Extremist Movement Gokhale’s plan was to improve the
The policies that were followed by the existing condition, T ilak’s was to
Indian National Congress during 1885- reconstruct it; Gokhale had necessity
1918 are called moderate or liberal to work with the bureaucracy, Tilak
policies. Some of the members of the had necessity to fight it; Gokhale stood
Indian National Congress, however, for co-operation, wherever possible and
were not satisfied with these policies. opposition wherever necessary, Tilak
They wanted to give the policies an inclined towards a policy of obstruction;
aggressive colour. They are known by Gokhale’s ideal was love and service,
the name of extremists. Tilak’s was service and suffering;
Difference between the liberals or Gokhale’s method sought to win the
moderates and the extremists: The foreigner, T ilak’s to replace him;
moderates believed in the just sense of Gokhale’s objective was self-
the British people. They felt that the government for which the people have
British people were not aware of the to fit themselves by answering tests
miserable conditions of the Indian prescribed by the English, Tilak’s
people and felt that once the British objective was Swaraj which was the
people came to know of their problems, birthright of every Indian and which he
they would be solved. They, therefore, should have without let or hindrance
believed in submitting petitions, from the foreigner; Gokhale was on the
prayers, sending delegations, writing level of his age, Tilak was in advance of
articles in newspapers etc. The his time.
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND ITS HERITAGE 17

Cause for the Birth and Growth of through their writings, exposed the
Extremist Movement: The birth and exploitative policies of the British
growth of extremism in the first decade Government. This aroused discontent
of the twentieth century was the result against the British Government.
of so many factors which could be Famine: A big famine occurred in
summarized as follows: India in 1896-97. It affected about
Discontent over the Councils Act of twenty million people spread over in
1892: The reforms introduced by this different parts of India. The government
Act were inadequate and disappointing. did nothing to provide relief to the
The Councils were still dominated by starving masses. This also created a
the official nominees who seldom severe discontent in the minds of the
opposed government’s repressive people of India against the British rule.
measures. Even the elected members Plague: When famine was taking its
were ineffective as they were elected by tolls, there spread a severe plague in
the vested interests. Poona. The failure to check the spread
Revival of Hinduism: The three of plague infuriated the people to such
extremist leaders viz. Bal (Bal an extent that one Damodar Hari
Gangadhar Tilak), Pal (Vipin Chandra
Chapekar shot dead Rand, the
Pal), Lal (Lala Lajpat Rai) inspired
Commissioner of Poona. Chapekar was
revival of Hinduism. Bal initiated
hanged and many innocent people were
the worship of Lord Ganesh
brutally punished. This caused a lot of
in Maharashtra and celebrated
resentment in the minds of the people
Ganeshotsav for about a fortnight
of India.
wherein in the guise of religious
worship speeches and debates were The Repressive Policy of Lord Curzon
organized to inculcate the spirit of and other Gover nor-Generals:
nationalism. The same was the case in During the Governor-Generalship of
Bengal where Vipin Chandra Pal Elgin several unpopular measures were
initiated the worship of Kali and Durga enacted to harass the people. During
and celebrated Durgotsav for about a his regime a great famine broke out.
fortnight wherein in the guise of Instead of helping the people, the
religious worship debates and treasury was emptied in expanding the
discourses were organized to encourage forces and on holding a splendid
the feeling of nationalism amongst the Darbar in Delhi. According to one
people of Bengal, particularly the author “if even half of the vast sum
youth. These activities created a new spent in connection with the Delhi
awakening in the country. Darbar had been made over for the
Economic Exploitation: The purpose of famine relief, it might have
economic policies of the British been the means of saving millions of
Government in India were such that the men, women and children from death
poor people of India became poorer day by starvation.”
by day. The leaders like Dadabhai The events, which occurred during
Naoroji and Ramesh Chandra Dutta, the Governor -Generalship of Lord
18
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Curzon, added insult to injury. During But then, the moderates could not go
his regime Calcutta Corporation Act, too far in this direction. As a result, the
the Official Secrets Act and the Indian Congress was divided into two groups:
University Act were passed which the extremist and the moderates. At the
curtailed the freedom of the people of Surat session of the Indian National
India. His opinions regarding the Indian Congress in 1907 there was a formal
culture were highly insulting to the split in the Congress. The extremists left
people of India. His derogatory the Congress and carried on their
speeches caused a lot of discontent in programmes independently.
the minds of the Indian People. Revolutionaries
Partition of Bengal and Swadeshi
Movement: During Lord Curzon’s rule The youth of the country was not
the Province of Bengal was partitioned. satisfied with the policies of the
There was a sinister motive behind it. extremists also. They had a firm belief
He wanted to favour the Muslims by that even these policies were not going
creating a Muslim majority province by to get them ‘Swarajya’, For the success
partitioning Bengal. There was a of their mission they believed in the cult
of pistol and bomb. Hence they
spontaneous reaction against it. The
organized themselves into a number of
people decided to boycott the foreign
societies on the model of Secret
goods and use Swadeshi goods. They
Societies of Italy and Russia. They
also organized bonfire of imported
secretly trained the young recruits in
goods. The Government adopted severe
physical exercises, use of weapons and
repressive measures to suppress the
religious practices of ‘Shakti Cult’. They
agitations. This resulted in a lot of anger
also tried to make inroads into military
against the British Regime.
camps and sow seeds of hatred against
Foreign Events: Several events that the British bureaucracy.
occurred in Europe in the later part of The British authorities dubbed the
the nineteenth century also inspired the revolutionaries as terrorists. They were
youth of India to work for the terrorists only in the sense that they did
emancipation of India. The defeat of terrorise those English officers who had
Italy at the hands of Abyssinia in 1896 adopted severe repressive measures
and Russia by Japan in 1905 also gave and committed brutalities on innocent
a new stimulus to Indian Nationalism. people. Their activities did serve eye-
The factors mentioned above gave birth openers to the British imperialists. The
to a radical wing in the Congress party. revolutionaries retaliated only when
They wanted a change in the moderate their national pride was hurt or when
policy of the Congress. To some extent the ladies were insulted. Their goal was
they succeeded. For instance, Gopal very noble. They had faith in
Krishna Gokhale, in his presidential democracy. Their ideal was to setup the
address at Banaras in 1905, con- rule of the farmers and workers and to
demned the partition of Bengal and remove all social and economic
supported the Swadeshi Movement. disparities.
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND ITS HERITAGE 19

Some of the prominent leaders This led the British officials to conspire
of the revolutionary movement against the Indian National Congress.
were: Barindra Kumar Ghosh, They adopted the policy of ‘divide and
Bhupendranath Dutta, Shyamji rule’ and encouraged the leaders of the
Krishna Verma, Chapekar brothers, Muslim community to keep away from
Savarkar brothers, Hardayal, Bhai the activities of the Congress. They were
Parrnanand, Ram Prasad Bismil, encouraged in this matter by Sir Syed
Sardar Bhagat Singh, Chandra Ahmed Khan and his Aligarh
Shekhar Azad, Yeshpal and Rashbehari Movement, which was trying to
Ghosh. establish a rapport between the Muslim
The outburst of activities of these community and the British
revolutionaries greatly alarmed the Government in India. It is to be noted
British Government who adopted a that the British officials used to look to
three-fold policy of repression, reform the Muslim community with suspicion.
and division. Repression took the form They felt that the uprising of 1857 was
of committing brutalities on the primarily an act of the Muslim
revolutionaries. Reform took the form community because the British had
of constitutional reforms such as snatched away power from the Mughal
Morley-Minto Reforms (Indian Councils rulers. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan wanted
Act, 1909), Montagu-Chelmsford to remove this stigma from the Muslim
Reforms (Government of India Act, community. This was a golden
1919) and the Government of India Act, opportunity to the British. They
1935. Division took the form of encouraged him and the officials of the
encouraging the establishment of Anglo-Indian-Mohammedan College,
Muslim League and introducing Aligarh, founded by him, to make a
communal electorate. representation to the Government for
separate electorate for the Muslims.
Muslim Communalism
Accordingly, a delegation, under the
When the Indian National Congress was leadership of Agha Khan, met the then
established in 1885, it not only enjoyed Governor -General and put forward
the blessings of the powers that be, their demand for separate electorate for
those days. The Governors of the the Muslims in the proposed
provinces, where its sessions were held, constitutional reforms. The attitude of
used to grace the occasions by their the Governor-General was sympathetic
presence. But when the Indian National to their demands.
Congress began to lay emphasis on Birth of All India Muslim League:
various proposals of political and The success of the Muslim deputation
economic reforms, the attitude of the that met the Gover nor -General
British Officials changed. They began enthused the Muslims to start a
to frown on the Indian National separate political organisation of their
Congress. But, in spite of the hostile own. Accordingly, on 30th December
attitude of the officials, the Congress 1906, the Muslim League was formed.
gained influence amongst the masses. The objectives of the League were
20
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
defined as follows: (i) to promote among Another reason responsible for the drift
the Muslims of India a feeling of loyalty of the League towards the Congress was
to the British Government and to that Turkey had joined hands with
remove any misconception that may Germany and fought against the British
arise as to the intention of the during the First World War. Indian
government with regard to any of its Muslims, who accepted the Emperor of
measures, (ii) to protect and advance Turkey as their Khalifa (religious guru)
the political rights and interests of the began to look upon the British as their
Muslims of India and to respectfully enemies. Thus began a new chapter in
represent their needs and aspirations the history of the League. Both the
to the Government and (iii) to prevent Congress and the League held their
the rise among the Muslims of India of annual sessions at Lucknow and
any feelings of hostility towards other formulated a scheme for post-war
communities without prejudice to the reforms known as Congress-League
aforementioned objects of the League. Scheme or Lucknow Pact.
It is clear from the above that the Muslim League’s Attitude towards
primary objective of the League was Khilafat Question: In the First World
anti-Congress and pro-British. It stood War the Sultan of Turkey sided with
for separate representation for Muslims Germany. The Muslims of India were
in the Legislative Councils and weight- afraid that in case of defeat of Axis
age in the appointments in the powers, Turkey might be disintegrated.
government jobs. As the Sultan of Turkey was the Khalifa,
Changes in the Policy of Muslim the Muslims of India were opposed to
League: The Muslim League, however, the British efforts in the War. After the
could not command support from the War was over the suspicion of the
entire Muslim Community. Some of the Muslims proved true. The Turkish
top leaders like Mr Jinnah, Maulana Empire was disintegrated. This caused
Mohmmad Ali and Maulana Abul a lot of discontent amongst the
Kalam Azad did not agree with the Muslims. As the Indian National
communal character of the League. Congress supported the cause of
Under the pressure of these eminent Khilafat and made it an issue for the
Muslim leaders the League was Non-Cooperation Movement, the
compelled to modify its constitution Muslims came closer to the Congress.
and effect certain changes in its aims But this did not last for a long time.
and objectives. The Muslim League gave Communal riots in the Malabar District
up its dogmatism and drifted closer to spoiled the whole atmosphere. When
the Congress creed. It included the the Non-Cooperation Movement was
promotion of goodwill between the two withdrawn because of the Chauri
major communities and the attainment Chaura incident, the communal forces
of Swarajya under the patronage of the became very active in the politics of
British Crown in its aims and objects. India.
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND ITS HERITAGE 21

Muslim League’s Attitude towards Assemblies and Local Bodies, (iii) one-
Simon Commission: In the third of the total seats in the Central
Government of India Act of 1919, there Assembly should be reserved for the
was a provision for the review of the Muslims, (iv) representation of all the
working of the Act after a lapse of ten communities should be on the basis of
years. The Government, however, separate electorate; it should, however,
appointed a Commission, viz. Simon be open to any group to abandon the
Commission, two years earlier than the system of separate electorate in favour
due time. As all the members of the of joint electorate, (v) no legislature or
Commission were English people, the an elected body should adopt a Bill or
Indian National Congress felt that it was a resolution which was opposed by
an insult to the Indian people and three-fourths of the members of that
decided to boycott it. In the League, community in that body on the ground
however, there were two views, one in that it was injurious to the interests of
favour of cooperating with it, and other that community, (vi) adequate share
stood for its opposition. for Muslims should be provided
Muslim League on Nehru Report: In in the constitution of all services,
1928 an All Parties’ Conference was subject to requirements of efficiency,
held which appointed a committee (vii) adequate safeguards and state help
under the chairmanship of Motilal should be given for the protection and
Nehru to draft a constitution for the promotion of Muslim culture, religion,
future political set up in India. Its report language, education, laws and religious
(the Nehru Committee Report) provided institutions, (viii) at least one-third of
for joint electorate with reservation of total number of ministers in the central
seats for the Muslims. The League was and provincial cabinets should be
divided on the joint electorate. However, drawn from Muslim community and
those who were opposed to it (ix) no change in the Constitution
dominated the League. should be made by Central Assembly
Jinnah’s Fourteen Points: except with the concurrence of the units
Mr Jinnah, who did not agree with constituting the Indian federation.
Nehru Report, put forward his League’s Demand for Pakistan: The
demands, which he called minimum, idea of Pakistan was conceived by
for any political settlement in India. Mohd. Iqbal in 1930. He dreamt of a
These demands are called Jinnah’ s consolidated North-West Indian
fourteen points, which were presented Muslim State. However, it was Rahmat
before and ratified by the Muslim Ali who gave the idea a precise form. In
League. Some of the main points were: March 1940 the Muslim League passed
(i) the form of any Constitution to be a resolution, at its Lahore session,
drawn for free India should be federal which stated that “no constitutional
with the residuary powers vested in the scheme would be workable in
provincial government, (ii) the this country or acceptable to
minorities should be adequately Muslims unless it is designed on the
represented in all the Legislative following basic principles, viz., that
22
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
geographically contiguous units are the British Government known as the
demarcated into regions which should Non-Co-operation Movement. There
be constituted with such territorial were several reasons for it. They can be
readjustments as may be necessary; summarised as follows:
that the areas, in which the Muslims Disappointment and Dissatisfaction
are numerically in majority, should be of the people : During the First World
grouped to constitute an independent War (1914-18) the people of India
state. The League resolved that the helped the British Government with
British Government, before leaving men and money both. After the war was
India, must effect the partition of the over the people of India expected that
country into Indian Union and they would also get their due rights and
Pakistan. The basis of League’s demand democracy would be introduced in
was its mischievous ‘Two-Nation India. But what they got was Dyarchy
Theory’. According to this theory the wherein the real powers belonged to the
Hindus and the Muslims are not two irresponsible executive councillors and
communities but two nations. the responsible ministers were
In 1942, when the Congress handicapped by paucity of funds. Not
launched the Quit India Movement, the only this, before the war was over the
Muslim League, instead of supporting process of retrenchment in the army
it, co-operated with the government to had already started. In order to
crush it. In the general elections held suppress the possible agitation due to
in 1946, the League captured majority the unemployment to be caused by the
of Muslim seats. It is to be noted that
policy of retrenchment the Government
in the elections of 1937, the Muslim
introduced two Bills viz. Rowlatt Bills
League’s performance was not so good.
which aimed at arresting the people for
Encouraged by its enormous success,
unlimited period without assigning any
the Muslim League launched its
reason and without giving them any
campaign for the formation of Pakistan
protection of defense through legal
with greater enthusiasm. When the
Cabinet Mission Plan did not indicate experts. This caused a lot of
the formation of Pakistan, the Muslim disappointment and dissatisfaction in
League resorted to ‘direct action’ which the minds of the people of India.
resulted in communal riots throughout The Tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh:
India and chaos was created to such When Gandhiji started a countrywide
an extent that the Congress, which was agitation against the Rowlatt Act, the
totally opposed to the idea of partition, people of Punjab organised a public
accepted the Mountbatten Plan for the meeting at Jallianwala Bagh in
partition of India into two dominions Amritsar to support Gandhiji’s move.
viz., India and Pakistan. The place was enclosed on all sides by
the back walls of the houses. It had only
Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22) one entrance gate that was so narrow
In 1920 the Indian National Congress that no carriage could pass through it.
decided to launch a movement against The martial law administrator General
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND ITS HERITAGE 23

Dyer allowed the people to assemble at As a result of the above-mentioned


the place and when it was packed to reasons, the Congress decided to
full capacity, he along with a contingent launch a political agitation viz., Non-
of hundred Indian and fifty British co-operation Movement, against the
soldiers reached the venue of the British Government.
meeting. He ordered the soldiers to open Policies and Programme of Non-co-
fire without giving any warning to the operation Movement: The aim and
crowd to disperse. The firing stopped objective of the Non-co-operation
only when the ammunition was Movement was to boycott all the
exhausted. This massacre caused a lot political, economic and social
of hatred in the minds of the people of institutions connected with the British
India. Government in India and instead,
Hunter Committee Report: Due to the establish parallel national institutions.
pressure of public opinion the Some of the main items of the
Government of India appointed a programme are as follows: (i) surrender
committee, viz. Hunter Committee to of the titles and honorary offices and
investigate into the Jallianwala Bagh resignation of members occupying
Tragedy. Even before the submission nominated seats in local bodies, (ii)
of the report of this Committee the boycott of governmental and semi-
Government of India passed an governmental educational institutions
Indemnity Act that absolved all the and establishing parallel national
officials of any trial and punishment in educational institutions, (iii) boycott of
connection with the tragedy. The report election to the new councils and refusal
of the committee also tried to white- by the voters to vote at the elections,
wash the conduct of the British officers. (iv) boycott of foreign goods and use of
This caused a lot of resentment in the swadeshi goods, (v) refusal to attend
minds of the people of India. official durbars, (vi) boycott of British
Khilafat Question: The Sultan of courts by lawyers and litigants and
Turkey was recognized by the Muslims instead establish Panchayats to solve
of India as their spiritual head. In the the disputes, (vii) refusal by soldiers,
First World War, Turkey had joined clerks and workers to serve in
hands with Axis powers. The Muslims Mesopotamia, (viii) popularisation of
had a suspicion that in case of defeat Charkha-plying and yarn-spinning, (ix)
of Axis powers Turkey could be promotion of communal harmony and
dismembered. In order to secure the (x) the removal of untouchability.
support of the Muslims of India the Progress of the Movement: The
British Government had assured that response to the programme of the Non-
no change would be made in the status cooperation Movement was very
of the Khalifa (the spiritual head of the
enthusiastic. Thousands of students
Muslims). But when the war was over
the British Government did not honour boycotted their educational insti-
its promise and dismembered Turkey. tutions. For their benefit several
This caused a lot of dissatisfaction in national educational institutions were
the minds of the Muslims of India. established. Even lawyers of great
24
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
standing and lucrative practice gave up caused a gap left in the leadership of
their profession and dedicated the Congress. The failure of the Non-
themselves to political work. A number co-operation Movement created
of people surrendered their official titles bitterness in the minds of the
and resigned from the honorary offices. Congressmen. There was confusion
Boycott of the elections for the newly and gloominess. The nation wanted a
constituted legislative councils was concrete programme and political
also, to a great extent, successful, guidance that were finally supplied by
though some moderate leaders, a set of leaders who had opposed
Zamindars and Jagirdars contested the Gandhiji’s boycott of councils. The
elections. The programme of boycott of Congress was split in two sections. One
foreign goods was very popular and section was opposed to any change in
people organised bonfire of foreign the programme of Non-co-operation
clothes and garments. while the other section wanted to make
Though the movement, by and large, a change in it. Their argument was that
was peaceful, yet a few stray incidents the boycott of the councils was an utter
of violence also took place. For instance, failure. The moderates and the
the Moplahs in Malabar district took reactionaries contested the elections
law in their own hands and killed not and occupied seats in the councils. As
only Europeans but also thousands of a result, the Congress failed in its
Hindus. Similarly, when the Prince of objective. This group, therefore, wanted
Wales landed in Bombay on 17th to change its strategy. Instead of
November 1921 there was a clash boycott, it wanted to contest elections,
between the loyalists, who turned up reach in the councils and obstruct its
to receive the Prince and the boycotters activities from within. In the beginning
which resulted in brick-batting and the no-changers dominated the scene,
outbreak of violence. But, violence but later on Gandhiji gave a green
reached at its zenith in Chauri Chaura signal to the changers on the condition
in U.P. when an excited mob attacked that they would contest the election as
a police outpost on February 5th, 1922 a part of the Congress organisation. As
and killed a few constables. Gandhiji, a result, the Swarajist Party was
apprehending similar troubles in other founded.
parts of the country, announced the Principles and Programmes of the
suspension of the Movement. Though Swarajist Party: The party wanted to
this caused a lot of resentment amongst contest elections, enter the councils and
the leaders and workers of the non-co-operate with the Government
Congress, nothing substantial could be from within the councils. If the party
done in the matter and the Movement would get majority in the councils they
came to an end. would reject the Government Bills, as a
result of which, the Governors would
Swarajist Party
be forced to use their extraordinary
The removal of Gandhiji from the powers of certification and put the
political scene because of his arrest, rejected Bills on statutory books.
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND ITS HERITAGE 25

Similarly, they would reject the budget Commission, two years earlier than the
and thereby force the Governors to use due time. As all the members of the
their extraordinary power of restoration Commission were English people, the
whereby the rejected budget would be Indian National Congress felt that it was
restored. In this way the party would an insult to the Indian people and
be able to expose the non-democratic decided to boycott it.
provisions of the Government of India The Commission was asked to
Act, 1919. In case they would not get enquire into the working of the
majority in the councils they would Government of India Act, 1919 and to
create obstructions in the passage of find out how successfully or otherwise
Bills and in the passing of Budgets. the dyarchy was working in the
They felt that as a result of their provinces. It was also to report on the
activities the moderates and the functioning of representative
reactionaries would fail in their mission institutions and whether it was
to co-operate with the Government. desirable or not to make further
Success and Work of Swarajist progress towards a fully responsible
Party: The Party contested the elections government.
in 1923 and secured clear majority in When the Commission landed in
the Central Legislative Assembly and in Bombay on February 7th, 1928 it was
the Legislative Councils of Bengal and greeted with black flags and wild
Central Provinces. In several other demonstrations. The same was
provinces, although it failed to get a repeated at every place the Commission
clear majority, they formed strong visited. In view of the disturbances all
opposition groups. Under the over the country, the government made
leadership of Moti Lal Nehru and C.R. an announcement to the effect that
Das, the party played a very important committees elected by central as well
role in the Councils and the Central as provincial legislatures would also be
Assembly. The party, in co-operation associated with the Commission. This,
with other groups in the Assembly, was however, did not satisfy the people.
able to secure the post of presiding The Commission submitted its
officer of the Central Assembly for report in May, 1930. Its main
Vitthal Bhai Patel. As a result of the re-commendations were as follows:
activities of the party, the Congressmen (i) abolition of dyarchy and introduction
got a good diversion and the Congress of provincial autonomy; (ii) the
remained in the lime light of people of Governors and the Governor-General
India. should be given special powers;
(iii) franchise should be extended to the
Simon Commission and its Report extent that at least 10-15 percent of the
In the Government of India Act, 1919, people should be able to get right to
there was a provision for the review of vote; (iv) retention of the communal
the working of the Act after the lapse of electorate and special representation of
ten years. The Government, however, the minorities; (v) introduction of
appointed a Commission, viz. Simon dyarchy at the Centre; and (vi) the
26
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Commission suggested the desirability freedom of faith, should be granted to
of the reconstitution of the central them; (vi) parliament should be
legislature on federal principle, having bicameral wherein the lower house viz.
representatives from all the provinces House of Representatives, should be
and those princely states which elected directly by the people on the
consented to join the proposed basis of adult franchise and the upper
federation, the method of election for house, viz., the Senate, should be
both the houses should be indirect. elected indirectly; (vii) the Governor-
Though the Report did not satisfy the General should act in accordance with
people and was bitterly criticized by the Constitution and his Executive
various leaders, it became the basis for Council should have a Prime Minister
the Government of India Act of 1935. and six ministers, who should be
collectively responsible to the Dominion
Nehru Committee and its Report Parliament; and (viii) a Supreme Court
In response to the challenge by the should be set up with the power to
Simon Commission to draft a interpret the Constitution and to decide
constitution acceptable to all the disputes between the provinces. There
parties, the All India National Congress should be no appeal against its
judgment to the Privy Council.
convened an All Parties Conference in
Though the All-Parties Conference at
February, 1928. Twenty-nine political
Lucknow accepted the Report
parties participated in it. The
unanimously, differences arose in
Conference appointed a committee almost all the parties when they began
under the presidentship of Motilal to scrutinise it separately. The Congress
Nehru to draft a constitution. accepted it only on the condition that
The main recommendations of the the British Government would accept
Committee are as follows: (i) dominion it in its entirety on or before 31st
status should be the immediate goal December 1929. In the event of its non-
and the government should be made acceptance by that date or its earlier
fully responsible; (ii) future constitution rejection, the Congress would
should be federal in nature wherein the organize non-violent, non-cooperation
provinces should be given as much movement and would declare complete
autonomy as was safely possible, independence as its goal.
residuary powers should reside with
the centre and the provincial Civil Disobedience Movement
legislatures should be unicameral; (1930-32)
(iii) communal electorate should be The Congress was fully dissatisfied with
done away with but there could be the way the government proceeded
reservation of seats for the minorities; with the Simon Commission. It was also
(iv) the state should be secular and not happy when the government
provide for cultural autonomy; rejected the Report of the Nehru
(v) sovereignty of people should be given Committee. There was a lot of discontent
a recognition and fundamental rights, amongst the peasants of Gujarat where
particularly the right to equality and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel led a
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND ITS HERITAGE 27

movement of the peasants against the summoned in 1930 to discuss the


arbitrary rule of the provincial scheme for future political reforms,
government. Similarly, there was wherein political parties and some top
discontent amongst the people of Bihar Indian leaders were invited to
because of the high handedness of the participate. The Congress party
provincial government. When the boycotted the Conference. The
communist leaders assumed the Conference, however, took some
leadership of peasants and workers, the important political decisions and
government put them behind the bars appointed various committees to
and tried them for sedition. As a result, workout the details.
Gandhiji felt that there was a need for a Gandhi-Irwin Pact (1931) and the
new popular movement against the Second Round Table Conference:
British rulers. He, therefore, launched the After the first Round Table Conference,
Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930. efforts were made to seek the
The movement resorted to all the Co-operation of Gandhiji and the
items of the programme of Non-co- Congress for the Second Round Table
operation Movement of 1919. In Conference. There were negotiations
addition a new item was added viz., between Gandhiji and Lord Irwin. As a
violation of salt law. The movement was result, there was an agreement between
launched by the famous Dandi march the two. The Congress decided to
of Gandhiji in March 1930. He marched postpone the Civil Disobedience
on foot from Sabarmati Ashram to the Movement and the Government
seashore and covered a distance of two promised to withdraw the suppressive
hundred miles in twenty-four days. measures and release the Satyagrahis.
Hundreds of Congress workers joined The Congress participated in the
him on his way to Dandi. During this Second Round Table Conference in
march there arose a new political which Gandhiji represented the
awakening amongst the masses of Congress. Though the presence of
India. In the beginning the Government Gandhiji created a lot of enthusiasm,
of India did not take the movement serious differences came to the floor of
seriously but when the movement the Conference – particularly on the
became very popular the government issue of representation of the Scheduled
adopted repressive measures. As a Castes. B. R. Ambedkar insisted on
result, thousands of Congressmen separate electorate and representation
offered for Satyagrah and all the jails of for the Scheduled Castes. Gandhiji did
India were filled with the Satyagrahis. not agree to it. The matter was
First Round Table Conference: ultimately left to the Prime Minister of
While the Congress was active with the England to give his decision in the
above-mentioned Movement in India matter.
there was a lot of activity going on in Communal Award and Poona Pact:
England. In accordance with the re- When the Prime Minister of England
commendations of Simon Commission, gave his award in favour of separate
a Round Table Conference was electorate and separate representation
28
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
for the Scheduled Castes, Gandhiji Thus, the Civil Disobedience Movement
opposed it and went on fast unto gradually came to an end.
death. This created a lot of anxiety
Quit India Movement (1942)
throughout the nation. Efforts were
made to bring a compromise between Most of the Indians were not surprised
Ambedkar and Gandhiji that resulted at the failure of the Cripps Mission.
in Poona Pact. According to this Pact it They felt that Cripps was sent to India
was agreed by Gandhiji and Ambedkar to mollify China and the U.S.A. who
to retain joint electorate but the were pressurising the U.K. to make
number of reserved seats for the honourable offer to India to meet its
Scheduled Castes, as fixed by the national demands. The British
award in the provincial legislature, was Government wanted to demonstrate
doubled and all the members of the to the world that it could not hand
Depressed Classes registered in the over power to Indians because of
general electoral roll in a constituency disunity amongst them. However, this
formed an electoral college. This small failure caused a sense of indignant
body was to elect a panel of four frustration amongst the masses. The
candidates for each of the reserved atmosphere was gloomy and inaction
seats by the method of single was suicidal. So Gandhiji evolved the
transferable vote. One of these idea of Quit India in his articles in the
candidates was to be elected for the ‘Harijan’.
reserved seat by the joint electorate. As Quit India Resolution: The Congress
a result of this agreement Gandhiji Working Committee approved the idea
broke his fast. and passed the famous Quit India
Resumption of Civil Disobedience Resolution. The resolution demanded
Movement (1932-34): Meanwhile the immediate, complete and
Gandhiji, after his return from the unconditional withdrawal by the
Second Round Table Conference, had British government regardless of the
already resumed Civil Disobedience consequences. The Congress Working
Movement. While on the one hand the Committee authorised Gandhiji to take
Satyagrahis were active in the the lead and guide the nation in the
Movement, the government was steps to be taken in the coming
resorting to repressive measures. In the struggle.
wake of the Communal Award and The Resolution was put before the All
Gandhiji’s fast, the movement became India Congress Committee on August
somewhat passive. Gandhiji took up 8, 1942 for its approval. While
the programme for removal of speaking on the resolution, Gandhiji
untouchability from society. His declared that it was a decision ‘to do or
followers also began to take active die’ and stated that it was going to be
interest in this programme. When a the last struggle of his life to win the
famine occurred in Bihar in 1934, the freedom of India.
workers of Congress began to take The Resolution was to be put before
active interest in the relief measures. the plenary session of the All India
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND ITS HERITAGE 29

National Congress on August 9, 1942. official recognition by the free


But, before it could be done, the governments of Japan, Germany, the
Government arrested all the top leaders Philippines, Korea, China and the Irish
of the Congress on the night of August Republic. Meanwhile the Japanese
8, 1942. This precipitated the crisis. In Army had invaded and conquered
the absence of the leaders, the people Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In
resorted to ‘hartals’, processions and 1943, the Japanese Government
meetings. These activities of the people handed over the administration of these
were suppressed ruthlessly. In the face Islands to Netaji Subhash Chandra
of such provocations, public, at some Bose who renamed them as ‘Shahid
places, resorted to violence. The Island’ and ‘Swarajya Island’
Congress Socialist Party, a left wing respectively. In 1944 Subhash attacked
organization within the Congress, and liberated some parts of north-
encouraged such activities by eastern India. But in 1945, world
interpreting the Quit India Resolution politics suddenly took an unexpected
in its own ways. In return, the turn. Germany laid down arms on 7th
Government started a veritable reign of May, 1945 and Japan had to surrender
terror. As a result thousands of people on 13th August, 1945 due to the
were injured, thousands were killed and dropping of two atom bombs on the
other thousands were arrested. In Japanese towns of Hiroshima and
about three months the Government Nagasaki. On receiving the news
succeeded in crushing this uprising. Subhash hurried from Bangkok by a
plane to Tokyo. It seems the plane
Indian National Army
crashed on the Formosa Island and
While on the national front people were nothing is known about the
actively involved in the Quit India whereabouts of Netaji. After the War
Movement, outside India, Subhash was over, the personnel of the Indian
Chandra Bose and his Indian National National Army were arrested. A trial of
Army were carrying on their activities three of its officers viz., Major General
for the liberation of India. Bose was a Shah Nawaz, Sehgal and Dhillon took
congressman who did not have much place in the Red Fort in which Jawahar
faith in the Congress cult of non- Lal Nehru, along with others, pleaded
violence. In 1941, on the advice of Vir the case of the accused. This generated
Sarvarkar, the revolutionary, he slipped interest not only among the masses but
away from India and reached Germany. also in the defence forces who appeared
On an invitation from Rasbehari Bose, to be in favour of the release of these
the famous revolutionary, he reached freedom fighters. As a result, the British
Japan to lead the Indian National Army. Government decided to set them free.
Rasbehari Bose formed the Army for It was a sign of changing times and
liberation of India. In 1943, Subhash indication of the loosening grip of the
Chandra Bose formed a Provisional British Government over the Indian
Government of Free India. It was given army.
30
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Mutiny in the Air Force and the certain norms of behaviour that have
Navy (1946) become our national heritage. The
For some time there prevailed norms can be summarized as follows:
discontent amongst the Indian soldiers (a) Peace and Non-violence: The
against their English officers. This Indian National Movement was
discontent reached such a stage that predominantly peaceful and non-
personnel in the Air Force in Karachi violent. Non-co-operation, civil
declared a strike on January 20, 1946. disobedience and satyagrah were the
The fire spread to the aerodromes at main weapons of this movement.
Bombay, Lahore and Delhi. Nearly Instead of using violent means it
5200 employees of the Air Wing struck resorted to win over the opposition by
work. The Naval forces followed suit. means of appealing to its good sense.
Nearly 5000 personnel of the Navy went (b) Democracy: From the very
on strike on February 19, 1946. They beginning our leaders were demanding
also displayed the badges of the Indian democratic reforms in India. They had
National Army on their breasts. The full faith in the universal adult franchise
strikers attacked the English officer in and opposed all sorts of discrimination
Bombay. When bullets were shot at based on caste, creed, colour, sex,
them, they also replied in bullets. All religion, race, place of birth etc. They
discipline was shattered. It was a fully supported the demand of
sufficient hint to the British that they inalienable fundamental rights of
should leave India before it was too late. human beings.
(c) Secularism : Our leaders were fully
Conclusion
committed to make India a secular
The above description makes it quite nation. Their concept of secularism,
clear that when British left India on however, was different from the concept
15th August, 1947 it was the prevalent in most of the European
cumulative effect of the various countries. They did not support the
nationalist forces that were active from anti-religious and non-interventionist
the mid nineteenth century. There is no
models of secularism. They had equal
doubt that major share goes to the
Indian National Congress which played respect for all religions and so their
a very important role in the national life secularism stood for ‘sarv dharm sam
of India, particularly after the advent bhav’.
of Gandhiji on the political scene, but (d) National Integration: Prior to the
the role played by the Extremist, the advent of the British, Indians lived in
Swarajists, the Revolutionaries, the harmony. The British adopted the
Indian National Army and the Mutiny policy of ‘divide and rule’ that aroused
of Air Force and Navy cannot be communal and sectional feelings. Our
ignored. leaders stood for equality of all people
Heritage of National Movement irrespective of any other consideration.
The leaders of the Indian National They laid emphasis on national
Movement, by their examples, have set integration of all sections of society.
INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND ITS HERITAGE 31

(e) Upliftment of Harijans: Our ‘gramodyog’ and use of ‘Khadi’ are the
leaders laid emphasis on social legacies of Gandhian era of our
equality. They did not believe in social liberation movement.
dis-crimination. Removal of un- (h) Rural upliftment: As India is
touchability was one of the main items predominantly a land of villages, our
of the constructive programme of the leaders fully supported the programme
Congress. Gandhiji founded the all of rural upliftment. This was also
India Harijan Sevak Sangh and included in the constructive programme
through a journal ‘Harijan’ he of the Congress.
propagated the cause of the Scheduled (i) Anti-racial: Our leaders were
Castes. In the later years of his life he always opposed to all forms of
used to stay in Harijan Colonies so that racialism. They always supported
all his countymen could emulate his those people who were fighting against
example for the upliftment of Harijans. racialism.
(f) Emancipation of Women: With the (j) Anti-Imperial and Anti-colonial:
entry of Gandhiji in Indian politics our The leaders of our national movement
leaders strongly supported the cause of have taken a consistent stand on
emancipation of women. Gandhiji
imperialism and colonialism. They
brought Indian women out of purdah.
always stood against all forms of foreign
Thousands of women participated
rule. They always supported those
actively in the freedom struggle. They went
people who were fighting for their
to jails and faced lathi charge as well as
liberation from imperial or colonial rule.
firing at the hands of the then rulers.
(g) Promotion of Cottage Industries: (k) Unity in Diversity: Our national
As our leaders stood for the cause of leaders strongly supported the cause
downtrodden and poor peasants, they of national unity but they did not
supported the policy of establishing and oppose diversities. In fact, they stood
promoting cottage industries. for unity in diversity. Their support for
Gandhiji’s ‘charkha’ became a symbol federal form of government was based
of cottage industries. Promotion of on this policy.

Exercises

1. Enumerate the causes that led to the birth of Indian National Congress.
2. Distinguish between the policies of the moderates and the extremists.
3. What are the causes that led to the growth of extremism in India?
4. Enumerate the causes that led to the rise of communalism in India.
5. Explain the programme of the Non-Co-operation Movement.
6. What were the policies and programmes of the Swarajist Party? To what extent
did it achieve its goal?
7. Describe, in brief, the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930-32 launched by
Gandhiji.
32
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
8. Describe the Quit India Movement of 1942.
9. Describe, in brief, the values inherited from the Indian National Movement.
10. Write notes on:
(a) Simon Commission and its Report
(b) Nehru Committee and its Report
(c) Policy of Divide and Rule
(d) Communal Electorate
Chapter 3
INDIAN CONSTITUTION —
PREAMBLE, SALIENT FEATURES
AND INDIAN FEDERATION
Preamble to the Indian for minorities; backward and tribal
areas, and depressed and other classes.
Constitution B.N Rau, the constitutional advisor
to the Constituent Assembly, prepared
a draft of the Preamble based on this
T he term preamble literally means
preface, preliminary statement or
introduction. The Preamble to the
Resolution. The Drafting Committee
considered this draft and after making
some changes adopted it at the stages
Indian Constitution deals with the aims of the working of the Constituent
and objectives, the targets and ideals; Assembly so that it was in conformity
and the basis and foundations of the with the constitutional provisions.
Indian Constitution. The Preamble states that “We, the
The Preamble is directly related to People of India, having solemnly
the Objective Resolution passed by the resolved to constitute India into a
Constituent Assembly on January Sovereign, Socialist, Secular,
22, 1947. Some of the important Democratic Republic and to secure to
provisions of the Resolution were as all its citizens; Justice – social,
follows : (1) This Constituent Assembly economic and political; Liberty of
declares its firm and solemn resolve to thought, expression, belief, faith and
proclaim India as an Independent worship; Equality of status and of
Sovereign Republic and to draw up for opportunity; and to promote among
the future governance a constitution; them all Fraternity assuring the dignity
(ii) wherein all power and authority of of the individual and the unity and
the Sovereign Independent India, integrity of the Nation; in our
its constituent parts and organs Constituent Assembly this twenty-
of government are derived from the sixth day of November, 1949, do
people; (iii) wherein shall be hereby Adopt, Enact and Give to
guaranteed and secured to all the Ourselves this Constitution”.
people of India justice – social, Now, if we analyse the Preamble, the
economic and political; equality of first thing that we note is that it refers
status, of opportunity, and before the to The People of India who have
law; freedom of thought, expression, adopted, enacted and given to
belief, faith, worship, vocation, themselves this Constitution. The
association and actions, subject to law implication of this terminology is that
and public morality, and (iv) wherein it declares the people of India to be the
adequate safeguards shall be provided sovereign authority. It is to be noted
34
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
that the leaders of our national Constitution (Forty Second
movement always emphasised the Amendment) Act, 1976. The term
sovereignty of Indian people. socialist indicates the incorporation
This Constitution was drafted and of the philosophy of socialism in
adopted by a Constituent Assembly the Constitution. It is to be remembered
that was not elected directly by the that K.T. Shah, a member of the
people. In fact, the Legislative Constituent Assembly proposed in the
Assemblies of the Indian Provinces Assembly, had the inclusion of this
elected it indirectly. The Assemblies term in the Preamble. But Nehru had
themselves were elected in 1946 strongly opposed it because according
according to the provisions of the to him, they had already provided for
Government of India Act, 1935. The Act the substance of economic democracy
had provided for a restricted franchise. in the Constitution in chapters on
Most of the representatives of the Fundamental Rights and Directive
princely states in the Constituent Principles of State Policy and there was
Assembly did not enjoy even this much no need for the inclusion of such terms
representative character. In spite of that were likely to be interpreted
these limitations, the Constituent differently by different people.
Assembly could be called real Similarly, there was also a proposal
representative of the people because it in the Constituent Assembly for
had representation of almost all shades inclusion of the term secular in the
of opinions. It was possible because of Preamble, but it was also opposed on
the magnanimity of those who ruled the ground that there was no fixed
over India then. They saw to it that all meaning attached to this term. However
sections of people of India have a place leadership, in 1976, felt the need for
in the Constituent Assembly. inclusion of this term in the Preamble.
It is noteworthy that the term
Another important feature of the
secular, as interpreted by the courts in
Preamble is that it aims at making India
India, means that ‘the State’ shall not
a sovereign, socialist, secular,
discriminate between different religions
democratic Republic. Sovereignty
and all shall be treated equally.
implies that India is absolutely free
The term democratic implies that the
from any other authority, internal or
Governments are elected and
external. Though some critics are of the accountable for their deeds to the
opinion that the membership of people of India. Elections have to be
the Commonwealth compromises held at regular intervals and people are
this status, yet it is not true. The allowed to exercise their franchise freely
Commonwealth has undergone a and fairly. It also means that there shall
sea-change from its original position prevail the rule of law and no one could
and now it is purely a voluntary act arbitrarily.
association of independent and The term Republic implies that the
sovereign States. Head of the State gets his office by
The terms socialist and secular were election by the people and not by
added in the Preamble by the hereditary claims.
INDIAN CONSTITUTION 35

The Preamble also aims at securing the dignity of the individual without any
to all citizens Justice: social, economic consideration of his status in society.
and political. Though it is not easy to Similarly, such a brotherhood should
give a precise meaning of the term also lead to the unity and integrity of
justice, by and large, it can be stated the nation.
that the idea of justice is equated with In nutshell, the Preamble aims at a
equity and fairness. Social justice, social order wherein the people would
therefore, would mean that all sections be sovereign, the government would be
of society, irrespective of caste, creed, elected by and accountable to people,
sex, place of birth, religion or language, the powers of the government shall be
would be treated equally and no one restricted by the rights of people and
would be discriminated on any of these people would have ample opportunities
grounds. Similarly, economic justice to develop their talents. Though the
would mean that all the natural Preamble is not technically enforceable
resources of the country would be through courts of law, it is useful in
equally available to all the citizens and interpreting the various provisions of
no one would suffer from any the Constitution and acts as a beacon
undeserved want. Similarly, Political in conflicting situations.
justice entitles all the citizens equal
political rights such as right to vote,
right to contest elections and right to Indian Constitution:
hold public office etc.
The Preamble also keeps liberty of Salient Features
thought, expression, belief, faith, and
worship as its ideals. It means that the
citizens would be free to follow a Introduction
religion of their own choice and express The salient features of the Indian
their views freely and frankly. ‘The Constitution are of two types. There are
State’ would not interfere in all these some features that are unique to this
matters. Constitution; no previous constitution
The Preamble also provides for possessed them, while there are others
equality of status and opportunity. It which, though not peculiar, are still
implies that all the citizens would be important characteristics.
able to make full use of their talents
UNIQUE FEATURES
without any interruption and develop
their personality to the maximum Framed by the People of India: This
extent possible. Constitution has been framed by the
Lastly, the Preamble also aims at representatives of the people of India
developing fraternity assuring the through a Constituent Assembly
dignity of individual and the unity and during 1946-1949. Prior to it, the
integrity of the nation. It means that British Parliament enacted all the
the common brotherhood, to be constitutions. The Constituent
developed in India, would be based on Assembly, however, was elected
36
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION

indirectly by the Provincial Legislative sea-change. It is now purely a voluntary


Assemblies that were themselves association of independent sovereign
elected on a restricted franchise. The States.
representatives of the princely states Republican Polity: The Constitution
were the nominees of their rulers. In provides for the republican form of
spite of it, the Constituent Assembly polity in India. Prior to it, the British
could be called a representative body king was the Head of the State who
because the then ruling party at the owed his office to the laws of
Centre had decided to give re- inheritance. It is note-worthy that in
presentation to all sections of society as Ancient India there existed republican
well as to all shades of opinion. governments in a number of parts for
Derived from Various Sources: It is about one thousand years. But in
a unique document that was derived modern times there was not a single
from various sources. Our constitution territory where republican form of
makers were inspired to draft the government prevailed.
provisions regarding Fundamental Secular Polity: This Constitution
Rights and Supreme Court from the provides for a secular polity in India.
U.S.A, Directive Principles of State Though the term secular has not been
Policy from Ireland, Emergency from defined in the Constitution anywhere,
Germany, Distribution of legislative the substance of secularism can be
powers from Canada, and deduced from various provisions of the
Parliamentary Institutions from the Constitution. It has been used in the
United Kingdom. Besides, they sense of absence of discrimination on
borrowed extensively from the grounds of religion and equal respect
Government of India Act, 1935. for all religions. Prior to it, the
Sovereignty of the People: The Government of India Act, 1935 had
Constitution declares the people of provided for a separate department of
India to be the supreme authority. Prior Ecclesiastical Affairs.
to it, the supreme authority lay in the Fundamentals Rights and Duties:
British Parliament. Even the Indian The Constitution provides for
Independence Act, 1947 through Fundamental Rights and Fundamental
which India got independence Duties of the citizens of India. No
recognized the supremacy of the British previous constitution provided for
Parliament. The term Sovereignty them. The leaders of the Indian National
implies that the people of India are not Movement always demanded for the
subordinate to any other external inclusion of Fundamental Rights in
agency. The membership of the the Constitution of India. The
Commonwealth of Nations, sometimes, Constitution initially did not provide for
is misinterpreted as a limitation on the Fundamental Duties. This provision
sovereignty of the people of India. This, was inserted in the Constitution
however, is not correct. The through the Constitution (Forty Second
Commonwealth has now undergone a Amendment) Act, 1976.
INDIAN CONSTITUTION 37

Directive Principles of State Policy: and States) as well as of the activities of


The Constitution provides for the the executives (Union and State). Prior
Directive Principles of State Policy. No to it, there was no such provision. This
previous constitution had such a provision keeps the legislative and the
provision. Though the Instrument executive branches of governments
of Instructions attached to the under restraint and they cannot
Government of India Act, 1935, appears exercise their authority arbitrarily.
to be analogous to the Directives, the Universal Adult Franchise: It
aims and objects of the two are very provides for the universal adult
different. It is to be noted that the franchise. Prior to it all the constitutions
leaders of the Indian National provided for restricted franchise.
Movement had made various promises According to the Government of India
regarding the Fundamental Rights that Act, 1935, which granted the largest
the citizens of free India would enjoy. amount of franchise, only 14% of the
But when India got independence in people had a right to vote. It is
1947, the leaders realised that they did noteworthy that most of the western
not possess sufficient means to grant democracies had taken a number of
those rights, particularly economic and decades to grant such a right to their
social rights, immediately. But at the citizens. It is really a very revolutionary
same time they did not want to go back step taken by the Constituent Assembly
upon their promises. They, therefore, to grant universal adult franchise by a
decided to put the Fundamental Rights stroke of pen.
into two categories: (i) those that were Recognition of Hindi as an Official
granted immediately and (ii) those that Language: The Constitution
would be granted in future if and when recognises Hindi as the official language
they were capable to do so. The first of the Indian Union. Prior to it, English
were included in Chapter Ill entitled was the only official language of India.
Fundamental Rights and the second Besides Hindi, the Constitution also
were included in Chapter IV entitled recognises seventeen other Indian
Directive Principles of State Policy. The languages as regional languages.
rights included in Chapter IV are non- Unique Blend of Rigidity and
enforceable through courts of law but Flexibility: The Constitution provides
they are the fundamental principles of for an amending procedure. Prior to
governance which ‘the State’ (i.e. the it, there was no provision for an
Government and Parliament of India; amendment of the prevalent
the Government and the Legislature of constitution. The British Parliament
each of the States and all local or other alone was entitled to do it. The
authorities within the territory of India procedure for an amendment is a
or under the control of Government of unique blend of rigidity and flexibility.
India) is required to take cognisance of. Some provisions of the Constitution can
Judicial Review: The Constitution be amended by simple majority of the
provides for the judicial review of the two Houses of Parliament, though
Acts of Legislatures (of both, the Union technically they are not treated as
38
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
amendments in the constitution, others Provincial Autonomy, but there were so
require absolute majority of the total many restraints laid down that full
strength of the two Houses of Parliamentary Democracy could not be
Parliament and two-thirds majority of evolved. In a parliamentary democracy
the members present and voting and elections are held at regular intervals
still others require an additional for choosing the representatives of the
support by half of the States’ people. The representatives control the
legislatures. For instance, a change in executive and the Council of Ministers
the name or territory of a State can be who in turn is collectively responsible
made through an ordinary law enacted to them.
by the two Houses of Parliament; Federal Form of Polity: It provides
whenever there is a change proposed for a federal form of polity. Though the
in the federal character of the Government of India Act, 1935, had
Constitution, absolute majority of the also provided for the establishment of
total strength of the two Houses of a federal form of government, due to
Parliament and two-thirds majority of strong opposition, particularly from the
the members present and voting and princely states, it could not take a
also ratification by at least half the State practical shape. Even after the
Legislatures is required; in all other establishment of a federal form of
matters a resolution passed by an government, according to the provisions
absolute majority of the two Houses of of the Constitution, there are critics who
Parliament and two-thirds majority of are dissatisfied with it as it is fully loaded
the members present and voting is with strong centralising tendencies. In
sufficient for any change in the fact, some critics go to the extent of calling
Constitution. it a Unitary Constitution with some
Federal features rather than a Federal
Other Features Con-stitution with strong unitary
Comprehensive Document: It is a tendencies.
comprehensive document having Affirmative Action: The Constitution
395 Articles and twelve Schedules. provides for affirmative action by the
Originally there were only State to improve the conditions of the
eight Schedules. Later on, various weaker sections of society by providing
Constitution Amendment Acts added reservations in the legislatures and
four new Schedules. Prior to it, the government jobs. Prior to it the Indian
Government of India Act, 1935, was Councils Act, 1909, the Government of
also an extensive document having India Act, 1919, and the Government
321 Sections and ten Schedules. of India Act, 1935, also had provided
Parliamentary Democracy: for the policy of reservation.
It provides for a full-fledged Emergency Provisions: The
Parliamentary Democracy. Prior to it, Constitution makes provisions for
steps were taken in this direction, national emergency, failure of
particularly by the Government of constitutional machinery and financial
India Act, 1935, which provided for emergency. Prior to it the Government
INDIAN CONSTITUTION 39

of India Act, 1935, also had, more or the Government of India Act, 1935 also
less, similar provisions. By national had provided for such Agencies. Some
emergency we mean an emergency of the Agencies, provided by the
which is declared when the President Constitution are as follows:
is satisfied that the security of India (i) Election Commission for conducting
or of any part thereof is threatened free and fair elections of the Union
by war or external aggression or and States’ Legislatures and of the
armed rebellion, he may proclaim President and Vice President of
an emergency. In such a situation India. Provisions have been made
the federal character of the Consti- to make the members of the
tution takes the shape of a unitary Commission free from executive
constitution. control.
By failure of constitutional (ii) Comptroller and Auditor General to
machinery we mean a situation where keep a watch on the finances and
President feels satisfied that it is not accounts of the Union and States.
possible to carry on the Government of Provisions have been made to keep
a State according to the provisions of him free from any control of the
the Constitution, he can impose executive of the Union or States.
President’s rule in that State. The (iii) Union and State Public Service
executive authority of the State Commissions to conduct
becomes subordinate to the Union examinations and interviews for
executive and the legislative authority recommending candidates for
of the State becomes subordinate to appointments in higher services in
Parliament. both the Centre and the States.
By financial emergency we mean a
situation when the financial stability of
the nation or of any part thereof is at Indian Federation and
stake, then President may declare a
financial emergency. Such a its working
declaration authorises the President to
issue directions to States with regard
Introduction
to the way they must manage their
financial affairs. It also authorises As stated earlier, the Government of
President to reduce salaries, allowances India Act 1935, for the first time,
etc., of all such office holders who get provided for a federal form of
them from Consolidated Fund of India government in India. But due to strong
and ordinarily are not subject to opposition, particularly from the
reduction. princely states, it could not come into
existence. Our constitution makers,
Independent Agencies however, were not discouraged by the
The Constitution also provides for some past experience and again provided for
Independent Agencies to perform it in the new Constitution. There are,
functions allotted to them. Prior to it, however, different opinions regarding
40
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
the character of our polity. Some people principle. Then the question arises: are
are of the opinion that it is a federal we to confine the term ‘federal’ only to
polity with strong unitary tendencies, such polities where the ‘federal
while there are others who feel that it is principle’ has been applied completely
primarily a unitary polity with some and without any exception? According
federal features. Prof. K. C. Wheare, to Wheare exceptions are permissible
who is regarded as an authority on the provided ‘federal principle’ is retained
subject, calls it a quasi-federal polity. predominantly.
It is, therefore, necessary to know as to Now, if we look at the federal
what are the features of a federal polity principle we find that following are the
and then examine whether Indian polity most essential features:
can be termed as federal or not. There should be a clear-cut division
Generally speaking, when two or of power between the central (federal or
more than two independent states union) government and the
having some common features, which governments of the units (i.e, states or
bind them together, combine them- provinces). This division must be done
selves, through a written agreement, to by a common agreement in writing. In
form a new common state, to achieve
other words. there should be a written
some common goal, by assigning
constitution that should be the source
sovereign powers to it in certain
of power of both the federal and the
subjects, in which it has an exclusive
state governments. This agreement, i.e.
jurisdiction, while retaining all other
constitution cannot be changed
subjects with themselves, they are
unilaterally by either federal or state
supposed to have formed a federal
Governments. In other words, the
polity.
constitution should be rigid. There
Now, if we apply the above criteria
strictly, very few federal polities in the should be supremacy of the
world would stand the test. The constitution. This means that all the
question then is: what are the essential authorities of the union and states,
elements without which no polity can such as legislature, executive and
be called federal? Prof. K. C. Wheare in judiciary should be subject to the
his work ‘Federal Government’ refers authority of the constitution. There
about the ‘federal principle’ without should be an impartial judiciary, such
which no polity can be called ‘federal’. as Federal/Supreme Court, to decide
According to him when “the field of disputes between different governments
government is divided between the (i.e. federal and state or state and state)
federal and state governments, neither and give interpretations of the
of which is subordinate to the other, but constitution in case of any dispute.
are coordinate and independent within Let us examine the provisions of the
the sphere allotted to them”, then this Indian Constitution in the light of the
arrangement represents the federal above criteria.
INDIAN CONSTITUTION 41

Division of Power: There is a clear- than one State on the other, or between
cut division of power between the Union one State on the one hand and another
and States. Seventh Schedule of the State or more than one State on the
Constitution provides for three lists (i) other.
the Union list comprises 97 subjects It is, thus, clear that the Indian
wherein the Union government has Constitution possesses almost all the
exclusive jurisdiction; (ii) the State list essential characteristics of a federal
has 66 subjects wherein the States have polity. But then there are certain factors
exclusive jurisdiction, while (iii) the that deviate from the generally accepted
Concurrent list has 47 subjects norms of federalism. They can be
wherein both the Union and States summarised as follows:
have jurisdiction but in case of conflict (a) Ordinarily, in a federal form of
between the two, law of the Union government, the Units of federation
prevails. have their own identity and their
Written Constitution: The source of own constitution which they can
power of both the Governments, Union change as per their requirements,
and States, is the written constitution but in India it is not so. The
enacted by the Constituent Assembly. Parliament of India can change not
Rigidity of the Constitution: The only the territories of a State, but
procedure of amending the also its name through an ordinary
Constitution regarding the federal law. The States do not have a
principle is rigid. It requires not only separate constitution of their own
the absolute majority of the members and cannot make any change in the
of the two Houses of Parliament and Constitution by themselves.
two-thirds majority of the members (b) The distribution of powers heavily
present and voting but also tilts in favour of the Union. The
endorsement of the Legislatures of at Union list comprises the largest
least half the States. number of items. In the Concurrent
Supremacy of the Constitution: The list also the Centre supercedes the
Constitution is supreme. All the powers of the States. Thus the
authorities of the Union and States such Centre dominates in about
as Legislatures, Executives and two-thirds of the total number of
Judiciary, get their powers from the subjects of the three lists together.
Constitution and are subordinate to it. Some of the items in the Concurrent
Impartial Judiciary: The Cons- list, such as ‘economic and social
titution provides for a Supreme Court planning’ or ‘social security’ etc. are
which is the highest authority in India of such potentiality that they can
regarding the interpretation of the substantially minimize the powers
Constitution. It possesses Original of the State Legislatures. In fact, the
jurisdiction in disputes arising between Planning Commission, which is an
Union on the one hand a State or more extra constitutional body, plays a
42
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
very vital role in the distribution of it deems necessary, without the
finances under the Five Year Plans. concurrence of States. In fact, some
Not only this, generally in a classical times it deploys them against the
federation the residuary powers wishes of and in spite of protest by
belong to the States but in India the State governments. It is
they belong to the Union. noteworthy that the Opposition
(c) Even in the State list the protests such moves of the Centre
Constitution permits the Union but when it suits (for instance, on
Legislature to enact a law if the Ayodhya and Gujarat issues) it
Upper House of Parliament (Rajya demands for such a deployment.
Sabha), passes a resolution, (f) Governors of the States are
supported by not less than two- appointed by President and they
thirds of the members present and hold their office during his pleasure
voting, that it is necessary or and to the extent they exercise their
expedient in the national interest powers in their discretion, are
that Parliament should make a law answerable to him.
with respect to any matter (g) The Union Government is
enumerated in the State list, it empowered to issue administrative
would be competent for Parliament directions to the States in relation
to make law for the States with to certain matters (such as to
respect to that matter to be ensure compliance with the laws
operative for such period, not made by Parliament or such as not
exceeding one year, as may be to impede or prejudice the exercise
specified therein. The operation of of the executive power of the Union).
such legislation can be extended for The directions are binding on the
an additional period of one year at States. The Constitution provides
a time by resolution of Rajya Sabha adequate means for securing the
passed in the same manner as the compliance with the directions by
first resolution. the States. Non-compliance can be
(d) Not only this, laws passed by the treated as a failure of the
State Legislature, on a subject on constitutional machinery and
the state list, may be reserved for entitle the President to impose,
the consideration of the President what in common parlance is called,
by the Governor; some of them have President’s rule in that State.
to be specifically reserved and some (h) The Constitution has distributed
of them cannot be even introduced the financial resources in such a way
or moved in the State Legislature that States have to seek grants from
without the previous sanction of the the Union Government. The
President. President of India also appoints the
(e) Though Law and Order is a State Finance Commission of India, which
subject, the Centre deploys Central recommends allocation of such
Reserve Police in States, whenever grants.
INDIAN CONSTITUTION 43

(i) During a period of Emergency freedom to every citizen to settle


(declared under Article 352 of the down in any part of India.
Constitution) the Union Parliament (m) Normally, in a federation, there
can make laws in relation to matters prevails dual judicial system. The
in the State list, give directions to Federal Courts are separate from
States as to how they should the State Courts and the States have
exercise their authority in matters their own highest courts against
which are within their charge, whose judgments there is no appeal
empower the Union officers to in any other court. But, in India
exercise executive authority on there is unified judicial system
matters in the State list and where the Supreme Court of India
suspend the financial provisions of is the highest court of appeal, both
the Constitution. in the Union and the States’
(j) In case of failure of constitutional subjects.
machinery in a State (under Article (n) Ordinarily in federations, there is
356 of the Constitution) the separation of public services. The
President can assume all the Federal Government has its own
functions of the Government of the public services while the states have
State, including the powers of the their own distinct services. But in
Governor, but not the powers of the India, there are All India services.
High Court. He can also authorize The personnel of these services,
the Parliament to exercise the though assigned to a particular
powers of the State legislature. State, are called on deputation by
(k) Similarly, in case of financial the Union Government for a fixed
emergency (declared under Article period. This develops a spirit of
360 of the Constitution) he can common brotherhood amongst
issue necessary directions, them and thus weakens the federal
including orders for the reduction principle.
of salaries and allowances of public The above description makes it quite
servants belonging to the Union and clear that the constitution makers
the States. All Money Bills, passed intended to make the Centre very
by the State Legislature during strong. The distribution of legislative,
such an emergency, are also executive and judicial powers between
subject to the control of the Union. the Centre and the States amply proves
(l) Ordinarily, in a federation there it. During emergency the federal polity
prevails dual citizenship, the virtually becomes unitary in character.
citizenship of the Union and that of The question then arises as to why the
the State. But in India there is no constitution makers were reluctant to
such provision. The Constitution accept the norms of federal principle.
provides for single citizenship. In The following factors are responsible for
fact, in India the Constitution grants it: (i) When the Constituent Assembly
44
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
was drafting the Constitution, there Government. The feeling of Indian
prevailed anarchic conditions in India. nationalism inspired the people. In fact,
Communal forces were very active due the election of Provincial Legislative
to the partition of India. Communist Assemblies in 1946 was fought and
forces were also active in some parts of won by the Indian National Congress
India. In some areas of Warangal and on the platform of ‘United India’.
Nalgoda districts the writ of the Madras Not only Congress, almost all the
Government did not prevail. There was political parties then, were inspired and
some talk in the news papers of those guided by the strong feeling of
days about a plot of seceding some nationalism.
parts of India and joining hands with (iii) There is a general trend in favour
the then East Pakistan (Bangladesh) to of centralization in almost all the
form an independent BangIa speaking federations in the world. The
nation. The States, it was felt, would not development in modem means of
be able to face such challenges. transportation and communications
(ii) At the time of independence, India and technological developments all
had a decentralised unitary form of favour this trend.

Exercises

1. What do you mean by the term Preamble?


2. Examine, in brief, the aims and objectives of the Constitution as laid down in
the Preamble.
3. Describe, in brief, the salient features of the Indian Constitution.
4. When and how a federation is formed?
5. Describe the distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the
States.
6. What are the federal features of the Indian Constitution? Explain.
7. Examine the unitary tendencies in the Indian federation?
8. Write short notes on :
(a) Secular Polity
(b) Universal Adult Franchise
(c) Independent Agencies in the Indian Constitution
Chapter 4
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, FUNDAMENTAL
DUTIES AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES
OF STATE POLICY

Fundamental Rights M. Venkatarangaiah to the Sapru


Committee and the Sapru Committee
Proposals provided for various
Introduction Fundamental Rights that the people of
free India should get.
M
‘ an partly is and wholly hopes to
be a god’. If proper environment
is made available to a man he can
The Fundamental Rights that are
provided in the Constitution can be
develop the godly qualities in him. divided into six categories that are as
Rights provide that environment. follows:
Rights have been described as those Right to Equality (Articles 14-18):
claims of an individual that are There are five Articles in the
necessary for the development of his Constitution relating to it. Article 14
ownself and recognized by society or provides for equality before law or equal
State. Some of the rights that are protection of law to all persons within
recognized by the State and enshrined the territory of India. Article 15 prohibits
in the Constitution are called ‘the State’ from discriminating between
Fundamental Rights. Fundamental citizens and citizens on grounds of
Rights are those rights of an individual religion, race, caste, sex or place of
that are enforceable through courts of birth. Article 16 provides for equality
law. of opportunity to all citizens in matters
During the national struggle our of public employment. Article 17
leaders indicated that in the provides for abolition of untouchability.
constitutional set up in free India Article 18 provides for abolition of titles.
people would be granted certain rights. These rights, however, do not
In fact, in the various schemes relating prohibit the ‘State’ from making special
to future constitutional set up, there provisions in the interest of women,
were references of particular rights that children, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled
the people of India should be granted. Tribes and socially and educationally
The Commonwealth of India Bill backward classes. Similarly, residential
(1925), the Nehru Committee Report qualifications may be prescribed for
(1928), the memorandum of the appointments in the services of the
National Trade Union Federation States.
submitted to the Joint Committee on The purpose of this category of
Indian Constitutional Reforms (1932- Fundamental Rights is to establish rule
33), the Memorandum submitted by of law in India; that is to say, all the
46
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
citizens should be treated equally before freedom to form associations or
law, no one should get any privilege or unions is also subject to reasonable
earn any disability on grounds of restrictions in the interest of the
religion race, caste, sex or place of birth sovereignty and integrity of India or
etc. It aims at abolition of feudal public order or morality.
inequalities prevalent in society. Freedom to move freely thro-ughout
Right to Freedom (Articles 19-22): the territory of India and the freedom
There are 4 Articles in this category to reside and settle in any part of the
of Fundamental Rights. Article 19 territory of India are, similarly, subject
provides for six freedoms:(i) freedom to reasonable restrictions in the interest
of speech and expression, (ii) freedom of general public or for the protection
to assemble peaceably and without of the interest of any Scheduled Tribe.
arms, (iii) freedom to form Asso- Freedom to practice any prof-ession,
ciations or Unions, (iv) freedom to to carry on any occupation, trade or
move freely throughout the territory business are also, similarly, subject to
of India, (v) freedom to reside and reasonable restrictions in the interest
settle in any part of the territory of of the general public. ‘The State’ is also
India and (vi) freedom to practise any permitted to lay down the professional
profession or to carry on any or technical qualifications necessary
occupation, trade or business. for practicing any profession or carrying
The purpose of this Article is to on any occupation, trade or business.
provide a proper atmosphere for the Now, if we look at the restrictions
proper functioning of democracy in imposed on these freedoms, we feel that
India. Reasonable restrictions, however, these restrictions are necessary.
can be imposed on these freedoms by Without these restrictions chaos may
‘the State’. prevail in society. There was, however,
Reasonable restrictions can be one fear that ‘the State’ may misuse its
imposed by ‘the State’ on the freedom powers. In order to remove this fear, the
of speech and expression in the interest Constitution provides that the
of the sovereignty and integrity of India, restrictions should be reasonable. The
the security of ‘the State’, friendly reasonableness is to be decided by the
relations with foreign states, public courts of law and not by the
order, decency or morality or in relation government.
to contempt of court, defamation or Article 20 provides for protection in
incitement to an offence. These respect of convictions for offences.
restrictions clearly exhibit that in the According to this Article no one can be
name of freedom of speech and convicted for an act that was not an
expression one cannot get a license. offence at the time of its commission,
Reasonable restrictions can be and no one can be given punishment
imposed on the freedom to assemble greater than what was provided in law
peaceably and without arms in the prevalent at the time of its commission.
interest of the sovereignty and integrity It also provides that no one can be
of India or public order. Similarly prosecuted and punished for the same
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES, DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY 47

offence more than once and no one can impose compulsory service for any
be forced to give witness against his public purpose.
ownself. Article 24 prohibits employment of
Article 21 provides for the protection children, below the age of 14 years, in
of life and personal liberty. According factories or mines or in any other
to this Article no one can be deprived hazardous employment.
of his life or personal liberty except The purpose of this Right is to protect
according to the procedure established the people from exploitation. It is to be
by law. noted that the term ‘traffic in human
Article 22 provides for protection being’ means a trade in which men or
against arrest and detention in certain women are sold and purchased as
cases. According to this Article material goods.
whenever a person is arrested, he Right to Freedom of Religion
should be informed, as soon as may be, (Articles 25-28): There are four
of the grounds for his arrest and should Articles in this Right. Article 25 relates
be allowed to consult and to be to freedom of conscience and free
defended by, a legal practitioner of his profession, practice, and propagation
choice. It also provides that the arrested of religion. According this Article, every
person should be produced before the one is free to follow his own conscience
nearest magistrate within a period of 24 and follow and practice any religion of
hours of such an arrest excepting a his own choice. However, ‘the State’ has
person who has been arrested under a the power to regulate any economic,
preventive detention law. financial, political or other secular
A person arrested, under a preventive activity associated with religious
detention law is not, however, helpless. practice. ‘The State’ can also impose
His case has to be referred to an restrictions on this Right on grounds
Advisory Board, consisting of persons of public order, morality and health.
having qualifications fit for ‘The State’ is also empowered to provide
appointment as a Judge of a High for social welfare and can also throw
Court, within a period of three months open the Hindu religious institutions
of his arrest. He can be retained in of public character to all classes and
detention beyond three months only sections of Hindus.
when the Advisory Board approves it. It is clear from the above that ‘the
It is clear from the above that the State’ in India generally does not
constitution makers wanted to protect interfere in the religious affairs of
the people from the arbitrary rule of the any community. But it can interfere
executive. on grounds of public order,
Right Against Exploitation (Articles morality, health or any other secular
23-24): There are two Articles regarding requirement.
this Right. Article 23 protects the Article 26 provides for freedom to
people from forced labour. This Article manage religious affairs. According
prohibits traffic in human beings and to this Article every religious deno-
forced labour. However, ‘the State’ can mination is free to establish and manage
48
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
institutions for religious and charitable this Article any minority having a
purposes and acquire and manage distinct language, script or culture of
property for running such institutions. its own has a right to conserve it. No
However, ‘the State’ can impose citizen of India can be denied admission
restrictions on this freedom on grounds to any educational institution
of public order, morality and health. maintained by ‘the State’ or receiving
Article 27 provides for freedom as to aid out of ‘the State funds’ on grounds
payment of taxes for promotion of any only of religion, race, caste, language
particular religion. According to this or any of them.
Article no one can be forced to pay a Article 30 provides for the right of
tax the proceeds of which are utilized minorities to establish and administer
to promote or maintain a particular educational institutions of their own. If
religion. ‘the State’ acquires any property of any
According to Article 28 no religious educational institution established and
instruction can be provided in any administered by a minority, it can be
educational institution that is done by providing such compensation
maintained wholly out of the ‘State’ as would not restrict or abrogate the
funds. However, such restriction will right of the minorities. ‘The State’
not operate in educational institutions shall not discriminate against any
that have been established under an educational institution, owned or
endowment or trust which requires that managed by a minority, while giving
religious instruction shall be imparted grants, simply because it is a minority
in such institutions. institution.
Article 28 also provides that no
Right to Constitutional Remedies
person can be required to take part in
any religious instruction that may be Article 32 provides for the security of
imparted or to attend any religious the Fundamental Rights. The Supreme
worship that may be conducted in Court, under this Article, is empowered
educational institutions recognized by to issue directions, orders or writs for
‘the State’ or receiving aid out of “the the enforcement of the Fundamental
State’ funds. Rights granted under this Part of the
It is clear from the above that these Constitution. The Article particularly
Articles aim at giving Indian polity mentions the writs of habeas corpus,
a secular character. The secular mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto
character of Indian polity, however, is and certiorari.
different from secularism as prevalent Habeas Corpus: This writ is, in form,
in other countries of the world. ‘The an order issued by the court calling
State’ in India is neither religious nor upon the person/authority by whom a
anti- religious. It is also not non- person is alleged to be kept; without
interventionist. legal justification, in confinement, to
Cultural and Educational Rights bring such a person before the Court
(Articles 29-30): Article 29 protects and to let the Court know on what
the interests of minorities. According to ground the person is confined. If there
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES, DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY 49

is no legal justification for the detention, It is to be further noted that


the person is ordered to be released. Parliament may, by law, empower any
Mandamus: This writ is a judicial other court without prejudice to the
remedy which is in the form of an order powers of the Supreme Court, to
from the Court to any government, exercise within the local limits of its
court, corporation or public authority jurisdiction all or any of the powers
to do or to refrain from doing some exercisable by the Supreme Court
specific act which that body is obliged under Article 32(1).
under law to do or refrain from doing, Some Noteworthy Features of the
as the case may be, and which is in the Fundamental Rights: It is to be noted
nature of a public duty and in certain that there are some noteworthy features
cases a statutory duty. of the Fundamental Rights. They can
Prohibition: This writ commands the be summarized as follows:
court or tribunal to whom it is issued (a) The Fundamental Rights are of two
to refrain from doing something that it categories. Some are available to
is about to do. citizens only while others are
Quo Warranto: This writ is issued to available to all persons, citizens as
prevent a person who has wrongfully well as non-citizens. The rights
usurped an office from continuing in granted under Articles 15, 16, 19
that office. The writ calls upon the and 29 are available to citizens only
holder of the office to show to the court while all other rights are available
under what authority he holds the to all persons, citizens as well as
office. If the court determines that the non-citizens.
person is holding the office illegally, it (b) The Fundamental Rights are
would pass the order of ouster that available against ‘the State’ as
must be obeyed by him. defined in Article 12 of the
Certiorari: This writ is issued to Constitution. This means that the
inferior courts, tribunals or authority Fundamental Rights are available
to transmit to it the record of only against the executive and
proceedings pending with them for the legislative branches of the
scrutiny and, if necessary, for quashing governments and not against the
the same. It is to be noted that the High judicial branch. They are not
Courts of the States are also empowered available against the private
to issue such writs (under Article 226 persons also.
of the Constitution). If any party goes (c) Similarly, Parliament has the power
to a High Court for the enforcement of to determine, by law, the extent to
his Fundamental Rights, then he cannot which the Fundamental Rights are
go simultaneously to the Supreme available to the personnel of the
Court as well. In such a situation, he armed forces and those connected
can go to the Supreme Court only in with intelligence agencies.
an appeal against the judgment of the (d) When there is a Proclamation of
High Court. Emergency under Article 352 on
50
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
grounds of war or external the beginning the Supreme Court
aggression (but not on ground of was of the opinion that the restriction
armed rebellion) the operation of imposed by Article 13 did not
Article 19 (i.e. the Right to Freedom) apply in the case of Constitution
remains suspended. (Amendment) Act. However, later on,
The President can suspend operation the attitude of the Supreme Court
of other Rights (excluding the Rights changed. It was of the view that the
under Articles 20 and 21 i.e. Protection restriction applied to Constitution
in Respect of Conviction for Offences (Amendment) Act as well. This
and Protection of Life and Personal created a lot of controversy. In order
Liberty) also by a separate order (issued to remove this controversy, the
under Article 359) during the Parliament passed the Constitution
prevalence of Emergency. (Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Act,
(e) The Parliament is also empowered, 1971. This Act clearly states that the
by making a law, to indemnify any restrictions imposed by Article 13
person, in the service of ‘the State’, would not apply to the Constitution
in respect of any act done by him in (Amendment) Act. The validity of
connection with the maintenance or this Constitution (Twenty-Fourth
Amendment) Act of 1971 was
restoration of order in any area
challenged in Keshwanand Bharti’s
where martial law is in force.
case. In this case the Supreme Court
(f) Initially in the Constitution there
declared the Amendment Act as
was one more category of
valid. It means that the restriction
Fundamental Rights viz, Right to
imposed by Article 13 does not
Property that was omitted by
apply to a Constitution (Amendment)
the Constitution (Forty-Fourth Act. But, the Supreme Court added
Amendment) Act, 1978. This Right a rider to it. It stated that Parliament
has created lots of problems for ‘the may amend any provision of the
State’. As it came in conflict with the Constitution that takes away or
programme of socio- economic abridges any of the Fundamental
reforms of the then government, it Right but it cannot change the basic
was removed from the list of structure of the Constitution The
Fundamental Rights and made a Supreme Court, however, did not
legal right, thereby losing the clearly lay down as to what were the
special status and protection of a basic structures; though it did give
Fundamental Right. some illustrations which are as
(g) Article 13 states that any law that follows: (i) supremacy of the
takes away or abridges any of the Constitution, (ii) republican and
Fundamental Rights would be void. democratic form of government, (iii)
But a question arose as to what secular character of the Constitution
would happen if a Constitution (iv) separation of powers between the
(Amendment) Act is passed which legislature; the executive and the
provides for taking away or judiciary and (v) federal character of
abridging a Fundamental Right. In the Constitution.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES, DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY 51

It is, however, to be noted that the (3) To uphold and protect the
list given above is illustrative and not sovereignty, unity and integrity of
exhaustive. It is the Court that will India.
determine in each case whether a (4) To defend the country and render
particular feature of the Constitution national service when called upon
can be termed as ‘basic’ or not. to do so.
(5) To promote harmony and the
spirit of common brotherhood
Fundamental Duties amongst all the people of India
transcending religious, linguistic
and regional or sectional
Introduction diversities; to renounce’ practices
In modern times generally there is no derogatory to the dignity of
provision for Fundamental Duties in women.
the constitutions of the world. There are (6) To value and preserve the rich
hardly a few constitutions that have heritages of our composite
such a provision. In ancient times, culture.
however, the position was very different. (7) To protect and improve the
In those days emphasis was laid on natural environment including
duties, rather than rights. It was felt forests, lakes, rivers and wild life
that if everyone performs his duties, and to have compassion for living
then the rights would automatically be creatures.
safeguarded. But in 1976 the Indian (8) To develop the scientific temper,
Parliament felt that there was a need humanism and the spirit of inquiry
for inclusion of a list of Fundamental and reform.
Duties in the Indian Constitution. (9) To safeguard public property and
Accordingly, Constitution (Forty- to abjure violence.
Second Amendment) Act, 1976, was (10) To strive towards excellence in all
passed which added a new part, viz. spheres of individual and
Part IV A, and a new Article, 51 A, to collective activity so that the nation
the Constitution of India. The new Part constantly rises to higher levels of
was entitled as Fundamental Duties endeavour and achievement.
and it gives a list of ten Fundamental
Implications
Duties.
The ten duties are as follows: Now, let us examine these duties and
(1) To abide by the Constitution and find out the implications for the citizens
respect its ideals and institutions, of India. Abide by the Constitution: It
the National Flag and the National implies that every citizen should act
Anthem. according to the provisions of the
(2) To cherish and follow the noble Constitution. He should not do any
ideals which inspired our national thing that is prohibited by the
struggle for freedom. Constitution. Some of the important
52
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
prohibitions by the Constitution are as untouchability, emancipation of
follows: the practice of untouchability women, national integrity, unity in
(Article 17), traffic in human beings diversity, anti-colonialism, anti-
(Article 23), abusing the health and imperialism, anti-racialism, democracy,
strength of workers and the tender age secularism etc.
of children (Article 39) and slaughter Uphold and Protect Sovereignty,
of cows, calves and other milch and Unity and Integrity of India: It
draught animals (Article 48). implies that every citizen should give
Respect its Ideals: The ideals of the priority to the national interest. All other
Constitution are given in the Preamble. considerations such as religion, race,
The Preamble aims at securing Justice language, caste, sex, and place of birth
(social, economic and political), Liberty should get a subordinate position. He
(of thought, expression, belief, faith and should do nothing which endangers the
worship), Equality (of status and of Nation.
opportunity) and Fraternity (assuring Defend the Country: Whenever there
the dignity of the individual and the is a war or an external aggression, every
unity and integrity of the Nation). citizen should come forward to defend
Respect its Institutions: Some of the the country and if there is a need, he
important institutions of the should join armed forces.
Constitutions are President, Vice Promote Harmony and Spirit of
President, Cabinet , Prime Minister, Common Brotherhood: India is a
Parliament, Supreme Court, Attorney multi-racial, multi-linguistic, multi-
General, Comptroller and Auditor religious and multi-cultural country. In
General, Union Public Service spite of various diversities, there is a
Commission, Election Commission, need for developing harmony between
Governor, Chief Minister, High Court etc. different races, languages, religions
Respect the National Flag and the and cultures. We should promote the
National Anthem: There are certain spirit of common brotherhood.
rules framed by the Government with Renounce Practices Derogatory to
regard to respecting the National Flag Women: Since ages women in India are
and the National Anthem. Every citizen being given a very low status in society.
is expected to follow these rules. One of Infanticide, dowry and sati system are
the rules requires that when the some of the most derogatory practices
National Flag is unfurled or the National that bring down the dignity of women.
Anthem is sung, every citizen should It is the duty of every citizen to
remain in the position of attention and renounce these evil practices.
no one should make any move or Value and Preserve Rich Heritage
murmur anything to anyone. of our Composite Cultures: Though
Cherish and Follow Noble Ideals of we have varieties of cultures prevalent
National Struggle: During our in different parts of India based on
national struggle our leaders laid down race religion, language, region and
certain noble ideals. Some of the customs, there prevails a fundamental
important ideals are removal of basic unity amongst all the cultures.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES, DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY 53

It is because of the accommodative weapon of protest. This needs a change.


character of the Indian people that We should not forget that Mahatma
culture of one section of society has Gandhi succeeded in ending an alien
been greatly influenced by the rule through the method of non-
cultures of other sections of people. violence.
This heritage needs to be preserved Strive towards Excellence: Our
and valued. It is the duty of every nation cannot reach the top of the
citizen to work for and develop the developed world unless every citizen
composite culture of India. individually as well as collectively
Protect and Improve Natural strives to achieve excellence in life.
Environment: Due to pressure of Everyone should ask himself as to what
population and the greed of mankind, has he done to achieve excellence in his
careless exploitation of these resources own field of activity.
have created environmental problems. Utility
There is the need of a balanced
development. This necessitates the A question here arises as to what
protection and improvement of natural purpose does this inclusion of
environments such as forests; lakes; Fundamental Duties in the body of the
rivers and wild life. Constitution serve? Prima facie, it does
not serve any purpose unless laws are
Develop Scientific Temper, the
enacted to punish those who disobey
Spirit of Inquiry and Reform: India
them. But like the Directive Principles
has been a land of superstitions and
of State Policy, they can be useful in
blind faith. This needs a rapid change.
interpreting the various provisions of
We should develop a rational outlook
the Constitution. The judiciary can
and reform our society through the
adopt the principle of harmonious
spirit of inquiry. We should develop a
construction, as it did in cases relating
scientific temper which could co-relate to Directive Principles of State Policy.
cause and effect. The legislatures can resort to them for
Develop Humanism: While developing legislation to implement them. The
rational outlook and scientific temper executives can rely upon them to justify
we should not ignore humanism that actions regarding the practical
is the basis of all progressive societies. application of these duties.
Safeguard Public Property and
Abjure Violence: Of late, there has
developed a tendency to destroy public
property to register one’s protest Directive Principles of
against a particular policy of the State Policy
government.
People should not forget that the
property does not belong to those who One of the most noble features of the
are in power. It is, in fact, their own Indian Constitution given in Part IV
property that they are destroying. deals with the Directive Principles of
Similarly, violence has also become a State Policy. It is one of the few
54
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
constitutions of the world that has them. This was the genesis of the two
incorporated such provisions as a part Parts of the Constitution. Part Three
of the main body of the Constitution. of the Constitution deals with
The other countries that have such Fundamental Rights while Part IV
provisions are: Austria, Spain, Brazil, relates to Directive Principles of State
France, Italy, Bur ma and West Policy.
Germany. However, our constitution
Distinction between Fundamental
makers were inspired to include these
Rights’ and Directive Principles of
provisions in the Constitution by the
State Policy
Constitution of Ireland.
One of the main objectives of the One of the main distinctions between
constitution makers in including such Fundamental Rights and Directive
a provision in the Constitution was to Principles of State Policy is that while
lay down certain principles for the the Fundamental Rights are enfor-
guidance of the Governments. While ceable through courts of law, the
formulating their policies the Directive Principles are not enforceable.
Governments are expected to act Another distinction between the two is
according to these principles. that while the Fundamental Rights
During the freedom struggle of India prohibit the State from doing certain
our national leaders had made things, the Directives are affirmative
promises regarding the fundamental instructions to ‘the State’ to do certain
rights that the citizens of free India things. While there is dominance of civil
should get. These fundamental rights and political rights in the Fundamental
included not only civil and political Rights, economic and social rights are
rights but also social and economic predominant in the Directive Principles.
rights. But when India got
Nature of the Directive Principles
independence the leaders realized that
it would not be possible for them to In view of the non-enforceability, the
grant immediately some of the social Directive Principles have been
and economic rights that they had described by some critics as ‘pious
promised in the past. But at the same expressions’ or ‘resolution made on the
time they did not want to go back on new years day’. To others they appear
their past promises. They wanted some as an ‘Instrument of Instructions’.
way to get out of this hurdle. They These expressions, however, betray the
assigned this task to a sub-committee ignorance of the critics about the legal
of the Constituent Assembly. The sub- utility of the Directives. Though they are
committee suggested that the non-enforceable, the Directives are the
Fundamental Rights should be divided fundamental principles of governance
into two categories. Some rights could and all the branches of government: the
be granted immediately and others executive, the legislature and the
may be granted in future, if and when judiciary, have to take cognisance of
the country was in a position to grant them. In fact, the Judiciary has
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES, DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY 55

followed the principle of harmonious Amendment) Act, 1955 respectively,


construction between the Fundamental that they were enacted to give effect to
Rights and the Directive Principles of the Directive Principles of State Policy.
State Policy. Not only this, the Judiciary Now, if we look to the various
has also taken the help of the Directives Directive Principles, we find that they
while interpreting the various are related to political policies, social
provisions of the Constitution. While policies, economic policies, educational
dealing with the relationship between and cultural policies and health
the Fundamental Rights and the policies.
Directive Principles, Chandrachud,
Directives relating to political
Chief Justice of India then, stated in
polices
Minerva Mills case, “the Indian
Constitution is founded on the bedrock According to the Directives relating to
of the balance between Parts Ill and IV. political policies (i) ‘the State’ is required
To give absolute primacy to one over to take steps to organise Village
the other is to disturb the harmony of Panchayats and endow them with such
the Constitution. This harmony and powers and authority as may be
balance between Fundamental Rights necessary to enable them to function
and Directive Principles is an essential as units of self-government, (ii) the
feature of the basic structure of the ‘State’ should endeavour to secure for
Constitution”. the citizens a Uniform Civil Code
Similarly, the executive has also throughout the territory of India, (iii)
resorted to them while justifying its ‘the State’ is required to take steps to
(executive) actions. For instance, in the separate the judiciary from the
case of Champakam Dorairajan vs. the executive in the public services of the
State of Madras, while defending the ‘State’ and (iv) ‘the State’ is required to
‘Communal Order’ of the Madras (a) promote international peace and
government, the plea was taken that it security; (b) maintain just and
was done to promote the interests of the honourable relations between nations;
weaker sections of society as per (c) foster respect for international law
Directive Principle of State Policy and treaty obligation in the dealings of
provided in Article 46 of the organized peoples with one another
Constitution of India. and (d) encourage settlement of
The Parliament also referred them international disputes by arbitration.
while justifying its legislative measures. It is clear from the above that the
For instance, in cases of Shankari political Directives aim at a social order
Prasad and Golaknath, the where there is decentralization of
Government of India pleaded before the authority and all the citizens are
Supreme Court, while defending the governed by the same laws in the civil
Constitution (First Amendment) Act, field without any distinctions of religion
1951 and the Constitution (Fourth and where justice is secured through
56
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
separation of powers and where relation workers is ensured in the management
between nations are based on of undertakings, establishments or
principles of international peace and other organizations engaged in any
security. industry by suitable legislation or in
Directive relating to social policies any other way, (vii) children are given
opportunities and facilities to develop
‘The State’ is required to promote with in a healthy manner and in condition
special care the educational and of freedom and dignity and that
economic interests of the weaker childhood and youth are protected
sections of society and, in particular, of against exploitation and against moral
the Scheduled Castes and the and material abandonment, (viii) the
Scheduled Tribes and to protect them right to work, to education and to
from social injustices and all forms of public assistance in cases of
exploitations. This Directive aims at a
unemployment, old age, sickness and
social order where Scheduled Castes,
disablement, and in other cases of
Scheduled Tribes and other weaker
undeserved want is ensured within the
section of society are given special
limits of its economic capacity and
protection so as to make them equal
development, (ix) suitable provision is
partners in the national life.
made for just and humane condition
Directives relating to economic of work and for maternity relief, (x) all
policies workers, agriculture, industrial or
‘The State’ is required to direct its policy otherwise, secure work, a living wage,
towards securing that: (i) the ownership condition of work ensuring a descent
and control of material resources of the standard of life and full enjoyment of
community are so distributed as best leisure and social and culture
to sub-serve the common good, (ii) the opportunities by suitable legislation or
operation of the economic system does economic organization, or in any other
not result in the concentration of wealth way and, in particular, the State should
and means of production to the endeavour to promote cottage
common detriment, (iii) the citizens, industries on an individual or co-
men and women equally, have the right operative basis in rural area, (xi) that
to an adequate means of livelihood, agriculture and animal husbandry are
(iv) there is equal pay for equal work organized on modern and scientific
for both men and women, (v) the health lines and steps taken for preservation
and strength of workers, men and and improvement of the breeds and
women, and the tender age of children prohibition of the slaughter, of cows
are not abused and citizens are not and calf and other milch and draught
forced by economic necessity to enter cattle, (xii) that the operation of the legal
vocations unsuited to their age or system promotes justice, on a basis of
strength, (vi) the participation of equal opportunity, and provision is
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES, DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY 57

made for free legal aid, by suitable of national importance, from spolaition
legislation or schemes or in any other (extortion), disfigurement, destruction,
way, to ensure that opportunities for removal, disposal or export as the case
securing justice are not denied to any may be.
citizen by reason of economic or other It is clear from the above that these
disabilities. Directives aim at a social order
It is clear from the above that the aim where every citizen gets Elementary
of economic Directives is to bring a education free of charge and wherein
social order where there is no the cultural heritage of the past is
concentration of economic power and preserved.
the whole economic system is based on
Directives regarding health policies
the good of community at large and
wherein every one is guaranteed the There are two Directives in this
right to work and participation in category. The first requires ‘the State’
management and to adequate means to regard the raising of the level of
of lively hood, a living wage, equal pay nutrition and the standard of living of
for equal work, public assistance in its people and the improvement of the
cases of unemployment, old age, public health as among its primary
sickness and disablement and in other duties and, in particular ‘the State’ is
cases of undeserved want, just and required to endeavour to bring about
human condition of work, maternity prohibition of the consumption, except
relief, decent standard of life, full for medical purposes of intoxicating
enjoyment of leisure, social and drinks and of drugs which are injurious
cultural opportunities, free legal aid and to health. The second requires ‘the
wherein agriculture and animal State’ to endeavour to protect and
husbandry are organised on modern improve the environment and to
and scientific lines. safeguard the forests and wild life of the
country.
Directives relating to educational It is clear from the above that the
and cultural policies Directives aim at a social order where
One of the Directives requires ‘the State’ every citizen gets nutritious food and
to provide, within a period of ten years maintains a good standard of life by
from the commencement of the keeping his health sound and by
Constitution, for free and compulsory restraining himself from the
education for all children until they consumption of intoxicating drinks and
complete the age of fourteen years. drugs injurious to health and by
Another Directive states that it shall be protecting and improving environment
the obligation of ‘the State’ to protect and by safeguarding the forest and wild
every monument or place or object of life of the country.
artistic or historic interest, declared by To sum up, we can say that the
or under law made by Parliament to be Directive Principles of State policy aim
58
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
at ushering a new social order. Such a order to be achieved through
social order may be given different democratic means and that is why they
names by different schools of thought. have made it an obligation of ‘the State’
To some it may appear socialistic, to endeavour to achieve it through
liberal or Gandhian, while to others it normal democratic machinery. Three
may appear merely an extension of
different schools of thought, Liberalism,
democracy to ‘economic’ and ‘social’
Socialism, and Gandhism inspired the
fields. The contents of the Directives
clearly indicate that the Constitution Constitution makers, and they have
makers wanted to achieve the golden tried to combine all the three in the best
mean between the liberal ideas of possible form. The best and the most
democracy and the Fabian ideas of non- controversial title of such an order
equality. They wanted the new social could be a ‘Just Social Order’.

Exercises

1. Why are the Rights granted to the citizens of India called Fundamental
Rights? Explain their importance.
2. What constitutes the Right to Equality?
3. Describe, in brief, the Right to Freedom as granted to the citizens of India.
4. How is the Right to Freedom of Religion related to secularism?
5. What are the Educational and Cultural Rights granted to the citizens of
India?
6. What is the significance of providing the Right to Constitutional Remedies?
7. Enumerate any five Fundamental Duties that a citizen of India is required to
obey.
8. Explain the implications of any five Fundamental Duties.
9. What do you mean by the Directive Principles of State Policy?
10. Distinguish between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State
Policy.
11. Examine the nature of the Directive Principles of State Policy.
12. Explain any Three writs which the Supreme Court is empowered to issue for
the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights.
13. Write short notes on:
(a) Protection against Arrest and Detention
(b) Right against Exploitation
(c) Protection of Interests of Minorities
(d) Economic Policies
(e) Social Policies
(f) Health Policies
Chapter 5
GOVERNMENT
AT THE CENTRE

Parliament of India necessary for him to take immediate


action, the President may issue an
ordinance which has the same force and
T he legislative authority of the
Union is vested in the Parliament
of India. The Parliament consists of the
effect as that of an Act of Parliament.
Such an ordinance, however, should be
laid before both the Houses of
President and the two Houses, the
Parliament and approved by them
Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the
within six weeks of their assembly. If
Lok Sabha (House of the People).
the ordinance is not approved within
The President of India is an essential
six weeks referred to above, it shall cease
part of the Parliament. He not only
to operate.
summons and prorogues the two
Houses but can also dissolve the Lok Rajya Sabha
Sabha. Without his assent no bill passed It is the upper house of the Parliament.
by the two Houses can become an Act. It consists of 12 members nominated
He has the right to address either House by the President from amongst those
or both the Houses assembled together. persons who have special knowledge or
He may send messages to either House practical experience in such matters as
regarding any Bill pending before it and literature, science, art, and social
the Houses are required to deliberate service and not more than 238
upon it. representatives from the States and the
At the commencement of the first Union Territories. Hence, the total
session after the general election to the number of Rajya Sabha should not
Lok Sabha and at the commencement exceed 250.
of the first session of each year, the The representatives of each State are
President addresses both the Houses
elected by the elected members of the
assembled together and informs them
Legislative Assembly of that State in
of the policies and programmes to be
accordance with the system of
pursued. The Houses are required to
deliberate upon the matters referred to proportional representation by means
in such addresses. of single transferable vote. The
If at any time, when both the Houses representatives of each Union Territory
of Parliament are not in session, are chosen in such manner as
the President is satisfied that Parliament by law prescribes.
circumstances exist which render it According to the Representation of the
60
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
People Act, 1950 an electoral college is nominate not more than two members
constituted in each Union Territory for of the Anglo-Indian community, if it is
the purpose. not adequately represented in the Lok
Any citizen of India, who is not less Sabha.
than 30 years of age and who possesses Each State is allotted a number of
such other qualifications as may be seats in proportion to its population.
prescribed by or under any law Each State is divided into territorial
made by the Parliament can be elected constituencies so that the ratio between
to the Rajya Sabha. No candidate the population of each constituency
should possess any of the following and the number of seats allotted to it,
disqualifications: (i) if he holds any office as far as practicable, is the same
of profit (excepting of a Minister under throughout the State.
the Government of India/any State/ The members of Lok Sabha are
Union Territory), (ii) if he is of unsound elected on the basis of universal adult
mind and (iii) if he is an insolvent. The franchise. Anyone who is a citizen of
tenure of every member of Rajya Sabha India, and has attained eighteen years
is six years but every second year one - of age and whose name is in the voters’
third of its members retire and fresh list is entitled to cast vote in the election
elections are held for those seats. The to the Lok Sabha.
House is not subject to dissolution. To get oneself elected to the Lok
The Vice President of India is the Sabha one needs to be a citizen of India,
ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He must be not less than twenty-five years
presides over its meetings and conducts of age and possesses such other
its business. In his absence, the Deputy qualifications as may be prescribed
Chairman, who is elected by the House, by or under any law made by the
performs his functions. Parliament. A person shall be
One-tenth of the total number of disqualified for being chosen as, and for
members forms the quorum of any being, a member of Lok Sabha if he
meeting of the House. holds an office of profit under the
Government of India or the Government
Lok Sabha of any State, other than an office
It is the lower house of the Parliament. declared by the Parliament, by law, not
It consists of not more than five hundred to disqualify its holder; is of unsound
thirty members elected directly by the mind and is an insolvent or is not a
people of the States and not more than citizen of India or has voluntarily
twenty members representing the acquired the citizenship of a foreign
Union Territories chosen in such a State or is so disqualified by or under
manner as the Parliament may, by law, any law made by the Parliament.
provide. Seats shall be reserved for the The tenure of the Lok Sabha is five
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled years but the President is empowered
Tribes in proportion to their to dissolve it earlier also. While a
population. The President of India can Proclamation of Emergency (under
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 61

Article 352) is in operation the term of number of members forms the quorum
the Lok Sabha can be extended by the of any meeting of the House.
Parliament, by Law, for a period of one
Powers and Functions
year at a time.
The House elects its own presiding The primary function of the Parliament
officer, called Speaker, who conducts its is legislation. It has an exclusive power
business. In his absence from the to legislate on the subjects mentioned
House, Deputy Speaker, who is also in the Union List as well as all the
elected by the House, performs his residuary subjects (subjects not
functions. The functions of the Speaker included in any of the three lists). It
are as follows: he presides over the shares the power of legislation on
meetings of Lok Sabha and conducts subjects in the Concurrent List with the
all its proceedings except when the State Legislatures. Both of them can
resolution for his removal is under legislate on them but if there is a conflict
consideration; he determines the order between the laws passed by the
of business and prescribes the time Parliament and that of a State
limit for the speeches which are Legislature) the law of the Parliament
invariably addressed to him; he prevails to the extent of inconsistency.
maintains order and discipline in the
Law making Procedure
House; he prevents the use of
unparliamentary language in the The Bills introduced in, and passed by
House; he can name the member for the Parliament are of two types:
suspension or ask him to leave the Ordinary or Non-Money Bills and
House or order his physical removal by Money Bills. The procedure for passing
the Marshal of the house if a member a Money Bill is different from that of an
disregards or flouts his ruling; he can Ordinary Bill. An Ordinary Bill can be
suspend the business of the House if introduced first in either of the two
the House becomes unmanageable and Houses. Every Ordinary Bill, before it
the members are unruly; he enforces becomes an Act, has to pass through
the rules of conduct; he gives his ruling the following stages.
whether a resolution or a question is The draft of the proposed Bill has
admissible or not; he protects the to be sent to the Secretariat of the
members against the violation of their House. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha
privileges; ordinarily he does not vote or the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, as the
but when the house is divided equally case may be, after consulting the
on any issue he exercises casting vote, Business Advisory Committee,
he decides whether an adjournment determines the day and time when the
motion moved by a member is Bill is to be moved in the House. On the
admissible or not; he decides whether appointed day and time, the mover
a Bill is a Money-Bill or not; he presides seeks the permission of the presiding
over the joint sitting of both the houses officer to move the Bill. On receiving his
of Parliament. One-tenth of the total assent, the mover reads the title of the
62
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Bill and gives a short speech 20-30 members. The Committee makes
highlighting the aims and objectives of a thorough scrutiny of the Bill and
the Bill. If there is no opposition from suggests various changes, if any, and
anyone, the Bill is supposed to have then submits its report to the House.
been passed in the First Reading. Thse House considers the report and
Ordinarily, there is no opposition at this then discusses and votes the Bill in
stage, because it only implies that the detail clause by clause. If the House
House has consented to consider the approves it, it is supposed to have
Bill in details. But there are some crossed the report stage.
occasions when the opposition is not After an interval of some time the Bill
prepared to even consider the Bill. In is again put before the House for final
such a situation, the presiding officer or Third Reading. At this stage, there is
allows a full debate and then the Bill is only a general discussion and no
put to vote. If the House approves it, it amendment, excepting some verbal
is supposed to have been passed in the changes, is permitted. If the House
First Reading. approves the Bill at this stage the Bill
The Bill is moved again by the mover goes to the other House.
after an interval of some time (generally In the other House also the Bill has
of two days). This stage is called Second to undergo all the stages referred to
Reading wherein there is a general above. If the other House also approves,
discussion, after this there are three it goes to the President for his assent.
alternatives. The House may decide to However, if the two Houses differ, the
discuss the Bill in details, clause by President may call a Joint Session of
clause and also vote each and every the two Houses. If the Bill is passed by
clause. Alternatively, the House may a majority, the same is treated to be
decide to circulate the Bill for eliciting passed by the two Houses.
the public opinion. Then, the Bill is
Procedure in Financial Matters
published in the Government Gazette
inviting public reactions on it. The gist The famous saying ‘one who controls
of the public opinion is then circulated the purse controls the mind’ is fully
amongst the members of the House. applicable in the case of Parliament.
The House discusses the Bill in details Parliament exercises full control over
in the light of the public opinion and the finances of the Union Government.
then votes it clause by clause. In the beginning of every financial year
There is, however, another an Annual Financial Statement or
alternative. The House may decide to the Budget, showing the receipts
refer the Bill to a Select Committee and expenditure, is laid before the
consisting of such members of the Parliament.
House as have special interest in the The Budget is prepared in two parts,
subject. The presiding officer Railway Budget and the General
constitutes such a Committee having Budget. Former is presented by the
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 63

Railway Minister while the latter by the in the form of demands for grants under
Finance Minister. particular heads. They are put forward
The Budget shows separately the by the Ministers of the respective
expenditure charged on the Con- departments. Members discuss the
solidated Fund of India, which can be demands and may ultimately assent to
discussed but not voted upon and the the demands or refuse them altogether
sums required to meet other or reduce the amount that is
expenditure proposed to be met from demanded. The House has no power to
the Consolidated Fund of India, which increase the amount demanded. When
are discussed and voted upon by the all the Demands have been voted by the
two Houses. Lok Sabha, both the charged and non-
The Expenditure charged on the charged expenditures are put together
Consolidated Fund of India includes and incorporated in a Bill called the
emoluments and allowances of Annual Appropriation Bill. It is
President of India; salaries and presented before and passed by the Lok
allowances of the Chairman and Sabha in the same manner as any other
Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Bill. Then it is certified by the Speaker
Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the as a Money Bill.
Lok Sabha, Comptroller and Auditor- A bill is considered to be a Money-
General of India, Judges of the Bill if it contains provisions with regard
Supreme Court and High Courts to: (a) the imposition, abolition,
and debt charges relating to the remission, alteration or regulation of
Government of India. any tax; (b) the regulation of borrowing
The other expenditure proposed to of money or giving of any guarantee by
be met from the Consolidated Fund is the government of India; (c) the custody
presented in the form of Demand for of the Consolidated Fund or
Grants. The General discussion on the Contingency Fund; (d) the
these Demands begins after the address appropriation of money out of the
to the Lok Sabha by the Finance Consolidated Fund and (e) the receipt
Minister who, in his speech discuses of money out of the Consolidated Fund
the financial position of the country and or the public account. If there arises
expounds the financial policy of the any controversy as to whether a
Government. Along with the Budget, a particular Bill is a Money-Bill or not;
Finance Bill is also presented which the decision of the Speaker of the Lok
relates to levying of new taxes or Sabha is final.
enhancing or reducing existing taxes. A Money Bill cannot be introduced
The Budget speech by the Finance in the Rajya Sabha. After a Money Bill
Minister is followed by a general is passed by the Lok Sabha, it is sent
discussion on the Budget as a whole. to the Rajya Sabha for its re-
After the discussion is over, the commendation. The Rajya Sabha,
estimates are submitted to the House however, has to return the Bill with its
64
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
recommendations within fourteen days introduction of a Bill in either House of
from the date of its receipt. If it does not the Parliament. The Bill has to be
return the Bill to the Lok Sabha within passed in each House by a majority of
fourteen days, the Bill is supposed to the total number of members of that
have been passed by both the Houses House and a majority of not less than
in the form in which it was passed by two-thirds of the members present and
the Lok Sabha. However, if the Bill is voting.
returned by the Rajya Sabha to the Lok But if such an amendment seeks to
Sabha within this period with its make changes in the federal character
recommendations, the Lok Sabha has of the Constitution, the amendment
the authority either to accept or reject also requires to be ratified by the
any of these recommendations. The Bill, Legislatures of not less than one-half
thereafter, is deemed to have been of the States. Changes in the federal
passed by both the Houses of
character are effected by changes in
Parliament. It is, then, sent to the
election process of the President, extent
President for his assent who cannot
of executive power of the Union or
withhold it.
States, power of the Parliament to
Control over the Executive constitute High Courts for Union
The Council of Ministers is collectively Territories, constitution and powers of
responsible to the Lok Sabha. The Lok the Supreme Court and High Courts,
Sabha is empowered to pass a vote of distribution of legislative powers
censure against the Ministry. Whenever between the Union and the States, the
such a motion is passed, the Ministry representation of the States in the
has to resign. Parliament and power of Parliament to
Both the Houses exercise control over amend the Constitution and the
the executive through asking questions, procedure thereof.
discussing matters of urgent public After a Constitution Amendment Bill
importance, moving call-attention is passed by both the Houses of the
notices and adjournment motions, and Parliament (and also ratified by not less
also by appointing various committees than one-half of the States in case it
such as Public Accounts Committee, affects the federal character), it is
Estimates Committee, Committee on presented to the President who gives his
Public Undertakings, Committee on assent and thereafter the Constitution
Government Assurances, the stands amended.
Committee on Privileges, the Committee It is note worthy that ordinarily,
on Subordinate Legislation etc. All
there are no limits on the powers of
these activities keep the executive alert.
Parliament to amend the Constitution
Constitutional Amendments by way of addition, variation or
An amendment to the Constitution of repealing any provision of the
India can be initiated by an Constitution. However, according to a
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 65

Supreme Court ruling, the basic Ad hoc/Select Committees


structure of the Constitution cannot be The ad hoc Committees are constituted
amended. from time to time either by Lok Sabha
Other Powers or by the Speaker to enquire into and
report on specific subjects. The number
The elected members of the two Houses
of the Select Committees is not fixed.
of Parliament, along with the elected
Its number increases or decreases
members of the State Legislative according to the necessity of work of the
Assemblies form the Electoral College House. The House appoints the
that elects the President of India. The members of the Select Committees. The
two Houses also possess the power to Select Committee examines every Bill
remove the President from his office very minutely, collects all data relating
through the process of impeachment. to it and examines witnesses. After this
They elect the Vice President of India it submits its report to the House and
and also have the power to remove the is dissolved when it is no longer needed.
Comptroller and Auditor General of
India and the Chief Justice and other Standing Committees
Judges of the Supreme Court as well Among the Standing Committees, the
as that of the High Courts through a three financial committees, viz.
special procedure and voting. Committee on Public Accounts,
Estimates Committee and Committee
Committees of Parliament
on Public Undertakings, constitute a
As the Parliament is an unwieldy body distinct class, which keep a vigil over
for prompt and convenient transaction government spending.
of vast business of Parliament and it Public Accounts Committee: It
cannot examine many complex and consists of 15 members elected by Lok
intricate issues efficiently, a device has Sabha and elected by Rajya Sabha for
been evolved to solve this problem. The a period of one year. The Rajya Sabha
device is the formation of Parliamentary members are treated as associate
Committees. members who do not enjoy the right to
Broadly speaking, these committees vote. It scrutinises the appropriation
are of two kinds – Ad hoc Committees accounts of the Government of India
and Standing Committees. The former and the reports of the Comptroller and
are appointed as and when the need Auditor-General of India. It ensures
arises, they cease to exist as soon as that public money is spent in
they complete the work assigned to accordance with Parliament’s
them. The latter are elected or decisions and calls attention to cases
appointed every year or periodically of waste, extravagance, loss or nugatory
and their work goes on more or less on expenditure or lack of financial
a continuous basis. integrity in public services.
66
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Estimates Committee: It consists of declared null and void by the judiciary.
30 members elected by, Lok Sabha If fact, our Constitution has adopted
every year. The Chairman of the the doctrine of checks and balances
Committee is appointed by the Speaker between the legislative and judicial
from amongst its members. It reports wings of the government.
on ‘what economies, improvements
in organization, efficiency or
administrative reform’ may be effected. President of India
It also examines whether the money is
laid out within the limits of the
estimates. It suggests the form in which The executive authority of the Union is
the estimates should be presented vested in the President of India who
to Parliament also suggests exercises it directly or through the
alternative policies in order to bring officers subordinate to him.
about efficiency and economy in The President of India is elected by
administration. an electoral college consisting of the
Committee on Public Undertakings: elected members of the Legislative
This Committee consists of fifteen Assemblies of the States and the
members, out of which ten are elected elected members of the two Houses of
by members of Lok Sabha and five from Parliament. The election is held in
accordance with the system of
Rajya Sabha according to proportional
proportional representation by means
representation by single transferable
of single transferable vote system. The
vote system. Its Chairman is appointed
Constitution provides a special
by the Speaker. The Committee checks
procedure to determine the value of a
the accounts of public undertakings
vote cast by each elector. The value of a
and examines their working and other
vote cast by an elected member of a
financial matters and the reports of
State Legislative Assembly is
Comptroller and Auditor-General of
determined by dividing the population
India. It is clear from the above
of the State by the total number of
description that Parliament is a most
elected members of that State, the
powerful institution of Indian
quotient obtained thus is further
democracy. It is the supreme law
divided by one thousand. The quotient
making body of India to which the
Union Council of Ministers is arrived at now, would be the value of
collectively responsible. It can also his vote. For instance, let us take the
amend the Constitution of India. This, case of a State whose population is
however, does not mean that it is 60,00,000 and the strength of the
all-powerful. Though we have elected members of the Legislative
parliamentary democracy in India, we Assembly is 400. Now, according to the
also have Judicial Review that means formula referred above, the value of
that an Act of Parliament can be each vote would be: 60,00,000 to be
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 67

divided by 400× l000. Thus, each reason is the objective of bringing parity
elected member of this State Assembly in the voting strength of the two Houses
will cast only one vote, but the value of of Parliament on one hand and the
his vote would be 15. The value of the Legislative Assemblies of all the States
vote of all the elected members of the on the other.
Legislative Assemblies of all the States
Qualifications
obtained thus would form the voting
strength of the Legislative Assemblies. Any person who: (i) is a citizen of India,
This voting strength of the Assemblies (ii) has completed the age of 35 years,
would be divided by the total number (iii) is qualified for election as a member
of elected members of the two Houses of Lok Sabha, (iv) does not hold office
of Parliament. The quotient obtained of profit under Government of India or
thus would be the value of each vote of Government of any State or under any
elected member of the two Houses of local authority, can contest election for
Parliament. The value of vote of all the the office of the President of India.
elected members of the two Houses However, President, Vice President, the
obtained thus would form the voting Governor of any State or a Cabinet
strength of the two Houses of Minister, whether at the Centre or the
Parliament. Now, the result of the State, is not debarred from becoming a
election of the President would be candidate for contesting the election for
determined by the value of a sum total the office of the President.
of all the votes cast by all the elected Oath
members of the Legislative Assemblies
and that of the two Houses of Before entering upon his office the
Parliament. President is required to take an oath in
A question here arises as to why a prescribed form in the presence of
such a complicated procedure has been Chief Justice or the senior most Judge
adopted? One reason is the objective of of the Supreme Court of India.
bringing uniformity in the scale of Procedure for his Removal
representation of the elected members The President holds office for a term of
of different States. Though the seats five years from the date on which he
allotted to each State Assembly is based enters upon his office. He may resign
on the proportion of population but from his office. He can be removed at
then, the Constitution also lays down any time from his office through the
the minimum and maximum strength process of impeachment for violation of
of a Legislative Assembly irrespective of the Constitution. For this purpose a
any consideration of population. This charge must be levelled in either House
creates an imbalance in the scale of of the Parliament. It must be in the form
representation between different States. of a resolution signed by at least one-
This imbalance can be removed by the fourth of the total number of members
procedure prescribed above. Another of that House and moved only after
68
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
giving a clear notice of fourteen days. If Courts, Governors of States and Chief
the resolution is passed by a majority Commissioners of Union Territories,
of not less than two-thirds of the total members of Finance Commission,
membership of that House, the matter Language Commission and Election
goes to the other House that Commission, Ambassadors and other
investigates it. The President shall have Diplomatic Agents of India to other
the right to appear or to be represented countries.
at such an investigation. If, as a result He also appoints Inter State
of such investigation, a resolution is Council, a Commission to report on the
passed by a majority of not less than administration of Scheduled Areas, a
two-thirds of the total membership of Commissioner for Scheduled Castes
that House (which investigated the and Scheduled T ribes, Backward
charges), stating that the charge has Class Commission, and Minority
been sustained, then the President Commission.
stands removed from his office from the The President has a right to be
date on which such a resolution has informed of all the affairs of the Union
been passed. Government. If the President so
requires, he can get submitted any
Executive Powers matter for the consideration of Council
All the executive functions of the Union of Ministers on which a decision has
government are carried on in the name been taken by a Minister but which has
of the President. It is he who appoints not been considered by the Council.
the Prime Minister. According to the
Legislative Powers
Constitution he can appoint only such
person to the post about whom he feels As President is an inseparable part of
that he would be able to command the Parliament, he possesses some
confidence of the majority of the legislative powers, such as summoning
members of Lok Sabha. The well- and proroguing the two Houses of
established convention is that he calls Parliament, dissolving the Lok Sabha,
the leader of the majority party or an addressing the Joint Session of the two
alliance of parties (if there is no one Houses, sending messages to either or
single party having majority) to form both the Houses, assenting the Bills
the Ministry. He appoints other passed by the two Houses, calling Joint
Ministers and distributes portfolios Session of the two Houses in case of
amongst them on the advice of the differences of opinion between them
Prime Minister. Besides, he also with regard to any non-Money Bill,
appoints Attorney General, Comptroller promulgation of an ordinance etc. He
and Auditor General, Chairman and also has the power to nominate twelve
members of the Union Public Service members to Rajya Sabha and not more
Commission, Chief Justice and other than two members of the Anglo-Indian
Judges of Supreme Court and High Community to the Lok Sabha if he feels,
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 69

after a general election, that the Anglo- changing a punishment to one of a


Indian Community is not adequately different sort than that originally
represented in the Lok Sabha. proposed e.g. a death sentence is
changed into life imprisonment.
Judicial Powers
Besides the appointment of Chief Financial Powers
Justice and other Judges of the Every financial year the Finance
Supreme Court, the President Minister, on behalf of the President,
possesses the power to grant pardons, lays an Annual Financial Statement
reprieves, respites or remissions of before both the Houses of Parliament.
punishment or to suspend, remit or A Money Bill cannot be introduced or
commute the sentence of any person moved in Lok Sabha except on the
convicted of any offence (i) in all cases recommendation of the President. A Bill
where the punishment or sentence is involving expenditure from the
by a Court Martial; (ii) in all cases where Consolidated Fund of India cannot be
the punishment or sentence is for an passed by either House of Parliament
offence against any law relating to a unless President has recommended for
matter to which the executive power of it to that House. No demand for a grant
the Union extends and (iii) in all cases can be made except on the
where the sentence is a sentence of recommendation of the President.
death.
It is to be noted that the terms Military Powers
‘pardons’, ‘reprieves’, ‘respites’, The supreme command of the defence
‘remission’ and ‘commutation’, carry forces is vested in the President but its
different meanings. A pardon is an act exercise is to be regulated by law. The
of grace. It cannot be demanded as a Parliament can make any law with
matter of right. A pardon not only regard to navy, army, air force and any
removes the punishment but also other armed force of the Union. The
places the offender in the same position, Parliament can make any law in regard
as if he had never committed the to war and peace. The President cannot
offence. The power to grant pardon is declare war or deploy forces of the
purely an executive function. Reprieve country without the sanction of the
means a temporary suspension of the Parliament or in anticipation of the
punishment fixed by the law. Respite sanction of the Parliament.
means postponement of the execution
Powers regarding Foreign Affairs
of a sentence to future. Remission
means reduction in the amount of All the diplomatic business is
punishment without changing the conducted in the name of the President.
character of punishment e.g. a life He appoints ambassadors and other
sentence is reduced to imprisonment diplomatic agents of India accredited to
for ten years. Commutation means other countries. Diplomatic agents
70
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
accredited to India present their members and by two-thirds majority of
credentials to the President. All the members present and voting. If and
international treaties and agreements so often, a resolution approving the
are also conducted in his name but they continuance in force of such a
are to be ratified by the Parliament Proclamation is passed by both the
later on. Houses of Parliament, the Proclamation
shall, unless revoked, continue in force
Emergency Powers
for a further period of six months from
The Constitution envisages pro- the date on which it would have ceased
clamation of emergency by the to operate.
President in three types of cases: Effects of the Proclamation of
(i) Emergency due to war, aggression Emergency under Article 352:
or armed rebellion: When the While a proclamation of emergency is
President feels satisfied that the security in operation – (i) the executive authority
of India or any part thereof is threatened of the States becomes subordinate to
or there is an imminent danger of such the Union, (ii) the legislative authority
a threat by war or external aggression of the Parliament extends to the making
or by armed rebellion he can proclaim of laws on the State List, (iii) the
an emergency under Article 352. In operation of Article 19 relating to Right
order to ensure that such a to Freedom remains suspended and, (iv)
proclamation has been made only after the President is authorized to suspend
due consideration, it has been provided by an order, the right to move any court
that the decision of the Union Cabinet of law for the enforcement of such of the
recommending such a proclamation Fundamental Rights, excepting those
has to be given in writing to the in Article 20 and 21, as are mentioned
President. Every such proclamation in that order.
must be laid before each House of (ii) Failure of Constitutional
Parliament and receive approval of both Machinery: On receiving a report from
the Houses within thirty days. However, the Governor of a State or otherwise (i.e.
if such a proclamation has been issued when the Governor does not send any
at a time when Lok Sabha stands such report) if the President feels
dissolved, it shall remain in force if satisfied that it is not possible to carry
approved by the Rajya Sabha within on the government of that State
thirty days. The newly constituted Lok according to the provisions of the
Sabha must approve it (within 30 days Constitution, the President (under
of its first sitting). It shall remain in force Article 356) may issue a proclamation.
till six months (from the day when such Under such circumstances he may
a resolution was passed by the Lok assume all or any of the executive
Sabha). It is noteworthy that the powers of the State. He may declare that
resolution of the approval of each the legislative authority of the State shall
House should be passed by absolute be exercised by or under the authority
majority of the total number of its of Parliament. He may suspend
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 71

operation of any provision of the laid before each House of the


Constitution relating to any authority Parliament and receive approval of both
in the State excluding that of a High the Houses within two months.
Court. Every such proclamation must However, if such a proclamation has
be laid before each House of Parliament been issued at a time when the Lok
and receive approval of both the Houses Sabha stands dissolved, it shall remain
within two months. However, if such a in force, if approved by Rajya Sabha
proclamation has been issued at a time within two months, till one month after
when Lok Sabha stands dissolved, it the first sitting of the newly constituted
shall remain in force, if approved by Lok Sabha. If the new Lok Sabha also
Rajya Sabha, within two months, till approves it (within 30 days of its first
one month after the first sitting of the sitting) it shall remain in force till six
newly constituted Lok Sabha. If the new months (from the day when such a
Lok Sabha also approves it, (within resolution was passed by Lok Sabha).
thirty days of its first sitting) it shall Effects of the Proclamation under
remain in force till six months. It may Article 360: While a proclamation
pass the resolution approving its under Article 360 is in operation, the
continuance for another six months. executive authority of the Union shall
Such a proclamation shall in no case extend to giving directions to any State
remain in force for more than three to observe such canons of financial
years. It is, however, to be noted that propriety as may be specified in the
Parliament is not allowed to pass any directions. It may also include a
such resolution extending a provision requiring all Money Bills to
proclamation beyond a period of one be reserved for the consideration of the
year unless – (i) a proclamation of President after the State Legislature
Emergency (under Article 352) is in passes them. The President may issue
operation at the time of passing such a directions for the reduction of salaries
resolution and (ii) the Election and allowances of all or any class of
Commission certifies that on account persons serving the State including the
of difficulties in holding general election Judges of the Supreme Court and High
to the Legislative Assembly of the State Courts.
concerned, continuance of the
proclamation (regarding failure of Position of the President
constitutional machinery) is necessary. If we look at the list of powers
(iii) Financial Emergency: If the enumerated above; it would appear
President is satisfied that a situation that, President of India is a very
has arisen whereby the financial powerful figure. But, the reality is quite
stability or credit of India or any of its different. As we have adopted a
part is threatened, he may proclaim a parliamentary form of government
financial emergency (under Article wherein the Council of Ministers is
360). Every such proclamation must be answerable to the Parliament, the
72
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
powers really belong to the Ministry and Such controversies continued in the
not to the President. In spite of it, there subsequent years. As a result, the
a rose a controversy with regard to the Parliament passed the Constitution
powers of president. No less a person (Forty second Amendment) Act, 1976,
than Dr Rajendra Prasad, who was not which clearly states that the President
only the first President of India but also “shall, in the exercise of his functions,
the Chairman of the Constituent act in accordance with such advice”.
Assembly, raised this controversy as (i.e. the advice given by the Council of
early as September 18, 1951. He sent Ministers). In spite of this Act, the
a note to the Prime Minister in which controversy regarding the actual
he expressed his desire to act solely on position of President has not stopped.
his own judgement, independent of the Even prior to this Act, President
Council of Ministers, when giving generally used to act on the advice of
assent to Bills, sending messages to the Council of Ministers. The
Parliament and returning Bills to Amendment has only given a legal
Parliament for reconsideration. colour to the actual practice. The real
Dr Rajendra Prasad while laying the question is what would be his position
foundation stone of Indian Law during the extraordinary situations?
Institute reiterated his stand by stating We are not referring here to the period
that, “A close study should be made of of emergency, though during
the powers of the President of India emergencies also President has to act
under the Constitution, that in equating on the advice of the Council of Ministers,
the powers of the President with those otherwise it may lead to a constitutional
of the British monarch the Constitution deadlock. We are referring here to
was being wrongly interpreted; that extraordinary situations. For instance,
there is no provision in the Constitution if there is no clear-cut majority of a
which, in so many words, lays down
party or an alliance of parties in Lok
that the President shall be bound to act
Sabha and there are two claimants for
in accordance with advice of the Council
the post of Prime Minister, whom shall
of Ministers. In Great Britain there is
the President call for assuming office?
an unwritten Constitution while in
Shall he be guided by his own
India there is a written Constitution.
conscience or by the out-going Council
While in England there is hereditary
of Ministers? Similarly, if the party in
Head of State, in India there is an
power loses majority in Lok Sabha and
Elected Head of the State who is re-
eligible for election. He is, accordingly, the Prime Minister advises the President
answerable to his constituents for his to dissolve Lok Sabha, is the President
official acts which implies that he must bound by such an advice?
have freedom to act as he thinks right If the ruling party commands a thin
and be in a position to justify the action majority in both the Houses of
if the provision of re- election can have Parliament, it may not be able to take
any substance.” bold decisions. If it does not command
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 73

support from more than half the State Rajya Sabha and does not hold any
Legislatures, the President may create office of profit under the Government
situations that are not favourable to the of India or any State or local authority,
Ministry. can be elected to the office of Vice
Thus, it is quite clear that ordinarily President.
(including the duration of emergency) Before entering upon his office, the
President has to act as a constitutional Vice President is required to take an
head but extraordinary situations may oath before the President or some
give him opportunities to exercise his person appointed by him.
powers according to his own sweet will. The Vice President holds office for a
term of five years from the date on
which he enters upon his office. He may
Vice President send his resignation addressed to the
President. He can be removed from his
office by a resolution of Rajya Sabha
The Constitution states that there shall passed by a majority of members of the
be a Vice President of India. The House and agreed to by Lok Sabha.
Constitution makes a distinction However, such a resolution can be
between the two categories of functions moved only by giving at least fourteen
that the Vice Presidents is required to days’ notice.
perform. When the office of the President It is interesting to note that a
is vacant by reason of his death, peculiar situation arose when V. V. Giri
resignation or removal the Vice was the Vice President of India and he
President becomes the Acting President. was required to act as President
But when the President is unable to because there occurred a vacancy in
discharge his functions due to absence the office of the President due to the
or illness, the Vice President discharges death of President Zakir Hussain. When
his functions as officiating President. the schedule for the election of the
The Vice President is elected by the President was announced V. V. Giri
members of both the Houses of decided to contest for it. But before
Parliament assembled at a joint filing his nomination he wanted to
meeting. The election is held in resign from his post. Now, the question
accordance with the system of arose as to from which post should he
proportional representation by means resign? Should he resign from his
of single transferable vote. All doubts substantial post of Vice President or
and disputes related to the election of should he resign from the post he was
a Vice President shall be decided by the holding at that time i.e. Acting
Supreme Court. President. When he consulted the legal
Any person who is a citizen of India, experts, he was advised to resign from
has completed the age of 35 years, is his substantial post i.e. Vice President
qualified to be elected a member of of India. According to the Con-
74
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
stitutional provision the resignation Central Council of
letter was to be addressed to the
President of India. But he himself was Ministers
holding the office of President of India.
What to do in such a situation? The
The Constitution provides for a Council
legal experts advised him to address the
of Ministers, with Prime Minister as its
resignation letter to the President and
head, to aid and advise the President.
put it on his table and to simply walk
The President is required to act
out of the office. He, accordingly, did
according to its advice.
this and saved himself from the
The President first appoints the
embarrassing position.
Prime Minister and then on his advice
The Vice President receives such
appoints the other Ministers. The
salaries and allowances as are fixed by
President appoints such a person as
Parliament. Whenever he acts or
Prime Minister about whom he feels
officiates as President he does not
that he would be able to get support of
function as the Chairman of Rajya
the majority of members of Lok Sabha.
Sabha and is entitled to all the powers,
If a party commands absolute majority
allowances and privileges of the
in Lok Sabha and elects its own leader,
President. After getting elected as
the President has to appoint him as the
President, he cannot remain a member
Prime Minister. If no party commands
of either House of Parliament or of a
absolute majority but two or more than
State Legislature.
two parties combine together and form
The Vice President is the ex-officio
an alliance with a common programme
Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He presides
and that alliance is able to command
over the meetings of Rajya Sabha and
absolute majority in Lok Sabha, the
conducts all its proceedings except
leader of such an alliance is called upon
when the resolution for his removal is
by the President to assume the office of
under consideration. He enforces the
Prime Minister.
rules of conduct. Whenever there is a
The President then asks the Prime
division in the House on any issue, he
Minister to give a list of persons whom
counts the votes and declares the
he would like to appoint as members
results. He gives his ruling whether a
of the Council of Ministers. The
resolution or a question is admissible
or not. Ordinarily, he does not vote but President has to appoint such persons
when the House is divided equally on as Ministers, who have been so
any issue, he exercises casting vote. He recommended by the Prime Minister.
decides whether an adjournment There are three categories of
motion moved by a member is Ministers–Cabinet Ministers, Ministers
admissible or not. He acts as the of State and Deputy Ministers. Cabinet
Chancellor/Visitor of the Central is a small body of Ministers who occupy
Universities of India. a prominent position in the party and
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 75

hold important portfolios. It meets off It appears from the above that the
and on and takes all important policy Prime Minister is very powerful but
decisions of the government. A Cabinet actually it is not so. While forming his
Minister is the head of one or more Council of Ministers he has to take a
departments. The Ministers of State, number of considerations such as
again, are of two categories. Some representation of different sections of
Ministers of State have an independent society, different geographical regions,
charge of their Ministry while others act different ideological groups in the party
under the supervision of a Cabinet etc. As a result of these considerations,
Minister. Sometimes they may be called the choice of the Ministers for the Prime
to attend meetings of the Cabinet when Minister becomes very limited. By and
an important issue pertaining to their large, it can be stated that about half
department is discussed. Deputy the members of Council of Ministers are
Ministers work under the supervision there because the Prime Minister wants
of either a Cabinet Minister or a Minister them, but about half the members are
of State. Their main function is to assist there because the Prime Minister has
the Cabinet Minister or Minister of no other alternative. It is because of
State, as the case may be, in performing these things that the Prime Minister is
their functions. called primus inter pares which means
that he is first amongst the equals.
Position of The Prime Minister
The Council of Ministers meets very
The Prime Minister occupies a unique rarely. It is the Cabinet that meets
position in the Council of Ministers. It frequently. The Cabinet takes all the
is he who chooses other Ministers. major policy decisions. But the Council
Whenever there is a conflict between a of Ministers takes the responsibility for
Minister and the Prime Minister, the those decisions. It may be that an
Minister has to give way to the Prime individual Minister may differ on a
Minister. The Prime Minister may ask particular decision but he cannot
any Minister to resign from his post. If express it publicly unless he first
he does not do so, the President may submits his resignation from the
remove him from Council of Ministers Council of Ministers. The Council of
on the advice of the Prime Minister. Ministers is collectively responsible to
The Prime Minister presides over the Lok Sabha. It implies that a censure
meetings of Council of Ministers. It is motion against one Minister amounts
he who communicates the decision of to no confidence against the whole
the Council of Ministers to the Ministry in which case all the members
President. Whenever the President including the Prime Minister have to go
wants to communicate to the Council out of office. The members of both the
of Ministers, he does so through the Houses of Parliament keep control over
Prime Minister. Prime Minister is the Ministers by asking questions and
chief spokesman of the government. supplementary questions and by moving
76
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
adjournment motions, call : attention the President has to consult the Chief
notices, and by appointing various Justice of India.
committees such as Public Account Only such a person can be appointed
Committee, Estimates Committee, a judge of the Supreme Court who is a
Committee on Government Assurances, citizen of India and has been a judge of
Committee on Public Undertakings, a High Court for at least five years or
Committee on Privileges, Committee on has been an advocate of a High Court
Subordinate Legislation etc. for ten years or is, in the opinion of
The Council of Ministers takes policy President, a distinguished jurist.
decisions on all matters of The judges of the Supreme Court are
administration. It supervises the paid such salaries as are determined
execution of all policy decisions. It by the Parliament by law. They are also
prepares Bills and pilots them in the two entitled to such privileges and
Houses of Parliament so that they allowances and to such rights in
become laws. It prepares the Budget respect of leave of absence and pension
and regulates income and expenditure as are determined by the Parliament
of the Union Government. It formulates from time to time. However, the
foreign policy and conducts its affairs Parliament cannot make any change,
with other countries. after their appointment, in the salaries,
allowances, privileges, leave of absence
and pension etc. of the judges adversely
affecting them except in case of financial
Supreme Court emergency. Every judge of the Supreme
of India Court including the Chief Justice holds
office until he attains the age of sixty-
five years. He, however, can resign his
The highest judicial authority in India post any time by submitting his
is the Supreme Court. It consists of a resignation to the President. He can also
Chief Justice and several other judges. be removed from his office by the
The number of other judges is decided President if each House of Parliament
by the Parliament by law. Originally the presents an address to him, supported
Constitution provided for seven other by a majority of the total membership
judges only. The Parliament increased of that House, and by a majority of not
the number several times. At present, less than two-thirds of the members of
the number of other judges is twenty- that House present and voting, for such
five. removal on the grounds of proven
Every judge of the Supreme Court is misbehaviour or incapacity.
appointed by the President after Every person appointed to be a judge
consulting such of the judges of the of the Supreme Court is required to
Supreme Court and of the High Courts take an oath of office before he enters
as President deems necessary. upon his office, before the President or
However, while appointing other judges some person appointed by him.
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 77

No person who has held office as a and any State or States on one side and
judge of the Supreme Court cannot one or more States on the other or (iii)
plead or act in any court or before any between two or more States. Such a
authority, within the territory of India. dispute should, however, involve some
When the office of the Chief Justice question of law or fact on which the
of India is vacant or when the Chief existence or extent of a legal right
Justice is by reason of absence or depends. The treaties concluded
otherwise unable to perform his duties, between the Centre and the princely
the same shall be performed by one of states are excluded from the Court’s
the other judges as the President may original jurisdiction.
appoint for the purpose. Appellate Jurisdiction
If at any time there is no quorum in
The Supreme Court hears appeals
the Supreme Court for performing its
against the judgement of a High Court:
duties, the Chief Justice, with the
In certain cases where a High Court
previous consent of the President and
certifies, in a civil or criminal case, that
after consultation with the Chief Justice
the case involves a substantial question
of the High Court concerned, may of law as to the interpretation of the
request one of the judges of a High Constitution or where the Supreme
Court, who otherwise is qualified to be Court grants special leave for such an
appointed a judge of the Supreme appeal.
Court, as its ad-hoc judge, for such In civil case where a High court
period as may be necessary. certifies that the case involves a
The Chief Justice of India may, at any substantial question of law of general
time, with the previous consent of the importance and in the opinion of the
President, request any retired judge of High Court the said question needs to
the Supreme Court or that of a High be decided by the Supreme Court.
Court (who otherwise is qualified to be In criminal cases where the High
appointed a judge of the Supreme Court has, on appeal; reversed an order
Court) to sit and act as a judge of the of acquittal and sentenced the accused
Supreme Court. Such a person will be to death or where the High Court has
entitled to allowances as the President transferred the case from subordinate
may determine and shall have all the court to itself, and then convicted the
jurisdiction, powers and privileges that accused and sentenced him to death
are enjoyed by regular judges. and where the High Court certifies that
the case is a fit one for appeal to the
Original Jurisdiction
Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court hears directly any
dispute, (i) between the Government Advisory Jurisdiction
of India and one or more States, If at any time it appears to the President
(ii) between the Government of India that a question of law or fact has arisen
78
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
or is likely to arise which is of such a Court of Record
nature and of such public importance The judgments of the Supreme Court
that it is expedient to obtain the opinion are recorded and considered
of the Supreme Court upon it he may authoritative and serves as cases, laws
refer the question to the Court for or precedents.
consideration and the Court may, after
such hearing as it thinks fit, report to Contempt of Court
the President its opinion thereupon. The Supreme Court can start contempt
However, this advice of the Court is proceedings against anyone who
binding neither on the President nor on indulges in malicious propaganda
the parties affected by the opinion. against the judges or tries to influence
the judges.
Review of Judgements
The Supreme Court is empowered to Public Interest Litigation
review any judgement pronounced Till recently the judiciary, including the
by it. Supreme Court, entertained litigation
Enforcement of Supreme Courts’ only from those parties that were
Orders and Decrees: The decisions affected directly by it. But during the
of the Supreme Court are binding on last few years, a new practice has been
all the courts in India. All the civil and started. People, who are not involved
judicial authorities are required to directly in the case, may file litigation,
assist and aid the Court in the if it is in the general public interest. It
execution of its orders. is the privilege of the Court to entertain
Guardian of the Constitution: The or not the application for Public Interest
principal function of the Supreme Court Litigation.
is to act as the guardian of the To sum up, we can say that the
Constitution, particularly relating to the Supreme Court is a powerful institution
Fundamental Rights guaranteed to the of the Indian federation. It not only
protects the interests of units of
citizens. The Supreme Court has
the federation but also guarantees
concurrent right with the High Courts
the enforcement of constitutional
to issue directions, orders and writs for provisions. It safeguards the
enforcement of Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Rights of the citizens and
particularly the writs of habeas corpus keeps a check both on the executive
mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, and and the legislative wings of the
quo warranto. government.
GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE 79

Exercises

1. ‘The President is an essential part of the Parliament’. Do you agree with this
statement?
2. What is the difference between a Money Bill and an Ordinary Bill? How is a
Money Bill passed?
3. Describe the procedure of law making in Indian Parliament.
4. Do you agree that the Rajya Sabha enjoys fewer powers than the Lok Sabha?
5. Describe the procedure of election of the President of India.
6. What are the executive powers of the President?
7. Enumerate the legislative powers of the President.
8. Discuss the judicial powers of the President.
9. Can the President of India exercise the emergency powers according to his
own will ?
10. Examine the actual position of the President of India.
11. Describe the powers of the Vice President?
12. Is the Prime Minister ‘Primus inter pares’? Give reasons in support of your
answer?
13. What do you mean by collective responsibility of the Council of Ministers?
14. Discuss the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?
15. When does the Supreme Court of India advise the President? Is that advice
binding on him?
16. How does the Supreme Court protect the Fundamental Rights of Indian
citizens?
17. Write short notes on
(a) Parliament’s control over the Council of Ministers
(b) Public Accounts Committee
(c) Failure of constitutional machinery
(d) Financial emergency
(e) Procedure of Impeachment of the President
Chapter 6

GOVERNMENT
IN THE STATES
has the same force and effect as that of
State Legislature an Act of the Legislature. The ordinance
has to be laid before the legislature and

E very State has a Legislature. Some


States have two Houses of
legislature — Legislative Council
approved by it within six weeks of its
assembly. If the ordinance is not
approved within six weeks it shall cease
(Vidhan Parishad) and Legislative to operate.
Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). Other States
have only one House i.e. Legislative
Legislative Council
Assembly. The Parliament may, by law, create or
abolish a Legislative Council in a State
Governor if the Legislative Assembly of that State
The Governor of a State is an essential passes a resolution to that effect by a
part of its Legislature. He summons majority of the total number of members
and prorogues the legislature. He of the Assembly and by a majority of
can dissolve the Assembly. Without not less than two-thirds of the members
his assent no Bill, passed by the present and voting. At present, five
legislature, can become an Act. He has States (viz. Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir,
the right to address the legislature. He Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar
may send messages to the legislature Pradesh) have Legislative Councils.
regarding any Bill pending before it and The Legislative Council is the Upper
the legislature is required to deliberate House of a State Legislature. The total
upon it. At the commencement of the number of members in the Legislative
first session after the general election Council of a State does not exceed one-
to the Legislative Assembly and at the third of the total number of members
commencement of the first session of in the Legislative Assembly of that
each year, the Governor addresses the State. However, the total number of
legislature and informs it of the causes members in the Legislative Council of a
of its summons. The legislature is State should, in no case, be less than
required to deliberate upon the matters forty.
referred in such addresses. When the Until Parliament, by law, provides
legislature is not in session and there otherwise, one-third of the total number
is a need for immediate action, the of members of the Council are elected
Governor may issue an ordinance that by electorates consisting of members of
81
GOVERNMENT IN THE STATES
Municipalities, District Boards and Deputy Chairman vacates his office if
other local authorities in the State; he ceases to be a member of the
one-third are elected by members of the Council. He may resign his office or may
Legislative Assembly of the State; be removed from his office by a
one-twelfth are elected by graduates of resolution of the Council passed by a
three years standing; one-twelfth are majority of members of the Council.
elected by teachers who have taught in But, before moving such a resolution,
secondary schools and above for at fourteen days’ notice must be given. The
least three years and one-sixth are Chairman and the Deputy Chairman
nominated by the Governor from are paid such salaries and allowances
amongst those persons who have as are fixed by the Legislature.
special knowledge or practical
experience in such matters as literature,
Legislative Assembly
science, art, cooperative movement and The Legislative Assembly of each State
social service. All these elections are consists of not more than five hundred
held in accordance with the system of and not less than sixty members elected
proportional representation by means by direct election from territorial
of single transferable vote. constituencies of the State. For this
In order to become a member of the purpose, each State is divided into
Legislative Council, a person should be territorial constituencies in such
a citizen of India, should not be less manner that the ratio between the
than 30 years of age and possess such population of each constituency and the
other qualifications as may be number of seats allotted to it is almost
prescribed, by law, by the Parliament. the same throughout the State.
He, however, should not be of unsound The Constitution, however, provides
mind, an insolvent and should not hold for reservation of seats for the
any office of profit (excepting that of a Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
minister) under the Government of Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of
India or that of a State. each State in proportion to their
The tenure of every member of the population.
Council is six years but every second If the Governor of a State feels, after
year one-third of its members retire and a general election for the Legislative
new members are elected. Assembly, that the Anglo-Indian
Ten or one-tenth of the total number Community is not adequately
of members, whichever is greater, forms represented therein, he may nominate
the quorum of any meeting of the one member of that community to the
House. Assembly.
The Legislative Council chooses two The members of Legislative Assembly
of its members as Chairman and are elected on the basis of universal
Deputy Chairman respectively. A adult franchise. A voter should be a
member holding office as Chairman or citizen of India, should have attained
82
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
eighteen years of age and his name is a division in the House on any issue,
should be in the voters list. he counts the votes and declares the
To get oneself elected to the result. Ordinarily, he does not vote but
Legislative Assembly one needs to be a when the House is divided equally on
citizen of India, must be not less than any issue, he exercises casting vote. He
twenty-five years of age and must decides whether an adjournment
possess such other qualifications as motion moved by a member is
may be prescribed by or under any law admissible or not. He decides whether
made by the Parliament. a Bill is a Money Bill or not.
A person can be disqualified from the One-tenth of the total number of
membership of Legislative Assembly if members forms the quorum of any
he holds an office of profit under the meeting of the House.
Government of India or of a State or is Powers and Functions
of unsound mind or is an insolvent.
The powers and functions of the
The tenure of Legislative Assembly is
Legislature can be studied under the
five years but the Governor is
following heads.
empowered to dissolve it earlier also.
The House elects its own presiding Legislation
officer, called Speaker, who conducts its The primary function of Legislature is
business. During the absence of legislation. It has an exclusive power to
Speaker from any sitting of the legislate on the subjects mentioned in
Assembly, the Deputy Speaker, who is the State List. It shares the power of
also elected by the House, acts as legislation on subjects in the
Speaker. Concurrent List with Parliament. In
The Speaker presides over the case of a conflict between the law
meetings of Legislative Assembly and passed by the Parliament and that of a
conducts all its proceedings except State Legislature, the law of the
when the resolution for his removal is Parliament prevails to the extent of
under consideration. He determines the inconsistency.
order of business and prescribes the The Bills introduced in and passed
time limit for the speeches. He maintains by the Legislature are of two types, non-
order and discipline in the House and Money or Ordinary Bills and Money
prevents the use of un-parliamentary Bills. The procedure for passing a
language in the House. If a member Money Bill is different from that of an
disregards or flouts his ruling, he can Ordinary Bill. An Ordinary Bill can be
name the member for suspension or ask introduced in either of the two Houses.
him to leave the House or order his Every Ordinary Bill, before it becomes
physical removal by the Marshal of an Act, has to pass through the
the House. Similarly, if the House following stages.
becomes unruly, he can suspend the The draft of the proposed Bill has
business of the House. Whenever, there to be sent to the Secretariat of the
83
GOVERNMENT IN THE STATES
House. The Speaker of the Legislative the Bill to a Select Committee consisting
Assembly or the Chairman of Legislative of such members of the House as have
Council, as the case may be, after special interest in the subject. The
consulting the Business Advisory presiding officer constitutes such a
Committee, determines the day and Committee having 20-30 members.
time when the Bill is to be moved in the The Committee makes a thorough
House. On the appointed day and time scrutiny of the Bill and suggests various
the mover seeks the permission of the changes and then submits its Report
presiding officer to move the Bill. On to the House. The House considers the
receiving his assent, the mover reads Report and then discusses and votes
the title of the Bill and gives a short the Bill in detail clause by clause. If the
speech highlighting the aims and House approves it, it is supposed to
objectives of the Bill. If there is no have crossed the Report Stage.
opposition from anyone, the Bill is After an interval of some time, the Bill
supposed to have been passed in the is again put before the House for final
First Reading. Ordinarily there is no or Third Reading. At this stage, there is
opposition at this stage, because it only only a general discussion and no
implies that the House has consented amendment, except some verbal
to consider the Bill in detail. But there changes, is allowed. If the House
are some occasions when the opposition approves the Bill at this stage the Bill
is not prepared even to consider the Bill, goes to the other House. In the other
the presiding officer allows a full debate House also the Bill has to undergo all
and then the Bill is put to vote. If the the stages referred to above. If the other
House approves it, it is supposed to House also approves, it goes to the
have been passed in the First Reading. Governor for his assent. The Second
After an interval of some time House (Legislative Council) can reject
(generally it is of two days) the Bill is the Bill or send it back with its
again moved by the mover. This stage recommendations. It may even sleep
is called Second Reading and the Bill is over the Bill for three months. If the
discussed and passed in detail clause Legislative Assembly passes the Bill
by clause. Alternatively, the House may again with or without changes, the
decide to circulate the Bill for eliciting Council cannot reject it. Even if it
the public opinion. Then, the Bill is rejects; the Bill is deemed to have been
published in the Government Gazette passed by both the Houses after a
inviting public reactions on it. The gist month.
of the public opinion is then circulated A Bill after being adopted by both the
amongst the members of the House. Houses, if there are two Houses or by
The members discuss it in detail in the the Legislative Assembly, if there is only
light of public opinion and vote clause one House, is presented before the
by clause. Governor for his assent. The Governor
There is, however, another alte- either gives his assent or returns the Bill
rnative. The House may decide to refer to the Legislature for reconsideration.
84
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
If the Legislature passes the Bill again, together and incorporated in a Bill
whether in amended or original form, called the Annual Appropriation Bill. It
the Governor has to give his assent is presented before and passed by the
after which it becomes an Act. The Legislative Assembly in the same
Gover nor, however, has another manner as any other Bill. Then it is
alternative. He may reserve the Bill for certified by the Speaker as a Money Bill
the consideration of the President. The and sent to the Legislative Council if
President may give his assent or there is one, for its recommendations.
withhold it or he may refer back the Bill Money Bills can be initiated only in
to the Legislature for reconsideration in the Legislative Assembly and when it is
the light of his suggestions. If the sent to the Legislative Council, the
Legislature again passes the Bill with Legislative Council has to send it back
or without amendment, it is again sent within fourteen days. It can make
to the President for his consideration. recommendations but it can neither
The Procedure Adopted for Money reject, nor amend them. In any case, the
Bills Bill is considered to have been passed
by both the Houses fourteen days
The State Legislature exercises full
after its final stage in the Legislative
control over the finances of the State
Assembly. It is then sent to the
Government. In the beginning of every
Governor for his assent who cannot
financial year an Annual Financial
withhold it.
Statement or the Budget, showing the
receipts and expenditure, is laid down Control over the Executive
before the State Legislature. The Budget The Council of Ministers is collectively
shows separately the expenditure responsible to the Legislative Assembly.
charged on the Consolidated Fund of The Legislative Assembly is empowered
the State, which can be discussed but to pass a vote of censure against the
not voted upon and the amount
Ministry. Whenever such a motion is
required to meet other expenditure
passed the Ministry has to resign.
proposed to be made from the
Both the Houses exercise control over
Consolidated Fund of the State which
the Executive through asking
are discussed and voted upon by the
questions, supplementary questions,
Legislature.
The Budget speech by the Finance discussing matters of urgent public
Minister is followed by a general importance, moving call-attention
discussion on the Budget as a whole. notices and adjournment motions,
After the discussion is over the and also by appointing various
Legislative Assembly proceeds to the committees such as Public Accounts
Voting of Demands. When all the Committee, Estimates Committee,
Demands have been voted by the Committee on Privileges, the Committee
Legislative Assembly, both the charged on Subordinate Legislation etc. All
and non-charged expenditures are put these activities keep the executive alert.
85
GOVERNMENT IN THE STATES
Constitutional Amendments Any person who is a citizen of India
A Constitutional Amendment Bill and has completed the age of 35 years
proposing changes in the federal can be appointed a Governor of a State
character of the Constitution requires in India.
the approval of half the State The Governor shall not be a member
Legislatures if the same has been of either House of Parliament or of
passed by both the Houses of the Legislature of a State and if any member
Parliament. of any of these houses is appointed a
Electoral Powers: The elected Governor, he shall be deemed to have
members of the State Legislative vacated such membership on the date
Assemblies along with the elected on which he assumes charge of
members of two Houses of Parliament Governorship.
form the electoral college that elects the Before entering upon his office a
Governor is required to take an oath in
President of India.
the presence of Chief Justice or the
It is quite clear from the description
senior most judge of the High Court of
given above that the legislature of a
that State. In his oath he promises to
State plays a very important role in the
preserve and protect the Constitution
governance of the State. It not only
and the law.
legislates on the subjects mentioned in
the State list and Concurrent list but Executive Powers
also keeps control over the Council of All the executive functions in the State
Ministers. The Council of Ministers can are carried on in the name of the
remain in power so long as it commands Governor. He appoints the Chief
the confidence of the Legislative Minister. According to the convention
Assembly of the State. he can appoint only such person to the
post about whom he feels would be able
to command the confidence of the
Governor majority of members of the Legislative
Assembly. The well-established
convention is that he calls the leader of
The executive authority of a State is the majority party or an alliance of
vested in the Governor of the State who parties (if there is no single party having
exercises it directly or through the majority) to form the Ministry. He
officers subordinate to him. appoints other Ministers and
The President of India appoints the distributes portfolios amongst them on
Governor of a State for a term of five the advice of the Chief Minister. Besides,
years. He holds his office during the he also appoints Advocate- General,
pleasure of the President. The President Chairman and members of the State
can not only remove the Governor from Public Service Commission. The
his office but also transfer him from one Governor has a right to be informed of
state to another. all the affairs of the State Government.
86
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Legislative Powers offence against any law relating to a
As Governor is an inseparable part of matter to which the executive power of
the Legislature, he possesses certain the State extends.
legislative powers, such as summoning Position of the Governor
and proroguing the Legislature,
If we look to the list of powers enu-
dissolving the Legislative Assembly,
merated above, it would appear that the
addressing the session of the Assembly
Governor of a State is a very powerful
or Joint Session of the two Houses of
figure. But the reality is quite different.
the Legislature. He can send messages
As we have adopted a parliamentary
to either or both the Houses, assent the
form of government wherein the Council
Bills passed by the Legislature,
of Ministers is answerable to the
promulgate an ordinance etc. He also
Legislature, the powers really belong to
has the power to nominate a member
the Ministry and not to the Governor.
of the Anglo-Indian Community to the
However, extraordinary situations
Legislative Assembly if he feels, after a
may require the Governor to act at his
general election, that the Anglo-Indian
discretion. For instance, if there is no
Community is not adequately
clear cut majority of a party or an
represented in the Legislative Assembly.
alliance of parties in the Legislative
Financial Powers Assembly and there are two claimants
Every financial year the Governor asks for the post of Chief Minister, whom
the Finance Minister to lay an Annual shall the Governor call for assuming the
Financial Statement before the State office? Shall he be guided by his own
Legislature. A Money Bill cannot conscience or by the out-going Council
be introduced or moved in the of Ministers? Similarly, if the party in
Legislative Assembly except on power loses majority in the Legislative
the recommendation of the Governor. Assembly and the Chief Minister
A Bill involving expenditure from advises the Governor to dissolve the
the Consolidated Fund of the State Legislative Assembly, is the Governor
cannot be passed by the Legislature bound by such an advice?
unless the Governor has recommended Thus, it is quite clear that the
for its consideration. No demand for a Governor ordinarily has to act as a
grant can be made except on the constitutional head but then,
recommendation of the Governor. extraordinary situation may give him
opportunities to exercise his powers
Judicial Powers according to his sweet will.
The Governor possesses the power to In spite of this, various contro-versies
grant pardons, reprieves, respites or have arisen regarding the powers of the
remissions of punishment or to Governor. As he is an appointee of the
suspend, remit or commute the President of India and holds his office
sentence of any person convicted of any during the pleasure of the President,
87
GOVERNMENT IN THE STATES
the general feeling is that he has to act cases, it was the Congress, the ruling
as per advice of the President and party at the centre then, which got an
cannot defy it. At the same time he is opportunity to form the ministry. This
required to act on the advice of his again, has caused a lot of resentment
Council of Ministers. Thus, he has to and there have been demands for
serve two masters. If there is a conflict laying down clear -cut guidelines
between the two advices, whom shall for the Governors. But, the Central
he obey? Generally speaking, most of Government has declined to accede to
the Governors have acted on the advice it. Not only this when the Parliament
of the President. This has caused a lot passed the Constitution (Forty-Second
of resentment from the supporters of the Amendment) Act 1976 it was made
State Governments. In a number of mandatory for the President to act on
cases it was noted that in similar the advice of the Council of Ministers
situations different Governors have but not so in the case of the Governor.
taken different stands, the results of It was kept vague particularly because
which always have been in favour of the the Central Government did not want
ruling party at the Centre. For instance, to loosen its grip on the State
after the Fourth General Election, no Governments.
party got absolute majority in the There is also a lot of controversy
legislatures in Uttar Pradesh and regarding the discretionary powers of the
Rajasthan. In both the States, there Governors. There are some
were two claimants for the post of Chief commentators who observe that the
Minister, one from the Congress Party Governor has no discretionary powers
and another from an alliance of parties excepting that of the Governor of
(Samyukta Vidhayak Dal). The two Nagaland, who has to act at his
governors behaved in two different discretion, while governing the
ways. Sampurnanand, the Governor of administration of the District of
Rajasthan called the single largest Tuensang or a Governor who has to
party to form the ministry and said it administer a Union Territory attached to
was none of his business to count the him, without consulting his Council of
heads. If the Opposition according to Ministers. But there are others who feel
him was in majority let it defeat the that the Governor does possess some
ministry on the floor of the House. discretionary powers. It is the Governor
Contrary to it Biswanath Das, the himself who decides, at his di1scretion,
Gover nor of U.P. asked both the as to in which sphere he shall act at his
claimants to give the list of their discretion and in which field he shall act
supporters. When he found some on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
names common in both the lists he Thus, the Governor has a wide scope to
called the members concerned determine his discretionary powers. In
individually and checked up as to spite of a number of efforts by the
whom they supported. In both the Governors themselves, the jurists, the
88
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
constitutional experts and distinguished as Ministers, who have been so
public men, no clear cut principles have recommended by the Chief Minister.
been laid down about the ways the
Position of Chief Minister
Governor is required to act.
The Chief Minister occupies a unique
position in the Council of Ministers. It
is he who chooses other Ministers.
State Council of Whenever there arises a conflict between
Ministers a Minister and the Chief Minister, the
Minister has to give way to the Chief
Minister. The Chief Minister may ask
The Constitution of India has vested the any Minister to resign from his post. If
executive powers of the State in the he does not do so, he may be removed
Governor of the State. But; he is from the Council of Ministers by the
actually a nominal head. While Governor on the advice of the Chief
exercising his powers he is aided and Minister.
advised by a Council of Ministers. Chief Minister presides over the
The Governor first appoints the Chief meetings of the Council of Ministers. It
Minister and then appoints other is he who communicates the decision
Ministers on his advice. The Governor of the Council of Ministers to the
appoints such a person as the Chief Governor. Whenever Governor wants to
Minister about whom he feels that he communicate to the Council of
would be able to get support of the Ministers, he does so through the Chief
majority of members of the Legislative Minister. Chief Minister is the chief
Assembly. If a party commands spokesman of the government.
absolute majority in the Legislative It appears from the above that the
Assembly and elects its own leader, the Chief Minister is very powerful. But
Governor has to appoint him the Chief actually it is not so. While forming his
Minister. If no party commands Council of Ministers he has to take
absolute majority but two or more than number of considerations such as
two parties combine together and form representation of different sections of
an alliance with a common programme society, different geographical regions
and that alliance is able to command and different ideological groups in the
absolute majority in the Legislative party etc. As a result of these con-
Assembly, the leader of such an alliance siderations the choice of the Chief
is called upon by the Governor to Minister becomes very limited. By and
assume the office of the Chief Minister. large, it can be stated that about half
The Governor, then, asks the Chief the members of the Council of Ministers
Minister to give a list of persons whom are there because the Chief Minister
he would like to appoint as members wants them, but about half the
of the Council of Ministers. The members are there because the Chief
Governor has to appoint such persons Minister has no other alternative. It is
89
GOVERNMENT IN THE STATES
because of these things that the Chief It prepares the Budget and gets it
Minister is called ‘primus inter pares’ passed by the Legislature. It regulates
which means that he is first amongst income and expenditure of the State.
the equals. In fact, it is the Council of Ministers that
really governs the State.
Collective Responsibility of the
Council of Ministers
The whole Council of Ministers meets
very rarely. It is the Cabinet that meets
High Courts
frequently. The Cabinet takes all the
major policy decisions. But the whole Most of the States have a High Court of
Council of Ministers takes the their own. However, some times two or
responsibility for those decisions. It may more States share one High Court. A
be that an individual Minister may High Court is the highest judicial
differ with a particular decision but he authority in the State. It consists of a
cannot make it public unless he first Chief Justice and such other judges as
submits his resignation from the the President may from time to time
Council of Ministers. The Council of deem it necessary to appoint. The Chief
Ministers is collectively responsible to Justice is appointed by the President
the Legislative Assembly. It implies that in consultation with the Chief Justice
a censure motion against one Minister
of India and the Governor of that State.
amounts to no confidence against the
In appointing other judges the
whole Ministry in which case all the
President, besides consulting the Chief
members, including the Chief Minister,
Justice of India and the Governor of
have to go out of office. The members of
that State, also consults the Chief
both the Houses of Legislature keep control
Justice of the High Court.
over the Ministers through asking
For the appointment as a judge of a
questions, supplementary questions and
by moving adjournment motions, call- High Court a person should be a citizen
attention notices, and by appointing of India and should have held a judicial
various committees such as Public office at least for ten years or has been
Account Committee, Estimates Committee, an advocate of a High Court in any
Committee on Government Assurances, State for at least ten years.
Committee on Public Undertakings, The judges of a High Court are paid
Committee on Privileges, Committee on such salaries, as are determined by
Subordinate Legislation etc. Parliament by Law. They are also
The Council of Ministers takes policy entitled to such privileges and
decisions on all matters of allowances and to such rights in
administration. It supervises the respect of leave of absence and pension
execution of all the policy decisions. It as are determined by Parliament
prepares Bills and pilots them in the from time to time. However, Parliament
Legislature so that they become laws. cannot make any change, after
90
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
their appointment, in the salaries, in the State. It also enjoys original
allowances, privileges, leave of absence jurisdiction in some matters.
and pension etc., adversely affecting Original Jurisdiction: Every High
them except in case of financial Court has original jurisdiction in regard
emergency. to admiralty, will, divorce, marriage,
Every Judge of a High Court, company, contempt of court and
including the Chief Justice, holds office certain revenue cases. Every High Court
until he attains the age of sixty-two is empowered to issue directions,
years. He, however, can resign his post orders or writs, particularly the writs
any time by submitting his resignation of habeas corpus, mandamus,
letter to the President. He can also be prohibition, certiorari and quo
removed from his office in the same warranto for the enforcement of any of
manner as the judges of the Supreme the Fundamental Rights.
Court. Appellate Jurisdiction: It hears
No person who has held an office as appeals against the judgments of
a permanent judge of a High Court can Subordinate Courts. In criminal cases,
practise in that High court. However, he if a Sessions Judge awards death
can practise in the Supreme Court or sentence, an appeal lies to the High
in any other High Court. Court. In civil cases, appellate
The President may increase the jurisdiction extends to all such cases
number of judges or appoint Additional which involve an amount exceeding
Judges if so required. A retired High Rupees 5,00,000/- It also hears cases
Court judge can also be appointed to relating to patent and designs,
act as a judge by the President. succession, land acquisition, in-
The Judgements of High Courts are solvency and guardianship.
recorded and considered authoritative
Transfer of Certain cases to the High
and serve as case laws. A High Court
Court
can start contempt proceedings against
anyone who indulges in malicious If a High Court feels that a case pending
propaganda against the Judges. A in a Subordinate Court, involves a
High Court can also start contempt substantial question of law, it may
proceedings against anyone who tries withdraw the case and may either
to influence the Judges. dispose off the case itself or determine
The President may after consultation the said question of law and return the
with the Chief Justice of India transfer case to the court from which it was
a Judge from one High Court to withdrawn for final decision.
another High Court. A High Court has the right of
superintendence over all other courts
Jurisdiction of a High Court subordinate to it, both in judicial and
A High Court is the highest court of administrative matters. It can make
appeal; both in civil and criminal cases, rules relating to the appointment,
91
GOVERNMENT IN THE STATES
demotion, promotion and leave of pertaining to the State. But it is not the
absence for the officers of the district highest court of appeal. There could be
courts and other lower courts. an appeal against its judgment to the
The High Court, thus, plays a very Supreme Court even in subjects
important role in the judicial matters included in the State list.

Exercises

1. Describe the composition of the Legislative Council and the Legislative


Assembly.
2. Describe the procedure by which a Money Bill is passed in a State.
3. If the two Houses of a legislature differ on a Ordinary Bill, how is the problem
resolved?
4. Who appoints the Governor of a State? What are the qualifications prescribed
for the post by the Constitution?
5. Describe in brief the powers of the Governor of a State.
6. Under what circumstances does the Governor of a State use his discretion?
7. How is the Council of Ministers formed in a State?
8. What do you mean by collective responsibility?
9. Write short notes on:
(a) Categories of Ministers
(b) Functions of the Council of Ministers
(c) Jurisdiction of a High Court
Chapter 7
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
INSTITUTIONS

Urban Local Government India”. He advocated the establishment


of a network of local self-governing
Institutions institutions, financial decentralisation,
adoption of election as a means of
constituting local bodies and the
I n the Constitution of India
initially there was no provision
for the establishment of local self-
reduction of the official elements to not
more than a third of the total
governing institutions in urban India, membership. In 1907, a Royal
though it did make reference, in one of Commission on Decentralisation was
the Directive Principles, about the established, which examined the
establishment of Village Panchayats in reasons behind the failure of the local
rural India. Lacuna was rectified self-governing bodies. It was found
bythe Constitution (Seventy-fourth that the failure was due to strict official
Amendment) Act, 1992, which control, excessive narrow franchise,
provided for the establishment and meagre resources, lack of education
management of urban local self- and shortage of committed persons.
government in India. According to the Government of
Urban Local Self Government in India Act, 1919, the local self-gover-
India has its roots in prehistoric times. nment became a ‘transferred’ subject
The excavations at Harappa and under the control of a responsible
Mohenjodaro reveal that the cities had minister. The Act increased the taxation
their own councils to manage their own powers of local bodies, lowered the
affairs. However, the foundation of franchise, reduced the nominated
modern system of urban government members and extended the communal
was laid by the British Government. electorate to a large number. As a
Lord Mayo’s Resolution of 1870 made result, the overall responsibility for the
arrangements for strengthening the functioning of local bodies passed from
municipal institutions and increasing the hands of district officer to the elected
the association of Indians in these chairmen.
bodies. However, it was Lord Ripon’s The working of urban local bodies
Resolution of 1882 that was hailed as during 1921-37 was neither a complete
the Magna Carta of local government failure nor an unqualified success.
and got Lord Ripon the title of the According to Simon Commission,
“father of local self-government in which reviewed the working of the
LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS 93

Government of India Act, 1919 “in every of these bodies resulted in the
province,… a few local bodies have enactment of the Constitution
discharged their responsibilities with (Seventy-fourth Amendment) Act,
undoubted success… others have been 1992. It made statutory provisions
equally conspicuous failures, the bulk for the establishment, empowerment
lies between these two extremes”. and functioning of urban local
According to the Government of self- governing institutions. The main
India Act, 1935, dyarchy was done provisions of this Act can be grouped
away with and full provincial autonomy under two categories — compulsory
was introduced. On 1st April 1937 and voluntary. Some of the compulsory
popular ministries were formed and provisions are: constitution of Nagar
local self-government got a new Panchayats, Municipal Councils and
impetus. But in 1939, popular Municipal Corporations; reservation of
ministries resigned as a protest against seats in urban local bodies for
making India a party to the Second Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes in
World War without consulting them. As proportion to their population;
a result, local self-government again got reservation of seats for women up to
a set back. one-third seats; the State Election
After the War was over and elections Commission, constituted with reference
for the Provincial Legislative Assemblies to conducting elections in the
took place in 1946, the newly Panchayati Raj bodies, should also
constituted ministries again took up the conduct elections to the urban local
cause of local self-governing bodies. self-governing bodies; the State
India got its independence in 1947 and Finance Commission, constituted with
a new enthusiasm set in motion. As a reference to financial affairs of the
result, elections were held for various Panchayati Raj bodies; should also
local self-governing bodies. The Five look into the financial affairs of the local
Year Plans also periodically highlighted urban self-governing bodies; tenure of
the problems of the municipal bodies urban local self-governing bodies fixed
and the inabilities of these bodies to at five years, if dissolved earlier, fresh
meet the growing demands of elections to be held within six months.
urbanization. The Central Government Voluntary provisions are — giving
has, from time to time, showed its voting rights to members of the Union
concern for the need to improve the and State Legislatures in these bodies;
urban bodies by appointing several providing reservation for Backward
commissions and committees. They Classes; giving financial powers in
made useful recommendations on relation to taxes, duties, tolls and fees
streamlining urban development in etc; making the municipal bodies
India. autonomous and devolution of powers
The sum total effect of the to these bodies to perform some or all
recommendations and suggestions of the functions enumerated in the
94
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Twelfth Schedule added to the more. The Legislature of a State may,
Constitution through the Constitution by law, make provision with respect to
(Seventy- fourth Amendment Act) and/ the composition and the territorial area
or to prepare plans for economic of a Wards Committee and the manner
development. in which the seats in a Wards Committee
should be filled. However, the
Structure of Urban Bodies
Legislature of a State can make
The Constitution, as amended, provides provision for the constitution of other
for the establishment of Nagar committees in addition to the Wards
Panchayats for transitional areas (that Committees.
is to say, an area in transition from a Seats should be reserved for the
rural area to an urban area), Municipal Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled
Councils for smaller urban areas and Tribes in every municipal body in
Municipal Corporations for larger proportion to their population. Out of
urban areas. However, no municipality these reserved seats (for Scheduled
can be constituted in areas that come Castes and Scheduled Tribes) one-third
under the jurisdiction of an industrial would be reserved for women belonging
establishment that provides or to these communities.
proposes to provide municipal services Similarly, not less than one-third of
therein. the total number of seats to be filled by
Composition of Municipal Bodies direct election in every municipal body
All the seats in municipal bodies should should be reserved for women
be filled by persons chosen by direct (including their reservation in the quota
election from the territorial of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
constituencies in the municipal area. Tribes).
However, the Legislature of a State may, Similarly, the offices of chairpersons
by law, provide for the representation in the municipal bodies should be
in a municipal body of persons having reserved for the Scheduled Castes,
special knowledge or experience of Scheduled Tribes and women in such
municipal administration, the manner as the Legislature of a State
members of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha may, by law, provide. The Legislature
and the members of Legislative Council of a State may also make provision for
and Legislative Assembly of the State, reservation of seats in municipal bodies
representing constituencies which or offices of chairpersons, for other
comprise wholly or partly the municipal Backward Classes.
area and the chair persons of Wards A person who has attained the age
Committees. of 21 years will be eligible to be elected
There should be Wards Committees, as a member of a municipal body. The
consisting of one or more Wards, within superintendence, direction and control
the territorial area of a municipal body of, the preparation of the electoral rolls
having a population of three lakhs or for, and the conduct of all elections to
LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS 95

municipal bodies should be vested in tolls and fees leviable by the State; the
the State Election Commission, consti- determination of the taxes, duties, tolls
tuted with reference to holding elections and fees which may be assigned to or
for Panchayati Raj institutions. appropriated by the municipal bodies
The tenure of every Municipal and the grants-in-aid to the municipal
body should be five years. They can, bodies from the Consolidated Fund of
however, be dissolved earlier after giving the State; the measures needed to
them reasonable opportunity of being improve the financial position of the
heard. The election of the new municipal bodies.
municipal body should be held before
Committee for District Planning
the expiry of its tenure or within six
months of its dissolution, as the case Committees for District Planning
may be. should be constituted in every State at
The Legislature of a State may the district level to consolidate the plans
extend powers and authority of prepared by the Panchayats and the
municipal bodies, if necessary, to Municipal bodies in the district and to
enable them to function as institutions prepare a draft development plan for
of self-government. It may authorise a the district as a whole. Planning
municipal body to levy, collect and Committee should, in preparing the
appropriate such taxes, duties, tolls, draft development plan, have regard to
and fees as it thinks fit. It may also matters of common interest between
assign a share in those taxes, duties, the Panchayats and Municipal bodies.
tolls, and fees that are levied and The chairperson of every District
collected by the State Government itself. Planning Committee should forward the
It may also make provision for making development plan to the government of
grants-in-aid to municipal bodies from the State.
the Consolidated Fund of the State. It
Committee for Metropolitan
may also provide for constitution of
Planning
such funds for crediting all money
received by the municipal bodies and An area having a population of ten
their withdrawal. lakhs or more, comprised in one or
more districts and consisting of two or
Finance Commission more municipal bodies or Panchayats
The Finance Commission, consti-tuted may be declared by the Governor of the
with reference to Panchayati Raj State as a Metropolitan area. Every
institutions, should also review the Metropolitan Area should have a
financial position of the municipal Metropolitan Planning Committee to
bodies and make recommendations to prepare a draft development plan for
the Governor, as to: the principles which the Metropolitan area as a whole.
should govern the distribution between The Legislature of a State may, by
the State and the municipal bodies of law, make provision with respect to:
the net proceeds of the taxes, duties, composition of the Metropolitan
96
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Committees and the manner in which and group division, priority to self
seats in such Committees should be aggrandisement over public welfare
filled; the representation in such and electoral malpractices have marred
Committees of the Union and State and vitiated the whole atmosphere.
Governments; the manner in which the
chairpersons of such Committees
should be chosen. However, not less Rural Local Government
than two-thirds of the members of such
Committees should be elected by, and Institutions
from amongst, the elected members of
the municipal bodies and the
The Constitution of India initially
chairpersons of the Panchayats in the
provided only for two levels of the
Metropolitan Area in proportion to the
Government: Central and State. One of
ratio between population of the
the Directive Principles of State Policy
municipal bodies and of the
states that ‘the State’, “shall take steps
Panchayats in that Area.
to organise Village Panchayats and
Every Metropolitan Planning
endow them with such powers and
Committee should, in preparing the
authority as may be necessary
draft development plan, have regard to
to enable them to function as units of
the plans prepared by the municipal
self-government”. There was no
bodies and the Panchayats in the
provision regarding the composition,
Metropolitan Area and also to the
matters of common interest between powers and functions of the local
the municipal bodies and the self-governing institutions. It was
Panchayats. The chairperson of every through two constitutional amend-
Metropolitan Planning Committee ments viz. Constitution (Seventy-third
should forward the development plan Amendment) Act, 1992, and the
to the Government of the State. Constitution (Seventy-fourth Amend-
ment) Act, 1992, that provisions were
Functioning of Urban Local made in the Constitution relating to the
Government establishment of rural local self-
Though the Constitution (Seventy- governing institutions and urban local
fourth Amendment) Act, 1992, has self-governing institutions respectively.
removed some of the major hurdles in Thus, the Constitution now clearly
the proper functioning of the local self- provides for a third level of Government
governing bodies, it is sad that the viz. local self-government.
concept of grass-root democracy at In ancient times every Indian village
both, rural and urban, levels has not had a Village Panchayat that used to
flourished in the country. The function as an autonomous body. They
politicisation of administration, the were free from State interference.
entry of criminal elements in the elected According to Sir Charles Metcalf, the
bodies; rampant corruption; caste village communities “seem to last where
LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS 97

nothing else lasts. Dynasties tumble After India achieved independence in


down, revolution succeeds revolution. 1947, a number of provinces enacted
Hindu, Pathan, Mughal, Maratha, Sikh new Village Panchayat Acts that tried
and English, all are masters in turn but to develop village panchayats as units
the village communities remain the of self-government. The U.P. Village
same”. However, during the early Panchayat Act of 1947 was regarded
British period the village panchayats as a model Act by the Conference of the
lost their vitality and significance. The Local Self-Government Ministers of the
village disputes began to be brought States and other States were requested
before the city courts for hearing and to remodel their Acts on the U.P.
decision. In the 19 th century some pattern. Meanwhile a scheme of
attempts were made to organise them Community Development Programme
in Bombay and Madras presidencies, was started in 1952 and another
but the then, district authorities did not scheme of National Extension Service
encourage them. It was during Lord came into force in 1953. Both these
Ripon’s time that the local self- schemes aimed at the socio-economic
government got a new impetus. upliftment of the villagers. However,
However, the successors of Lord Ripon these schemes did not achieve expected
threw cold water upon his scheme. success. It was felt that the bureaucracy
When Dyarchy was introduced in could not evoke people’s participation.
Provinces in 1919 and local self- As a result, the Government of India
government was made a transferred appointed a Committee in 1957 under
subject, the Village Panchayat Acts the Chairmanship of Balwant Rai
were passed in a number of Indian Mehta to examine the working of the
Provinces and a new era of Community Development Programme
establishment and functioning of and the National Extension Service and
village panchayats began. But then, to report on the creation of institutions
due to paucity of funds, the village through which the participation of the
panchayats could not come in their full rural population could be elicited. The
form. After the Government of India Act, Committee submitted its report to the
1935 came into force and full fledged National Development Council on
Provincial Autonomy was established, November 24, 1957. The main re-
the village panchayats again got a commendations of the Committee were
new impetus. With the beginning of as follows — a three-tier system of
the Second World War, responsible Panchayati Raj be created; the
governments resigned. As a result, the institutions envisaged were Zila
village panchayats again got a setback. Parishad at the district level, Panchayat
After the war was over and elections for Samiti at the block level and the Gram
the Provincial Legislative Assemblies Panchayat at the village level; there
took place in 1946 and responsible should be a genuine transfer of power
governments took charge a new era of to these institutions; adequate
village panchayats started. resources should be made available to
98
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
them and all developmental schemes institutions; elections to these
should be channelled through these institutions to be organised by the
institutions. Chief Electoral Officer of the State in
The recommendations of this consultation with Chief Election
Committee, which are called by various Commissioner; Zila Parishad to be
names such as Panchayati Raj Scheme, made responsible for planning at the
Three-Tier System, Decentralisation district level; reducing the dependence
Scheme etc., were welcomed by the of these institutions on State funds and
Central as well as the State govern- endowing them with powers of taxation
ments. Steps were taken by the various and development functions to be
State governments to enact laws to transferred to Zila Parishad. Due to the
implement them. Accordingly, most of collapse of the Janata Government in
the States established three-tier 1980, the report of the Ashok Mehta
Panchayati Raj institutions but some Committee could not be implemented.
of them established only two-tier In 1984 a Working Group on District
institutions. In the beginning, these Planning was set up under the
institutions created a lot of enthusiasm Chairman of C. H. Hanumanth Rao.
amongst the people but by mid-1960s, This Group recommended that
they started losing appeal because of separate district planning bodies
the increasing tendency towards should be created under either a
centralisation, lack of resources, Minister or the Collector. The Collector
corruption, inefficiency and repeated should have a major role in the
postponement of elections of these decentralised planning. The Panchayati
bodies. As a result, in 1977 the Janata Raj institutions should also be
Government, with a view to exploring associated with the process.
the possibilities of reviving and In 1992 the Constitution (Seventy-
strengthening Panchayati Raj, third Amendment) Act was passed
appointed a Committee under the which made statutory provisions for the
Chairmanship of Ashok Mehta. This establishment, empowerment and
Committee submitted its report in functioning of Panchayati Raj
1978. Its main recommendations were institutions. The main provisions of the
as follows — creation of a two-tier Act can be grouped under two
system of Panchayati Raj, with Zila categories: provisions relating to
Parishad at the district level and, below compulsory functions and provisions
it, the MandaI Panchayat consisting of relating to optional functions.
a number of villages having a Some of the compulsory functions
population of 15, 000 to 20,000; Nyaya provided are: organisation of Gram
Panchayat, presided over by a qualified Sabhas; creation of a three-tier
Judge, to be kept as a separate body; Panchayati Raj Structure at the Zila,
open participation of political parties in Block and Village levels; almost all
the elections to the Panchayati Raj posts, at all levels to be filled by direct
LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS 99

elections; minimum age for contesting seats in a Panchayat should be filled


elections to the Panchayati Raj by persons chosen by direct election
institutions to be twenty- one years; the from territorial constituencies in the
post of Chairman at the Zila and Block Panchayat area. Provisions have been
levels should be filled by indirect made for the representation of the
election; there should be reservation of chairpersons of the village panchayats
seats for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled to the block and district level
Tribes in Panchayats, in proportion to Panchayats. The members of the Rajya
their population and for women in Sabha, Lok Sabha and Legislative
Panchayats up to one-third seats; State Assembly representing that area will
Election Commission for each State to also be members of the Block samiti
conduct elections to Panchayati Raj and Zila samiti. Seats should be
institutions; the tenure of Panchayati reserved for the Scheduled Castes
Raj institution should be five years, if and the Scheduled Tribes in every
dissolved earlier, fresh elections to be Panchayat in proportion to their
held within six months; a State Finance population. However, one-third of
Commission should be set up in each these (reserved) seats should be
State every five years. reserved for women belonging to
Some of the optional functions these communities. Similarly, not less
provided are: giving voting rights to than one-third (including the number
members of the Central and State of seats reserved for women belonging
legislatures in these bodies; providing to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
reservation for Backward Classes; the Tribes) of the total number of seats to
Panchayati Raj institutions should be filled by direct election in every
be given financial powers in relation Panchayat should be reserved for
to taxes, levy fees etc. and efforts women. Minimum age for contesting
shall be made to make Panchayats the elections for Panchayat has been
autonomous bodies. fixed at 21 years.
The tenure of every Panchayat
Structure of Rural Bodies
should be five years. They can, however,
The Constitution, as amended, provides be dissolved earlier. The election of the
for the establishment of Panchayats at new Panchayat should be held before
the village, intermediate and district the expiry of its tenure or within six
levels. However, Panchayats at the months of its dissolution, as the case
intermediate level may not be may be.
constituted in a State having a The Legislature of a State may extend
population not exceeding twenty lakhs. the powers and authority of the
Composition of Panchayats: The Panchayati Raj Institution.
Legislature of a State may make A Panchayat can levy, collect and
provision with respect to the appropriate taxes, duties, tolls, and fees
composition of Panchayats. All the as it thinks fit. It may get a share in the
100
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
taxes, duties, tolls, and fees that are Functioning of Rural Local
levied and collected by the State Government
Government. The State also provides
After the introduction of Panchayati
grants-in-aid to Panchayat.
Raj, particularly after the Constitution
At the expiry of every fifth year, a
Finance Commission is constituted to (Seventy-third Amendment ) Act, 1992
review the financial position of the came into force; there was a feeling that
Panchayats and make recom- the Local Self Governing institutions in
mendation to the Governor for their rural India would work smoothly. But
improvement. it is unfortunate that it still remains a
All elections of Panchayats are dream. Caste rivalry, group clashes,
conducted, supervised, directed and electoral violence, participation of
controlled by the State Election criminals, lack of political will, misuse
Commission. The State Election of Panchaya t funds by the Sarpanch
Commissioner is appointed by the and non-co-operative attitude of
Governor and cannot be removed from
bureaucracy are some of the factors
his office except in the like manner and
on the like grounds as a judge of a that have derailed the functioning of
High Court. Panchayati Raj institution.

Exercises

1. Describe, in brief, the composition of municipal bodies in India.


2. What are the different sources of income of municipal bodies in India?
3. Do you agree with the view that grass-root democracy has not flourished in
urban India? What are the reasons for it?
4. What are the three tiers of the Panchayati Raj institutions?
5. Describe, in brief, the composition of Panchayats.
6. Describe, in brief, the machinery that conducts the elections of the Panchayati
Raj institutions.
7. How is the Finance Commission of the State constituted? What functions
does it perform regarding the Local Self Government?
8. Write short notes on:
(a) Committee for District Planning
(b) Metropolitan Planning
(c) Nagar Panchayats
Chapter 8
INDIAN ADMINISTRATION —
ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONS

Central Administration — is assisted by career bureaucrats such


as the Secretary, Additional Secretaries,
Organisation and Joint Secretaries, Directors, Deputy
Functions Secretaries, Under Secretaries and the
Section Officers. For purposes of
internal organisation, a ministry is

T he Constitution of India does not


make any provision for the
machinery of administering public
divided into segments with an officer in
charge of each of them to expedite
matters.
affairs. Article 77 (1) states that all The lowest segment is a Section,
executive actions of the Government of which is in charge of a Section Officer
India shall be taken in the name of the and consists of a number of assistants,
President. However, Article 77 (3) states clerks, ‘daftaries’, typists and peons. It
that the President shall make rules for deals with the work relating to the
the transaction of the business of the subjects allotted to it. It is also referred
Government of India. The Ministries to as the Office. Two Sections constitute
and the Departments are collectively a Branch, which is under the charge of
known as the Secretariat. The an Under Secretary, who is also known
Secretariat can be divided into two as the Branch Officer. Two Branches
categories — Central Secretariat and ordinarily form a Division, which
the Cabinet Secretariat. While the is normally headed by a Deputy
Central Secretariat caters to the needs Secretary. When the volume of work in
of the administration in general, the a ministry exceeds the manageable size,
Cabinet Secretariat deals with the one or more Wings are established, with
administration relating to the Cabinet a Joint Secretary in charge of each
affairs only. wing.
The number of Ministries and The functions and the role of all these
Departments varies from time to time above-mentioned officers are as follows.
depending on the volume and variety
of work priorities and political
Secretary
expediency. A ministry may comprise A Secretary is the administrative head
one or more allied Departments or may of a ministry or a department; as the
not have any separate Department. The case may be. He is the principal advisor
ministry is headed by a Minister, who to the Minister on all the matters of
102
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
policy and administration and Under Secretary
is responsible for its efficient An Under Secretary is in charge of a
administration. He represents his Branch and exercises control both in
Ministry/Department before the Public regard to the dispatch of business and
Accounts Committee of Parliament. He the maintenance of discipline.
receives weekly report from the
Department. Recently, a new trend has Section Officers
developed in the administrative Superintendents, who are in charge of
structure. In some ministries a post has Sections, are called Section Officers.
been created by the name of Special Their supervisory duties comprise
Secretary to look after some specific distribution of work among their staff;
work. training, helping and advising the staff;
coordination of work in the section;
Additional Secretary ensuring prompt and efficient disposal
Originally, the officer next in hierarchy of work in the section and adoption of
to the Secretary was the Deputy proper methods to deal with the cases;
Secretary, but then, due to either timely submission of arrear statements
pressure of work on the Secretary or to and other periodical returns etc.
reward some senior Joint Secretaries, In addition to the Section Officer,
by raising both their salary and rank, each section consists of Assistants,
the post of Additional Secretary was Upper Division Clerks, Lower Division
created. Clerks and Typists. They are entrusted
the work of a routine nature and
Joint Secretary submit the relevant papers to the
This post was created for three reasons: Section Officer referring to the pages of
increase in the functions of some the file.
departments making it difficult for one The bulk of the posts are filled by the
Secretary to cope with the increased officers of the Indian Administrative
work, difficulty in combining separate Service, Class I Central Services and the
items of business under one Secretary Selection grade of the Central
and the emergence of two Houses of Secretariat Service. The Union
Government, thus, depends, to a large
Central Legislature which necessitated
extent, on officers taken on deputation
the presence of senior officers in both for a fixed period. However, there are
the Houses to assist the members in the some exceptions. For instance, all the
legislative work. Secretariat posts in the Ministry of
Deputy Secretary External Affairs are held by officers
belonging to the Indian Foreign Service.
A Deputy Secretary is an officer who Similarly, the officers in the Ministry of
acts on behalf of the Secretary and Railways and Central Legal Service are
holds charge of a Division. He held by those who belong to the Railway
ordinarily disposes off the majority of Service and Central Legal Service
cases coming to him. respectively.
INDIAN ADMINISTRATION — ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONS 103

Functions of Central Secretariat the two functions were separated and


were assigned to two different persons
The main functions of the Central
holding two different posts. Thus, the
Secretariat are to — assist the Minister
post of the Secretary of the Executive
in the process of policy making; assist
Council came into being. This post,
in the framing of legislation, rules and
later on, when India became in-
regulations; exercise supervision and
dependent, began to be called the
control over the executive departments
Cabinet Secretary. The office attached
or semi-autonomous field agencies,
to the Cabinet Secretary began to be
regarding the execution of policies and
called Cabinet Secretariat.
programmes; help the Minister in the
The efficiency of the Cabinet depends,
discharge of his parliamentary
to a large extent, on the Cabinet
responsibilities and help in preparing
Secretariat whose functions are to
the Budget and controlling the
prepare the agenda of the Cabinet
expenditure to be incurred by the
meeting, to provide information and
Ministry/Department.
material necessary for its deliberations
Cabinet Secretariat and to draft records of the discussions
The origin of the Cabinet Secretariat can and decisions, both of the Cabinet and
be traced back from the time of the its committees. It keeps the President,
the Vice-President and all the Ministries
British period. When the work of the
informed of the major activities of the
Government of India expanded, the
Government. It has three wings viz. the
Governor-General distributed the work
civil wing, the military wing and the
of different departments among the
intelligence wing. The civil wing
various members of the Executive
provides secretarial machinery for the
Council and retained only some
Cabinet and the various Committees of
important functions with himself. He the Cabinet. The military wing is
was assisted by a Private Secretary in responsible for all secretarial work
these functions. In the beginning, the connected with meetings of the Defence
Private Secretary did not accompany Committee, National Defence Council,
the Governor-General to the Executive Military Affairs Committee and a
Council, but during the regime of Lord number of other Committees concerned
Wellington, the Private Secretary, for the with defence matters. The intelligence
first time, was asked to accompany the wing concerns itself with matters
Governor- General to the meetings of relating to the Joint Intelligence
the Executive Council. Later on, in Committee of the Cabinet.
1935, the Private Secretary was The head of the Cabinet Secretariat
designated as the Secretary to the is the Cabinet Secretary. The Cabinet
Executive Council. He performed two- Secretary is usually the senior most
fold functions, Private Secretary to the civil servant of the country and the
Governor-General as well as Secretary official precedence gives him the first
to the Executive Council. A little later place among the civil servants.
104
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
The role of the Cabinet Secretary has Airlines Corporation, Air India,
been very well brought out by S. S. Life Insurance Corporation, Food
Khera, who states that the Cabinet Corporation of India, Industrial
Secretary provides the eyes and ears for Finance Corporation.
the Prime Minister to keep in touch with Public Corporations are owned by
the process of official business in the the State and created by a special law
Central Government. defining its objects, powers, duties and
privileges and prescribing the form of
Public Undertakings management and its relationship with
A significant feature of administration government departments. They are
in independent India is the increasing usually independently financed. They
Government intervention in the obtain funds by borrowing either from
economic field. Such intervention has the government or, in some cases, from
assumed three principal forms — the public and through revenues
introduction of planned economy, derived from the sale of goods and
manipulation of public finance and services. The employees of public
administration of public undertakings. corporations are not government
Governmental intervention of a positive servants. However, they may be taken
kind in the ownership, operation and from government departments on
regulation of public enterprises and deputation.
public utility services has today become
all comprehensive and varied. There Constitutional Statutory
are three principal forms in which Authorities
our public enterprises have been In the administration of public affairs,
organised: Departmental Under - along with the Ministries and
takings, Government Companies and Departments, extensive use has been
Statutory Public Corporation. made of Statutory Authorities at
various levels of Government. In order
Public Corporations
that the executive functions of the
A public corporation is a legal entity Government could be carried out
created by the Government, but without any fear or pressure, the
exterior to the Government organi- constitution makers have provided
sation, hence financially independent for setting up of the following
for the purposes of carrying on the Constitutional Statutory Authorities to
specified activity in the manner deal with certain specified duties.
prescribed in the law creating it. It is “a
combination of public ownership, Union Public Service Commission
public accountability and business The Constitution makes it obligatory for
management for public ends”. Some of the central government to constitute a
the important public corporation s are Public Service Commission to assist it
— Damodar Valley Corporation, Indian in the recruitment, promotion and
INDIAN ADMINISTRATION — ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONS 105

maintenance of discipline amongst the Functions of the Commission: It


Central and All India Services. The shall be the duty of the Commission
exact strength of the Commission is not to conduct examinations for appoint-
specified in the Constitution. The ments to the services of the Union
President is empowered to determine Government. The Commission shall be
the strength. consulted on all matters relating to
The President appoints the Chairman methods of recruitment to civil services
and other members of the Commission and for civil posts and on the principles
on the advice of the Central Ministry. to be followed in making appointments
The Constitution provides that, as to civil services and posts and in
nearly as may be, one-half of the making promotions and transfers from
members must be persons who have one service to another and on the
held office for at least ten years under suitability of candidates for such
the Government of India. appointments, promotions or transfers.
A member of the Union Public Service The Commission is also consulted on
Commission holds office for a period of any claims for the award of a pension
six years from the date he assumes his in respect of injuries sustained by a
office or until he attains the age of sixty- person while serving under the
five years, whichever is earlier. A Government of India or the Government
member of the Commission may of a State, in a civil capacity and any
address his resignation letter to the question as to the amount of any such
President. awards as well as on all disciplinary
The Chairman or any other member matters affecting the persons serving
of the Commission can be removed under the Government of India or the
from his office by the order of the Government of a State.
President only on the ground of It shall be the duty of the
misbehaviour after the Supreme Court, Commission to present annually to the
on reference being made to it by the President a report as to the work done
President, has, on inquiry held in by the Commission and the President
accordance with the procedure laid shall cause it to lay before each House
down, reported that the Chairman or of the Parliament.
the member, as the case may deserve,
to be removed. Election Commission
The President may remove the In order to hold the elections freely and
Chairman or any other member, as the fairly; the Constitution provides for an
case may be, if he is adjudged insolvent Election Commission that consists of
or is engaged in any paid employment the Chief Election Commissioner and
out-side the duties of his office or is, in such number of other Commissioners,
the opinion of the President, unfit to as the President may from time to time
continue in office by reason of infirmity fix. They are appointed by the President.
of mind or body. If other Commissioners are appointed
106
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
as members of the Election national parties or regional parties
Commission, the Chief Election and allot/withdraw symbols to/from
Commissioner acts as the Chairman. political parties.
The President may also appoint, after Finance Commission
consultation with the Election
Commission, such Regional Com- The Constitution provides for a Finance
missioners, as he may consider Commission consisting of a Chairman
necessary, to assist the Election and four other members. The President
Commission in the performance of its of India appoints all of them. The
functions. Chairman is a person having experience
The Chief Election Commissioner of public affairs and the four other
cannot be removed from his office members are selected from among the
except in the like manner and on the persons who are qualified to be
like grounds as a judge of the Supreme appointed as judges of a High Court,
Court. The conditions of service of the have special knowledge of the finances
Chief Election Commissioner cannot and accounts of the governments, have
be changed to his disadvantage after had wide experience in financial
his appointment. Any other Election matters and in administration and have
Commissioner or a Regional Com- special knowledge of economics.
missioner cannot be removed from Every member of the Commission
office except on the recommendation of holds office for such a period as is
the Chief Election Commissioner. specified in the order of the President
Functions of the Commission: The appointing him and is eligible for re-
powers and functions of the appointment. The members of the
Commission are determined not only Commission render whole-time or part-
by the Constitution but also by the Acts time service to the Commission, as the
of Parliament. The main powers and President in each case specifies. The
functions of the Commission are — to Commission has the power to require
superintend, direct and control the any person to furnish information on
preparation of electoral rolls; conduct such points or matters as in the opinion
elections/by-elections for Parliament, of the Commission may be useful.
State Legislative Assemblies and the Functions of the Commission: It is
offices of the President and Vice the duty of the Commission to
President; receive election petitions recommend to the President as to — the
challenging the validity of elections and distribution and allocation of the net
appoint tribunals to enquire into them; proceeds of taxes; the principles which
examine the returns of election should govern the grants-in-aid of the
expenses filed by the candidates; revenues of the States out of the
entertain and decide the applications Consolidated Fund of India and any
for removal of disqualifications; give other matter referred to the Commission
recognition to political parties about by the President in the interests of
their status, as to whether they are sound finances.
INDIAN ADMINISTRATION — ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONS 107

The President causes to lay before or under the Government of any State
each House of Parliament the after his retirement.
recommendations made by the Finance The administrative expenses of the
Commission and on the action taken office of the Comptroller and Auditor
by it. General of India, including salaries,
allowances and pensions payable to or
The Attorney General of India in respect of persons serving in that
The President appoints a person who office, are charged upon the
is qualified to be appointed a judge of Consolidated Fund of India.
the Supreme Court, as the Attorney The Comptroller and Auditor
General of India. It is the duty of the General of India performs such duties
Attorney General to give advice to the and exercises such powers in relation
Government of India upon such legal to the accounts of Union and of the
matters and to perform such other States or any other authority as may
duties of a legal character, as may from be prescribed by the Parliament.
time to time be referred or assigned to The accounts of the Union and of the
him by the President. He also States are kept in such forms as the
discharges the functions conferred President prescribes on the advice of
upon him by or under the Constitution. the Comptroller and Auditor General of
In the performance of his duties the India.
Attorney General has a right of The reports of the Comptroller and
audience in all courts in the territory of Auditor General of India relating to the
India. He also has a right to speak in accounts of the Union are submitted to
and otherwise to take part in the the President, who causes to lay them
proceedings of, either House, any Joint before each House of Parliament.
sitting of the Houses and any In addition to these constitutional or
Committee of Parliament, but he shall statutory authorities, the Constitution
not be entitled to vote. provides for some other authorities
such as the Commission and
Comptroller and Auditor Committees of Parliament on Official
General of India Language, National Commission for
The Constitution of India provides for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
the appointment of a Comptroller and Tribes and Other Backward Classes,
Auditor General of India by the Commission on Minorities etc. These
President. He can be removed from office have been provided to deal with various
in the like manner and on the like issues that face our political systems.
grounds as a judge of the Supreme These statutory bodies hold regular
Court. Before entering upon his office meetings and contribute in solving the
he has to take an oath in a prescribed various problems. They present their
form. He is not eligible for further office respective reports to the President of
either under the Government of India India on the action taken by them that
108
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
in turn are placed by the President Additional Secretary and Joint
before each House of the Parliament. Secretary in some Departments of the
Secretariat. The functions performed by
these officers are, more or less, the same
State Administration— as that of the Central Secretariat that
we have discussed earlier.
Organisation and Besides the above administrative
Functions officers, the States have one more officer
viz. Chief Secretary. The Chief Secretary
is the administrative head of the State
For the sake of administrative administration. He is, in many ways,
convenience, the administrative the counter part, at the State level, of
structure of the government of a State the Cabinet Secretary in the Union
is divided into several departments. The Government. He is appointed by the
departments, however, are of two Chief Minister of the State from
categories: Secretariat Departments amongst the senior Secretaries. Three
and Executive Departments. A factors viz. seniority, service-record and
Secretariat Department is ordinarily confidence of the Chief Minister, are the
headed by a Secretary who is a main considerations while selecting
generalist, while an Executive him. Out of these three factors,
Department is ordinarily headed by a ultimately the confidence of the Chief
Director who is a specialist. Minister dominates in the final choice
The Secretariat Department assists of the Chief Secretary.
the minister in the process of policy There is no fixed tenure for the post
making; in the framing of legislation, of Chief Secretary. It depends upon his
rules and regulations and supervising administrative tact, experience, rapport
and controlling the executive with the Chief Minister and, to a large
department. It helps the minister in the extent, on his capacity to take an
discharge of his responsibilities as well objective stand on sensitive matters.
as in preparing the Budget. Such civil servants who are able to
maintain dignity, neutrality and a
Officers of the Secretariat
degree of anonymity are able to work
Departments
with Chief Ministers of any political
The Secretariat Department is a party or group.
hierarchy of a number of officers with Role and Functions of the Chief
the Secretary at the apex of the pyramid Secretary: The Chief Secretary
structured on a wide base of clerical controls and supervises the Cabinet
personnel. The hierarchy consists of the Secretariat Department. His main
Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, Under functions are:
Secretary and Assistant Secretary. (i) He is an ex-officio Secretary of the
There are also Special Secretary, Cabinet and so he attends all the
INDIAN ADMINISTRATION — ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONS 109

Cabinet meetings as well as the Executive Departments/Directorates


meetings of its sub-committees. He The policies that are decided upon by
arranges for the recording of the the ministry, in consultation with the
decisions taken in the Cabinet Secretaries, are executed by the
meetings and forwards a copy of Executive Departments headed by
the same to the Governor, the Chief a Director/Director -General. The
Minister and other members of the Director may be a technical person or
Council of Ministers. a civil servant. But the general practice
(ii) He acts as the main source of in most of the States is to keep a
information and advice to the Chief technical person as the head of an
Minister. Executive Department.
(iii) He supervises the follow-up action It is to be noted that some of the
for the implementation of the departments like P. W. D., Forests, and
decisions taken at the Cabinet Police do not have directors as such.
meeting. They have technical persons or
(iv) Contrary to the practice prevalent specialists as the heads of the
at the Centre, the Chief Secretary departments. For instance, the Public
of the State is generally the Works Department is headed by a Chief
administrative head of a few Engineer, Forest Department by the
departments. The most important Chief Conservator of Forests, and the
departments that he generally Police Department by the Director
heads are general administration, General of Police.
personnel administration,
administrative reforms and The State Services
planning. The State Services consist of such
(v) He deals with matters relating to services as the State Government may,
inter-state disputes. from time to time, declare by
(vi) He coordinates the activities of all notification in the official, Gazette to be
the departments and agencies of included in that category. The number
the State government. He resolves of such services varies from State to
conflicts, mitigates over-lapping State. A State has, generally speaking
work among various government State Civil Service, Medical Service,
departments and ensures Police Service, Judicial Service, Public
cooperation and team-work Health Service, Forest Service,
among his colleagues. Education Service, Veterinary Service,
(vii) He is a major channel of Cooperative Service, Engineering
communication between the Service, Accounts Service etc. Generally
Centre and the State government. the State services are divided into four
110
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
categories viz. Class I, Class II, Class Public Service Commission and the
III and Class IV services. Class I and Governor in case of a State Public
Class II belong to the officers’ class. Service Commission, appoints a person
Class III is related to ministerial staff from amongst the members to take
and Class IV comprises unskilled staff. charge until a new Chairman is
appointed.
State Public Service Commission A member of the Joint State Public
The Constitution makes it obligatory for Service Commission/State Public
the State Government to constitute a Service Commission holds office for a
Public Service Commission to assist it period of six years from the date he
in the recruitment, promotion and assumes his office or until he attains
maintenance of discipline amongst the the age of sixty-two years, whichever is
State Services. The exact strength of the earlier. A member of the Commission
Commission is not specified in the may resign by addressing a letter to the
Constitution. The Governor of the State President in case of Joint State Public
is empowered to determine the Service Commission or to the Governor
of the State in case of State Public
strength. However, the Constitution
Service Commission.
permits for constituting a Joint State
The Chairman or any other member
Public Service Commission for two or
of the Commission can be removed
more States. If a resolution to this from his office by the order of President
effect is passed by the Legislature; only on the ground of misbehaviour.
Parliament may, by law, provide for The President may also, by order,
constituting such a Joint State Public remove from office the Chairman or any
Service Commission. In such a case the other member, as the case may be, if he
strength or a Joint State Public Service is adjudged insolvent or engages
Commission is determined by the during his term of office in any paid
President of India. employment outside the duties of his
The Governor appoints the Chairman office or is, in the opinion of the
and other members of the State Public President, unfit to continue in office by
Service Commission, while the reason of infirmity of mind or body.
Chairman and other members of a Joint On ceasing to hold office, the
State Commission are appointed by the Chairman of a State Public Service
President of India. The Constitution Commission, shall be eligible for
provides that, as nearly as may be, one- appointment as the Chairman or a
half of the members must be persons member of the Union Public Service
who have held office for at least ten years Commission or as the Chairman of any
either under the Government of India other State Public Service Com-
or under the Government of a State. If mission. He cannot take up any other
the office of the Chairman of the employment either under the
Commission falls vacant for any reason, Government of India or under the
the President, in case of Joint State Government of a State.
INDIAN ADMINISTRATION — ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONS 111

Functions of the Commission: It advice of the State Ministry. He holds


shall be the duty of the Commission to office during the pleasure of the
conduct examinations for appoi- Governor, but, in actual practice, he
ntments to the services of the State holds office during the tenure of the
Government. The Commission shall be ministry appointing him. The only
consulted on all matters relating to the qualification laid down is that he should
methods of recruitment to civil services be qualified to be a judge of a High
and for civil posts and the principles to Court.
be followed in making appointments to Though he is not a member of the
civil services and posts and in making State Legislature, he is empowered to
promotions and transfers from one attend its meetings when called upon
service to another and on the suitability to explain certain legal technicalities. He
of candidates for such appointments, has the right to speak and take part in
promotions or transfers. The the proceedings of the legislature but
Commission is also consulted on all he cannot vote.
disciplinary matters affecting a person Hse performs all such functions as
serving under the Government of India are enjoined on him by law. He is the
or the Government of a State, in civil highest legal adviser to the State
capacity including memorials or Government and appears on its behalf
petitions relating to such matters and in almost all courts. He is also the
on any claim for the award of a pension public prosecutor in all case coming up
in respect of injuries sustained by a before the High Court in exercise of its
person while serving under the original criminal jurisdiction. He
Government of India or the Government examines all the Bills drafted by
of a State, in a civil capacity, and any different departments.
question as to the amount of any such
State Finance Commission
awards.
It shall be the duty of the State Public The Constitution (Seventy-third
Service Commission to present annually Amendment) Act of 1992 and the
to the Governor a report as to the work Consti-tution (Seventy-fourth Amen-
done by the Commission. The Governor dment) Act of 1992 have added Part IX
shall cause it to lay its copy together with and Part X respectively, to the
a memorandum explaining as respects Constitution of India regarding the
the cases, if any, where the advice of the constitution and empowerment of
Commission was not accepted, the Panchayats and Municipalities
reasons for such non-acceptance, before respectively. These amendments have
the Legislature of the State. provided for constituting and
empowering Finance Commission in
Advocate-General each of the States of India.
The Constitution provides for the office The Governor of a State shall
of an Advocate-General. He is constitute a Finance Commission for
appointed by the Governor on the the Statse every five years The
112
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Legislature of the State may (by law) District Administration
provide for the composition of the
Commission, the qualifications that in India
shall be requisite for the appointment
of its members, and the manner in District Administration, as a unit of
which they shall be selected. The governance goes back to ancient times.
Commission is empowered to review the We come across a reference of District
financial position of the Panchayats and Administration in the works of Manu.
the Municipalities and to make According to Manu, a thousand
recommendations to the Governor as villages formed a district that was
to — (i) the principles which should under the charge of a separate official
govern the determination, the known as ‘Sthanika’. During the times
distribution and allocation between of Mauryas and the Guptas there was
the State and Panchayats as well as the a well-knit administrative machinery at
State and the Municipalities of the net the district level. The Mughal rulers
proceeds of the taxes, duties, tolls and also had a distinct organisation for
fees 1eviable by the State; besides the administration at the district level. The
decision about the grants-in-aid to the East India Company also followed the
Panchayats/Municipalities from the Mughal pattern with minor changes.
consolidated fund of the State, (ii) the When the Company acquired the
measures needed to improve the ‘diwani’ rights from the Mughal
financial position of the Panchayats / emperors, it appointed its own officers
Municipalities, and (iii) any other to collect revenue. Warren Hastings
matter referred to the Commission by created the post of the Collector in 1772
the Governor in the interests of the for the dual purpose of collecting
revenues and dispensing justice. Later
Panchayats/Municipalities.
on, this post acquired more and more
The Governor shall cause it to lay
powers and the District Collector
every recommendation made by the
became the eye and ear of the British
commission together with an Administration in India. After India
explanatory memorandum as to the achieved independence in 1947 and
action taken on it before the Legislature Central and State Governments
of the State. launched development programmes,
To sum up, we can say that the real the powers and functions of the District
administration of the state is carried on Collector increased immensely.
by the Secretariat and the Executive It is at the level of the district that
Departments. The policies of the the policies of government are
Government are framed by the translated into practice and the
ministers on the advice of the problems of local people are studied
Secretariat and the Executive and communicated to the State
Departments implement them. Government. It may be truly said that
INDIAN ADMINISTRATION — ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONS 113

the district is the unit of administration licences, their renewal, suspension


with which almost every citizen comes and cancellation; small savings
into contact. Most departments of State campaigns; publicity and public
Governments; outside the secretariat, relations; protocol duties etc.
have field offices in the district. In certain A survey of the history of Indian
cases even the Union Government has Administration shows that in the early
its field offices located at this level. The stages of evolution a single authority
sum total of the activities of these viz. District Collector was in charge of
departments together constitutes the all these functions of Government at the
administrative machinery of the district level. In course of time, local self-
district. The many and varied tasks of governing institutions and the technical
the District Administration can be departments were set up. As a result;
summarised as follows: the unity of command was replaced by
(i) The regulatory funtctions include the multiplicity of commands. The
the maintenance of law and district has, thus, become a sort of sub-
order; control of crime; land capital where district headquarters of
administration which includes the the various departments are located.
assessment and collection of land These departments are headed by
revenue and other public dues; district level officers having different
control, regulation and nomenclatures. This has resulted in a
distribution of food and civil change of role of the District Collector.
supplies.
(ii) The District Administration Role of the Collector in the District
performs certain developmental Administration
functions that include agricultural The Collector, as the head of the District’
production, co-operation, animal Administration, occupies a unique
husbandry, fisheries and welfare position in the Indian administrative
activities like public health, system. During the pre-Independence
education and social welfare. era he belonged to the Indian
(iii) The District Administration Civil Service. After Independence, he is
organises the holding of elections recruited through the Indian
to Parliament, State Legislature Administrative Service. Sometimes he
and local bodies (rural and urban). gets this position through promotions
(iv) It also deals with providing from the State Civil Service. He is
emergency services, natural required to perform multifarious
calamities like floods, droughts functions. They can be summarised as
etc. follows:
(v) The Collector, in his capacity as the (i) As a Collector: The District
Chief representative of the Collector is the head of the revenue
Government, performs a number department of the District. He is
of functions such as issue of arm responsible for the collection and
114
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
recovery of the land revenues and other in the district. He coordinates all the
cesses and dues of the government. All activities of other government offices at
the officers of the revenue department the district level. He looks after the
of the district such as Revenue postings, transfers and leave of Niab-
Assistants, Tehsildars, Naib Tehsildars, Tehsildars, Tehsildars and other
Kanungos, Lambardars and Patwaris gazetted officers working under him. He
work under his direction, supervision submits annual budget estimates to
and control. He distributes State Government. He is incharge of the
taccavi loans and recovers them. He treasury. He is the Chief Protocol Officer
assesses losses to crops and makes of the district. He compiles and submits
recommendations for relief during the annual administrative reports of the
floods and droughts. He is in-charge of district to the State Government. He sees
the management of Government to it that the public grievances against
estates. the administration in the district are
(ii) As a District Magistrate: properly and effectively dealt with.
Previous1y he used to exercise powers (iv) As a District Development
of a First Class Magistrate, but now, Officer: Before independence, the
after separation of judiciary from the District Collector had not to do any
executive, his position has changed. development work but with the dawn
The District Magistrate no longer of independence it has become one of
exercises the judicial functions that are the important functions of the
now performed by the Additional District Collector. The Community
District Magistrate or Judicial Officer. Development Plans and the Five Year
The District Magistrate only exercises Plans have increased his duties in this
general supervision over the criminal field. After the introduction of
administration of his district. He is Panchayati Raj, the developmental
responsible for the maintenance of law functions are assigned to the people’s
and order. He is assisted by the representatives. But the District
superintendent of Police in this matter. Collector is an important member of
The District Magistrate also controls the Zila Parishad, which has been assigned
jails of his district and inspects them powers and finances relating to District
from time to time. He is responsible for Development Plans.
the proper administration of criminal
Jaws in his district. He grants licences District Planning
of arms, explosives and petroleum etc. The District Collector is the chief
(iii) As District Administrative coordinator who gets the district plans
Officer: As a District Administrative prepared. Some States have set up
Officer the Collector, is the principal District Planning and Development
agent of the State Government. He looks Councils/Boards headed by the
after the general interest of Government District Collector or a Minister from the
INDIAN ADMINISTRATION — ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONS 115

district. These Councils/Boards are grass-root planning has not yet


empowered to formulate plans in some acquired any significance.
States, while in other States these are To sum up, we can say that there
only advisory in nature. has occurred a radical change in the
Although District Planning Boards/ fundamental aims of the district
Councils have been set up in some administration. It is being re-modelled
States, planning at the district level in all the States to enable it to carry out
continues to be a unit within the the new responsibilities. As a practical
framework of State Planning. The unit of field administration, it has stood
machinery of planning at the district the test of time and, we hope, it will
level continues to remain weak. The retain this position in future also.

Exercises

1. What are the functions of the Central Secretariat?


2. What functions does the Cabinet Secretariat perform?
3. Name three Constitutional Statutory authorities.
4. How is a member of the Union Public Service Commission appointed? List any
two qualifications.
5. Explain the role and functions of the Chief Secretary of a State.
6. Describe the composition and functions of the State Public Service
Commission.
7. What functions does the District Administration perform?
8. Discuss the role of District Officer as a Collector.
9. ‘The district headquarter is like a sub-capital of the State’. Discuss.
10. Write short notes on:
(a) Election Commission of India
(b) Comptroller and Auditor General of India
(c) Attorney General of India
(d) The Finance Commission of a State
(e) Advocate General.
DIFFICULT TERMS

Adjournment Motion: A motion that authority to transmit to it the record of


proposes to adjourn the regular proceedings pending with them for
business of the house of a legislature scrutiny and, if necessary, for quashing
as fixed in its agenda and instead gives the same.
priority to some other matter, which, Colonialism: A body of people living
the mover of the motion feels, needs in a new territory but retaining ties with
immediate attention. the parent state are called a colony. A
Affirmative Action: Positive steps power that controls a dependent
taken to improve the conditions of the country or people is called a colonial
down trodden people such as power. A policy based on such control
reservation of seats in the legislatures is called colonialism.
and / or reservation in jobs. Communal/Macdonald Award: In the
Appropriation Bill: A bill that Second Round Table Conference, in
provides for setting aside the money London, when there was no agreement
(out of the Consolidated Food) needed amongst the participants on the issue
to meet the requirements of various of representation of the Scheduled
departments of the government that Castes in legislatures the matter was
left to be decided by Macdonald, the
have already been approved by the
Prime Minister of England, whose
lower house of the Legislature/
decision came in the form of an award
Parliament in the form of demands for
known as Communal/Macdonald
grants.
Award.
Axis Powers: An alliance of powers
Commutation: Reducing a
under the leadership of Germany that punishment to one of a different kind
fought Great Britain and its allies than originally awarded, e.g. a death
during the First World War. sentence is changed into life
Backward Classes: The Constitution imprisonment.
makes special provisions for promoting Composite Culture: A culture that
the interests of Backward Classes. A combines the characteristics of two or
Commission appointed by the more cultures.
President/Governor decides as to who
constitute Backward Classes. Concurrent List: A list of subjects
wherein both, the Parliament and the
Certiorari: This is a writ that is issued State Legislatures, have a right to
to inferior courts, tribunals or legislate.
DIFFICULT TERMS 117

Consolidated Fund : All the revenues Estimates Committees: A Committee


received by the government, all moneys of Parliament/State Legislature that
raised by loans and moneys received examines the financial estimates and
in repayment of loans are put together suggests alternative policies to the
in a common fund called Consolidated government so that efficiency and
Fund. economy may be imparted to
government administration.
Court of Records: When the acts and
proceedings of a court are enrolled for Ex-officio: Where a person occupies an
perpetual memory and testimony and office by virtue of holding another office,
the court enjoys the authority to impose for instance, the Vice President of India
a fine and put a person in prison for is ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
contempt of itself as well as of This means he shall be the Chairman
subordinate courts, then it is called a till he remains the Vice President of
India.
Court of Record.
Flexible/Rigid Constitution: A
Decentralised Unitary form of
Constitution that can be amended by
government: When legally the power
a simple majority and through an
belongs to the central government but
ordinary procedure is called a flexible
for administrative convenience it constitution. A Constitution that
decentralises its authority by creating requires special majority and a special
provincial governments whom it grants procedure for its amendment is called
powers in certain subjects but which it a rigid constitution.
can withdraw at any time it likes, then
it is called a decentralised unitary form Habeas Corpus: This is a writ that is
in the form of an order by the court
of government. For instance, the
calling upon the person/authority by
Montague Chelmsford Reforms of 1919
which a person is alleged to be kept,
provided for such a form of Government
without legal justification, in
in India.
confinement, to bring such a person
Detention: Keeping a person under before the court and to let the court
arrest. know on what ground the person is
Discretionary Powers: Those powers confined. If there is no legal justification
that can be exercised by an officer for the detention, the person is ordered
according to his own judgment of the to be released.
particular case rather than by fixed Indian National Army: An Army that
rules decided beforehand. was raised in Japan by Ras Behari
Ghosh and led by Subhash Chandra
Dominion: A self governing nation of
Bose for liberating India from the
the (British) commonwealth, other than
clutches of the British rulers. It is also
the U.K. that acknowledges the British
called Azad Hind Fauj.
monarch as the Chief of State. Indemnity Act: An act of a legislature
Electoral College: A body comprising that exempts an officer from the
the electors. incurred penalties.
118
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Instrument of Accession: According Mandamus: This is a writ that is in the
to the Government of India Act, 1935 form of an order from the Court to any
the princely states of India were given government, court, corporation or
the option to join or not to join the public authority to do or to refrain from
federation of India. Those who intended doing some specific act which that body
to join were required to submit an is obliged under law to do or refrain
Instrument of Accession wherein they from doing, as the case may be, and
were to mention those subjects which which is in the nature of a public duty
they wanted to surrender to the and in certain cases a statutory duty.
federation. Metropolitan Area: According to the
Joint/Separate Electorate: Where the Constitution (Seventy-fourth Amen-
voters are organised separately on the dment) Act, 1992 Metropolitan Area
basis of community, such as Hindus/ means an area having a population of
Muslims, they are called separate ten lakhs or more, comprised in one or
electorate. When they are organised more districts and consisting of two or
jointly (without any consideration of more Municipalities or Panchayats or
community) they are called joint other contiguous areas, specified by the
electorate. Governor of a State by public
notification to be a metropolitan area.
Judicial Review: It is a process
through which judiciary examines Money Bill: A bill that provides for the
whether the laws enacted by a imposition, abolition, remission,
legislature are within the limits alteration or regulation of any tax; the
prescribed by the constitution. It is also custody of the consolidated fund or the
applicable in a case where the judiciary contingency fund or the appropriation
examines whether the actions of the of any money from these funds.
executive are within the limits National Integration: It means
prescribed by the constitution or law incorporation of individuals belonging
of the land. to different groups as equals into the
Magna Carta: It is regarded as a nation.
Charter of liberties. In 1215, John, the Pardon: It is an act of grace. It not only
king of England, was compelled by removes the punishment but also
barons and clergy to concede to their places the offender in the same position
demands. Though it was in no sense a as if he had never committed the
people’s charter at that time, offence.
subsequent tradition transformed it Powers of the Individual Judgement:
into a Charter of English liberties. These Under the Government of India Act,
liberties provide that no free man might 1935 the Governors and the Governor-
be arrested, imprisoned, dispossessed, General were required to consult their
outlawed, exiled or harassed in any Council of Ministers in certain matters
other way save by authority of law of but were not bound by their advice.
the land. They applied their own judgement in
DIFFICULT TERMS 119

the matter. This power was called the Public Undertakings: The newly
Power of Individual Judgement. independent states in order to overcome
Preamble: The introductory part of a their economic stagnation and the poor
constitution/Law that states the rate of growth during colonial rule had
reasons for and intent of the to enter the field of industrial and
constitution/law. commercial enterprise to ensure better
utilization of available resources and
Preventive Detention Act: An Act build essential infrastructure for
which provides for detention of a person, national development. This led the
for not committing an offence but, in setting up of public undertakings.
order to prevent him from committing There are three principal forms into
an offence.
which our public undertakings have
Prohibition: This writ commands the been organised, viz., departmental
court or tribunal to whom it is issued undertakings, government companies
to refrain from doing something that it and statutory public corporation.
is about to do.
Quo Warranto: This is a writ that is
Proportional Representation: It is a issued to prevent a person who has
system where seats are allotted to a wrongfully usurped an office from
party or group in a legislature or an continuing in that office. The writ calls
executive in proportion to the upon the holder of the office to show to
population of or the votes cast in favour the court under what authority he holds
of that party or group. the office. If the court determines that
Public Accounts Committee: It is a the person is holding the office illegally,
committee of Legislature/Parliament. It it would pass the order of ouster that
scrutinizes the appropriation accounts must be obeyed by him.
of the government. It ensures that Race: A division of mankind possessing
public money is spent in accordance traits that is transmissible by descent
with Parliament’s/Legislature’s and sufficient to characterize it as a
decisions and calls attention to cases distinct human type.
of waste, extravagance, loss or nugatory
(worthless) expenditure or lack of Racialism: An ideology that believes in
financial integrity in public services. racial prejudices or racial
discrimination.
Public Corporations: A public
corporation is set up by an Act of Reasonable Restrictions: The rights
Legislature which defines the under Article 19 are subject to certain
organisation and functions of the restrictions. These restrictions should
corporation. The idea behind be reasonable. Whether a particular
establishing a corporation is to secure restriction is reasonable or not is to be
“a combination of public ownership, decided ultimately by the judiciary.
public accountability and business Remission: It means reduction in the
management for public ends”. amount of punishment without
120
INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
changing the character of punishment grounds of religion. Still, there are
e.g. a life sentence is reduced to others who regard it to mean equal
imprisonment for ten years. respect to all religions. The judiciary in
Reprieve: It means a temporary India has interpreted it to mean that
suspension of the punishment fixed by the state should treat all religions
the law. equally and there should be no
discrimination on grounds of religion.
Reserved Transferred Subjects:
According to the Government of India Single Transferable Vote System:
Act, 1919 provincial subjects were This is one of the devices of proportional
divided into two categories. Some representation. Ordinarily, this
subjects were transferred to and put device is adopted in a multi-member
under the charge of a Minister constituency, i.e. a constituency from
where two or more members are to be
responsible to the provincial legislature.
elected. According to the normal
Others were reserved to and put under
practice a voter is required to cast as
the charge of councillors not
many votes as the number of members
accountable to the legislature.
are to be elected from that
Respite: It means postponement of the constituency. But in the system of
execution of a sentence to future. single transferable vote, the voter is
Scheduled Castes/Tribes: Under the given one single vote only but the voter
Government of India Act, 1935 names is given a choice to get his vote
of some castes/tribes that were given transferred to another candidate of his
special protection were put in a choice. That’s why it is called Single
Schedule attached to the Act. Since Transferable Vote System.
then, persons belonging to these Subordinate Legislation: When the
castes/tribes began to be called legislature enacts a law, it leaves the
Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes. details to be worked out by the
Secularism: There is a school of executive through rules and
thought which believes that the State regulations subject to the approval of
should confine itself to the temporal or the legislature. This arrangement is
worldly affairs. It should be indifferent called subordinate legislation.
to religious matters. This is called Weaker Sections: The Constitution
secularism. However, the ter m does not define this term. The courts,
secularism gives different connotations however, have interpreted it to mean
to different people. Some people treat it people belonging to the Scheduled
as anti–religious, while to others it Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and other
means absence of discrimination on backward classes.