Indian Constitutional Law: Meaning & Significance

The Indian Constitution, which is the country's main and supreme law, is a written document that establishes the framework for the country's fundamental political system, as well as its organisational principles, legal framework, and scope of its powers and mandates. It also outlines the duties of its citizens and their fundamental rights and freedoms. In the entire globe, it has the longest written constitution. The Indian Constitution was primarily drafted by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who served as the committee's chairman and was also its principal architect.

The Constituent Assembly's first meeting had been held on December 9th, 1946. Dr. Rajendra Prasad became permanent chairperson of the sovereign constituent assembly of India on December 11. Since the Constituent Assembly, not the Parliament, established the Indian Constitution, it grants constitutional primacy rather than parliamentary supremacy. On November 26, 1949, it was approved by the Indian Constituent Assembly, and on January 26, 1950, it went into effect. The Indian Constitution succeeded the Government of India Act of 1935 as the foundational law of the Dominion of India, which led to the emergence of the Republic of India. The preamble of the Indian Constitution is present. Our nation's citizens are guided by this opening clause of the constitution. In it, India is described as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic nation that guarantees its people a life of liberty, justice, and equality. During the Emergency of 1976, the preamble was amended to include the phrases "socialist" and "secular."

What is Constitutional Law?

The rule book for a state is its constitution. It lays out the guiding ideals that guides state administration. In addition to describing the state's primary institutions, it also outlines their interrelationships (for example, between the executive, legislature, and judiciary). Along with outlining citizens' rights and responsibilities, it puts boundaries on the exercise of power.

Scope of Constitutional Law

The scope of constitutional law encompasses both the operation and power of governmental institutions as well as relations between citizens and the state. The socio-political context in which the legislation of the constitution operates must be understood. Considering that a constitution is a living, breathing organism, it constantly represents the moral and political principles of the people it is meant to govern.

Features of the Indian Constitution

Major features of the constitution are −

  • It has the world's longest constitution. It comprises 25 parts, 12 schedules, and 460 articles.

  • Both at the federal and state levels, India's constitution stipulates a parliamentary system of government.

  • The Indian Constitution possesses a special balance of rigour and flexibility. In a flexible constitution, any provision may be amended through pre-defined legislative processes, as opposed to a rigid constitution, which requires specific methods to amend any of its sections.

  • Every Indian citizen has certain rights known as "fundamental rights," which are protected by Part III of the Indian Constitution and cannot be taken away from them.

  • The goals that the states should pursue while managing the nation are outlined in the directive principles of state policy found in Part IV.

  • The Indian Constitution's most notable characteristic is that, while being a federal constitution, it takes on a unitary character in times of emergency.

  • The adult universal suffrage system has replaced the previous system of communal electorates.

  • Regardless of where they live, all Indian citizens are entitled to the same rights as citizens. Single citizenship refers to this.

  • Every Indian is constantly reminded by the essential obligations that, while the constitution has tightly granted the fundamental rights, it also calls for the observance of certain fundamental democratic behavioral norms on the part of the people.

Significance of the Constitutional Law

It includes 

  • Government authority is constrained, while citizen participation is elevated.

  • The rights people have independent of the government are explained to the populace.

  • It describes the bond that exists between the government and its people.

  • The functions and responsibilities of the government are described, along with who will make up that government.

  • Detailed procedures that must be followed when engaging in legislative, executive, and judicial actions are outlined in the constitution, which greatly increases system openness.

  • According to the constitution, fundamental rights cannot be revoked from any Indian person under any circumstances.

  • Laws that alter the foundation of our constitution cannot be passed by the parliament. The purpose of this is to promote public welfare. These include, among others, the respect for one's individual dignity, the separation of powers, the equality of all people, the right to free and fair elections, the independence of the judiciary, and one's nation's sovereignty.

  • According to the Indian constitution, power should not be centralised or concentrated in a small number of hands.

  • It establishes guidelines for peaceful coexistence among people of various religions, castes, and ethnicities.

Importance of Constitutional Law

It includes 

  • The people's indivisible will is reflected in it.

  • The structure of the government is described in great depth. the three organs' structure, authority, and duties, as well as how they are related.

  • In a federation, the Constitution specifies how the federal government's authority is split between the governments of the federating states and provinces and the federal government. Governments at the national and state levels must abide by it.

  • No one is allowed to violate the constitution's laws.

  • The rule of law and judicial independence are guaranteed.

  • The electoral process and people's political rights are outlined in it.

42nd Amendment as Mini Constitution

The Forty-second Amendment to the Indian Constitution underwent a number of revisions by the Indira Gandhi administration on December 18, 1976, when India was still under a state of emergency.

After being established to investigate the possibility of altering the constitution in light of prior experience, a committee led by Sardar Swaran Singh proposed that this modification be implemented.

This modification changed the phrase "unity of the nation" to "unity and integrity of the nation" and added the terms "socialist" and "secular" between the words "sovereign" and "democratic."

Separation of Powers

The three essential functions of lawmaking, law enforcement, and law adjudication are carried out by the three branches of government: the legislature, the executive branch, and the judiciary. It is widely acknowledged that this three-way allocation of governmental duties is the most effective system for running a country. There are connections between and dependencies among these three tasks. However, three distinct organs are responsible for them.


The constitution is strengthened by people, just as people are strengthened by the constitution. No matter how well-written or comprehensive a constitution is, the authors of the Indian Constitution knew that it would never be perfect. Unless the right individuals apply it and live it, it will have no meaning. It serves as the clearest indication of India's democratic status. Democracy cannot be sustained without adherence to and respect for the Constitution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does the Indian Constitution have a written copy?

Ans: Yes, the Indian Constitution meets this fundamental need for a federal government because it is a written constitution with 395 articles and 12 schedules. In actuality, the Indian Constitution is the world's lengthiest constitution.

Q2. What are the Constitution's fundamental precepts?

Ans: The foundational ideas guiding a government are embodied in its constitution. The only person with the authority to modify our constitution is the one who adopted it. The constitution is the source of the powers used by the departments of government; thus, all laws, executive actions, and judicial rulings must be in accordance with it.

Q3. What are the fundamental values of the Constitution?

Ans: The fundamental values of the Indian Constitution are - Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, and Democratic Republic.

Updated on: 16-Jan-2023


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