Home General Knowledge INDIAN POLITY : AN OVERVIEW
INDIAN POLITY : AN OVERVIEW
Friday, 10 February 2012 04:22

THE MAKING OF THE CONSTITUTION

  • Indian Constitution was framed by a Constituent Assembly in a long time of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days. It is  the longest Constitution in the world. An amount of Rs. 64 Lakh was spent in making the Constitution.
  • The demand for a Constituent Assembly to draft Indian Constitution was, for the first time, raised the Congress in 1935. The British Government accepted this demand, for the first time, in principle in the August proposals of 1940.
  • The Constituent Assembly was constituted in Nov., 1946 through indirect election of its members by provincial legislatures under the provisions of Cabinet Mission Plan, 1946.
  • The Assembly consisted of total 389 members, of which 292 were to be elected from provinces, 93 were to be nominated from princely  States and four members were to be nominated from Chief Commissioner’s Areas. Each province was allocated seats in proportion to its population. Also, the seats were further allocated to three communities – Muslim, Sikhs and General – in proportion to their population. Roughly one member was to represent a population of 10 lakh.
  • Each provincial assembly elected its members for the Constituent Assembly through the single transferable vote system of proportional representation. The method of representation in princely states was to be decided with their consultation.
  • The Mountbatten plan of 3rd June, 1947 announced partition of the country and a separate Constituent Assembly for the proposed state of Pakistan. Consequently the members of Constituent Assembly representing those areas which were to be included in Pakistan – West Punjab, East  Bengal, North-West Frontier Province (NWEF), Sindh, Baluchistan and Sylhet district of Assam were no more members of Indian Constituent Assembly. NWFP and Sylhet decided through a referendum to remain with Pakistan. Thus, the membership of the Indian Constituent Assembly was reduced to 299 after partition and only 284 members signed the Constitution on 26 Nov., 1949.
  • The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly was held on Dec. 9, 1946 which was boycotted by Muslim League.
  • Dr. Sachchidanand Sinha was elected as temporary Chairman and later Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as permanent President of the Constituent Assembly.
  • Shri B.N. Rau was appointed as Legal advisor to the Constituent Assembly.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru introduced Objective Resolution’ on 13th Dec., 1946, which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947. Its modified version forms the Preamble of Indian Constitution.
  • To facilitate the work of Constitution making, the Assembly appointed 22 Committees, of which 10 were on Procedural Affairs and 12 on Substantive Affairs. The main committees were – Rules of Procedure Committee, Committee for Negotiating with States, Steering Committee, Union and Provincial Constitution Committee, Flag Committee etc.
  • However, the most important was the seven member Drafting Committee headed by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, which was set-up on August 29, 1947. The other members of the Committee were – N. Gopalswami Ayyangar, Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar, K.M. Munshi, Mohammad Saadullah, B.L. Mittar (replaced by N. Madhav Rau later) and D.P. Khaitan (who died in 1948 and was replaced by T.T. Krishnamachari).
  • The Drafting Committee finalized the Draft Constitution of India in Feb. 1948 and the second reading of the same by the Assembly was completed on October 17, 1948. For the third reading, of the Constitution, the Assembly met  on Nov. 14, 1949 and finished it on Nov. 26, 1949. The Constitution was adopted on the same date with members and the President signing the Constitution.
  • According to Article 394, some of the provisions of the Constitution relating to citizenship, elections, provisional parliament and temporary and transitional provisions contained in Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 0, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 came into force on 26th Nov., 1949 and the remaining provisions of the Constitution came into force on 26th Jan., 1950.
  • The Republic Day is celebrated on 26th Jan., because India was declared Republic on this day in 1950. Republic means, a form of government where the Head of the State (President) is directly or indirectly elected by people.
  • January 26 was selected as the date of Commencement of Indian Constitution because of its historical significance. It was on this date in 1930 that Indian people observed ‘Independence Day’, following the resolution of congress    session held in Dec., 1929 at Lahore.
  • The Constituent Assembly came to end on 24 Jan., 1950 but it emerged as provisional parliament on 26 Jan., till the elections of Lok Sabha. The President of the Assembly Dr. Rajendra Prasad was appointed as the First  President of the Indian Republic till the elections.
  • According to Article 395, with the Commencement of Indian Constitution, the Indian Independence Act, 1947, and the Govt. of India Act, 1935 are repealed. But the Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act, 1949 was not repealed.
  • Some constitutional experts do not recognize the Constituent Assembly as sovereign body as it was created by the proposals of British Govt. But after India became independent in Aug., 1947, the Constituent Assembly functioned as a sovereign entity for all practical purposes.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Acharya J.B. Kriplani, T.T. Krishnamachari and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar played a very significant role in Constitution making. However, Dr. Ambedkar is recognized as ‘Father of the Indian Constitution’.


PREAMBLE

  • Besides Preamble the Constitution originally contained 395 articles and 8 schedules. Presently it has 395 articles and 12 schedules.
  • The Preamble of the Constitution is a part of the Constitution, but it is not enforceable by courts. It can be amended like other provisions of the Constitution. The courts can take recourse to the Preamble in order to explain and clarify other provisions of the Constitution. This was the view held by the Supreme Court in the Berubari Union Case,  (1960)   and the same view was reiterated in Keshvanand Bharti case in 1973.
  • The phrase, “We the people of India ….. do herby Adopt, Enact and to Give to ourselves this Constitution”, written in the Preamble underlined the Supremacy and Sovereignty of the people of India.
  • The Preamble is non-justifiable. That means, courts cannot pass orders against government to implement the ideas contained in the Preamble. For example, Government of India moved on the path of liberalization and  privatization in 1991, without removing word ‘Socialism’ from the Preamble. Now courts cannot force the government to incorporate the ideas of socialism. In fact, the Preamble enshrines the goals and ideals of the Constitution.
  • British political thinker Earnest Barker has appreciated and cited the Preamble in the opening of his book ‘Principles of Social and Political Theory’.
  • The Preamble declares India to be a ‘Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic’, and ensures to provide to all its citizens ‘Justice – social, economic and political’, ‘equality of states and opportunity’, ‘freedom of thought’, expression, belief, faith and worship’, ‘dignity of individual’ and ‘unity and integrity of the nation’.
  • The Preamble has been amended only once so far in 1976 by 42nd Amendment which inserted the words, ‘Socialism’. ‘Secularism’ and ‘Integrity’.
  • The term Socialism does not mean ‘State Socialism’, that is ownership of all means of production and distribution by the State but it means reducing the inequalities between rich and poor. This is also referred to as ‘socialistic pattern  of society’, which was adopted as a goal of Indian State by the Congress in its Avadi session in 1955
  • The term ‘Secularism’ means equal respect and equal protection to all religions by government, which in other words is, ‘Sarva Dharm Sambhav’. This meaning is distinct from the negative concept of Secularism held in western traditions that is, separation of religion and politics/state.
  • The Preamble is termed as ‘Political Horoscope’ by K.M. Munshi, ‘Key to the Constitution’ by Earnest Barker, and     ‘Soul to the Constitution’ by Thakurdas Bhargav. Because of complexity of its provisions, the Indian Constitution is termed as ‘Paradise of Lawyers’ by M.V. Paylee. Granville Austin says that Indian Constitution is basically a social document’.


UNION AND STATES

  • India has opted for the Federal Form of Government due to its large size and socio-cultural diversities, but the word  ‘Federation’ does not find mention in the Constitution. Instead, article 1 declares, ‘India’ that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States’. The term ‘Union’ was suggested by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, which indicates two things, first, Indian Union is not a result or agreement of independent and sovereign states, and second, the Units/States do not have right to secede from the Union. Thus, India is an ‘Indestructible union of destructible states’. The states are destructible as Union Government can change their names and boundaries without their consent.
  • D.D. Basu terms Indian Constitution as mixture of unitary and federal features. According to K.C. Wheare, it is ‘quasi- federal’, it is less federal and more unitary. For Prof. Alexandro Wicz, ‘India is a case ‘Sui Generis’ (i.e., Unique in Character); for Sir Ivor Jennings, it is a federation with strong centralizing tendency, and for Granville Austin, it is an example of ‘co-operative federalism’.
  • There are presently 28 States and 7 Union Territories in Indian Union. The Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu was bifurcated in 1987 to make the state of Gove and UT of Daman & Diu. Andhra Pradesh was the first state created on the basis of language in 1953. The States of Indian Union were reorganized on the basis of language in 1956 following the recommendation of State Reorganization Commission, 1955, headed by Fazal Ali. Other two members of the Commission were K.M. Panikkar and H.N. Kunjru.
  • The Union Territory of Pondicherry (now Puducherry) became part of Indian Union in 1962 after French left from India. Puducherry consists of four areas scattered in different regions – Puducherry and Karaikal in Tamilnadu, Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahe in Kerala.
  • The Supremacy of Constitution has been recognized in India as against the Supremacy of Parliament in Britain.
  • As provided in the 7th schedule of the Constitution, powers of government have been divided between Union and States. The Union List contains 97 subjects, State List has 66 subjects and there are 47 subjects in Union and  States   can make laws but Union law prevails in case of contradiction between the two. By the 42nd Amendment, 1976, five subjects have been shifted from State List to Concurrent List. These subjects are – administration of justice and organization of all courts except Supreme Court and High Courts; Forests; Population Control and Family Planning; Education, including medical and technical education; and weights and measures except establishment of standards.
  • The Residuary powers have been vested with the Union Government. It should be noted that under the federal  system proposed by the Government of India Act, 1935, these powers were vested with Governor General of India.
  • The State of Jammu & Kashmir has been given special status under Article 370, which became operative on Nov. 17, 1952. The State has a separate Constitution which was drafted by the Constituent Assembly of J & K and became effective on January 26, 1957. The provisions of Article 370 can not be amended by parliament, but it can be made    inoperative by the order of President of India with prior consent of the Constituent Assembly of J&K. The         Assembly will have to be reconstituted for this purpose.
  • There are special provisions for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra under Article 371, for the State of Nagaland under Article 371A, for Assam under Article 371B and for Sikkim under Article 371F.
  • Indian provinces / states do not have their separate Constitution as in America. They are also not entitled to take loan or trade with foreign countries directly. They do not have right to secede from the Union.
  • Indian federal system is more alike the Canadian system. Indian states are dependent upon central government for economic assistance. There is a single citizenship in India. States do not have right to accord separate citizenship to their residents.
  • The Central Government (Parliament) has right to change the boundary and names of states (Article 3). This act of Parliament will not be considered as amendment to the Constitution, i.e., this can be done with simple majority by the Parliament (Article 4).
  • The Parliament can enact law in a subject of State List if it has been declared as a subject of national importance by Rajya Sabha with 2/3 majority of present and voting; or when proclamation of National Emergency is in operation, or when legislatures of two or more states have desired so.


FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS & DUTIES

  • To ensure the overall development of citizens, the Fundamental Rights have been provided in the part III (Article 12-35) of the Constitution.
  • According to Article 13 of the Constitution, the Fundamental Rights can not be modified or limited in any way except by the procedure of Constitutional Amendment.
  • The Fundamental Rights are justiciable i.e., they are protected by judiciary in case of their violation.
  • The individuals can directly approach the Supreme Court or High Courts for the protection of their Fundamental Rights. Under the Right to Constitutional Remedies, both Supreme Court and High Court can issue write to Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, QuoWarranto, Prohibition and Certiorari. The Right to Constitutional Remedies has been described by Dr. Ambedkar as the soul of the Constitution.
  • Seven Fundamental Rights were provided in the original Constitution. But the Right to Property has been repealed as Fundamental Right and has been converted into an ordinary legal right under Article 300A by the 44th Amendment in 1978. Consequently, at present, there are only Six Fundamental Rights.
  • The Six Fundamental Rights are: (i) Right to Equality, (ii) Right to Freedom (iii) Right against Exploration, (iv) Right to Religious Freedom, (v) Cultural and Educational Rights and (vi) Right to Constitutional Remedies.
  • Right to Freedom contains six freedoms.
  • The 86th Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2002 added a new article 21A in Right to Freedom. The Article 21a relates to Right to Education which reads. The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the state may, by law, determine.
  • Fundamental Rights are generally suspended during operation of National Emergency. Right to Freedom under Article 19 is automatically suspended. Other Rights may be suspended by a declaration of the President to that effect. But Rights to Left and Personal Liberty under Article 20 and 21 cannot be suspended even during National Emergency.
  • Fundamental Duties were not provided in the original Constitution. Ten Fundamental Duties were added by 42nd Amendment in 1976 in Article 51A of Part IVA along with Directive Principles of State Policies.
  • Like Directive Principles of State Policy, the Fundamental Duties are also nonjusticiable. However, they can be enforced by the government through enactment of laws by appropriate Legislatures.
  • There were 10 Fundamental Duties added to the Constitution nu 42nd Amendment in 1976. The eleventh duty (k) relating to the provision of opportunities for education to the children between the age of six and fourteen years was added by 86th Amendment Act, 2002.


DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY

  • The Directive Principles of State Policy are described in Article 36-51 under Part IV of the Constitution.
  • Majority of the Directive Principles aim at the establishment of social and economic democracy or the establishment of a Welfare State, which has been resolved in the Preamble itself.
  • The State is not bound to implement the provisions of Directive Principles, i.e., they are nonjusticiable. Thus they cannot be enforced by the courts.
  • Some new Directive Principles have been added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.


CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT

  • According to K.C. Wheare, Indian Constitution strikes a balance between rigidity and flexibility, that is, it is both rigid and flexible at the same time.
  • The procedure for the Amendment of the Constitution is given in Article 368 of Part XX of the Constitution.
  • The Constitution can be amended in three ways: (i) By Special Majority in both Houses of Parliament, i.e., Majority of the total membership and 2/3 of the present and voting; (ii) by the special Majority, as described above, and the consent of more than half of the total States of the Union (Consent of 15 states at present). The third way to amend the Constitution is not described in Article 368 but it is mentioned in the articles where it is applicable. These Articles can be modified or repealed by simple majority. Thus, the third way to ‘amend’ the Constitution is by passing the bill  by simple majority in both houses of Parliament.
  • The first Amendment to the Constitution was made in 1951. So far, 94 Constitutional Amendments have been enacted. The 42nd and 44th amendments are exhaustive as well as important.


UNION EXECUTIVE

  • The executive power of the Union is vested in the President.
  • The President is designated as the first citizen of India.
  • India has adopted Parliamentary system of government. Therefore, the President is nominal executive and real executive is the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.
  • No person shall be eligible for election as President unless he is a citizen of India.
  • The minimum age prescribed for the post of President is 35 years.
  • A person to become the President must fulfill the qualifications prescribed for a member of Lok Sabha.
  • President does not hold membership of either house of Parliament or State Legislatures.
  • The President is elected indirectly by an Electoral College through the single transferable vote system of proportional representation.
  • The Electoral College consists of elected members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Provincial Legislative Assemblies. It has been provided by the 70th Amendment Act, 1992 that elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of Union Territories of Pondicherry and Delhi can also participate in the election of President.
  • The nomination of a candidate for the post of President has to be proposed by 50 members and seconded by another 50 members of the Electoral College.
  • The term of President is for five years and election of next President is held before the expiry of the term. However, if election is not held within five years, the incumbent President continues to hold the office till the election is held. In this case, the Vice President does not get the opportunity to act as the President.
  • A President can be again elected as President. There is no limitation as to how many times a person can become President.
  • The President can tender his resignation to the Vice President before the expiry of his term.
  • The President can be removed from his office before the expiry of the term by the process of impeachment.
  • The impeachment procedure can be initiated in either House of Parliament. Either of the two house starts the impeachment proceedings and another house investigates it.
  • The President can be impeached only for the violation of the Constitution and has to be informed in writing 14 days in advance about the intention to initiate impeachment proceedings.
  • The President can present his case or defend himself during the investigation of impeachment charges.
  • The President gets a monthly salary of Rs. 1,50,000/-.
  • His salary and emoluments cannot be varied to his disadvantage during his term.
  • If the office of the President becomes vacant due to death, resignation or impeachment before the expiry of the term, the election to the office of President is held within six months of vacancy. In this case, the Vice President will act as President till the new elected President assumes office. The newly elected President holds office for a five year term.
  • If the office of the President is temporarily vacant due to illness or otherwise, or absence of President, the Vice President discharges the duties and functions of President till the incumbent President resumes office.
  • In any case, if both President and Vice President are not available to perform the duties of President, the Chief Justice of Supreme Court discharges the duties of President and in his absence the next senior justice of Supreme Court performs the functions of President. This situation arose only once so far in 1969,when the incumbent President Dr. Zakir Hussain died in May 1969 and the Vice President resigned on July 20, 1969 to contest the election of President. In this contingency, justice M. Hidaytulla, Chief Justice of Supreme Court discharged the duties of President from 20 July, 1969 to 20 Aug. 1969. In fact, M. Hidaytulla is the only person to perform the functions of President two times in two different capacities, e.g., first time in 1969 as the Chief Justice of Supreme Court and second time as the Vice President of India in Oct. 1982.
  • The Vice President of India is also elected by an Electoral College through the single transferable vote system of proportional representation.
  • The Electoral College consists of all the members (both elected and nominated) of both the houses of parliament.
  • There is no need of joint sitting of both houses of Parliament to elect the Vice President.
  • Any Indian citizen, who fulfils the prescribed qualifications can become the Vice President of India.
  • A candidate for the post of Vice President must have attained the age of 35 years. He must fulfill also the qualifications prescribed for a member of Rajya Sabha.
  • The Vice President does not hold the membership of either houses of Parliament or State Legislatures.
  • The term of office of Vice President is five years.
  • There is no limitation on the number of times a person can become Vice President. Thus, a Vice President can be reelected as Vice President.
  • The Vice President can vacate his office by tendering his resignation to the President.
  • The Vice President can be removed from the office before the expiry of term of five years.
  • There is no need of impeachment to remove the Vice President.
  • The Vice President can be removed from the office before the expiry of term, by a Resolution, first passed by majority of the members of Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the Lok Sabha.
  • If the Vice President is unable to discharge his duties and function due to illness or temporary absence, no other official is entitled to act as Vice President.
  • The Vice President is ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. In his absence, the Dy. Chairman of Rajya Sabha performs his duties.
  • The Vice President gets the salary and emoluments of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, when he acts, as such in ex- officio capacity and he gets the salary and emoluments of the post of President, when he acts as President. In fact, he is the only official who does not get any salary and emoluments of his designated post i.e. , Vice President. As Chairman of the Rajya Sabha he draws a monthly salary of Rs. 1,25,000/-.
  • At a time when the Vice President acts in either of two capacities i.e., Chairman of Rajya Sabha or President of India, he cannot act in both offices simultaneously.
  • In the history of presidential elections, V.V. Giri is the only person who won the election of President as an independent candidate. This became possible in 1969 when Congress did not support its official nominee Neelam Sanjeev Reddy as its members voted in the name of ‘conscience’ and supported an independent candidate.
  • In July 1977, Neelam Sanjeev Reddy was elected unopposed as no one else filed nomination for the post of    President.
  • The disputes related with the elections of President and Vice President are settled by the Supreme Court of India.
  • The elections of President and Vice President cannot be challenged on the ground of any vacancy in the Electoral College.
  • If the election of President or Vice President is declared null and void by the Supreme Court, the acts done by them during their being in office cannot be declared illegal.
  • Parliament can make laws on matters related to the elections of President and Vice President.
  • The Vice President, first of all, gives the information about President’s resignation to the Speaker of Lok Sabha.
  • The President exercises executive powers within the provisions of the Constitution.
  • The President is not the real executive, but he is the constitutional head of the State.
  • The President exercises executive powers of the Union according to the advice of Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.
  • The advice of Council of Ministers is made binding upon the President by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976.
  • The 44th Amendment gives the President the right to as the Council of Ministers to reconsider its advice tendered to him. If the Council Ministers sticks to the advice tendered earlier, the President is bound by such advice.
  • Though the President is not the real head of the Union Executive, all the acts of the Union are expressed in the name of the President. Constitutionally, all the officials of the Union act under his subordination.
  • The following officials are appointed by the President: (1) Prime Minister, (2) Other Ministers of Council of Ministers, (3) Attorney-General of India, (4) Comptroller and Auditor General of India, (5) Chief Justice and other Justices of Supreme Court, (6) Governors of States, (7) Chief Justices and other judges of High Courts, (8) Chairman and Members of Union Public Service Commission and Joint Public Service Commission, (9) Chairman and Members of Finance Commission, (10) Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners of Election Commission, (11) Central Vigilance Commissioner, (12) Chairperson and Members of various Commissions; Official Language Commission, Minority Commission, National Backward Classes Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, (13) Ambassadors, High Commissioners and other diplomatic representatives and consuls in Indian Foreign Service, (14) Governors of States, Administers, Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
  • The President has the power to remove the following officials: (1) Members of Council of Ministers, (2) Governor of a State, (3) Chief Justice and other Judges of Supreme Courts and High Courts, Chief Election Commissioner and Comptroller and Auditor General of India on the basis of the resolution passed by the Parliament, (4) Chairman and Members of Union Public Service Commission and Public Service Commissions of States and Central Vigilance Commissioner on the basis of the enquiry of the Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • The President is a part of Parliament.
  • Any Bill passed by Parliament can become a law only after it has been signed by the President.
  • The President has power to summon and prorogue the sessions of Parliament and to dissolve Parliament.
  • The President addresses the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament after every General Election and the first joint sitting at the beginning of each year.
  • The President has right to send messages to Parliament relating to legislative and other matters.
  • The President also has the right to nominate 12 members in Rajya Sabha and 2 members of Anglo India Community in Lok Sabha.
  • The President causes to be laid the Annual Financial Statement (Budget) and reports and recommendations of various commissions before each House of Parliament.
  • The prior recommendation of President is required on some bills before they are introduced in the Parliament, e.g., bills related to the changes in the names and boundaries of States, Money bills and bills related to matters contained in Article 31A(i) of the Constitution.
  • The President can give assent to a bill, withhold his assent to the bill or he may send it back to Parliament of reconsideration, if the bill is not a Money bill. The President is bound to give his assent to the Money bills and Constitutional Amendment bills passed by Parliament. A money bill cannot be send back by President to Parliament for reconsideration.
  • If a bill sent back to Parliament for reconsideration s again presented by Parliament to the President for his assent, the President will not withhold his assent.
  • The Constitution does not fix any time limit for President to give his assent to, withhold his assent from or send back  to Parliament a bill presented to him.
  • The example of the use of pocket veto is the Postal bill of 1986, in which the then President Jail Singh did not act upon long time and subsequently the bill was withdrawn by the Parliament in 1989 without getting the assent of the President.
  • In the case of a bill passed by a State Legislature, if reserved by the Governor for the assent of President, the President can return the bill for reconsideration of State Legislature. And if the same bill is again presented to the President within six months for his assent, the President can still withhold his assent from the bill. The President can keep the bill on his table for indefinite period. In case of Money bills, the President can grant his assent or withhold his assent but can not return the bill for reconsideration of State Legislature.
  • If there is an urgency to make a law and Parliament is not in session, the President can promulgate an ordinance which has effect of a law.
  • The ordinances have the same effects as a law enacted by Parliament, but they are temporary in nature.
  • The ordinances are presented to Parliament as soon as it meets in a session.
  • If an ordinance is not passed within six weeks from the date of opening of the session by Parliament it becomes inoperative automatically.
  • It has been provided by the 44th Amendment; 1978 that in case of malafide intentions as to the circumstances  leading  to promulgation of an ordinance, its validity can be challenged in the Court of law.
  • The President has power to grant pardon, commutation, remission, respite, reprieve in respect of a punishment or sentence awarded by Court Martial, or related to the executive power of the Union or if the sentence is one of death.
  • The President is the Supreme Commander of Defence Forces. The Chiefs of three armed forces are appointed by him. The President has power to declare war and peace and to deploy armed forces, subject to the law made by Parliament.
  • Subject to the laws made by Parliament, the President has right to appoint diplomatic representative in other countries and grant accreditation to the diplomatic representatives of foreign countries of India.
  • Subject to the laws of Parliament and with the advice of Council of Ministers, the President has the power to sign international treaties and agreements.
  • As provided in article 143 of the Constitution, the President can seek legal advice of the Supreme Court on a matter of public importance, but the President is not bound by such advice.
  • The Emergency powers of the President are of three kinds –

1. to declare National Emergency, if the security of India or any part of it is endangered due to war, external aggression or armed rebellion (Article 352).

2. to impose President rule in a State, if the government of that State is not run in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution (Article 356); and

3. to declare Financial Emergency, if the financial stability of India is endangered (Article 360).

The National and the Financial Emergencies are declared on the advice of cabinet and the President Rule is imposed on the basis of report of the Governor of the State concerned.

  • The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and other ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  • The number of Members of Council of Minister has not been fixed by the Constitution.
  • The Council of Ministers if collectively responsible to the House of People.
  • The Ministers are of three categories: Cabinet Ministers, Minister of State and Deputy Minister. The Cabinet Ministers are given the charge of heads of different ministries. The Cabinet is mainly a policy making body. The Ministers of State are generally given the charge of a department under a Ministry. Sometimes, there is no Cabinet  Minister in a ministry and the Ministers of State hold independent charge of a department. In such cases, they are called Ministers of State with independent charge. The Deputy Ministers assist the Cabinet Minister of their Ministry and hold no charge of any department.
  • There is a distinction between the Council of Ministers and the Cabinet. The Council of Ministers is a larger body which consists of all three kinds of Ministers, whereas Cabinet is a smaller body and consists of Cabinet Ministers only. Generally, the Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers do not participate in the meetings of the cabinet except when invited to participate.
  • The Constitution uses the term ‘Council of Ministers’ in place of Cabinet. The term Cabinet is used only at one place in Article 352. Even this was inserted by the 44th Amendment in 1978 which provides that the President can issue the Proclamation of National Emergency only on the basis of written recommendation to that effect made by the ‘Cabinet’.
  • The meetings of the Cabinet are presided over by the Prime Minister.
  • A person who is not a Member of Parliament may be appointed as a Minister with the condition that he becomes the Member of Parliament within six months, otherwise he would not continue as Minister after the expiry of six months’ period.
  • In Constitutional terms, the Ministers are individually responsible to the President.
  • The Council of Ministers is removed if the Motion of No-confidence is passed by the Lok Sabha. The No-confidence motion may be passed even against an individual Minister; it is tantamount to the removal of whole Council of Ministers.
  • The President dissolves Lok Sabha on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • The Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of Planning Commission.
  • In case of the death of Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers gets dissolved automatically.
  • The Attorney-General of India is the first law officer of the Union.
  • The Attorney-General of India is neither the member of Parliament nor of the Council of Ministers, yet he can participate in the proceedings of Parliament and committees thereof but does not have voting rights.
  • The Attorney-General has right to audience in all courts in the territory of India.
  • The Attorney-General of India is appointed by the President and continues to hold office during the pleasure of the President.
  • A person to be appointed as the Attorney-General of India must fulfill those qualifications which are required to become a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Article 148 of the constitution provides for the office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India who is responsible for the auditing of the accounts of both Central and State governments.
  • The office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India is structured on the pattern of similar post under the Government of India. Act, 1935.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor-General is appointed by the President.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor-General holds his office for a term of six years or until he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India does not hold office during the pleasure of the President, though he is removed by an order of the President after an address has been passed by both the Houses of Parliament with special majority.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India gets same amount of salary as received by a Judge of Supreme Court.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India cannot hold any office under the Government of India after his retirement.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India is recognized as custodian of public money.
  • He conducts the audit of accounts of both Central and State governments and ensures that public moneys have been spent within the provisions of law made by Parliament.


PARLIAMENT

  • The Indian Parliament consists of the Rajya Sabha (the Council of States), the Lok Sabha (the House of the People) and the President.
  • The Lower House of Parliament is called the Lok Sabha and the Upper House is called the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Lok Sabha is the representative body of people and the Rajya Sabha represents the Stats of Indian Union.
  • There can be maximum 250 Members in the Rajya Sabha, out of which 238 members are elected by the Legislatures of States and 12 members are nominated by the President.
  • The twelve members nominated by the President are persons having special knowledge or practical experience in the fields of literature, science, arts and social service.
  • The remaining 238 members of Rajya Sabha are elected by elected members of State Legislative Assemblies by the method of single transferable vote system of proportional representation.
  • Indian States have not been given equal representation in the Rajya Sabha (Council of States).
  • There can be maximum 552 members in the House of the People; of which 530 members are elected from States and 20 members are elected from Union Territories, Two members belonging to AngloIndian community are nominated by the President.
  • The method of election of members of the Council of States from Union Territories is determined by the law made by Parliament.
  • The Members of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) are elected by the people of India on the basis of Adult Frenchise. Every citizen with the age of 18 years or more has voting rights in these elections.
  • Seats in the House of the People are reserved only for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
  • The Council of States (Rajya Sabha) is a permanent house and is not dissolved.
  • The term of House of the People is five years but it is subject to dissolution before the term of five years by the President.
  • When the Proclamation of Emergency is in operation under Article 352, the term of the House of the People can be extended by Parliament by Law for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not extending in any case beyond     a period of six months after the Proclamation has come to an end.
  • One-third members of Council of States retire after every two years and new members are elected in their place.
  • A member of the Council of States is elected for a term of six years.
  • A person to become the Member of Parliament must be a citizen of India.
  • The minimum age prescribed to become a member of the House of the People is 25 years and for the Council of States is 30 years.
  • The question of qualification or disqualification of a Member of Parliament is decided by the President with the consultation of Election Commission.
  • A person can not become a member of both the Houses at a time.
  • If a member of either House remains absent for a period of more than 60 days continuously without the permission of the House, the concerned House may declare his seat vacant.
  • Under the privileges provided to the members of Parliament, a Member of Parliament cannot be arrested before and after 40 days from the date of the meeting of Parliament and Committees thereof, if he is also the Member of the Committee.
  • The above immunity from the arrest is available only in civil cases. In criminal cases and in cases related to Preventive Detention, arrest can be made under the provision of laws.
  • The first meeting of the House of the People is presided over by the protem speaker, who is generally the senior-most member of the House. In the first meeting itself, the Speaker and Dy. Speaker of the House are elected. The protem speaker is appointed by the President.
  • The Speaker and Dy. Speaker of the House of the people continue to hold office during the term of the House. But the Speaker continues to hold office till the beginning of the first meeting of the newly elected House.
  • The Speaker and Dy. Speaker shall cease to hold their respective offices if and when they cease to be the members of the House.
  • The Speaker and Dy. Speaker submit their resignation to each other.
  • The Speaker has the right to exercise the casting-vote in case of a tie, i.e., equality of votes.
  • The question whether a particular bill is Money Bill or not is decided by the Speaker and his decision is final.
  • The joint meeting of both the Houses of Parliament is presided by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
  • The Council of States is chaired by the Vice-President of India. The Council of States also elects a Dy. Chairman who chairs the meetings of the Rajya Sabha in case of absence of the Vice-President.
  • The Ordinary Bills and Constitutional Amendment Bills can be introduced in either House of Parliament.
  • The Money Bill can be initiated only in the House of the People.
  • The Council of States can not make any amendments in the Money Bills.
  • The Money Bill is defined in Article 110 of the Constitution.
  • The Council of States must return a Money Bill within 14 days along with its suggestions, otherwise it would be deemed to have been passed by the Parliament in the manner passed by the House of People.
  • The Ordinary Bill passed by a House can be delayed up to six months in the other House.
  • In case of disagreement between the two Houses on a bill (other than Money Bill and Constitutional Amendment Bill), the President may call upon the joint sitting of both Houses.
  • The joint sitting of both Houses is presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, in his absence by the Dy.  Speaker and in the absence of both by the Dy. Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. If he is also absent, such member will    preside over the joint sitting as decided by the members present in the sitting.
  • In the absence of both the Speaker and the Dy. Speaker, the meetings of the House of the People will be presided over by the senior member of the ‘Panel of Chairpersons’ prepared by the Speaker. If the posts of the Speaker and    the Dy. Speaker fall vacant, such member will preside over the meetings of the House as nominated by the President till the election of the Speaker and the Dy. Speaker.
  • Similarly in the Council of States, while both Chairman and the Dy. Chairman are absent, the meetings of the House are presided over by a member of the Panel prepared by the Chairman. In case, both the posts fall vacant permanently, the member nominated by the President will preside over the meetings till the election of the Chairman and the Dy. Chairman.
  • An Ordinary Bill is passed by each House after three readings and becomes an act after it has been signed by the President.
  • The expenditure on the salary and emoluments of the President, judges of the Supreme Court, Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, the Speaker and the Dy. Speaker of the House of the People, the Chairman and the Dy. Chairman of the Council of States and the pension of the judges of High Courts, is charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India, i.e., this expenditure becomes the non-votable part of the Budget.
  • The Public Accounts Committee is the Committee of the House of the People. It consists of 22 members – 15 from Lok Sabha and 7 members from Rajya Sabha. The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is always a member of opposition party.
  • If a subject of State List is declared as a matter of a national importance by the Council of States by a majority of 2/3 members present and voting, the Parliament becomes competent to legislate upon that subject (Article 249).
  • If the Council of States declared by a resolution passed by 2/3 members present and voting that it is necessary in the national interest, the Parliament may by law provide for the creation of one  or more All India Services (Article      312).
  • The powers contained in Articles 249 and 312 are the special powers of the Council of States and these powers are not available to the House of the People (Lok Sabha).


THE EXECUTIVE OF STATES

  • The Executive power of a State is vested in the Governor who is the nominal head of the State. Each State has a Governor but a Governor may discharge the duties and functions of two States or more than two States.
  • The Governor is appointed by the President and continues to hold office during the pleasure of the President.
  • Generally the term of the office of Governor is for five years but he can be removed by the President before the expiry of his term.
  • The Governor does not enjoy the diplomatic and military powers like the President of India.
  • The Chief Minister, other Ministers, Advocate-General and the Chairman and Members of State Public Service  Commission are appointed by the Governor.
  • The Governor has the power to pardon, commutation, remission, respite and reprieve a punishment and sentence elated to the offences, within the purview of the executive powers of the State. But he can not pardon a death     sentence.
  • The Governor can send report to the President to the effect that the government of the State is not run in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and, therefore, President’s Rule may be imposed in the State.
  • There is an Advocate-General in each State to advise the State Government on legal matters. The Advocate- General is appointed by the Governor and holds office during the pleasure of the Governor.
  • The Advocate-General has the right to participate in the proceedings of the State Legislature but does not enjoy the voting rights.
  • The Governor can remove a minister on the advice of the Chief Minister.
  • The Chief Minister is removed by the Governor if he does not enjoy the confidence of the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha).


THE STATE LEGISLATURE

  • The State Legislature consists of the Governor, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council (if it is provided for in the State).
  • Some States have bicameral legislatures, The Lower House is called Legislative Assembly and the Upper House is called Legislative Council.
  • At present, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Jammu & Kashmir have Legislative Councils.
  • The Legislative Council may be created or abolished in a State, if the Legislative Assembly of that State passes a resolution to that effect by special majority and the Parliament, consequently, enacts the law to that effect.
  • The maximum strength of the Legislative Council cannot exceed the 1/3 number of the strength of Legislative Assembly and the minimum strength of the Council shall not be less than 40 members.
  • The one-sixth members of the total members of the Legislative Council are nominated by the Governor and rest 5/6 are indirectly elected.
  • Among the elected members 1/3rd are elected by electorates consisting of local bodies like municipalities and  District Boards.
  • The 1/12th members of the Council are elected by electorates consisting of graduates of three years standing.
  • Again, 1/12th members are elected by electorates consisting of persons who have been for atleast three years engaged in teaching in educational institutions which are not lower than a secondary school.
  • The remaining 1/3rd members of the Legislative Council are elected by the members of Legislative Assembly.
  • The members nominated by the Governor are persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in the fields of literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.
  • The Legislative Council is a permanent House and is not subject to dissolution.
  • The 1/3rd members of the Legislative Council retire after every two years.
  • The term of a member of the Legislative Council is six years.
  • The maximum strength of the Legislative Assembly cannot exceed 500 and minimum strength cannot be lower than 60 members.
  • A Governor may nominate one member belonging to Anglo Indian community in the Legislative Assembly, if he is  convinced that the AngloIndian community is not adequately represented in the Assembly.
  • The term of the Legislative Assembly is five years.
  • The Legislative Assembly can be dissolved before the expiry of its five years term by the Governor.
  • When the proclamation of National Emergency is in operation under Article 352; the term of the Assembly may be extended by Parliament for one year at a time which should not extend in any case beyond a period of six months after the Proclamation has been withdrawn.
  • The Legislative Assembly elects its Speaker and Dy. Speaker and the Legislative Council elects its Chairman and Dy. Chairman.
  • The question as to the qualification and disqualification of a member of the State Legislature is decided by the Governor with the consultation of the Election Commission.
  • The Legislative Council can withhold Money Bills for only 14 days and Ordinary Bills for only three months. It can withhold a bill after reconsideration by the Legislative Assembly for a period of one month.
  • If the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly are disagreed on a bill, there is no provision for a joint sitting  to resolve the disagreement. The desire of Legislative Assembly prevails in such a situation.
  • If a bill is passed by the Legislative Council and presented to the Legislative Assembly and it is not passed by the Assembly, the bill comes to an end.


JAMMU & KASHMIR: SPECIAL PROVISIONS

  • The State of Jammu & Kashmir has been given special status under Article 370.
  • In Jammu & Kashmir, the President cannot declare the National Emergency without the consent of the State Government.
  • Similarly, Financial Emergency (Article 360) cannot be imposed in the State without its consent.
  • There is a separate Constitution for the State of J & K which was drafted by the Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir. The state constitution came into force on Jan. 26, 1957.
  • In the government of Jammu & Kashmir is not run according to the provisions of the State Constitution, the Governor’s Rule is imposed for a period of six months. The President Rule can be imposed under Article 356 of the constitution of India, if the President is satisfied that the government of state is not run according to the provisions of the Constitution of India.
  • The provisions of the Directive Principles of State Policy are not applicable in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The rights to acquisition of property and residence are given only to the permanent residents of the State.
  • Parliament cannot change the name and boundaries of Jammu & Kashmir without the prior consent of the State Legislature.
  • The powers and jurisdiction of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Election Commission and the Supreme Court have been extended to the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The other provisions of the Constitution of India may extend to the State with prior consent of the State Legislature of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The Article 370 became operative on Nov. 17, 1952 by an order of the President, issued with prior recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir to that effect.
  • The Article 370 cannot be amended by the Parliament. It can be made inoperative by an order of the President which can be issued with the prior recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State to that effect. For this purpose, a fresh Constituent Assembly will have to be constituted in the State.


THE JUDICIARY

  • There is an integrated judiciary in India.
  • The Federal Court is the Supreme Court of India situated in Delhi. Generally, there is a separate High Court in each State but some States are served by a common High Court.
  • The Supreme Court, at present consists of a Chief Justice and 25 other judges.
  • The Chief justice and other judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President.
  • While appointing the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the President may consult such judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts as he deems fit.
  • While appointing the other Judges of the Supreme Court, it is mandatory for the President to consult the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • There is no minimum age limit prescribed for a person to become the judge of the Supreme Court.
  • The judges of the Supreme Court remains in office till he attains the age of 65 years.
  • A Judge of the Supreme Court can be removed by the President on the grounds of proved misbehavior and incapacity after an address to that effect has been passed by both houses of the Parliament with special majority,  i.e., Majority of the total membership of the House and 2/3rd of the present and voting.
  • The salary and emoluments of a judge of the Supreme Court cannot be varied to his disadvantage during the term of office except during the operation of Financial Emergency declared under Article 360.
  • The conduct of a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court cannot be discussed in Parliament except during the proceedings, conducted for the removal of a Judge in the Parliament.
  • No person who has held office as a judge of the Supreme Court can plead before any Court or before any authority located within the territory of India.
  • The Supreme Court is both a Federal Court and a Court of Appeal.
  • The Supreme Court is considered as a protector of the Constitution.
  • Every state will have a separate High Court but Parliament has the right to provide a single High Court for the two or more than two States.
  • In each High Court, there is a Chief Justice and such number of other judges as the President deems fit.
  • The judges of High Court are appointed by the President. While appointing the Chief Justice, he consults the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the concerned State. While appointing other judges of the High Court, the President consults the Chief Justice of that High Court.
  • A judge of the High Court holds office till he attains the age of 62 years.
  • A judge of the High Court can be removed by the President in same manner as a judge of Supreme Court is removed.
  • The salary and emoluments of judges of the High Court are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of the concerned State.
  • A retired Judge of the High Court cannot plead in any Court under the territory of India except before the Supreme Court and the other High Courts.


INTERSTATE RELATIONS

  • The President may establish an Inter-State Council to inquire into and advise upon disputes which may have arisen between States.
  • Five Zonal Councils (Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western and Central Zone), one for each Zone were established under the provisions of the State Reorganization Act, 1956, to advise upon the matters of common interests of States comprising a zone.


EMERGENCY

  • The Constitution envisages three kinds of Emergencies – National Emergency (Article 352), President Rule in State (Article 356) and Financial Emergency (Article 360).
  • If the President is satisfied that the Security of India or a part thereof is endangered due to war, external aggression or armed rebellion, he may declare National Emergency by issuing a Proclamation to that effect.
  • The Proclamation of National Emergency is issued by the President only after the written recommendation of the Cabinet has been communicated to him.
  • The constitutional validity of the Proclamation of National Emergency can be questioned in an appropriate court of law.
  • As provided by the 44th Amendment, the Proclamation of National Emergency can be issued in respect of whole of India or part of the territory thereof.
  • The governments of States are not suspended during Proclamation of Emergency but come under the effective control of the Union Executive.
  • The Proclamation of Emergency continues to be in operation for six months, if approved by the Parliament with special majority. It comes to an end after one month, if not approved by the Parliament. Parliament can extend the operation of Proclamation for six months at a time. There is no maximum limit prescribed for the duration of time, the Emergency will be in operation.
  • When the Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, the Parliament may by law extend the term of Lok Sabha by one year at a time not exceeding in any case beyond a period of six months after the Proclamation has ceased to be in operation.
  • The Legislative Assemblies of States are not suspended or dissolved during Proclamation of National Emergency, but the Parliament gets the powers to enact laws on any Subject included in the State List.
  • During the Proclamation of National Emergency, the Fundamental Rights provided in Article 19 are automatically suspended, but the Rights contained in Article 20 and 21 (Right to life and Personal Liberty) can not be suspended. Other Rights may be suspended by the President through a separate order issued to that effect.
  • The Proclamation of National Emergency o the ground of external aggression from China was for the first time, issued on Oct. 26, 1962 and continued in operation till Jan. 10, 1968. For the second time, the National Emergency was declared on Dec. 3, 1971 during war with Pakistan. The third declaration of Emergency was made on June 25, 1975 on the ground of ‘Internal disturbance’. Both the second and the third declarations were withdrawn in March       1977.
  • The President’s Rule under Article 356 is imposed in a State, if the President is satisfied that the government of State is not run according to the provisions of the Constitution or the State Government has failed to carry out the directions issued by the Union Executive.
  • With the imposition of the President’s Rule in a State, the Union Government assumes all administrative function, except judicial functions of the State government.
  • The President’s Rule in a State may remain in force for a period of six months, if it is approved by Parliament. Otherwise, it ceases to be in operation after the expiry of two months. The President’s Rule can be extended continuously in a state for a maximum period of three years.
  • The President’s Rule under Article 356 was, for the first time, imposed in Punjab on June 20, 1951 and remained in operation till April 17, 1952.
  • Till Dec. 1992, the President’s Rule had been imposed 101 times.
  • The declaration of Financial Emergency has not been made so far.


PANCHAYATI RAJ

  • The Community Development Programme was launched on October 1952 in Rajasthan.
  • The National Development Council accept the recommendations of Balwant Rai Mehta Committee on Panchayati Raj and asked the Union Government to implement the same. The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee was appointed in 1957 to review the Community Development Programme.
  • The Panchayati Raj (also called Democratic Decentralization) was launched on Oct. 2, 1959 in Nagaur (Rajasthan) by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • Rajasthan is the first State in India, which has implemented Panchayati Raj in the whole state.
  • Article 40 under the Directive Principles of State Policy directs the State to establish Panchayati Raj as institutions of local self government. Before 1992. It was the only reference of Panchayati Raj institution in the Constitution.


NATIONAL CAPITAL TERRITORYOF DELHI

  • As per the 69th Constitution (Amendment) Act, 1999, the Union Territory of Delhi is now known as National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Act has not given the states of Statehood to Delhi. It still continues to be a Union Territory, but in Delhi a Legislative Assembly of 70 members with limited powers has been provided. The administrator of Delhi is called Lt. Governor. He is appointed by the President and he is responsible to the President.
  • For the administration of Delhi, besides the Lt. Governor, there shall be a council of Ministers whose membership will not exceed ten per cent of the total membership of the Legislative Assembly. In this way there can be seven ministers including the Chief Minister. The special thing about the council of Ministers is that following the election, the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the President and other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on advice of the    Chief Minister and the Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President. The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly. (Article 239AA).
  • The Janta Party government appointed Ashok Mehta Committee in Dec. 1977 to review the functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions. The Committee submitted its report in Aug. 1978. The Committee recommended two- tier system of Panchayati Raj, but it was not accepted. Consequently, the three-tier system continues in operation.
  • In 1992, the Constitutional status was conferred on Panchayati Raj Institutions by 73rd Amendment Act and on local urban bodies by 74th Amendment Act under Article 243 of the Constitution.


THE SALARY AND EMOLUMENTS OF IMPORTANT OFFICIALS

  • The Second Schedule of the Constitution mentions salaries of some of the important functionaries of the government.
  • The monthly salary of some officials currently is: President – Rs. 1,50,000; Governor – Rs.1,10,000; Chief Justice of India - Rs. 1,00,000; Chief Justice of High Court -  Rs. 90,000; Judge of the Supreme Court – Rs. 90,000; Judge of High Court – Rs. 80,000; Vice President – Rs. 1,25,000; Speaker of Lok Sabha – Rs. 1,25,000.


THE ENHANCED SALARY ALLOWANCES, PENSION AND OTHER PERQUISITES OF MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

The Salary and Allowances of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Act, 2006 has revised the salaries and allowances, pension and other perquisites of Members of Parliament, which were determined in 2001. The important amendments are as follows:

  • Salary has been raised from Rs. 12,000/- to Rs. 16,000/- per month.
  • Daily allowance during the period of parliamentary work has been raised from Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1,000/-.
  • Road allowance for attending Parliamentary sessions and for other related work raised from Rs. 8/- to Rs. 13/- per km.
  • The handicapped Members of Parliament, who are not in a position to undertake air and rail travel are entitled to road travelling allowance.
  • Air travels raised from 32 to 34.
  • Allowance for furniture raised from Rs. 24,000/- to Rs. 60,000/- (fixed).
  • Mobile BSNL telephone along with land line telephone One BSNL mobile for the constituency.
  • 20,000 extra free calls besides 1,50,000 free calls.
  • Free Broad Bank facility for computer.
  • The ex-members of Parliament will get pension at the rate of Rs. 8,000/- per month instead of Rs. 3000/-.
  • The dependants of members of Parliament to get Rs. 3,000/- per month as family pension.
  • Apart from these all other facilities which were admissible here-to-fore will also continue.


DIFFERENT COMMISSIONS

  • The Commissions established by the government are of three kinds: first, Constitutional Commissions which find mention in the Constitution itself; second, Statutory Commission which are established by the law enacted by the appropriate legislature; third, Executive Commissions which are established by the executive order of the government. In terms of legal sanctity, they are given in descending order.
  • The Planning Commission is a non-constitutional body, established in March 1950 by an executive resolution of the cabinet, i.e., executive.
  • The Finance Commission; the Public Service Commissions; the Election Commission; the Official Language Commission; the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes and the National Commission for Backward Classes are Constitutional Commissions.
  • The National Human Rights Commission, 1993; The National Commission for Minorities 1992; The National Commission for Women, 1990; The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis 1993; The National Commission for Farmers and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, 2007 and the examples of statutory commissions.
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2012 04:38