Thursday, 26 July 2012

Polity Bits

Most Important Polity Bits
1.  Originally the Constitution contains 395 articles (divided into 22 parts) and 8 schedules when the Constitution was enacted.

2.  Presently, it consists of about 450 Articles (divided into 24 parts) and 12 schedules.

3.  Indian constitution is the bulkiest written Constitution in the world.

4.  The symbol of our constitution is Elephant.

5.  About 1/3rd of Constitution was derived from Government of India Act of 1935.

6.  Jammu and Kashmir enjoys special status under Article 370.

7.  The fundamental Duties are included in the Constitution by 42nd amendment Act.

8.  Article 3 deals with formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states.

9.  The procedure involved to amend the Article 4 of the Indian Constitution involves Simple majority from among those who attended the House.

10. Article 169 deals with abolition or creation of legislative councils in states.

11. The Constitution of India is neither rigid nor flexible but a synthesis of both.

12. The term Federation has nowhere been used in the Constitution.

13. K.C.Wheare described Indian Constitution as Quasi-federal’.

14. Morris Jones described Indian Constitution as bargaining federalism.

15. Granville Austin described Indian Constitution as co-operative federalism.

16. Ivor Jennings described Indian Constitution as federalism with a centralizing tendency.

17. Article 13 declares that all laws that are inconsistent with or in derogation of any of the fundamental rights shall be void.

18. Article 14 deals with Equality before law.

19. Article 15 deals with prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

20. Article 16 deals with equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.

21. Article 17 deals with abolition of untouchability.

22. Article 18 deals with abolition of titles.

23. Article 19 deals with protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc.

24. Article 20 deals with protection in respect on conviction for offences.
25. Article 21 deals with protection of life and personal liberty.

26. Article 21 declares that no person shall be deprived of his life of personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. This right is available to both citizens and non citizens.

27. Article 21A deals with right of elementary education.

28. Article 21A was added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002.

29. Even before this amendment, the constitution contained a provision for free and compulsory education for children under Article 45 in part-IV. However, being a directive principle, it was not enforceable by the courts.

30. Article 22 deals with protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.

31. Article 23 deals with prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.

32. Article 24 deals with prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.

33. Article 25 deals with freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

34. Article 26 deals with freedom to manage religious affairs.

35. Article 27 deals with freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion.

36. Article 28 deals with freedom as to attendance at religious instructions or religious worship in certain educational institutions.

37. Article 29 deals with Protection of interests of minorities.

38. Article 30 deals with right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

39. Article 32 deals with remedies for enforcement of fundamental rights including writs.

40. Article 13 declares that a constitutional amendment is not a law and hence cannot be challenged. However, the Supreme Court held in Kesavananda Bharati case(1973) that a Constitutional can be challenged on the ground that it violates a fundamental right that forms a part of the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution and hence, can be declared as void.

41. Article 14 says that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

42. Article 14 confers rights on all persons whether citizens or foreigners.

43. The concept of equality before law’ is of British Origin while the concept of equal protection of lawshas been taken from the American Constitution.

44. The rule of equality is not absolute and there are many exceptions to it. Thus, the President of India, State governors, public servants, judges, foreign diplomats enjoy immunities, protections and special privileges.
45. In 1979, the Morarji Desai Government appointed the 2nd Backward classes Commission under the chairmanship of B.P.Mandal, a Member of Parliament under Article 340 of the Constitution to investigate the conditions of the socially and educationally backward classes and suggest measures for their advancements.

46. The commission submitted its report in 1980 and identified 3743 castes as socially and educationally backward classes.

47. The commission recommended for reservation of 27% government jobs for the OBCs.

48. In 1990 V.P.Singh Government declared 27% government jobs for OBCs.

49. In the famous Mandal case (Indra Sawhney Vs Union of India) (1992), the scope and extent of Article 16(4) has been thoroughly examined by the Supreme Court.

50. Ram Nandan Committee was appointed to identify the creamy layer among the OBCs.

51. The 76th Amendment Act of 1994 has placed the Tamil Nadu Reservations Act of 1994 in the 9th Schedule to protect it from judicial review as it provided for 69% of reservation, far exceeding the 50% ceiling.

52. In 1976, the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955 has been comprehensively amended and renamed as the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955.

53. The term untouchability’ has not been defined either in the Constitution or in the Act.

54. Under the Protection of Civil Rights Act(1955), the offences committed on the ground of untouchability are punishable either by imprisonment up to six months or by fine upto Rs.500/- or both.

55. Article 18 prohibits a citizen of India from accepting any title from any foreign State.

56. In Balaji Raghavan Vs Union of India (1996) case, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the National Awards.

57. The National Awards Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Sri were instituted in 1954.

58. The Janata Party headed by Morarji Desai discontinued the National Awards in 1977. But they were again revived in 1980 by the Indira Gandhi government.

59. Originally, Article 19 contained 7 rights. But, the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property was deleted by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978.

60. The rights conferred under Article 19 are protected against only State action and not private individuals.

61. The rights conferred under Article 19 are available only to citizens of India but not to foreigners.

62. The state can impose reasonable’ restrictions on the enjoyment of these six rights only on the grounds mentioned in the Article 19 itself and not on any other grounds.

63. The Supreme Court upheld that the trade unions have no guaranteed right to effective bargaining or right to strike or right to declare a lock-out.
64. The Directive Principles of State Policy are enumerated in Part IV of the Constitution from Articles 36 to 51.

65. The framers of the Constitution borrowed the idea of Directive Principles of State Policy from the Irish Constitution of 1937, which had copied it from the Spanish Constitution.

66. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar described the Directive Principles of State Policy as ‘novel features’ of the Indian Constitution.

67. Granville Austin has described the Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights as the ‘Conscience of the Constitution.’

68. The Directive Principles resemble the ‘Instrument of Instructions’ enumerated in the Government of India Act of 1935.

69. The Directive Principles are non-justiciable in nature, that is, they are not legally enforceable by the Courts for their violation.

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