Constitutional Developments

-P. P. Rao

The Constituent Assembly Debates and B. Shiva Rao’s ‘The Framing of India’s Constitution’ are helpful to understand the Constitution, its aims and objects, the overall scheme and the infrastructure designed for achieving the goals. The leaders who led the freedom struggle were statesmen who had made great sacrifices for the noble cause. They ensured that eminent persons from different walks of life and leaders representing different communities and sections of society were elected to the Constituent Assembly. At the first meeting, Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha, provisional Chairman, in his address reminded the Assembly, quoting Joseph Story, the famous American Jurist:

“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” His concluding words are “where there is no vision, the people perish.”

The pithily worded Preamble of the Constitution records the solemn resolve of the people to secure to all citizens justice, social, economic and political; liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; equality of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation. The Constitution has provided for a democratically elected Parliament for the country and a Legislature for each State. The Prime Minister gets M.Ps of his choice appointed as Ministers and Chief Ministers do likewise. The Council of Ministers exercises the executive power i.e. to make policies, to initiate legislation and to implement decisions taken and the laws enacted.  The Legislatures enact laws and the Judiciary interprets the Constitution and the laws. The power of judicial review has assumed vast proportions.

The Constitution has been in operation for over 67 years. It has been amended over a hundred times. However, from the beginning, there was no common understanding of the scheme of the Constitution by the three wings. The Judiciary frustrated the agrarian reforms initiated enthusiastically by different States soon after Independence due to lack of appreciation of the Directive Principles of State Policy and their dynamic character. According to the Supreme Court, they were subservient to the fundamental rights. It was a serious error of interpretation.

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Cite as : P. P. Rao, Constitutional Developments, 1 Ind. J. of Const. & Admin. L. 1-9(2017).



 

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