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Constitution

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Law is an instrument which regulates the human behavior in a society. Constitution in any country regulates the affairs between the individuals and the state. It lays down provisions relating to distribution of power between/among the three organs of the Government viz. the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary and the Union/Central and Regional/State Governments in a federation.

A Constitution is the fundamental law of land.

A Constitution means a document having a special legal sanctity which sets out

  • the frame work
  • principal functions of the organs of the Government of a State
  • declares the principles governing the operation of those organs

Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law is the body of rules, which determines the constitution of the state.

According to Prof. A V Dicey, Constitutional Law includes all the rules, which directly or indirectly affect the distribution or the exercise of governing power in the State.

Classification

Constitutions may be classified as

  • Written and unwritten
  • Unitary and Federal
  • Flexible or Rigid

Written and Unwritten Constitution

India has a written constitution, while Great Britain (UK/England) has unwritten. In an unwritten constitution, the Legislature / Parliament enjoys sovereignity to make and unmake any law.

Unitary and Federal

A Unitary Constitution is one which sets up one Central Government and all the powers are vested in it. The unit/provincial/State Governments acts as subordinates to the Central Government. Eg: Great Britain

A Federal Constitution provides for the division/distribution of powers between Union/Central and Unit/State Governments. Eg: American Constitution

Flexible or Rigid

A Constitution is said to be flexible if it provides for a simple procedure for its amendment. It means, a bill proposing the amendment is passed in each House by the simple majority of the members present and voting and on receiving the assent of the President or Governor, as the case may be, has the effect of amending the Constitution. Eg: Great Britain.

A Rigid Constitution requires a special, complex and more technical procedure for its amendment. For example, some of the provisions in the Indian Constitution viz. 54, 55 (Election of President) requires acceptance of majority of members in both houses and 2/3rd majority of the members present and voting. It also requires the ratification by not less than half of State legislatures before it is presented for the assent of the President.

The Indian Constitution is a written constitution and quasi federal. It adopted Bill of Rights, Judicial Review and Constitutional Supremacy from the American Constitution, and Parliamentary Democracy from the British Constitution.

Notes

  • In some countries, like in the United States of America, the Constitution is a quali-religious icon of the vision of their country. i.e They have utmost faith and confidence on the Constitution.

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