The Constitution Of India: Odds and Evens By Forefathers


Constitution of India is the soul of India’s Judiciary. It is the supreme law which cannot be superseded by any organization or individual in India. The constitution is not a mere book in India, but it is the most elaborate and finely structured written a form of constitution in the world. The constitution of India was formed by the Constituent Assembly originally commissioned by the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946. In the beginning, it had 389 members, 292 representing provinces, 93 representing states, 3 representing Chief Commissioner Provinces with one representative of Balochistan.

Constituent Assembly’s first meeting was held on 9th of December, 1946. Dr. Sachidanand Sinha, the oldest member of the Assembly, was elected the Provisional President. Two days after, the Constituent Assembly chose Dr. Rajendra Prasad as its permanent Chairman. After the partition of India, the Muslim League members withdrew from the assembly, reducing the number to 299. 229 representatives for the Provinces and 70 representatives for the states.

The Making of The Constitution

13 committees were set up by the Assembly for framing the Constitution of India. These committees prepared reports after studying various constitutions throughout the world. After completion of these reports, a draft of the constitution was to be prepared by a Drafting Committee of seven members headed by Dr. B R Ambedkar.

In January 1948 the drafting constitution was published and was open for review and discussion for the press, people, and the provincial assemblies and the constituent assembly as well. Considering the valuable suggestions, the constitution was finally adopted on 26th of November, 1949 and received the signature of the President of the Assembly. The total time taken by the Constituent Assembly to complete the constitution was 2 years, 11 months and 18 days.

The Constitution

Talking about the Constitution itself, it is not an original document. But it can be called a documentation or amalgamation of different constitutions throughout the world. The makers of the constitution tried to incorporate all the good features from other constitutions.

Though these laws and rules were not directly copied to the constitution, they were modified and shaped to fit into the Indian conditions and avoid complications in law and order. Some of the constitutions which had a major role in framing our constitution were the constitutions of USA, UK, Canada, Ireland etc. the features borrowed from the British Constitution were the Parliamentary form of Government, law, and order, lawmaking procedures, and a single citizenship. Judicial Review, independence of Judiciary, removal of judges, Fundamental rights and duties were some concepts borrowed from the USA.

Foreign Concepts

The Weimar Constitution inspired provisions on Emergency. Directive Principles of State Policy was adopted from Ireland. The concept of Concurrent List was taken from Australia. Canadian constitution suggested a federal system of Union and states, with Union being a powerful heading body. Apart from these sources, the Government of India Act 1935 also had a vital role in the Indian Constitution. This Act threw light on powers of the federal judiciary, office of Governor etc.