Enactment of the Constitution
- The tasks mentioned above continued till November 26, 1949 when the Constitution was adopted and some provisions came into force on that day itself.
But the major part (remaining provisions) came into force on January 26, 1950.
However, the Assembly continued to act as provisional parliament till the formation of new Parliament after the first general elections in 1951-52.
- The Constitution of India is the world’s lengthiest written constitution with 395 articles and 8 schedules. It contains the good points taken from the constitutions’ of many countries in the world. It was passed on 26 Nov 1949 by the ‘The Constituent Assembly’ and is fully applicable since 26 Jan 1950.
- The Constitution of India draws extensively from Western legal traditions in its outline of the principles of liberal democracy. It follows a British parliamentary pattern with a lower and upper house. It embodies some Fundamental Rights which are similar to the Bill of Rights declared by the United States constitution. It also borrows the concept of a Supreme Court from the US.
- India is a federal system in which residual powers of legislation remain with the central government, similar to that in Canada. The constitution provides detailed lists dividing up powers between central and state governments as in Australia, and it elaborates a set of Directive Principles of State Policy as does the Irish constitution.
- The constitution has provision for Schedules to be added to the constitution by amendment. The ten schedules in force cover the designations of the states and union territories; the emoluments for high-level officials; forms of oaths; allocation of the number of seats in the Rajya Sabha. A review of the constitution needs at least two-thirds of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to pass it.
- The Indian constitution is one of the most frequently amended constitutions in the world. In fact the first amendment to it was passed after only a year of the adoption of the constitution and instituted numerous minor changes.
- Many more amendments followed, at a rate of almost two amendments per year since 1950.
- Most of the constitution can be amended after a quorum of more than half of the members of each house in Parliament passes an amendment with a two-thirds majority vote.
- Articles pertaining to the distribution of legislative authority between the central and state governments must also be approved by 50 percent of the state legislatures.
Enforcement of the Indian Constitution
- India was officially declared to be a Sovereign Republic on 26th January, 1950 only in commemoration of above-said Purna Swaraj declaration.
- In 1929, at the annual session of Congress at Lahore, “Purna Swaraj” or complete independence was accepted as the goal of the Congress. And on the banks of the river Ravi, at midnight on 31 December 1929, the tricolour flag of Indian independence was unfurled amidst cheer and jubilation. And 26 January 1930 was fixed as the first Independence Day.
- Even before the independence, Congress had passed a resolution saying that from January 26 1930, India will celebrate its independence on January 26 every year.
- To commemorate this historical day, it was decided to enforce the Constitution on 26th January 1950.
- That is why, even though the Constitution had passed on Nov 26 1949, it came into force from January 26, 1950 and replaced the 1935 Government of India act.
- On that day, Rajendra Prasad was sworn in as India’s first President, replacing the King as the head of the state.
- Few of the Articles of the Constitution came into force on November 26, 1949 itself, that included Article 5,6,7,8,9,60,324,366,379,380,388,391,392 and 393.