Salient features of Indian constitution



The constitution of India is the lengthiest and is detailed among all the written constitutions of the world. While the other countries constitutions are not as much long as of the India. American constitution is consisted of only 7 articles, the Australian constitution consisted of 128 Articles, Canadian constitution consisted of 147 Articles. Whereas the Indian constitution originally consisted of 395 Articles which are divided into 22 parts and 8 schedules. At present time Indian constitution is consisted 395 Articles and 25 parts and 12 schedules. Since 1951, several articles have been added to and several articles have been omitted from the constitution.

The Indian constitution preamble establishes an important point for the constitution that is sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.


The constitution of India establishes and performs the parliamentary system of government in both state and centre. The makers of the constitution followed the parliamentary system in the respect of British model.

The essence of the parliamentary form of government is responsibility to the legislature. The president is the head of the State. The executive power is in the hands of council of minister whose head is prime minister. The members of the lower house are elected by the people on the basis of adult franchise normally for five years.

This type of government is known as responsible government. On the other hand, The American constitution establishes presidential type of government.


It has been the nature of the amending process itself in federations which had led political scientist to classify federal constitution as rigid. The rigid constitution is that where there is a requirement of special method of amendment of any of its provisions, while in flexible constitution the amendment for any of the provision can be made by the simple method of ordinary legislative process. A written constitution is also said to be rigid constitution.

The constitution of the India is rigid as well as flexible. Only few provisions of the constitution require the consent of half of the state legislatures and the other rest of the constitution provisions can be amended by the special majority of the parliament. The constitution of India was amended 94 times during the period of last 60 years of its working.

Sir Ivor Jenning has characterized our constitution as rigid due to some reasons that are( a) that the process to amendment of the constitution is difficult and very complicated; (b) If the matter should have been left from the ordinary legislature then, no change in the matter is possible without going under the process of special majority.


The constitution of India declared the fundamental rights in part III of the constitution, which is a distinguishing feature of democratic State. The fundamental rights are prohibited against the state. The state cannot make the law for part III of the constitution which is for the citizens.If a state make or pass any law for the citizen the court may declare it as unconstitutional.

There are special remedies under the fundamental right for the citizens to grants the writs in supreme court. The writs which are granted in supreme court are of five types: Habeas Corpus, Mandamous, Prohibition, Quo Warranto and certiorari. These are protection against the violation of the rights.

The fundamental rights are not absolute rights. They are subjects to some restrictions and the constitution tries to balance between the individual liberty and social interest. The idea of incorporating of bill of rights has been taken from the US constitution. In our constitution fundamental right of the individual rights are balanced very carefully with security of state.


The directive principles of state policy contained in part IV of the constitution India. The aims and objectives are established to be taken up by the States in the governance of the country.  The State makes law for welfare of the people but it is not enforceable in the court as the fundamental rights. If the state is not taken any action for this provision the people cannot go against the state in the court.


It is the most important features of the Indian constitution it acquires the unitary character during the time of emergency. Distribution of powers between state and centre undergoes changes at the time of emergency. And the centre government has the power to give directions to the state government. All the financial arrangement between state and centre can also be altered by the union government. The union has all the power during the proclamation of emergency.


In Indian constitution every man and woman above eighteen years old age, has right to elect representatives for the legislature. In this system to adult suffrage there is no need of qualification. Every one above eighteen years, can give the vote in election without any restriction on base of sex, colour, caste, religion.


The constitution make judiciary is not biased to anyone. It perform its duty independently or impartial, does not work under any organ of government or any other authority. The judiciary has the power of judicial review and there is no involvement of any executive authorities. The judge has secured tenure, the removal of judge from this tenure when judge impeached their duty.


Preamble of the constitution declare that people of India is to be secure to all citizens. No state has its own religion, all persons can perform or practice any or their own religion. The fundamental rights also give a shape of secularism under article 25 to 28 of the constitution. It guarantees to every person the freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practise and propagate their faith.

In secular state, the state cannot compare the man to man on the base of religion. The freedom of religion is not an absolute freedom but subject to the regulatory power of state. In the name of religion nothing is to be done against the public order, morality, or the health of public.


India is federal and provides dual polity that is state and centre, but not the feature of dual citizenship. It provides only single citizenship for whole of India. There is no citizenship of state whereas the America provides dual citizenship, i.e., state and country citizenship.


The constitution of India provided the fundamental duties in article 51A. There are ten duties which are followed by the citizen of the India. But fundamental duties are not enforceable as the fundamental right. It is not mandatory to follow all the duties by the citizens.

Author: Manish Kumar,
Delhi Metropolitan Education( Affiliated to GGSIPU) 2nd year (BALLB)

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