Published on August 31, 2020

Sources of Indian Constitution


Indian constitution is the world’s largest written constitution. It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949 and came into force on 26th of January 1950. There are many sources of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution is taken from the constitution of other countries, for example, Britain, the United States, France, Russia and so on.

A Constituent Assembly of India meeting in 1950
CC: Wikipedia

List of Important Sources of Indian Constitution

Source Borrowed Features
British Constitution 1. Parliamentary form of government,
2. Rule of Law,
3. The legislative procedure,
4. Single citizenship,
5. Cabinet system of government,
6. Prerogative writs,
7. Parliamentary privileges,
8. Bicameralism.
American Constitution 1. Fundamental rights,
2. Independence of the judiciary from executive,
3. Judicial review,
4. The impeachment of the president,
5. Removal of Supreme Court and high court judges and post of vice-president.
Irish Constitution 1. Directive Principles of State Policy,
2. The nomination of members to Rajya Sabha,
3. Method of election of the president. 
Government of India Act of 1935  1. Federal Scheme,
2. Office of governor,
3. Judiciary system,
4. Public Service Commissions,
5. Emergency provisions and administrative details. 
Canadian Constitution  1. Federation with a strong Centre,
2. Vesting of residuary powers in the Centre,
3. Appointment of state governors by the Centre,
4. Advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. 
Australian Constitution  1. Concurrent List,
2. Freedom of trade, commerce and intercourse,
3. The joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament. 
Weimar Constitution of Germany  Suspension of Fundamental Rights during Emergency. 
Soviet Constitution (former Russia or USSR)  1. Fundamental duties,
2. The ideal of justice (social, economic and political) in the Preamble. 
French Constitution  1. Republic and the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity in the Preamble. 
South African Constitution  1. Procedure for amendment of the Constitution,
2. Election of members of Rajya Sabha. 
Japanese Constitution  The procedure established by Law.

Meanings of Certain Keywords of the Borrowed Features

1. Parliamentary form of government

  • It is also known as cabinet government or responsible government or Westminster model of government.
  • Cabinet system is the centre of Parliamentary form of government.
  • There are two houses in the parliament- Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and Lok Sabha (House of Common).
  • Prime minister and the president is elected and leads the government.
  • President has the executive power.
  • Primine minister also acts as an adviser of the President.

2. Rule of Law

  • the concept of Rule of law is based on ‘equality before law’ that means all the Indians irrespective o their social, political or economic status is equal in front of Law.
  • No one can be punished unless they breach the law.

3. The legislative procedure

  • In simple word legislative procedure means process of law making.

4. Single citizenship

  • The countrymen of India is only have passport of India. If anyone acquire citizenship of another country then their Indian citizenship will be rejected.

5. Cabinet system of government

  • In the cabinet system of government prime minister and cabinet ministers manage the government.
  • Collective responsibility is one of the key factors of this type of government that means the minister have to support the decision making by the head of the government.

6. Prerogative writs

  • There is five types of writs – habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, certiorari and quo-warranto.
  • Writs are issued by the supreme court or high court against the individual, government body, officials and on so.
  • High court can also issue writ(prohibition) on high court.

7. Parliamentary privileges

  • There are certain privileges for parliament, such as, right to publish debates and proceedings, right to exclude strangers, right to punish members and outsiders for breach of its privileges, right to regulate the internal affairs of the House.
  • Some parliamentary privileges are also enjoyed by the members of parliament. For example, Freedom of Speech, Freedom from Arrest, Exemption from attendance as witnesses.

8. Bicameralism

  • Bicameralism means there are two houses of parliament – Upper House (Rajya Sabha) and a Lower House (Lok Sabha).
  • Members of Rajya Sabha are the representative of Indian states.
  • The members of Lok Sabha represents the people of India.

9. Fundamental rights

  • Fundamental rights are certain rights which are enjoyed by the citizen of India.
  • At present, there are six fundamental rights in the Indian constitution.
    • 1.  Right to equality (Articles 14–18)
    • 2.  Right to freedom (Articles 19–22)
    • 3.  Right against exploitation (Articles 23–24)
    • 4.  Right to freedom of religion (Articles 25–28)
    • 5.  Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29–30)
    • 6.  Right to constitutional remedies (Article 32)

10. Judicial review

  • Judicial review is the power of the Supreme court or High court to determine the constitutional validity of a law.
  • There are three types of judicial review in India.
    • Judicial review of constitutional amendments.
    • Judicial review of legislation of the Parliament and State Legislatures and subordinate legislations.
    • Judicial review of administrative action of the Union and State and authorities under the state.

11. Directive Principles of State Policy

  • Directive Principles of State Policy or DPSP is the set of instructions should keep in mind when a state is formulating policies and enacting laws.

12. Fundamental Duties

  • There are certain tasks which every citizen of India have to follow that is called Fundamental Duties. It was inspired by USSR.
  • For example, abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem, cherish and follow the noble ideals that inspired the national struggle for freedom, uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India and so on.
source constitution
Sources of Indian Constitution

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