CONSTITUTION

AuthorAk Srivastava

Constitution []

“With respect to first of these arguments,I do not think S100 imposes on Parliament the duty to continue to provide Judges with precisely the same type of pension they received in 1867. The Canadian Constitution is not locked for ever in a 119 year old casket. It lives and breaths and is capable of growing to keep pace with the growth of the country and its people. Accordingly, if the Constitution can accommodate, as it has, many subjects unknown in 1867-airplanes, nuclear energy, hydroelectric power – it is surely not straining S100 much to say that the word ‘Pension’, admittedly understood in one sence in 1867, can today support Judicial legislation based on a different understanding of Pension”

(Extract from the Judgment of CJ Dickson of Canadian Supreme Court in Queen v Beauregard.1987 LRC (Constitution) 180  (Supreme Court of Canada)

      The aforesaid passage extracted above has been approved by the Hon`ble Supremeourt of India Judge`s case ( Supreme Court Advocate on Record AssnV Union Of India in the year 1993.

Accordingly, our Constitution is also a living organic document which advances with the time and is not a static dead document.It lives and breaths and support the people of India in all situations.       

The preamble to the Constitution namely Socialist Secular Democratic Republic are the basic features of the Constitution along with Independent Judiciary. Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are the goals of the Republic.

Dr.Radhakrishnan,former President of India in his book Recovery of Faith explained secularism as follows- 
“When India is said to be a secular state, it does not mean that we reject the reality of an unseen spirit or the relevance of religion to life or that we exalt irreligion. It does not mean that secularism itself becomes a positive religion or states assumes divine prerogatives.”
Unfortunately,secularism has been taken to absurdity to condemn the majority and spread a hate campaign against them. To call itself a Hindu is seen as anti-national as if Hindus sow the seed of discord.
Art.44 speaks about Uniform Civil Code in Chapter-4 which is Directive Principles of State PolicyThe State has never strived for framing Uniform Civil Code.The Supreme Court twice suggested to the Central Government to take steps to frame Uniform Civil Code but such suggestion has never been listened to by the government of the day.There is no effort to advance the goal of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court, of course , has been always advancing the purposes of the Constitution and made it a vibrant Constitution.New vistas have been opened by using the path of interpretation.The meaning of “Life and Liberty” under Art.21 and Equality under Art.14 have been liberlised to cover new events of life.A citizen is more secured today than he used to be before.The Supreme Court have always endevoured to balance the Social Policies by emphasizing and pressing the Equality clause.Left to the Vote bank politics and vote bank politicians, they would have tilted the Constitution lopsided for their own benefits but Supreme Court promptly stepped in and checked the imbalance.
The amending power of the Constitution under Art.368 were misused a few times in thepastIn a 13 Judge Bench Judgment popularly known as Kesvanand Bharti`s case it was held 7:6 that Indian Parliament have the power to amend the Constitution but can not alter the basic features of the ConstitutionThe political party using its brute majority would have destroyed the Nation taking the Constitutional route itselfBut the aforesaid Judgment is a check in the that direction.

During emergency clamped in 1975, all fundamental rights were suspended including the right of Life and LibertyIn ADM Jabalpur V Shukla Case a contention was raised by then LdAttorney General that even a man is shot deadhe has no remedy as the fundamental rights are suspendedJudges accepted the contention but Justice H.RKhanna gave his dissenting judgment negativing that contentionHe said that Life and Liberty are natural rights only recognized by the Constitution and it does not flow from Art.21 of Constitution.The salutery judgment of Justice Khanna was hailedthrough out the world but it cost Justice Khanna Chief Justiceship as he was superseded by Justice M.HBeg who was appointed Chief Justice .

The Constitution envisages separation of powers amongst the three wings of the State namely ,Executives,Legislatures and Judiciary,though unlike U.S.Constitution which employs strict separation of Power,our Constitution lays down only loose separation of Power.This has lead to spats between the wings of the State.At times there is Judicial Legislation namely Judiciary legislation in the Grey area not covered by the legislation but at times there is Legislative Judgment when the legislature tries to annull the Judgment of the Court by legislating.

            I have only tried to give a bird eye view of a few provisions of the Constitution and not dealt with whole of Constitution.

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AK Srivastava

The author Sh. A.K. Srivastava (@aksrivastava232) is Senior Advocate in Supreme Court of India, New Delhi where he is practicing since last 40 yrs. He had been Advocate General of Govt. of Sikkim & was Hon.Secretary of Supreme Court Bar Association for two years( 1991-92,1992-93).
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7 comments

  • I fully endorse author’s views. A Need to have more elaborate discussions on Constitution, however, The author has highlighted views on Constitution based on current situation and making us all aware of the same. I conclude with two points;

    1)Secularism is one the most misused word in India.
    2)Need to frame and practice Uniform Civil Code (Art.44 speaks about Uniform Civil Code in Chapter-4).

    Thank You for writing on this Topic. This Topic is of utmost importance to each and every single Indian.

    • Seculerism is most misused term which depends upon the convenience of a political parties.Even the need for Uniform Civil Code is being snowballed in the name of seculerism.
      Suoreme Court is trying to do its best in the circumstances to balance the provisions.

  • The interpretation of the Constitution and the Laws is a continueing affair undertaken by the Courts.It is Court’s duty to make hundred years old Constitutional provisions workable even today by its pragmatic interpretations.Therefore,experts if the subject are required,which again is by constant training in the field.

  • The paradox is that a general man can’t understand or define them though they are made for common man. And this is a reason why a common men life don’t want to go to the court

  • Good informative & well written article on Constitution

  • Sir, I am really happy that you have taken up this topic. The Constitution of India needs to be read and understood in its entirety by the citizens of this country. It should be taught as a Compulsory subject to the young students in School and the basic framework must be explained to all for improving the sense of Pride of every Bharatiya. Once the awareness spreads the misuse would be resisted by the Citizens. Hope to get some posts from you on this topic in future also. Thanks for the post.

    • I think basic informations about the Constitution is part of school sylabus.But complications of the subject require very deep studies and training.An expert,s province.I just wanted to share very basics of our Constitution.More than 200 yrs. old Constitution with just 7 Sections and a very ammendments are being worked out so effectively in US.Every one respects the Constitution and the Laws to the extent if even absurdity in US.DevyaniKhobragade’s case is an example.But they obey.