HOW THE CONSTITUTION WORKS
- A constitution is a set of fundamental principles according to which a state is constituted or governed.
- The Constitution specifies the basic allocation of power in a State and decides who gets to decide what the laws will be.
- The Constitution first defines how a Parliament will be organized and empowers the Parliament to decide the laws and policies.
- The Constitution sets some limitations on the Government as to what extent a Government can impose rules and policies on its citizen. These limits are fundamental in the sense that the Government may never trespass them.
- The Constitution enables the Government to fulfil the aspirations of a society and create conditions for a just society.
Distribution of Power
- The Indian Constitution horizontally distributes power across the three following institutions, as depicted in the following illustration:
- All the elected representatives collectively form a body called as Parliament.
- The Parliament consists of two houses namely Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and Lok Sabha (Lower House).
- The majority group (elected through the election) in the Parliament is called upon to make the government.
- The government is responsible for making policies and other national decisions, which are generally taken up after intensive debate and meaningful discussions in the parliament.
- The Prime Minister is the head of the government. The prime minister presided over the meetings of the cabinet in which the big decisions are taken.
- The President of India is the head of the State; however, he/she exercises only nominal powers.
- The President’s functions are mainly ceremonial in nature (similar to the Queen of Britain).
- The following diagram illustrates the hierarchy of the Indian Government:
- The judicial system in India contains a hierarchy of courts, where the Supreme Court is the apex court of India.
- Besides, some constitutional and other independent statutory bodies, for example, the Election Commission has also been given independent power.
- The distribution of power among different bodies in such a way ensures that even if one institution wants to subvert the Constitution, others can check its transgressions and maintain harmony.