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Indian Constitution – Relevant Details


  • Meaning of Constitution
  • Functions of the Constitution
  • Types of Constitution

Meaning of Constitution

What is a Constitution?

  • A constitution can be defined as a body of fundamental principles, which guides the state and helps in governing it.
  • It is a fundamental law of the land, which helps in fulfilling the aspirations of the society.
  • It is a well-defined framework, pursuing which, all the goals and aspirations of an ideal society and political system can be met.
  • It is a tool to make sure that the fundamental rule of the land is in tandem with human rights, as well as the law of nature.
  • It is both a living, as well as an evolving document.
  • Evolution would include –
    • Judgements
    • Judicial Interventions
    • Conventions
    • Statutes

Significance of Constitution

  • It helps give a political framework and helps in distributing the decision making powers.
  • The Indian Constitution exhibits strengths, conflicts, aspirations, as well the struggle for national freedom.
  • The Indian Constitution gives a moral identity to its people.
  • It creates and reflects the Indian identity.

Objective of Constitution

The Supreme Court, in 1997 observed that the “Constitution envisions to establish an egalitarian social order to each of its citizens, to upgrade the social, economic, political justice in a vibrant social and economic democracy of the Bharat Republic”.

  • To help the government in fulfilling the aspirations of the society, and helping in creating conditions for a fair society.
  • To specify the ones who would have power to take and make decisions in society.
  • The Constitution provides for a set of basic rules allowing minimal coordination among the members of the society.
  • To set some limits on government powers, and ensure enough checks and balances.


  • A political philosophy based on the idea that the power of the government shall be derived from the people, and should be limited by the checks and balances of the Constitution.
  • Origin – Magna Carta (1215) of King John of England and English Bill of Rights.
  • Western idea of constitutionalism – It is negative in character, as it seeks to disempower, restrict and limit the state.
  • Components
    • Rule of law – Developed by British ruler Dicey
    • Separation of power – India follows the mixed separation of power model
    • Free press and media
    • Independent judiciary
    • Elected government (temporariness of government)

Functions of the Constitution

The following are some of the important functions of the Constitution.

  1. Structured form of law making: A written Constitution helps in sourcing all legislative, executive and judicial functions in a well-defined manner with arguments and facts
  2. Ideological Expression: A Constitution is a representation of the law and philosophy followed by the nation.
  3. Different levels of government: The Constitution describes unitary, federal and confederal features of the law making
  4. Amendment of Constitution: Constitution also gives flexibility to change certain sections according to the needs of the time.

Types of Constitution

Type of ConstitutionFeatures/Example
Written ConstitutionA constitution which is written and codified. Example India
Unwritten ConstitutionA Constitution which is a bunch of documents with mostly verbal interpretations of law, and based on natural justice principle. Example – United Kingdom
RigidA Constitution is rigid if the scope of amending is limited. A rigid constitution is a federal feature of the Indian Constitution.
FlexibleA Constitution is flexible if the scope of amending is high. A flexible constitution is a unitary feature of the Indian Constitution.

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