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Indian Constitution As A Living Document

Constitution is not a mere lawyers document; it is a vehicle of Life and it's spirit is always the spirit of age - Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

In the light of the words of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, who is the mastermind of the Indian Constitution. The constitution as a supreme Law of the country has a pivotal role in maintaining Law and order. Thus, we could analyze the spirit and life of the Constitution which motivates the Legislation, Executive and Judiciary to focus on the basic needs of every citizen of the country. So, the Constitution of India is revealing the glorified by the first sentence written in the Preamble itself:

"WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a
and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic, and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

Here, the People of India is the motive and Base behind the life of the constitution. Because, the Constitution of India acquires its power from the People of India, as India is a democratic country. With the arrival of the Constitution of India, India changed in her nature and her characteristics which lead to the visualizing the improvement of the social, economic, and political circumstances during the 1950s.

However, The Constitution is still neither rigid nor flexible in nature due to the vision and motive of the framers, especially Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, who has analysed all the major issues of India. Constitution involves multiple stocks of meanings and interpretations. Thus, this article will help to know how The Constitution of India works applicably during the legislation and implementation of Laws as well as other sections of Indian Society.

Historical Reflection Of The Indian Constitution

When we turn back to History, we could see an evolutionary process how The Constitution of India has evolved with a good quantity of Acts by British parliament from the beginning of 17th century. The British came into India from 1600 with the formation of the East India Company which came to India for the purpose of Trade as India was famous for different food crops as well as spice crops.

With the arrival of the Company rule in 1773, British government ensured the regulation over the East India Company, with a ridiculous aim to establish power over India. Slowly, the Britain started to conquer the kingdoms and other administrative organs in different parts of India and lead to the First mutiny of Independence in 1857. But they succeeded in the war and implemented The Government of India Act in 1858, which lead to the rule of Governor General in India, with Warren Hastings.

The Indian Councils Act was implemented in 1861 and 1909 for widening the council of the Governor. But the Government of India Act in 1919 paved the way to the introduction of Bicameralism of Parliament and the direct election of the representatives, which is the basis of the development of Democracy.

And also, the formation of Public Service Commission in India. Also, the Government of India Act which was implemented in 1935 gave a basic structure to the Indian Constitution with the introduction to Dyarchy system in which the executive authority is vested in Governor General with the help of the council of ministers, also the formation of the Federal court and the Reserve Bank of India. At Last, The Indian Independence Act 1947 declared that India and Pakistan will be separated and formed as independent countries according to Mountbatten plan.

After acquiring Independence, the Constitutional assembly was formed and made their first meeting at 9 December 1946 with 300 members. They also several submissions of opinions of people regarding certain Laws and public issues at large. Under the leadership of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, who was a brilliant advocate as well as the representative of the lower caste people, the entire team of Constituent assembly revised and re-checked the drafted document and submitted for the approval of the President.

Thus, within 2 years, 11months and 17 days, the Constitution was drafted and adopted on 26 November 1949, as we celebrate as "National Law Lay" and came into force on 26 January 1950,as we celebrate as Republic Day, the time in which India was declared as a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic.

Living Features Of The Indian Constitution

The Constitution of India has shown some features which has 14 adopted from different constitutions of the world. As mentioned in the introduction, the spirit and life of the Constitution included in these features which leads the Country during the Tough situations. So, let us look at these features of the "Living" Indian Constitution.

Federal System:
When we look at the structure and nature of the Indian Constitution, it is not clearly mentioned that India has a federal system, but the rules and guidelines regarding the central and state governments and other organs of democracy gives an idea that India maintains a federal system with a unitary government. Such a combination of Federal and Unitary system in the same constitution is unique in the world.

Parliamentary form of Legislation:
The Hon'ble Supreme court says that: "Our Constitution though federal in structure is modelled on the British parliamentary system where the executive is deemed to have the primary responsibility for the formulation of government policy and it's transmission into the Law, though the condition precedent to the exercise of this responsibility is it's retaining the confidence of the Legislative branch of the state". So, India has a Parliamentary form of legislation in which President as the Head of the union to pass the bill as Act. This concept is adopted from British Parliament system. We also have a Bicameral form of Legislation.

Combination of Rigidity and Flexibility:
Here, the Constitution of India comprises of Rules and regulations which show both rigid as well as flexible nature. In the US Constitution, they have 8 articles even though they are considered as the Oldest and first written constitution in the world. The amendments are few and is difficult to move forward for an amendment. Here it shows the nature of rigidity. Whereas in the British constitution, it is unwritten and the Laws can be amended. Here it shows that the constitution is flexible. Thus, the Indian Constitution is neither wholly rigid nor wholly flexible.

Independent Judiciary:
India has an Independent Judiciary which has an important role in checking the legality of the bills passed by the Legislative. This feature is called "Judicial Review". Here, the Judiciary reviews whether the bills passed by the parliament are constitutionally valid or not to society. As Judiciary has its own hierarchy, i.e., the Supreme Court of India has the supreme power to check the legality of acts and the bills.

Fundamental Rights:
Every citizen of this country has his/ her own basic rights and duties which will save their political, legal as well as social equality. These rights are called "Fundamental Rights". So, the Indian constitution provides 6 fundamental rights. These rights are mentioned in Articles 14 to 32 in the Constitution of India. If any of the fundamental rights are violated, every citizen has the right to approach the High court or The Supreme Court to enable their fundamental rights in the base of Article 32 of the Indian Constitution

The Role Of Constitution In Present Society

During this Era of Covid 19; now named as Omicron, some cases have been arrived in the Apex court of India, regarding to right to Equality. Some of the cases are:

Siddaraju vs State of Karnataka (2020):
In this case, the Hon'ble Supreme court of India said that " Every appropriate Government shall appoint in every establishment such percentage of vacancies not less than three per cent for persons or class of persons with disability". Thus , the request of the petitioner in Hon'ble High court of Karnataka to provide reservation schemes for persons who has Disability was quashed, which was a violation to Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which says about the Right to Equality.

Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India (2020):
The Government of India revoked the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir, and made restrictions and public movement, including the shutting down of Internet, Telecommunication and other facilities due to the prevailing circumstances in Kashmir. So, the appeal was filed in the Supreme Court of India regarding the issue of Internet.

Thus, the Hon'ble Court said that: "freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession or carry on any trade, business or occupation over the medium of internet enjoys constitutional protection under Article 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. "

In this case given above, we can analyze the role of Constitution in this present era. Here, the use of Internet has a vital role in the communication among individuals, groups as well as among nations .So, the Indian Constitution also agree the point of common features evolved during this period of time. Even though, India is free from inequalities by the power of the Constitution, we could see incidents around us which cause violation of Fundamental rights and Duties towards the Country.

It is the time when Constitution can come up with Legal guidelines which prevent this violation of Law , the Judiciary plays a peculiar role in order to protect the value of the Indian Constitution. That is the reason behind of defining the Supreme Court of India as the "Guardian of the Constitution". Thus, the Indian Constitution helps us to preserve our rights and leads us to follow the duties which bounds to the Unity and Integrity of India.

In the Light of the Topics and glimpses of cases given above, let us find out some conclusions regarding the Life of the Constitution of India:- It is true that we have inherited a very "robust" Constitution. The basic framework of the Constitution is very much suited to our country. Constitution is not merely a document but an embodiment of people's faith and aspirations.

As the features like Federal system, Parliamentary form of Government, Independent Judiciary, Bicameral Legislation, Less Rigid and Less Flexible nature etc., makes the Constitution more active, we need to understand that The Constitution of India is not only a merely Legal document but a "Charter of Values and Principles".

Indian Constitution is also referred as "Quasi- Federal" by many political scientists. Every citizen living in this Land of Unity and Diversity is lucky to have a constitution which interferes when violation of rights take place. The basis of our Constitution is nothing but the idea of Democracy, which can be classified into two words: "Demos" (whole citizen living in a particular state) and "Kratos" (Power or Rule) in Greek language.

These words itself defines that the power and rule is in the hands of the people. Thus, people have the sovereign power in the country which makes and nourishes the Constitution. This code of Law is framed for the inculcation and administration of Justice.

Let us conclude by remembering the words of Mr.Narendra Modi, the present Prime Minister of India:
"Our Constitution is a ray of HOPE, H for Harmony, O for Opportunity, P for People's participation and E for Equality"- Mr Narendra Modi

  1. Department of Justice, Government of India, last visited 20 January 2022
  2. INDIA CONST. Preamble, Art 14-32
  3. Lawgical Connect, Historical Background of Indian Constitution, last visited 20 January 2022
  4. Clear IAS,, last visited 20 January 2022
  5. DD Basu ,Indian Polity,9,LexiNexis,2020
  6. Dr. Srinath Raghavan, Making of the Constitution,5, Delhi University, Making_of_the_constitution.pdf last visited 20 January 2022
  7. Ram Jawaya vs State of Punjab, AIR 1955 SCR 225
  8. White House, government/the-constitution, Last visited 21 January 2022
  9. V Shri Ram Naik, Constitutional Law of India, Pg 12, (Astha Publishers, 2016)
  10. Siddaraju vs Stake of Karnataka, Supreme Court of India, Civil appeal no 1567, 14 January 2017,
  11. Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India, Supreme Court of India, writ petition (CIVIL) No 1031,10 January 2020
  12. NCERT, The Constitution as a Living Document,
  13. Sunanda Singh, The Constitution of India; A Living Document ,Reader's Blog, (21 January 2022.42 pm), of-india-a-living-document- 39156/
  14. UNO Reads, document, (last visited 21 January 2022)
  15. Museum of Australian Democracy,, (last visited 21 January 2022)
  16. LatestLy, , (last visited 22 January 2022)
  17. B Scholarly, Features of the UK Constitution: 5 Essentials of The British Constitution ( (Last visited 21 January 2022)
  18. Dushyant, Guardians of the Indian Constitution, Mumbai Mirror, (21 January 2022.8 pm),

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