The Constitution of India is the grand norm of the country. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles and the duties of citizens. The Constitution is supreme in this country as it was created by a constituent assembly, and adopted by its people, with a declaration in its preamble that all institutions shall function as per the Constitutional law. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar is regarded as its chief architect. This article is an attempt to give an overview regarding Constitution of India and fundamental rights.
The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 and came into effect on 26 January 1950. It deals with the union and its territory, citizenship, fundamental rights and duties, directive principles of state policy, the Union, the States, union territories, the High Courts in the states, subordinate courts, the panchayats, the municipalities, cooperative societies, the scheduled and tribal areas, relations between the union and the states, finance, property, contracts and suits, trade, commerce and intercourse within the territory of India, services under the union and the states, tribunals, elections, special provisions relating to certain classes, official language, regional language and Emergency provisions. Under the scheme of Constitution of India, Parliament/ State legislation is empowered to make laws, Executive implements the laws and Constitutional courts interpret the provisions of Constitution. Parliament can amend the Constitution but the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be amended under Article 368.
Most of the Fundamental rights are enforceable against State under Writ petition either before High Court or Supreme Court. State is defined under Article 12, Article 13 definition of law, Equality clause: Article 14, 15 & 16, Abolition of untouchability: Article 17, Abolition of titles: Article 18, Freedom to expression and speech: Article 19, Rights of accused: Article 20, Right to life and liberty: Article 21, Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases: Article 22. Writ jurisdiction of the Hon’ble High Court can be invoked under article 226 in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and certiorari. Hon’ble Supreme Court, the highest in the country, may also issue writs under Article 32 of the Constitution for enforcement of Fundamental Rights and under Articles 139 for enforcement of rights other than Fundamental Rights.
The petitioner must file a representation in the department/ office to avail an existing remedy before filing Writ petition in the Hon’ble High Court or Supreme Court. Although, no specified limitation is applicable to the violation of fundamental rights in the Hon’ble High Court the petition may be dismissed on the ground of delay and latches. Our Best Advocates for Constitutional law in Chandigarh have always advised their clients to file the case within a reasonable time to avoid any damage due to delay.
The Constitution of India is the most exhaustive Constitution of the world and it has safeguarded all the institution of India from arbitrariness. The role of constitutional courts as watchdogs over the institutional balance is actually bringing the spirit of rule of law in India.
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