Essay on the Constitution of India – The Longest Written Constitution in the World

As it has borrowed various provisions from other Constitutions, it may not be able to work well in future. The second criticism against the Indian Constitution which follows from the first is that it is “A Lawyers’ Paradise”.

Making a general comment on the Constitution, one member in the Constituent Assembly observed, “The draft tends to make people more litigious, more inclined to go to law courts, less truthful and less likely to follow the methods of truth and non-violence. If I may say so, the Draft is really a lawyers’ paradise.

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It opens up vast avenues of litigation and will give our able and ingenious lawyers plenty of work to do’ It was maintained that because the Drafting Committee was consisted of mostly lawyers and as lawyer’s minds are prone to verbiage, arguments, twisting and bending of words, they deliberately made the Constitution a long and complex document.

It is true that the Constitution is a long and complex document. The long size and the complexity was the result of many contributory factors. The fact that it is a long document and therefore it is prone to be a source of litigation is not correct.

Neither the length nor the complexity of a constitutional document can alone give rise to litigation. On the contrary, a small and simple Constitution may pave the way for unending litigation.

A glaring example is the “Commerce Clause” of the American Constitution which has given a free hand to judiciary to interpret the Constitution in any way it likes. M.V. Pylee rightly writes, “The American Constitution compared to the Indian Constitution is a marvel of brevity and simplicity.

But this has not in any way cut down litigation. On an average, the Supreme Court of the United States is called upon to decide over 1,300 cases a year. In contrast, the Supreme Court of India in its constitutional field has yet to reach the figure of two hundred cases a year in its career so far”.

On the contrary, the constitutional litigation is generally a product of vagueness and inadequate expression of the constitutional terms. To avoid it, the framers of our Constitution provided a detailed Constitution.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, giving reasons for the long size of the Constitution, said in the Constituent Assembly that firstly the form of administration had a close connection with the form of Constitution in India.

Secondly, there was also the possibility of poverty of the constitutional morality. “Constitutional morality is not a natural sentiment. It has to be cultivated. We must realise that our people have yet to learn it. Democracy in India is only a top-dressing on an Indian soil which is essentially undemocratic.

In these circumstances it is wiser not to trust the legislature to prescribe the forms of administration. This is the justification for incorporating them in the Constitution”. As there is lack constitutional morality in India, the framers of our Constitution wanted to put all the constitutional terms and problems in written form. Hence a long and complex Constitution.

It is wrong to compare our Constitution with the American Constitution. Both the Constitutions were framed in different backgrounds. The problems which America faced after its revolution were few and simple. After the American War or Independence the Americans framed their Constitution in a new environment.

On the contrary the problems which India faced in it the way of her freedom were many and complex. The power was transferred here in India in a peaceful way. The constitution was not drawn up as a result of revolution or by way of a fresh start. The makers of Indian Constitution could not sever all connections with the past.

The old Acts like the Government of India Act. 1935 had considerable influence over the new Constitution. The tragedy of partition was so vivid in the memory of the framers of the Constitution that they wanted to put down everything in black and white.

A sincere attempt was made by them to check all disintegrating forces in our body politic. Moreover the American Constitution was framed in the age of Laissez-Faire. This has led a critic to say that it was framed in the “horse and buggy” days.

Being framed in the mid-20th century, the Constitution of India had to incorporate many new and welfare principles. The Chapter on the Directive Principles of State Policy envisages Welfare State for India. It also contains a constitutional obligation to follow a peaceful foreign policy.

Another factor which contributes to the bulk of the Constitution is the immense diversity of India. India is land immense diversities. There are various religions, languages castes, races, etc. It is said to be a multi-lingual, multi-lingua’ and multi-religious country.

Various provisions have been provided in the Constitution to meet the needs of the different people in India. A special provision has been made to safeguard interest of the minorities. The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes have been accorded special benefits under the Constitution.

While the Constitutions of the United States, Australia and Switzerland deal only with the federal Government and leave the States to draw up their own Constitutions, the Indian Constitution provided the Constitutions of both the Union and the Units in a single volume with the same fullness and precision.

As the units in India have different historical origins and political developments, the Constitution provides specific provisions for different classes of units like Indian States, the Centrally administered territories, special provision for Jammu and Kashmir, etc.

As stated earlier, the framers of our Constitution freely desired to incorporate the best features and cumulated experiences gathered from the working of all known Constitutions of the world and wanted to avoid all the defects and loopholes that might have been in the working of those Constitutions.

The very adoption of the provisions from the Government of India Act, 1935 contributed to the bulk of the new Constitution in as much as the Act of 1935 itself was a lengthy and detailed statute.

It is wrong to say that the Indian Constitution lacks originality or indigenousness. A Constitution is said to be a mirror of the nation. Our Constitution, framed in 1949, represents many of our national aims and aspirations.

A few leading Gandhian principles like introduction of Village Panchayat, prohibition and abolition of untouchability have been incorporated in our Constitution.

The spirit of not only political but also economic democracy vibrates in some chapters of the Indian Constitution. To conclude with Mr. K. Santhanam, “The Indian Constitution is not devoid of some original features.

The President of India is to be elected by an electorate consisting of the elected members of other the Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the legislative Assemblies of all the States.

This is an original device, the conduct of election at the Centre and the Units through an election Commission is another important novel feature of Indian on institution. In the procedure of amendment of the Constitution, a wise balance between extreme rigidity and undue flexibility has been achieved”.

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