While drafting the Indian Constitution, India has borrowed some of the best features from other constitutions of the world. The Constitution is a set of laws and rules that sets the Government of a state, and which defines and determines the relations between the different institutions and components of the government like executives, the legislature, the judiciary, the central and the local government. Indian Constitution is unique in its contents and spirit. Even though it had picked up many best features from other constitutions of the world. The constitution of India has several salient features that distinguish it from the constitutions of other countries.
Borrowed Features in Indian Constitution
The Indian Constitution came into existence on 24 November 1949. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the drafting committee. The Constituent Assembly of 299 members drafted the constitution considering features of constitutions of the other countries as well as from the Government of India Act 1935. They are:
- Federal Scheme
- Office of governor
- Public Service Commissions
- Emergency provisions
- Administrative details
List of Borrowed Features
Dr. Ambedkar (Drafting committee Chairman) said this with regard to the borrowings of some features from other nations is:
“As to the accusation that the Draft Constitution has reproduced a good part of the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, I make no apologies. There is nothing to be ashamed of in borrowing. It involves no plagiarism. Nobody holds any patent rights in the fundamental ideas of a Constitution….”
|Name of Countries
|Borrowed Features of the Constitution
Rule of Law
Speaker in Lok Sabha
|Directive Principles of State Policy
Method of Election of the president
Members nomination to the Rajya Sabha by the President
|Unites States of America
|Impeachment of the president
Functions of president and vice-president
Removal of Supreme Court and High court judges
Independence of judiciary
The preamble of the constitution
Provision of States
|Centrifugal form of federalism where the center is stronger than the states.
Residuary powers vest with the center
Center appoints the Governors at the states
Advisory jurisdiction of the supreme court
|Concept of Concurrent list
Article 108 (Joint sitting of the two houses)
Freedom of trade and commerce
|USSR (Now Russia)
The ideals of justice (social, economic and political), expressed in the Preamble.
Five year Plan
|Concept of “Republic”
Ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity(contained in the Preamble)
|Fundamental Rights are suspended during Emergency
|Election of members of the Rajya Sabha
Amendment of the Constitution
|Concept of “procedure established by Law”
Reasons to not call the Indian Constitution a bag of borrowing
Indian Constitution is a unique document drafted after a hard work of three years of the constituent assembly. Some features of the Indian constitution are borrowed from other nations, even though it is unique in its content and spirit.
- The features are borrowed from other nations for the smooth governance of the state to suit its polity and governance. They are not exactly copied.
- Indian Constitution is the most detailed constitution in the world. Indian Constitution originally consisted of 395 articles which have now increased to 448 articles.
- The constitution is drafted by considering the historical perspective of Indian Nationalist struggles, the geographical diversity of India, and its traditional and characteristics which are totally different from any other nation.
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