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In India, when the government is disposing its governing functions, it will be carried out through different bodies. These bodies can be broadly classified into two categories one is constitutional bodies and other is statutory bodies. Constitutional bodies are the bodies which are established through the constitutional provisions whereas the statutory bodies are bodies which are established through the statutes (legislation of the parliament or by the legislature). The constitutional bodies are so important in a governing system since it has privileges by the constitutions itself. They have got an independence out of the hand of the elected representative towards the parliament and legislature since they are protected and functions are described by the fundamental law of the land, the constitution itself. To Know the important constitutional bodies in India is to know the important functions and responsibilities in governing India. Through this Blog let us look into the important constitutional bodies in India.
The election commission is a permanent and an independent body established by virtue of article 324 of the Indian constitution directly to ensure free and fair elections in the country. The Election Commission is one of the most important constitutional bodies in India to enforce democracy in its largest form.
Members and Composition: The elections commission shall consist of the chief election commissioner and such other election commissioners, if any as the president may time to time fix.
Powers and Functions: The powers and functions of the election commission with regard to the elections of the parliament, state legislatures and office of the president and vice president can be classified into three categories
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
The union public Service commission (UPSC) is the central recruiting agency in India. It is an independent and one of the most important constitutional bodies in India which is created by virtue of article 315 to 323 of the Indian constitution.
Composition and Members: the constitution does not specify the strength of the commission but left the matter for the discretion of the President of India. Usually, it consists of a chairman and 9 to 11 members appointed by the president of India
Powers and Responsibilities: it conducts the recruitment towards the All-India services, central services and other public services, it assists the state on matters relating to framing policies for recruitment on their request. Consultation on some matters relating to personnel management.
State Public Service Commission
Parallel to the Union Public Service Commission at the centre there is a state public service commission in the states which is another important constitutional body in India created by virtue of article 315 to 323 (same set of articles for UPSC) of the Indian constitution. Kerala have Kerala PSC and other states have other PSCs as this constitutional body
Composition and Members: the constitution does not specify the strength of the commission but leaves the matter for the discretion of the Governor of the States.
Powers and Functions: It conducts examinations for the recruitment towards the state services. Also, it has been consulted in matters of personnel management.
Article 280 of the Indian constitution provides for a Finance Commission as a quasi-judicial body. It is constituted by the President of India every fifth year or at such an earlier time as he considers necessary.
Composition and Members:
- A judge of High court or one qualified to be appointed as one
- A person who has specialised knowledge of finance and accounts of the government
- A person who has wide experience in financial matters and in administration
- A person who has special knowledge of economics
Powers and Functions:
- The distribution of the net proceeds of taxes to be distributed between states and centre
- The principles that should govern the grants-in-aid to the states by the centre
- The measures need to be augment the consolidated fund of India
- Any other matter referred to it by the president of India
Goods and Services Tax Council (GST Council)
The 101st amendment act of the constitution paved the way of the establishment of a new tax regime in the country called goods and services tax (GST). By virtue of article 279-A, Goods and services tax council has been commenced as an important constitutional body in India.
Composition and Members: The union finance minister as the chairperson. The union minister of the state in charge of Revenue or Finance. The minister in charge of finance or taxation nominated by each state
Powers and Functions: The council is required to make recommendation to the centre and states in the matters such as the taxes, cesses, surcharges, the goods and services that are exempted from the GST, impart model GST law, floor rates with bands of GST or any other matter relating to GST.
National Commission for SCs, National Commission for STs, National Commission for BCs
They are the three important constitutional bodies in India. The three of them can be considered as a set even though it deals with various matters but has a common structure and composition. National commission for SCs has been created by virtue of 338 of Indian constitution whereas National commission for STs is by article 338-A and National commissions for BCs Backward classes) is by article 338-B (102nd Amendment act of 2018).
Composition and Members: The three of them consist of a chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and three other members.
Powers and Functions: To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the SCs/STs/BCs respectively. Inquire specific complaints with deprivation of rights of SCs/STs/BCs. Submits a timely Report to the President of India.
Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities
Originally there were no provisions regarding special linguistic minority officers. Later the state reorganisation commission recommended for one and according to that the 7th constitutional amendment act of 1956 inserted a new article 350-B. By virtue of 350-B there is a special officer for linguistic minorities and it constitutes one of the important constitutional bodies in India.
Members and Composition: There should be special officers for linguistic minorities appointed by the president of India.
Powers and Functions: To investigate all matters relating to the safeguards of linguistic minorities. To submit timely reports to the president of India. To monitor the implementation of safeguards for linguistic minorities.
Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG)
By virtue of article 148 of the Indian constitution provides for an independent office of the comptroller auditor general of India. he is the head of the accounts audit department and constitutes an important constitutional body. He is the guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of the country at both levels- the centre and state.
Member and Composition: CAG is appointed by the president of India by a warrant under his hand and seal.
Powers and Functions: The constitution of India Article 149 authorises the parliament to prescribe the duties and powers of the CAG. Accordingly, the parliament enacted the CAG’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act 1971. This act was amended in 1976. This act envisages the powers and duties of the CAG in detail.
Attorney General of India
The constitution article 76 provides for an Attorney General of India. He is the highest law officer in the country. It is also one of the important constitutional bodies of India.
Members and Composition: The Attorney General is appointed by the president. He must be a person who is qualified to be appointed as a judge of the supreme court.
Powers and Functions: To give advice to the government in legal matters. To perform the functions of legal character. To represent the government before the Supreme Court or High Court.
The constitution Article 165 provides for an advocate general for the states. it is also one of the important constitutional bodies. He is the highest law officer of the state.
Members and Composition: The Attorney General is appointed by the Governor. He must be a person who is qualified to be appointed as a judge of the High court.
Powers and Functions: To give advice to the government in legal matters. To perform the functions of legal character.
This is the brief inclusion of all the important constitutional bodies in India. Because of the constitutional bodies and its smooth functions as prescribed by the constitution the governance of our country is done uninterruptedly even in the midst of the political chaos. To know the important constitutional bodies is to know the constitution and to the system of the country. By heart all these important constitutional bodies in India and crack any exam of your choice. Enrol Entri for more general awareness updates. Keep studying. Keep winning!