About Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework demarcating fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens.
World’s lengthiest written constitution had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules at the time of commencement. Now Constitution of India has 448 articles in 25 parts and 12 schedules. There are 103 amendments have been made in the Indian constitution so far.
1 Which of the following words was added into the Pre-amble of the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976?
The word "socialist" along with "secular", was added to the Pre-amble of the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, ostensibly to reflect the rationale for the policies of the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency period between 1975-1977. Several commentators have criticized the inclusion of these two words into the Pre-amble as they are vague, unclear concepts, which could cause confusion while interpreting the Constitution.
2 Which important human right is protected in Article 21 of the Constitution of India?
- Right to life and liberty
- Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression
- Right to Equality
- Right to Freedom of Religion
Article 21 states that no one maybe deprived of their life or liberty unless it is by due procedure of law. In the first 25 years or so, this Article was very narrowly interpreted by the Supreme Court to mean that no matter what the procedure of law stated, as long as it was followed, deprivation of one's life and liberty was not illegal. This view, however, changed with the landmark decision in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India in 1979, wherein Justice Bhagwati introduced the American concept of due process, i.e., the law itself should be fair and non-violative of the other provisions of the Constitution, into the interpretation of Article 21.
This opened the floodgate for the expansive interpretation of Article 21, by the Supreme Court, which has been used to protect not just civil and political rights of the citizens, but also guarantee socio-economic rights which were not originally justifiable in the Constitution.
3 From which Constitution was the Concept of a Five Year Plan borrowed into the Indian Constitution?
A simple one actually. The framers of the Constitution were amazed at the success of the Five Year Plans in industrializing the USSR and wished to follow the planned economy model of the Soviet Union in modernizing India. Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, was also a huge fan of the Soviet Five Year Plans and wanted a similar Planning Commission in India to oversee economic growth and Industrialization of the country.
4 Which of the following Constitutional posts is enjoyed for a fixed term?
- Chief Justice
- Prime Minister
The President, according to Article 56 of the Constitution, enjoys his post for 5 years and can only be removed by a complicated impeachment process, akin to the President of the USA. The Prime Minister's term lasts only as long as his Cabinet enjoys the confidence of the Parliament. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court holds his post till the retirement age of 65. The Governor of a State, appointed by the President, holds his position only at the pleasure of the President and may be recalled by the President at any time.
5 A custom or usage, inconsistent with the principles of the Constitution can be struck down as unconstitutional.
Article 13(3) which refers to kinds of laws which may be struck down as being ultra vires the Constitution include custom and usage. However, the Supreme Court has been a little wary of doing so, especially in case of religious personal laws, after the uproar among the conservative elements of the Muslim Community after the decision of the Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case in 1987.
The women-friendly decision in this case, was overturned by Parliament under pressure from the Muslim Community by passing a law abrogating the rights of Muslim women to maintenance upon divorce by their husbands. Even this however, was interpreted in a women-friendly manner by many lower courts, and in 2003 by the Supreme Court itself in the case of Danial Laitifi v. Union of India.
6 How many judges sat on the bench to hear the landmark case of Keshavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala in 1973?
The largest ever Bench of the Supreme Court was constituted to hear what would, out of the thousands of cases involving Fundamental Rights, be called THE Fundamental Rights case. The question to be considered was Parliament's power to amend the Constitution with regard to Fundamental Rights, especially in the light of recent Land Reform Legislation which kept getting struck down by the Supreme Court as being violative of the Right to Property. A previous judgment of the Supreme Court in 1967, Golaknath v. Union of Indian, given by a 11 Judge Bench had stated that Fundamental Rights could not be amended at all and caused some concern among commentators and Parliament alike. In the Keshavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court overruled the Golaknath case, but introduced a new concept which would change the face of Constitutional law in India and abroad forever.
7 The amendment which was passed in 2003 was the ______ occasion upon which the Constitution was amended.
The amendment made in the 92nd Amendment Act, 2003, came into force in July, 2004 when it received the Presidential assent. It provided for three more national languages to be included in the Constitution and the imposition of service tax on service providers by the Central Government.
8 Which of the following is not a Constitutionally mandated body?
- National SC/ST Commission
- Planning Commission
- Commission for Center-State Relations
- Election Commission
The Commission for Center-State Relations, better known as the Sarkaria commission after the Retired Supreme Court Justice who headed the Commission, was constituted to study various aspects of Center State relations as set out in the Constitution and see what changes needed to be made. All other commissions are provided for in the Constitution and have to be headed by a person appointed by the Executive. I have barely scratched the edge of the surface of the engrossing field of Indian Constitutional Law in this quiz, and hope you enjoyed it.
9 In which of the following cases, the Supreme Court established the relationship between Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution?
- R.C. Cooper v. Union of India
- A K. Gopalan v. State of Madras
- Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India
- Minerva Mills v. Union of India
10 Article 39(b) and (c) directs the State policy to secure the following
- Operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment
- Ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to sub-serve the common good
- Childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment
- Both (a) and (b)
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