Guardian of the Constitution

The Indian Constitution[i], the longest of any sovereign nation within the world, provides a comprehensive framework to guide and govern the country, keeping visible her social, cultural, and spiritual diversity. The Indian constitution is additionally one in every of the foremost oft amended [ii]constitutions within the world. The primary change came solely a year when the adoption of the constitution and instituted varied minor changes. More amendments followed, and calendar month 1995 the constitution had been amended lixivia times, a rate of just about 2 amendments each year since 1950. Most of the constitution may be amended when a gathering of over 1/2 the members of every house in Parliament passes Associate[iii] in Nursing change with a common fraction majority vote. Articles bearing on the distribution of legislative authority between the central and state governments should even be approved by fifty percent of the state legislatures.


A distinctive document with several extraordinary options, the Constitution of the Republic of India is that the longest written constitution of any sovereign nation within the world. The initial text of the Constitution contained 395 articles in twenty-two components and eight schedules. It came into result on Gregorian calendar month twenty-six, 1950, the day that the Republic of India celebrates annually because of the Republic Day. The quantity of articles has since accrued to 448 because of a hundred amendments.


The Constitution was framed by the Constituent Assembly of the Republic of India, established by the members of the provincial assemblies no appointive by the individuals of the Republic of India. Dr. Sachidanand Sinha was the primary president of the Constituent Assembly. Later, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was no appointive its president. Dr. BR Ambedkar, the chairperson of its Drafting Committee, is taken into account the chief designer of the Indian Constitution that provides a comprehensive and dynamic framework to guide and govern the country, keeping visible her distinctive social, cultural, and spiritual diversity. It establishes the most organs – government, lawmakers, and judiciary, processes their powers, demarcating their responsibilities, and controls the inter-se relationship. It lay to rest alia lays down the essential structure of governance and the relationship between the govt. and individuals.

The Constitution vests several basic rights. This square measure

  • Right to Equality,
  •  Right to Freedom,
  •  Right against Exploitation,
  •  Right to Freedom of faith,
  • Cultural and academic Rights and
  •  Right to Constitutional Remedies[iv].

These rights square measure justifiable Associate in Nursingd a personal will move the Supreme Court or the High Courts if there’s an encroachment on any of those rights. However, basic Rights in the Republic of India are not absolute. Cheap restrictions may be obligatory. By forty-second change in 1976, fundaments duties[v] were supplemental within the Constitution to inform folks that whereas enjoying their right as voters, they must perform their duties for rights and duties square measure correlative.

Another novel feature of the Constitution is that it contains a chapter on the directive principles of state policy, that square measure within the nature of directives to the govt. to implement them for establishing social and economic democracy within the country. Although not justifiable, these principles square measure thought of basic within the governance of the country.

Guardian of the Constitution

The judiciary is the freelance of the chief. It’s the guardian and interpreter of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is that the highest judicial court is positioned at the apex of one unified system for the full 77country. Beneath the Constitution, the Supreme Court has sweeping powers and unlimited jurisdiction to vindicate the control of law. It’s the last word interpreter of the Constitution and also the laws of the Union, the States and also the native authorities and also the shielded of the basic rights secured by the Constitution. Thus, it’s the guardian of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court had Tritium aestivum spelled seven principles of public life in Vineet Narain1 as follows: “The Seven Principles of Public Life are:

• Selflessness

Holders of the situation ought to take selections only in terms of the general public interest. they must not do this to achieve monetary or alternative material edges for themselves, their family, or their friends.

• Integrity

Holders of the situation mustn’t place themselves beneath any monetary or alternative obligation to outside people or organizations which may influence them within the performance of their official duties.

• objectiveness •

In closing public business, together with creating public appointments, grant contracts, or recommending people for rewards and edges, holders of situation ought to create selections on benefit.


78Holders square measure answerable for their selections and actions to the general public and should submit themselves to no matter scrutiny is suitable to their office.

• Openness

Holders of the situation ought to be as open as attainable regarding all the selections and actions that they take. they must offer reasons for his or her selections and prohibit data only the broader public interest clearly demands.

• Honesty

Holders of the situation have a requirement to declare any personal interests about their public duties and to require steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a very method that protects the general public interest.

• Leadership

Holders of the situation ought to promote and support these principles by leadership and example.”

Ideals [vi]of the Constitution

The high ideals of the Constitution that square measure thought to be the essential principles of our Constitutional Law are Sovereignty, Rule of Law, Federalism, Secularism, Social Justice, review, and Independence of Judiciary.

The role of the Supreme Court in relevancy these principles have been studied beneath the subsequent heads:

(i) Sovereignty:[vii]

The word ‘Sovereign’ means the State has the power to pass on any subject in conformity with constitutional limitations.

In Maganbhai Patel v. Union of the Republic of India,5 the Supreme Court command that being a sovereign State, the Republic of India is free from any variety of external management. It will acquire foreign territory and, if necessary, cede an area of the territory in favor of an overseas State, subject to sure constitutional necessities.

(ii) Rule of Law

One of the ideas of basic importance within the law of recent governments is that the construct of Rule of Law. this idea envisages that there ought to be a ‘government of laws and not the government of men’. The laws enacted by the law-makers ought to be administered by the chief and understood by the courts; within the substantive further as procedural aspects the egad system should respect the essential rights of the people and observe the principles of justice, fairness, and reasonableness.

(iii) Federalism

The Indian Constitution is largely federal in-kind and is marked by the standard characteristics of a federal system, namely, control of the Constitution, division of power between the Union and government, division of power between the Union and State Governments, the existence of Associate in Nursing freelance judiciary and a rigid procedure for the change of the Constitution. It establishes a twin polity with .clearly outlined spheres of authority between the Union and also the States, to be exercised in fields appointed to them severally. there’s an Associate in Nursing freelance judiciary to work out problems between the Union and also the States.

(iv) Secularism:[viii]

The read command by the Supreme Court is that the Constitution stands foot a lay state. The State has no official faith ism pervades f provisions that offer the full chance to any or all persons to profess, apply are propagate the faith of their alternative. The Constitution not solely guarantees a person’s freedom of faith and conscience, however conjointly ensures freedom foot one WHO has no faith, and it conscientiously restrains the State from maker any discrimination on grounds of faith. one citizenship is assured to I persons no matter their faith.

(v) Social Justice:

The Supreme Court has commanded that the construct of ‘Social Justice allows the court to uphold legislation: (a) to get rid of economic inequalities (b) to supply an honest normal of living to the operating people; (c) to prate the interests of the weaker sections of the Society.

(vi) Judicial Review:[ix]

Judicial Review may be quite a management exercised by the court’s terrorist organization body bodies by means that of orders and writs.

Supreme Court because the Guardian of Indian Constitution:

The Supreme Court is established because the guardian of the constitution which conjointly Mr. M. C. Setalvad (First professional person General of India) acknowledged;

“The manufacturers of the Indian Constitution eventually selected to subject the selections of the law-makers in sure matters to a detailed Associate in Nursing impartial scrutiny by the judiciary within the fullest confidence that the judiciary would, in creating their determination, be target-hunting only by the interests of the state

The Preamble to the constitution, as amended in 1976, affirms the resolve of the individuals of India to represent India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular. The Democratic Republic and to secure to any or all its voter’s justice, social economic and political, liberty of thought, expression, belief, religion and worship and equality of standing and chance.

This preamble isn’t thought to be a part of the constitution itself, or as a supply of substantive law. But, that the Supreme Court has regarded the preamble as indicating the essential structure of the constitution, and has had relevancy it in construing the constitution and decisive those options of it that square measure to be thought to be basic and inviolable. An entirely admirable new nation, embarking on Associate in Nursing freelance future, ought to commit itself to a press release of the principles upon that its future development is to be supported. Where one is within the world, one need not look way a field to envision countries during which these basic principles have commanded very little or no allegiance.

 The Supreme Court has been appointed a vital role within the Indian form of government and is that the final interpreter of the constitution. Beneath the constitution of the Republic of India, the Supreme Court is given the scope of review. The review permits the Supreme Court to safeguard basic rights and smitten down legislations that square measure offending of Constitutional provisions. Beneath Article thirteen, 32, 131-136, 143, 226 and 246 Supreme Court will review any law.

There are some landmark cases of Supreme Court

A.K.Gopalan VS. State of Madras, [1950] SCR 88

  • The petitioner, detained under the Preventive Detention Act challenged the legality of detention under Art. 32 of the Constitution on the ground that the said Act contravened Arts. 13, 19, 21, and 22 of the Constitution and was, therefore, ultra virus.
  • S.C. held- that Article 22 was a self-contained Code and if personal liberty is taken away by the State following the procedure established by law i.e. if the detention was as per the procedure established by law, then it cannot be said that the law was violative of provisions contained in Articles 14,19 and 21 of the Constitution.

Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (AIR 1978 SC 597) (1978).

  • The view expressed in A. K. Gopalan’s case was revisited in this case after about 28 years.
  • The main issues were whether the right to go abroad is a part of the right to personal liberty under Article 21 and whether the Passport Act prescribes a ‘procedure’ as required by Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • The SC held that the right to go abroad is a part of the right to personal liberty under Article 21.
  • The SC also ruled that the mere existence of an enabling law was not enough to restrain personal liberty. “The procedure prescribed by law has to be fair, just and reasonable, not fanciful, oppressive, or arbitrary. ”

 Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalavaru v. the State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1461 (decided by a Bench of 13 Judges)

  • The most celebrated case in the history of Indian Constitutional law in which the apex Court dealt with the issue – whether the Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution and what was the limit to that power?
  • The Bench by a majority of 7-6 Overruled the proposition of law propounded in I. C. Golak Nath v. the State of Punjab, AIR 1967 SC 1643 and held that Constitutional amendment is not “law” within the meaning of Article 13 and that although no part of the Constitution, including Part III comprising of fundamental rights, was beyond the Parliament’s amending power, the “basic structure of the Constitution” could not be abrogated even by a constitutional amendment.”
  • As regards the basic structure, the Court held that it would be decided from case to case.

MC Mehta v. Union of India, AIR 1987 SC 1086 (1986)

  • In this case, popularly known as the ‘Oleum gas leak case’, the Supreme Court disapproved the ‘Strict Liability’ test enunciated in the English case of Rylands v. Fletcher for deciding the liability of an enterprise engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous activity and propounded the principle of ‘Absolute Liability’.
  • The Court held that in the case of industries engaged in hazardous or inherently dangerous activities, absolute liability was to be followed.
  • It also said that the amount of compensation must be correlated to the magnitude and capacity of the industry so that it will be a deterrent. (9 Judges Bench).
  • In this case, popularly known as the ‘Oleum gas leak case’, the Supreme Court disapproved the ‘Strict Liability’ test enunciated in the English case of Rylands v. Fletcher for deciding the liability of an enterprise engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous activity and propounded the principle of ‘Absolute Liability’.
  • The Court held that in the case of industries engaged in hazardous or inherently dangerous activities, absolute liability was to be followed.
  • It also said that the amount of compensation must be correlated to the magnitude and capacity of the industry so that it will be a deterrent. (9 Judges Bench)


Judiciary has been enjoying a stimulating role by the method of review for maintaining the control of the constitution. The judiciary is the main side that safeguards democracy[x] and ensures peace, justice, and smart order. The constitution has provided the judiciary with independence and enough powers to stay government in restraint creating the Supreme Court because of the final decision of the constitution.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

  • Q.1 What is the constitution?
  • Q.2 Who is the supreme power of the constitution?
  • Q.3 What are the landmark cases commended by the Supreme Court?
  • Q.4 What are the main ideas of the constitution?


  1. The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edn., Erin McKean (editor), 2051 pp., 2005, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-517077-6.
  2. ^ R (HS2 Action Alliance Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport [2014] UKSC 3, [207]
  3. ^ Pylee, M.V. (1997). India’s Constitution. S. Chand & Co. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-219-0403-2.
  4. ^ a b “Constitution Rankings”. Comparative Constitutions Project. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  5. ^ “Constitution of India”. Ministry of Law and Justice of India. July 2008. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  6. ^ “Monaco 1962 (rev. 2002)”. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  7. ^
  8. 26 January 1950 History of the Supreme Court of India Archived 28 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ “Chief Justice & Judges”. Supreme Court of India. Archived from the original on 25 October 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  10. ^ “Rule of law index 2016”. Archived from the original on 29 April 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  11. ^ Gettleman, Jeffrey; Kumar, Hari; Schultz, Kai (27 September 2018). “Hundreds of Cases a Day and a Flair for Drama: India’s Crusading Supreme Court”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d “History of Supreme Court of India” (PDF). Supreme Court of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  13. ^ a b c d History of the Supreme Court of India

  • [i] A body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organisation is acknowledged to be governed.
  • [ii] Improvement.
  • [iii] A partner or companion in business or at work.
  • [iv] A treatment.
  • [v] The sections of the constitution of India that prescribed fundamental obligation.
  • [vi] A standard or the principle.
  • [vii] A supreme ruler, especially a monarch.
  • [viii] The principle of separation of the state from religious institution.
  • [ix] The review by the supreme court of the constitutional validity of the legislative act.
  • [x] A system of government by the whole members of a state typically through elected representatives.

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