Did you know that the Indian Constitution adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1949 comprised of 395 Articles and 22 Parts? Over the years, more articles and parts were added and the present Constitution comprises of 444 Articles and 25 parts. While knowing or remembering all articles and its implications may not be possible for most citizens, it is important to be familiar with some of the important articles.
List of Important Article of the Constitution
Article 2 Allows for Parliament to admit or establish new states;
Article 3 Allows for formation, alteration or naming of new states;
Article 5-11 Specifies Rights of Citizenship at the time of formation of the first Constitution, those who have migrated to India from Pakistan, those citizens who have migrated to Pakistan from India, Citizens residing outside of India, Persons voluntarily giving up Indian citizenship to acquire foreign citizenship, and continuance of the rights of citizenship.
Article 12-35 Covers the fundamental rights of citizens.
It is very important to know that the Constitution guarantees certain rights as fundamental and applicable to all citizens. The articles cover: (14-15) Right to Equality: Prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth; (16) Right to Equality in Public Employment; (17) Abolition of Untouchability; (18) Abolition of Titles; (19) Right to Freedom: Citizens are granted freedom of speech and expression, freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms, freedom to form associations or unions, freedom to move freely in any part of India, freedom to reside or settle in any part of India, freedom to pursue any business, trade or occupation; (21) Protection of life and personal liberty; (21A) Right to Education: All children between age six and fourteen are entitled to free and compulsory education.
In many areas, parents are unaware of this right to free education, often resulting in children not being sent to school. (23-24) Right against Exploitation: Specifies prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour. Very often it is ignorance of these rights that allows victims to continue to be exploited. (25-28): Right to Freedom of Religion: Citizens have the freedom to practice or propagate any religion; Article 36-50 Specifies Directive Principles of State Policy.
The Directive Principles specifies the state’s obligation for human welfare and equitable justice, health and nutrition for all citizens, welfare of workers including those of SC/ST and other weaker sections, promotion of agriculture and animal husbandry, protection and maintenance of monuments, safeguarding forests and environment, separation of judiciary from the executive, and promotion of international peace and security.
Article 51A Specifies the fundamental duties of citizens; Article 52-151 Part V covers the Union (52): The President of India; (53): Executive power of the Union; (54): Election of the President; (55): Manner of election of President; (56): Term of the office of President; (61): Procedure of Impeachment of the President; (63): Vice President of India; (64): The Vice president to be the ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States; (65): Vice President to act as President or discharge his functions during casual vacancies or during absence of President; (72): Powers of President to grant pardons, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.
(79): Constitution of Parliament; (80): Composition of the Council of States – Rajya Sabha, also referred to as the Upper House; (81): Composition of the House of People – Lok Sabha, also referred to as the Lower House; (83): Duration of the Houses of Parliament; (93): The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of People; (100): Voting in Houses, power of Houses to act notwithstanding vacancies and quorum; (102): Disqualification of membership from either House of Parliament; (105): Specifies the powers, privileges of both Houses of Parliament, its members and committees; (107): Specifies provisions for introduction and passing of Bills.
(108): Joint sitting of both Houses in certain cases: During passage of contentious Bills, Articles 107 & 108 are often referred to (109): Specifies the procedure for passage of Money Bills which must first be passed by the House of People (Lok Sabha) and then referred to the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) for recommendations and approval which is then returned to the House of People which may or may not accept the recommendations.
(110): Defines Money Bills; (112): Annual Financial Statement, also known as the Annual Budget that is presented in the Parliament by the Finance Minister; (114): Appropriation Bills; (123): Defines Power of President to promulgate Ordinances during recess of Parliament; (124): Covers establishment and constitution of Supreme Court; (126-147): Covers appointment of the Chief Justice of India, role and functioning of the Supreme Court; (148-151): Covers Appointment of Comptroller Auditor General of India, his role and responsibilities and submission of audit reports.
Article 152-237 Part VI deals with the States. (152-161): Specifies the appoint of Governors to states, duties and functioning of Governors; (163): Covers role of Council of Ministers to aid and advise the Governor; (165): Appointment of Advocate-General for the State by the Governor; (170): Specifies composition of State Legislative Assemblies; (171): Specifies composition of State Legislative Councils; (194): Specifies powers, privileges of the Houses of Legislatures and its respective members and committees; (214-237): Covers High Court and its jurisdiction, appointment of Chief Justice of High Court, District Judges, control over subordinate courts; (239-242): Covers Union Territories; (243 A-O): Specifies definition, composition and functioning of Panchayats and Gram Sabha.
Article 245-263 Part XI covers Relations between Union and State (245): Extent of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislatures of States; (257): Extent of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislatures of States; (246 (A)):Power of the State Legislatures and Parliament to make laws with respect to Goods and Services tax ; (249):The power of the Parliament to make necessary laws wiin relation to the GST in national interest if a resolution with 2/3rd majority is passed by Rajya Sabha; (250): Power of the Parliament to make laws for GST in case of emergencies ; (257): Control of the Union over States in certain cases.
Article 268 (amended): The excise duty on medicinal and toilet preparation will be omitted from the state list and will be subsumed in GST.
Article 268A (Repealed): This article is repealed as service tax is subsumed in GST.
Article 269A: It deals with the provisions relating to the inter-state trade under GST, collection of this tax and allocation of the amount of tax between the Union and the States.
Article 279-A: This article deals with the constitution of a GST council by the President within sixty days from this act coming into force.
Article 324-329 These articles deal with Elections.
Article 330-342 Covers special provisions to SC/ST/OBC/Minorities.
Article 343-351 Covers Official languages of the Union and State, language for Supreme and High Court and development of Hindi language.
Article 352-360 (352): Proclamation of Emergency. Covers provisions under which imposition of Emergency can be promulgated. During imposition of Emergency in 1975, this and related Articles were invoked and was also most discussed at the time; (356): Specifies provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in states. The recent dismissal of state governments in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh took place when this Article was invoked; (360): Specifies conditions under which President can proclaim financial emergency.
Article 368 This article grants power to Parliament to make laws with respect to certain matters in the State List as if they were matters under Concurrent List.
Article 370 The state of Jammu & Kashmir is granted special status under this article. This article is often referred to in matters pertaining to J&K and is also most debated.
Article 371: The article deals with the special provisions relating to the state of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Article 371A: The article deals with the special provisions relating to the state of Nagaland.
Article 371B: The article deals with the special provisions relating to the state of Assam.
Article 371C: The article deals with the special provisions relating to the state of Manipur.
Article 371D: The article deals with the special provisions relating to the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Article 371E: It deals with the eastablishment of Central University in Andhra Pradesh.
Article 371F: The article deals with the special provisions relating to the state of Sikkim.
Article 371G: The article deals with the special provisions relating to the state of Mizoram.
Article 371H: The article deals with the special provisions relating to the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
Article 371I: The article deals with the special provisions relating to the state of Goa. The Legislative assembly of the state should not have less than thirty members.
Article 372: This article states that the existing laws and their adaptation shall continue to be in force until altered, repealed or amended.
Article 372A: Covers the powers of the President to adapt and modify laws whether by way of repeal or amendments.
Article 373: It deals with the power of the President to make orders in respect of persons under preventive detention in certain cases.
Article 374: Covers the provisions relating to the Judges of the Federal Court and proceedings pending in the Federal Court or before his Majesty in Council. It states that the judges of the Federal Court who were holding office before the commencement of the Constitution shall become the judges of the supreme Court on its commencement. All the suits, appeals, and proceedings, both civil and criminal, pending in the Federal Court shall stand removed to the Supreme Court on the commencement of the Constitution.
Article 375: The article deals with the courts, authorities and officers who will continue to function subject to the provisions of the Constitution.
Article 376: It deals with the provisions relating to the judges of the High Court.
Article 377: It deals with the provisions relating to the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
Article 378: It deals with the provisions relating to the Public Service Commissions.
Please note: This article has been written by Debu C on Jul 25, 2016. The information contained in this article has been recently updated.