The Indian Constitution is drawn from many sources. Maintaining the needs and conditions of India the framers of the Indian Constitution borrowed different features willingly from the different constitutions of the world. The sources of the Indian Constitution are:
The British Constitution:
The British Constitution impacted a lot on framers of the Constitution of India. It is primarily the first sources of the Indian Constitution.
The Parliamentary form of Government, the Cabinet System of Government, the superior position of the lower House as correlated to the Upper House and the rule of law, etc. were adopted by the makers of the Indian Constitution from the British constitution.
In India, the head of the State, i.e. the President is only a nominal head like that of the King of Britain and actually, the real executive power is controlled by the Prime Minister with the help of the Council of Ministers who are responsible for the parliament.
The Constitution of the United States of America:
The Fundamental Rights which are included in Part Ill of the Indian Constitution is based on the “Bill of Rights” of the United States of America.
The notion of independent, impartial, and unitary form of Judiciary and the functions of the Vice President of India is obtained from the Constitution of the United States of America. It is one of the important sources of the Indian Constitution.
The Constitution of Canada:
The term ‘Union of India’ which is in Article 1 of the Indian Constitution is adopted from the Canadian Constitution.
The makers of the Indian Constitution have adopted a federal structure from Canada though some of its features have been taken from the Australian and South African constitutions, Like the Canadian Constitution, in India, the residuary powers have been granted in hands of the Central Government.
The Irish Constitution:
Our Constitution empowers for the Directive Principles of State Policy under part IV of the Constitution. These are originated from the Irish Constitution.
The provision of the nomination of certain members of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) from different fields like, art, culture, science, social services, etc. are drawn from the Irish Constitution. This is another essential sources of the Indian Constitution adopted by the Constitution makers.
The Constitution of South Africa:
The framers of the Indian Constitution were also largely impacted by the Constitution of South Africa. The process of amendment and the provisions about the election of Rajya Sabha members indicate the influence of the Constitution of South Africa.
The Constitution of Germany:
The powers of the President to suspend the Fundamental Rights during an emergency were taken from the Weimer Constitution of Germany.
The Government Of India Act, 1935:
The Government of India Act, 1935 is the largest source of Indian Constitution. The framers of the Indian Constitution have adopted multiple provisions from this Act.
The links between the Union and the States and the three lists (Union, State, and Concurrent) distributing governmental powers between them were taken from that Act.
Some of the Articles of the Constitution which have been taken from this Act are:
- Article 251 dealing with the conflict between the central laws and state laws.
- Article 256 related to the executive power of every state.
- Article 252 and 253 relating to the declaration of Emergency by the President etc.
The framers of the Indian Constitution have borrowed many provisions from the other constitutions of the world even though a secular sovereign character of the country has been maintained in the Indian Constitution. All these provisions which were borrowed from other countries were not blind borrowings. They gathered the best features of each source of constitutions and modified them to avoid fault.