Introduction:

Many call Indian constitution a copy paste work and a glaring example of plagiarism. Most parts of it have been copied from Government of India Act 1935. The chairman of drafting committee Dr. Ambedkar had said in this regard that – “As to the accusation that the Draft Constitution has [re]produced a good part of the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, I make no apologies. There is nothing to be ashamed of in borrowing. It involves no plagiarism. Nobody holds any patent rights in the fundamental ideas of a Constitution….” Nobody holds copyright on ideas of constitution and our founding fathers chose to incorporate what they found most suitable in those days. The sources of various features in Indian Constitution are as follows:

Government of India Act 1935

  • Federal Scheme (also from constitution of Canada)
  • Office of Governor
  • Judiciary
  • Public Service Commission
  • Emergency Provisions
  • Administrative Details

Nearly 75% of the Constitution can be said to be the reproduction of the Government of India Act, 1935 with suitable modifications and various other provisions borrowed from several foreign Constitutions as below:-

British Constitution

  • Parliamentary from of Government
  • The idea of single citizenship
  • The idea of the Rule of law
  • Law making procedure

United States Constitution

  • Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is similar to the United States Bill of Rights
  • Federal structure of Government
  • Power of Judicial Review and independence of the judiciary

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Australian Constitution

  • Provision of Concurrent list
  • Freedom of trade and commerce within the country and between the States

Canadian Constitution

  • A quasi-federal form of Government
  • The idea of Residual Powers

French Constitution

  • Ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity

Soviet Constitution

  • The Planning Commission and Five-Year Plans
  • Fundamental Duties

Irish Constitution

  • Directive principles of State policy

THE STATUS OF THE PREAMBLE TO THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION

In Berubari Union case (1960), the Supreme Court held that Preamble does not form part of the Constitution. This decision was reversed by the Supreme Court in the case of Kesavanand Bharti v. Union of India (1973). In keshvananda, the Preamble was held to be part of the basic structure of Indian Constitution.

Preamble has only been amended once by 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 (Mini Constitution) and the words ‘Socialist Secular’ and ‘Unity and Integrity of the Nation’ were added to the Preamble.

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