Study Notes on Constitutional body

CONSTITUTIONAL BODIES IN INDIA

Constitutional bodies in India are the bodies or institutes that have its name mentioned in the Indian constitution. It derives power directly from the constitution. Any type of change in the mechanism of these bodies needs constitutional amendment.

Constitutional bodies in India are as follows-

  • Election Commission (Article 324)
  • Union Public Service Commission (Article-315 to 323)
  • State Public Service Commission (Article-315 to 323)
  • Finance Commission (Article-280)
  • National Commission for SCs (Article-338)
  • National Commission for STs (Article-338 A)
  • Comptroller and Auditor General of India (Article-148)
  • Attorney General of India (Article-76)
  • Advocate General of the State (Article-165)
  • Special officer for linguistic Minorities (Article-350 B)

Election Commission (Article 324)-

  • Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction, and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India, and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission.
  • The appointment of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners made by the president.
  • The chief election commissioner and the two other election commissioners have equal powers and receive equal salaries, allowances, and other perquisites, which are similar to those of a judge of the Supreme Court. (On 16 October 1989, the president appointed two more election commissioners)
  • They hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
Some Important functions are:

1.To determine the territorial areas of the electoral constituencies throughout the country on the basis of the Delimitation Commission Act of Parliament.
2. To prepare and periodically revise electoral rolls and to register all eligible voters.
3. To notify the dates and schedules of elections and to scrutinize nomination papers.
4. To grant recognition to political parties and allot election symbols to them.
5. To advise the president on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of Parliament.
6. To advise the governor on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of the state legislature.
7.To register political parties for the purpose of elections and grant them the status of national or state parties on the basis of their poll performance.

Note:
The Constitution has not prescribed the following criteria regarding the Election commission-
the qualifications (legal, educational, administrative, or judicial) of the members of the Election Commission.
the term of the members of the Election Commission.
the retiring election commissioners from any further appointment by the government.


Union Public Service Commission (Article-315 to 323)-

  • Articles 315 to 323 in Part XIV of the Constitution contain elaborate provisions regarding the composition, appointment, and removal of members along with the independence, powers, and functions of the UPSC.
  • The UPSC consists of a chairman and other members appointed by the president of India.
  • The chairman and members of the Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The President can remove the chairman or any other member of UPSC from the office under the following circumstances:
    (a) If he is adjudged an insolvent (that is, has gone bankrupt)
    (b) If he engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outside the duties of his office
    (c) If he is, in the opinion of the president, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body
Important functions are:

1.It conducts examinations for appointments to the all-India services, Central services, and public services of the centrally administered territories.
2.It assists the states (if requested by two or more states to do so) in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services for which candidates possessing special qualifications are required.
3.It is consulted on matters related to personnel management.
4.It serves all or any of the needs of a state at the request of the state governor and with the approval of the president of India.
-The UPSC presents, annually, to the president a report on its performance.
-It is concerned with the recruitment to the all-India services and Central services—group A and group B and advises the government, when consulted, on promotion and disciplinary matters.
-It is not concerned with the classification of services, pay and service conditions, cadre management, training, and so on. These matters are handled by the Department of Personnel and Training—one of the three departments of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Note-
-No qualifications are prescribed for the Commission’s membership except that one-half of the members of the Commission should be such persons who have held office for
at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the government of a state.
The President can appoint one of the members of the UPSC as an acting chairman in the following two circumstances:
(a) When the office of the chairman falls vacant; or
(b) When the chairman is unable to perform his functions due to absence or some other reason.

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