Study Notes on Constitutional body (Part-II)

CONSTITUTIONAL BODIES IN INDIA

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

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

-Articles 315 to 323 in Part XIV of the Constitution deal with the composition, appointment and removal of members, power and functions and independence of a SPSC.
-Commission consists of a chairman and other members appointed by the governor of the state.
-The chairman and members of the Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier.
-Although the chairman and members of a SPSC are appointed by the governor, they can be removed only by the president (and not by the governor). Conditions for removal are same as for the UPSC chairman and members.
SPSC performs all those functions in respect of the state services as the UPSC does in relation to the Central services.
-The SPSC presents, annually, to the governor a report on its performance.
-It is concerned with the recruitment to the state services 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 or the General Administration Department.

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 governor can appoint one of the members of the SPSC as an acting chairman in the following two circumstances2:
(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.

Joint State Public Service Commission (JSPSC)- A Statutory body
The Constitution makes a provision for the establishment of a Joint State Public Service Commission (JSPSC) for two or more states. JSPSC can be created by an act of Parliament on the request of the state legislatures concerned. Thus, a JSPSC is a statutory and not a constitutional body.
-The chairman and members of a JSPSC are appointed by the president.
-They hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier.
-They can be suspended or removed by the president.
-A JSPSC presents its annual performance report to each of the concerned state governors.

Provision related to UPSC in history-
-The Government of India Act of 1919, a Central Public
Service Commission was set up in 1926 and entrusted with the task of recruiting civil servants.
-The Government of India Act of 1935 provided for the establishment of not only a Federal Public Service Commission but also a Provincial Public Service Commission and Joint Public Service Commission for two or more provinces.

Finance Commission

Article 280 of the Constitution of India provides for a Finance Commission as a quasi-judicial body.
The Finance Commission consists of a chairman and four other members to be appointed by the president.
– They hold office for such period as specified by the president in his order. (eligible for reappointment)
The chairman should be a person having experience in public affairs.
The four other members should be selected from amongst the following:
1. A judge of high court or one qualified to be appointed as one.
2. A person who has specialised knowledge of finance and accounts of the government.
3. A person who has wide experience in financial matters and in administration.
4. A person who has special knowledge of economics.
Functions of the Finance Commission is to make recommendations to the president of India on the following matters:
1. The distribution of the net proceeds of taxes to be shared between the Centre and the states, and the allocation between the states of the respective shares of such proceeds.
2. The principles that should govern the grants-in-aid to the states by the Centre (i.e., out of the consolidated fund of India).
3. The measures needed to augment the consolidated fund of a state to supplement the resources of the panchayats and the municipalities in the state on the basis of the recommendations made by the state finance commission.
4. Any other matter referred to it by the president in the interests of sound finance.
– The recommendations made by the Finance Commission are only of advisory nature. (Article 281- Recommendations of the Finance Commission)
– The commission submits its report to the president.

Note:
The Fifteenth Finance Commission (FCC) headed by NK Singh.

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