Constitutional Bodies in India – Detailed List with Explanation

[ad_1]

Constitutional Bodies in IndiaWhich are the Constitutional Bodies in India? Here is the detailed list.

When you hear about the UPSC or Election Commission, somebody may add that these are Constitutional bodies.

There are many who consider the constitutional bodies as more ‘prestigious’ or ‘powerful’ than other organizations or institutions in India.

You should already be knowing about many Constitutional Posts like the President of India, Prime Minister of India, Governors, etc. But what exactly is a Constitutional Body?

What is a Constitutional Body?

Those bodies whose formation is prescribed by the Indian Constitution itself are known as Constitutional Bodies.

They derive their powers and authority from the Indian Constitution.

130+ Prelims Marks is Possible. Only if you are guided the right way.

Join ClearIAS Prelims Test Series 2021.

Take a Free Test

A constitutional amendment is often required to change any powers or functions related to such bodies.

The powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies in India (Video Explanation)

Note: Subscribe ClearIAS YouTube Channel to learn from more free videos.

In this article, we discuss the powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies in India.

List of Constitutional Bodies in India

Sl. No.

Constitutional Bodies

Article

1

Attorney General of India

76

2

Comptroller and Auditor General of India

148

3

Advocate General of State

165

4

State Finance Commission

243-I

5

State Election Commission

243-K

6

District Planning Committee

243ZD

7

Metropolitan Planning Committee

243ZE

8

Inter-State Council

263

9

Finance Commission

280

10

Goods and Service Tax Council

279A

11

UPSC Public Service Commission

315-323

12

State Public Service Commission

315-323

13

Election Commission of India

324

14

National Commission for Scheduled Castes

338

15

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

338A

16

National Commission for Backward Classes[

338B

17

Scheduled Area and Scheduled Tribes Commission

339

18

Backward Classes Commission

340

19

Official Language Commission and Official Language Committee of Parliament

344

20

Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities

350B

1. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIA

  • Article 76 of the Constitution provides for the Attorney General of India.
  • He is considered the highest law officer in the country.
  • He is appointed by the president and holds office during his pleasure.
  • A person who is qualified to be appointed as the judge of the Supreme Court is eligible for the office of Attorney General of India.

Duties of AG:

  • To advise the government on the legal matters referred to him by the president.
  • To appear on behalf of the GOI in SC in all the cases concerning the government.
  • To represent GOI in the references made by the president to the SC under Article 143.
  • To appear in HC in the cases concerning GOI when required.

Rights of AG:

  • AG has the right to audience in all the courts in the territory of India.
  • He has the right to speak and take part in the parliamentary proceedings. However, he doesn’t enjoy the right to vote.
  • All the privileges and immunities available to a member of parliament are granted to the AG.

2. COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL OF INDIA

  • Article 148 of the Constitution provides for an independent office of Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
  • CAG is considered as the guardian of the public purse.
  • Along with the Supreme Court, the Election Commission, and the Union Public Service Commission, the office of CAG is treated as one of the bulwarks of the democratic system.

Appointment:

Don’t miss the latest updates of ClearIAS!

Join ClearIAS Telegram Chanel.

Get free studymaterials and guidance.

Join for FREE

  • President of India appoints CAG by a warrant under his hand and seal.
  • He holds office for a period of six years or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • CAG can be removed from his office in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court.

Independence:

  • CAG is provided with the security of tenure.
  • His rights cannot be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  • All the expenses of the office of CAG are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • His salary is equal to that of a judge of the Supreme Court.

Duties:

  • The duties and powers of CAG are mentioned in article 149 of the Constitution.
  • All the accounts related to the expenses from the Consolidated Fund of India, Consolidated Fund of the States, and Union Territories are audited by CAG.
  • Also, the expenditure from Contingency Fund and Public Account of India and States are audited by CAG.
  • The net proceeds of any tax or duty are ascertained and certified by CAG.
  • CAG acts as a guide, friend, and philosopher of the Public Accounts Committee.
  • All the receipts and expenditure of bodies financed from the central or state revenue are also audited by CAG.
  • The audits of any other body as and when requested by the President or Governor are audited by CAG.
  • Three reports are submitted by CAG to the President. They are: (1) Audit report on appropriation accounts (2) Audit report on finance accounts (3) Audit report on public undertakings

Role of CAG:

  • The office of CAG secures the accountability of the executive to the Parliament in the sphere of financial administration.
  • The CAG acts as an agent of the Parliament and is responsible only to the Parliament.
  • Along with legal and regulatory audits, CAG also conducts propriety audits.

3. ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE STATE

  • Article 165 of the Constitution provides for Advocate General for the states.
  • He is considered the highest law officer in the state.
  • The Advocate General is appointed by the governor and holds the office during his pleasure.
  • A person qualified to be appointed as a judge of a high court is eligible for the office of Advocate General.

Duties and Rights of Advocate General:

  • To advise the government of the state on the matters referred to him by the governor.
  • To discharge those functions conferred upon him by the Constitution of India.
  • He has the right to speak and take part in the proceedings of both the houses of the state legislature. However, he doesn’t enjoy the right to vote.

4. STATE FINANCE COMMISSION

  • The governor of a state shall, after every five years, constitute a finance commission.
  • Articles 243-I and 243-Y deal with the formation of this body.
  • The composition, qualifications of members, and the manner of their selection is decided by the concerned state legislature.

Functions:

  • The distribution of the net proceeds of taxes, tolls, and fees between the state and local bodies.
  • The determination of such taxes, duties, and tolls to be assigned to local bodies.
  • The grants-in-aid to be given to the local bodies from the consolidated fund of the state.
  • Measures to be taken for improving the financial position of local bodies.
  • Any other matter referred to the commission by the governor of the state.

5. STATE ELECTION COMMISSION

  • The elections to the panchayats and municipalities are looked after by the State Election Commission.
  • Articles 243-K and 243-ZA deal with the elections to the rural and urban local bodies.
  • SEC consists of a state election commissioner who is appointed by the governor.
  • The removal of the state election commissioner is the same as that of a judge of the state high court.

6. DISTRICT PLANNING COMMITTEE

  • A district planning committee is constituted and given the task to consolidate the plans of both panchayats and municipalities.
  • It prepares a draft development plan for the district.
  • Article 243-ZD deals with the committee for district planning.
  • The composition, manner of election of chairperson and members is decided by the state legislature.
  • Four-fifths of the committee are elected by the elected members of panchayats and municipalities.
  • The representation of these members is proportional to the ratio of the rural and urban population in the district.
  • In preparing the plan, DPC should consider the following:
  1. Matters of common interest between the rural and urban local bodies regarding sharing of resources, infrastructure development, and conservation of environment.
  2. Extent and type of resources available.

7. METROPOLITAN PLANNING COMMITTEE

  • A metropolitan planning committee is constituted for every metropolitan area.
  • Article 243 -ZE deals with the committee for metropolitan planning.
  • The composition, manner of election of chairpersons and members, functions, etc are decided by the concerned state legislature.
  • Two-thirds of MPC are elected by the elected members of the municipalities and chairpersons of panchayats.
  • The representation of these members is proportional to the ratio of the population of municipalities and panchayats.
  • While preparing the draft plan, the committee shall consider:
  1. Plans of municipalities and panchayats in the metropolitan area.
  2. Matters of common interest between the rural and urban local bodies regarding sharing of resources, infrastructural development and conservation of environment.
  3. The extent of investments to be made in the concerned metropolitan area.
  4. Objectives and priorities of the center and the concerned state.

8. INTER-STATE COUNCIL

  • Article 263 deals with the establishment of Inter-State Councils for the coordination between centre and states as well among the different states.
  • The president establishes such a council and also defines its duties and organization.
  • Its decision is advisory in nature and is not binding.

Composition:

  • The council consists of the following members:
  1. Prime Minister as the chairman
  2. Chief Ministers of all the states and union territories having a legislative assembly
  3. Administrators of union territories with no legislative assemblies
  4. Governors of states under the president’s rule
  5. Six central cabinet ministers nominated by PM
  • The council consists of a standing committee set up in 1996. Its members are:
  1. Union Home Minister as the chairman
  2. Five Union Cabinet Ministers
  3. Nine Chief Ministers

9. FINANCE COMMISSION

  • Finance Commission is a quasi-judicial body.
  • The formation of FC is provided by the constitution under article 280.
  • It is constituted every fifth year or at such an earlier time as the president of India considers necessary.

Composition:

Trusted by Toppers. Loved by 3,00,000+ Registered Users.

ClearIAS UPSC Prelims Online Mock Exams.

Take a Free Test

  • FC consists of a chairman and four other members appointed by the president.
  • The qualification of the members and the manner of their selection is determined by parliament.
  • They are eligible for reappointment.
  • The four members should be selected from amongst the following:
  1. A judge of HC or one qualified to be appointed as such.
  2. A person with specialized knowledge in finance and accounts of the government.
  3. A person with wide experience in financial matters and administration.
  4. A person with special knowledge in economics.

Functions:

  • FC makes recommendations to the president on the following matters:
  1. Distribution and allocation of the net proceeds of the taxes between center and states and also among different states.
  2. The principles that should govern the grants-in-aid to the states.
  3. Measures needed to augment the consolidated fund of the state to supplement the resources of local bodies.
  4. Any other matter referred to it by the president of India.

Role of FC:       

  • The commission submits its report to the president who lays it before both the Houses of the Parliament.
  • The recommendations made by FC are only advisory in nature and are not binding on the government.
  • Finance Commission is envisaged as the balancing wheel of fiscal federalism in India.

10. GOODS AND SERVICES TAX COUNCIL

  • GST council is formed under article 279-A.
  • Its function is to make recommendations to center and state governments regarding GST.
  • It has representation from both centre and states and hence is a federal body.
  • GST council consists of the following members:
  1. Union Finance Minister as Chairperson
  2. Union Minister of State in charge of revenue or finance as a member
  3. Minister in charge of revenue or finance or any other minister nominated by the state government as members.
  • The decisions of the council are taken by a majority of not less than three-fourths of weighted votes cast by the members present and voting.
  • The weightage of the vote of the central government is one-third of the total votes and the weightage of votes of state government is two-thirds of all votes cast.
  • It aims to uphold the principle of cooperative federalism.

11. UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

Composition:

  • UPSC consists of a chairman and other members. The number of other members is left to the discretion of the president.
  • Generally, the number of members in the commission including the chairman is nine to eleven.
  • They hold the office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Removal:

  • The chairman and other members of UPSC can be removed by the president under the following situations:
  1. If he is adjudged an insolvent
  2. While in office, if he engages in any paid employment
  3. If he gets unfit by reason of infirmity of mind or body
  4. For misbehavior
  • In the last case, the president has to refer the matter to Supreme Court for inquiry. The advice of SC is binding on the president.

Independence:

  • The chairman and the members of the commission enjoy the security of tenure.
  • Their conditions of service cannot be varied after an appointment.
  • Their entire expenses are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • The chairman of UPSC is not eligible for any future employment in the government of India or a state.

Functions:

  • Examinations for recruitment to All India Services, central services, and public services of union territories are held by UPSC.
  • All disciplinary matters affecting a person in civil capacity are dealt with by UPSC.
  • Assists the states in matters relating to joint recruitment.

12. STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

  • Just as UPSC at the center, there is a State Public Service Commission in every state.
  • Articles 315 to 323 in part XIV of the constitution deal with the various provisions of SPSC.
  • SPSC is considered as the watchdog of the merit system in the state.

Composition:

  • SPSC consists of a chairman and other members appointed by the governor. The number of other members is left to the discretion of the governor.
  • One-half of the members should be such persons who have held office either under the government of India or the state for at least ten years.
  • The term of office is six years or until they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier.

Removal:

  • The chairman and members of the commission can be removed only by the president.
  • They can be removed under the following situations:
  1. If he is adjudged an insolvent
  2. If he engages in any other paid employment
  3. If he is deemed unfit by reason of infirmity of body or mind
  4. For misbehavior
  • In the last case, the president has to refer the matter to SC for inquiry.

Independence:

  • The chairman and the members of the commission enjoy the security of tenure.
  • Their conditions of service cannot be varied after an appointment.
  • Their entire expenses are charged on the Consolidated Fund of the state.
  • The chairman of SPSC is not eligible for any other employment under the government of India or state other than for appointment as chairman/ member of UPSC or as the chairman of other SPSC.

Functions:

  • SPSC conducts all the examinations for the appointment to the services of the state.
  • All disciplinary matters affecting a person in civil capacity are dealt with by SPSC.
  • Any claim for reimbursement of legal expenses borne by a civil servant is also looked into by SPSC.

13. ELECTION COMMISSION

  • Election Commission is a permanent and independent body.
  • The formation of EC is prescribed by article 324 of the constitution.
  • It is common to both central and state governments.
  • The elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president, and vice president are looked after by EC.

Composition:

  • EC consists of a chief election commissioner and other election commissioners. President fixes the number of election commissioners.
  • The appointment of the chief election commissioner as well as the other election commissioners is made by the president.
  • At present, EC consists of a chief election commissioner and two election commissioners.
  • The term of office of election commissioners is six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The powers of the election commission can be divided into three categories. They are:
  1. Administrative
  2. Advisory
  3. Quasi-Judicial

Independence:

  • Security of tenure is provided for the chief election commissioner.
  • He can be removed from the office in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Other election commissioners cannot be removed from the office except on the recommendations of CEC.

14. NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SCs

  • It is established by article 338 of the constitution.
  • Initially, there used to be a single commission for SCs and STs. However, the 89th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 bifurcated it into two separate bodies.
  • Thus, a separate National Commission for SCs came into existence in 2004.

Composition:

  • It consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and three other members.
  • They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
  • President determines their tenure as well as conditions of service.

Functions:

  • The following are the functions of the commission:
  1. To investigate the matters regarding various safeguards provided for SCs.
  2. To inquire into the complaints related to the deprivation of the rights of SCs.
  3. To advise on the planning process for the socio-economic development of SCs.
  4. To submit reports to the president regarding the working of various safeguards.
  5. To make recommendations to union and state governments regarding the measures to be taken for effective implementation of safeguards.
  6. To discharge such other functions as the President may specify.
  • On all the major policy matters regarding the welfare of SCs, the commission is consulted by the government.

15. NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR STs

  • It is established by article 338-A of the constitution.
  • The 89th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 inserted a new article 338-A.
  • Thus, a separate commission for STs came into existence in 2004.

Composition:

Score high. No matter how difficult UPSC sets the question paper!

Follow ClearIAS timetable, study plan, and book-list.

Download Study Plan

  • It consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and three other members.
  • They are appointed by the president by warrant under his hand and seal.
  • Their tenure and conditions of service are determined by the president.

Functions:

  • The following are the functions of the commission:
  1. To investigate the matters regarding various safeguards provided for STs.
  2. To inquire into the complaints related to the deprivation of the rights of STs.
  3. To advise on the planning process for the socio-economic development of STs.
  4. To submit reports to the president regarding the working of various safeguards.
  • On all the major policy matters regarding the welfare of STs, the commission is consulted by the government.

16. NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR BACKWARD CLASSES

  • The 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 2018 made NCBC a constitutional body.
  • This act inserted a new article 338-B into the constitution.
  • Initially, NCBC was a statutory body formed through the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

Structure:

  • It consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and three other members.
  • They are appointed by the president by warrant under his hand and seal.
  • Their tenure and conditions of service are determined by the president.

Functions:

  • The following are the functions of the commission:
  1. To investigate the matters regarding various safeguards provided for socially and educationally backward classes.
  2. To inquire into the complaints related to the deprivation of the rights of socially and educationally backward classes.
  3. To advise on the planning process for the socio-economic development of socially and educationally backward classes.
  4. To submit reports to the president regarding the working of various safeguards.
  • NCBC is the competent authority to look into the grievances of backward classes.

17. SCHEDULED AREA AND SCHEDULED TRIBES COMMISSION

  • To submit a report on the administration of schedule areas and welfare of the scheduled tribes, the president may appoint a commission.
  • President defines the powers, composition, and procedure of the commission.
  • The union government shall give directions to states to take measures for the welfare of the scheduled tribes.

18. BACKWARD CLASSES COMMISSION

  • Under article 340 of the constitution, the government has the obligation to promote the welfare of OBCs.
  • OBCs is a term used to define the socially and educationally backward sections of society.
  • The first backward classes commission under the chairmanship of Kaka Kalelkar was established in 1953.
  • This commission recommended the reservation for backward classes in government services and local bodies.
  • However, the report was not accepted by the government.
  • The second backward classes commission known as the Mandal Commission was established in 1979.

Mandal Commission Report:

  • The commission submitted its report in 1980.
  • It identified as many as 3743 castes to be socially and educationally backward.
  • Excluding the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, these castes constituted about 52% of the population.
  • The commission proposed for 27 percent reservation for OBCs in government jobs so that the total reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs do not exceed 50 percent.

19. OFFICIAL LANGUAGE COMMISSION

  • At the expiration of five years from the commencement of constitution and thereafter at the expiration of ten years from such commencement, the president shall appoint such a commission.
  • The commission recommends the president regarding the progressive use of Hindi for official purposes.
  • It also recommends restrictions on the usage of the English language for official purposes.
  • Also, the Official Language Act (1963) provided for setting up a Committee on Official Language.
  • Its purpose was to review the progress made in the use of Hindi.
  • Such a committee was set up in 1976.

20. SPECIAL OFFICER FOR LINGUISTIC MINORITIES

  • The formation of this office was prescribed by the States Reorganization Commission.
  • This was formed by the Seventh Constitutional Amendment Act of 1956 which inserted a new article 350-B in Part XVII.
  • The Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities is appointed by the president.
  • The Commissioner has its headquarters at Allahabad with three regional offices at Belgaum, Chennai, and Kolkata.
  • The Commissioner is assisted by Deputy Commissioner and an Assistant Commissioner at headquarters.
  • The Commissioner falls under the Ministry of Minority Affairs and submits reports to the President through Union Minority Affairs Minister.

Role of the Commissioner:

  • All the grievances related to the various safeguards provided for the linguistic minorities are looked into by the Commissioner.
  • The Commissioner strives for providing equal opportunities to the linguistic minorities.
  • He works for the effective implementation of the various safeguards.

Constitutional Bodies vs Non-Constitutional Bodies

For any student of Indian Polity, Constitutional Posts and Constitutional Bodies are very important.

As discussed above, there are about 20 bodies that find mention in the Indian Constitution.

Apart from the Constitutional Bodies, there are also various Non-Constitutional Bodies you should learn about.

We will be covering non-constitutional bodies in India (which include statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial bodies) in separate posts.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



[ad_2]

Source link