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Constitutional Authorities – Functions and Responsibilities

Constitutional Authorities – Functions and Responsibilities

The constitutional authorities-functions and responsibilities play an important role in our country. The following article encompasses the various functions and responsibilities of constitutional authorities.

The Indian Constitution prescribes the formation of the constitutional authorities. Its functions and responsibilities are in the hand of the Constitution itself. The constitutional authorities -functions and responsibilities cannot be changed by any regular, private, or government bill but only by passing a constitutional amendment bill. There are various bodies under the Constitution of India, and you will get a thorough understanding of the ‘functions and responsibilities of constitutional authorities further. Each authority abides by certain laws and has different responsibilities to fulfil.

Importance of the authority of a Constitution:

  • The constitution defines the powers of the organs of government.
  • It states the fundamental principles, aspirations, and objectives of a country.
  • It helps to protect the rights of the citizens.
  • It helps to prevent arbitrarily ruled by the leaders.
  • It explains the “do’s and don’ts of the government.
  • It specifies the system of government to be adopted.

Functions and Responsibilities of Constitutional Authorities

Constitutional authorities have many responsibilities and perform many functions according to which a country or a state is constituted or governed.

Important Functions of the Constitution Authorities are as follows:

The most important function of the constitutional authorities is to ensure the fundamental rights of its citizens.

These authorities are responsible for laying out the procedures for several administrations, functions, execution of the government machinery, and legislation.

 A set of basic rules is provided by these authorities to maintain the harmony of society.

The specification of who makes decisions in society lies in the hand of the constitutional authorities.

The authorities limit the government to impose decisions on the citizens.

They encourage the government to fulfil citizens’ aspirations.

Functions and Responsibilities  of Individual Authorities of the Constitution:

1.Election Commission

  • To superintend, direct, and control the elections, Article 324 is implemented by the government.
  • The elections to state legislatures, parliament, office of vice-president and president are looked after by Election Commission.
  • EC prepares and periodically revise the electoral roles to notify the dates and schedules of election and cancel the poles in case of any irregularities.
  • It advises the president on matters related to the disqualification of the members of the parliament.
  • It advises the governor on matters related to the disqualification of the members of the state legislature.  

2.Union Public Service  Commission

  • The UPSC forms a part of the Indin constitution under articles 315-323.
  • The UPSC has to fulfil the functions and abide by the obligations mentioned under Article 320.
  • UPSC conducts Examinations for recruitment to all India services, central services and public services of union territories 
  • UPSC deals with all disciplinary matters affecting a person in a civil capacity UPSC.
  • Assists the states in matters related to joint recruitment.

3.Finance Commission

  • Finance Commission makes recommendations to the president on the following matters under article 280:
  • Distribution and allocation of the net proceeds of the taxes between centres and states and among different states.
  • The principles that should govern the grants-in-aid to the states.
  • Measures are needed to augment the state’s consolidated fund to supplement the resources of local bodies.
  • The Finance Commission also has to submit reports on the basis of steps taken by it.
  • For Example, the fifteenth finance commission report was a very wide-ranging one. This report dealt with the recommendation of performance incentives for states in many sectors like solid waste management, adoption of DBT, power sector etc.

4.National Commision for Backward Classes

  • The following functions of the National Commision for Backward Classes have been set up under article 338B.
  • To investigate various safeguards provided for socially and educationally backward classes.
  • To inquire into the complaints related to the deprivation of the rights of socially and educationally backward classes.
  • To advise on the planning process for the socio-economic development of socially and educationally backward classes.
  • To submit reports to the president regarding the working of various safeguards.
  • To make recommendations to union and state governments regarding the measures to be taken for effective implementation of safeguards.
  • To discharge such other functions as president may specify.
  • 4.National Commission for SCs
  • It is established by article 338 of the constitution.

The following are the functions of the commission:

  • To investigate the matters regarding various safeguards provided for SCs.
  • To inquire into the complaints related to the deprivation of the rights of SCs.
  • To advise on the planning process for the socio-economic development of SCs.
  • To submit the reports to the president regarding the working of various safeguards.
  • To make the recommendations to the union and state governments regarding the measures to be taken for effective implementation of safeguards.
  • To discharge such other functions as president may specify.
  • 5.National Commission for STs
  • It is established by article 338-A of the constitution.

The following are the functions of the commission:

  • To investigate the matters regarding various safeguards provided for STs.
  • To inquire into the complaints related to the deprivation of the rights of STs.
  • To advise on the planning process for the socio-economic development for STs.
  • To submit reports to the president regarding the working of various safeguards.
  • To make the recommendations to the union and state governments regarding the measures to be taken for effective implementation of safeguards.
  • To discharge such other functions as president may specify.
  • Article 12 of the Indian Constitution:
  • Article 12 gives the significance of the term “State”.
  • State under Article 12 means:
  • The Government and Parliament of India
  • The Government and State Legislature
  • All Local authorities
  • “Other authorities under Article 12” are within the territory of India or under the control of the central government.
  • Other authorities under article 12

Indian Council of Agricultural Research:

It came into existence as a government department, and even though it was registered as a society, it was fully financed by the government. Thus it was held to come under the definition of authority under Article 12 as it was a society set up by the state.

Life Insurance Corporation, Oil and Natural Gas Commission and financial Corporation:

In this case, all the three bodies were held to be authorities and thus, all fall within the term state under Article 12. These corporations do have independent personalities in the eyes of the law, but that does not mean that they are not subject to government control or are not an instrumentality of the government.

Central Island Water transport Corporation

The Corporation is a government company incorporated under the companies act held to be an authority and so the state under Article 12.

Conclusion:

The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It is the framework for political principles, procedures, duties and powers of government. The constitution consists of many authorities that perform important functions and responsibilities for the betterment of the country. Some constitutional authorities are Election Commission, Finance Commission and union public service commission. Each authority performs different functions and has different responsibilities. Article 12 is also an important part of the constitution that mentions the State and other authorities. Constitutional authorities are the guardian of citizens’ interests.