over as the Legislative Assembly of an Independent India.
On August 29, 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting
Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr B. R. Ambedkar to prepare a Draft
Constitution for India. While deliberating upon the draft Constitution, the
Assembly moved, discussed and disposed off as many as 2,473 amendments
out of a total of 7,635 that were tabled.
The Constitution of India was adopted on November 26, 1949 and the
members appended their signatures to it on January 24, 1950. In all, 284
members actually signed the Constitution.
The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950. On that
day the Assembly ceased to exist by transforming itself into the Provisional
Parliament of India, until a new Parliament was constituted in 1952.
The 1950 Constitution of India
The Drafting committee attempted to combine the best elements of the
“British theory of parliamentary sovereignty and the American theory of
judicial supremacy.” While the Indian Constitution provides for a central
Parliamentary role in numerous areas of the law, fundamental rights limit the
powers of Parliament and are explicitly incorporated within the body of the
Constitution. The fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution are positive
in nature, not merely negative restrictions upon governmental action, and
their violation gives rise to a constitutional remedy, namely judicial review.
Unlike the U.S. model, the theory of rights driving the Indian
Constitution gives an important role to rights of communities and groups, in
addition to rights of the individual. The limitations upon rights incorporated
in the Indian Constitution are of great importance in the interpretation and
application of the rights. The Indian Constitution incorporates the language of
limitations as a part of many of the Articles that define fundamental rights.
Limitations of rights are therefore more often specific rather than general,
much more so than in many other rights-oriented constitutions of the world.
One specific example is Article 19, which in its first part lays out a number of
fundamental freedoms and in its second through sixth part provides a specific
set of limitations for each of these freedoms. In these provisions the Indian
Constitution to explicitly provide for police power and other limitations on