ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION

(1) Division of powers : Division of powers between Central and State governments is an essential element of the federal Constitution. This division is done by the Constitution itself. Each government is independent in its jurisdiction and does not exercise the rights and powers of other.

Thus, the powers are divided among various collaborative entities in federalism. The Constitution keeps the control on the use of their powers.

(2) The Supremacy of the Constitution : The Constitution is the source of all powers of Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The federal State derives its existence from the Constitution. In the federal system, the Constitution is considered the supreme law of the country. All institutions functions under the control of the Constitution.

According to the Prof. K.C. Wheare supremacy of the Constitution for the federal government is very much essential and it is also necessary for its smooth working that it must be documented. 

(3) Written Constitution : The federal Constitution must necessarily be documented. The establishment of a federal State is laid down by complex conditions. These conditions must be in a written form, otherwise it would be impossible to keep the supremacy of the Constitution intact. In case of written Constitution the Central and State governments will get clear understanding of their rights.

(4) Rigid Constitution : Generally the written Constitution is rigid. However, this does not mean that the Constitution cannot be amended. The amending procedure is quite complicated and difficult. The power to amend the Constitution should not remain exclusively with either Central government or State Government. To maintain supremacy of the Constitution, it is necessary to keep the process of amendment difficult.

(5) The authority of Judiciary : There is a division of powers between Central and State governments in the Federal form of Constitution. The division of powers between the two is done by a written Constitution. Therefore, it is possible that different governments can interpret provisions of the Constitution in their favor. In such a situation, it is necessary to have an institution which can properly interpret the Constitution in fair and free manner. As regards provisions of the Constitution, judiciary is empowered to give interpret the Constitution. The interpretation of the Constitution by the judiciary is binding on all the authorities.

Author & Former Judge

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