Constitutional bodies fighting corruption under attack, says PM Modi


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack against what he termed conspiracies by forces within and outside the country to undermine constitutional institutions that were cracking down on corruption and the corrupt. 
  • India is the world’s largest democracy and has a well-established constitution that lays down the framework for its governance. Constitutional bodies are an integral part of the Indian democratic system, established to ensure the proper functioning of the government and safeguard the rights of its citizens. 
  • These bodies are independent, autonomous, and have their own powers and functions, which are enshrined in the constitution. From the Election Commission of India to the CAG, these bodies play a crucial role in upholding the principles of democracy, promoting accountability, and ensuring transparency in the functioning of the government. 
  • This write-up will provide a overview of the various constitutional bodies in India, their functions, and their significance in the country’s democratic setup.

So it is important for us to cover the constitutional bodies along following items: (EXCEPT GST COUNCIL)

  • Articles in the constitution
  • Appointing authority
  • Tenure & Removal
  • Immunities
  • Eligible for further Appointment. 
  • Powers

Union Public Service Commission

  • It is the …… Well, if you are reading article this far the chances are that you already know what UPSC is. 
  • Articles: 315 – 323
  • Composition: 9 to 11 members
  • Tenure & removal: Presently for 6 years or 65 years (whichever is earlier) whichever is earlier
  • Further Appointment:
    • UPSC Chairman is not eligible for a second term. 
    • Other members are eligible only for an appointment within SPSC and UPSC
  • Powers: Recruitment of All India Services, public services of centrally administered territories, Central services, advisory powers. 

Goods and Services Tax Council (The latest, MOST DIFFERENT and hence the first to be covered)

  • The 101st Amendment Act of 2016 paved the way for the introduction of a new tax regime (i.e. goods and services tax – GST) in the country. 
  • The smooth and efficient administration of this tax requires co-operation and coordination between the centre and the states. 
  • In order to facilitate this consultation process, the amendment provided for the establishment of a Goods and Services Tax Council or the GST Council. 
  • While discharging its functions, the Council is to be guided by the need for a harmonised structure of GST and the development of a harmonised national market for goods and services. Further, the Council has to determine the procedure in the performance of its functions
  • Composition: The Council is a joint forum of the centre and the states and consists of the following members:
    • The Union Finance Minister as the Chairperson
    • The Union Minister of State in-charge of Revenue or Finance
    • The Minister in-charge of Finance or Taxation or any other Minister nominated by each state government

Working of the Council

  • The decisions of the Council are taken at its meetings. One-half of the total number of members of the Council is the quorum for conducting a meeting. Every decision of the Council is to be taken by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the weighted votes of the members present and voting at the meeting. The decision is taken in accordance with the following principles:
    • The vote of the central government shall have a weightage one-third of the total votes cast in that meeting.
    • The votes of all the state governments combined shall have weightage of two-thirds of the total votes cast in that meeting.

Attorney General of India

  • He is the highest law officer in the country
  • Articles 76, 88
  • Appointment by the president 
  • Important Immunities: 
  • Tenure & Removal: Holds office during the pleasure of the President
  • Eligible for further Appointment
  • Powers
    • Privileges of an MP (Right to Speech within Parliament). 
    • Right of an audience in all Indian courts. 
    • Right to attend both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha proceedings without right to vote.  

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)

  • He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department1. He is the guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of the country at both the levels–the Centre and the state.
  • Article 148, 149, 150, 151 
  • Appointment by the president 
  • Important Immunities:
    • His salary and other service conditions are determined by the Parliament.
    • The administrative expenses of the office of the CAG, including all salaries, allowances and pensions of persons serving in that office are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India. Thus, they are not subject to the vote of Parliament.
  • Tenure & removal: Holds the office for six years or 65 years (whichever comes earlier)
    • Removal is the same as for a judge of the Supreme Court
  • Not eligible for further appointment.
  • Powers
    • Audits accounts concerned with the Contingency Fund, the Consolidated Fund of India and states,  and the Public Accounts Fund of the states and centre.
    • Advisory function with respect to accounts to the country’s President

Election Commission

  • It  is a permanent and an independent body established by the Constitution of India directly to ensure free and fair elections in the country
  • Article: 324
  • Appointment by the president 
  • Composition: CEC/Chief Election Commissioner, Other Election Commissioners
  • Tenure & removal: Presently for 6 years or 65 years, whichever is earlier
  • Eligible for further appointment. 
  • Powers
    • Conduct of free and fair elections in India
    • Political parties’ registration
    • Overseeing elections

Finance Commission

  • It is constituted by the president of India every fifth year or at such earlier time as he considers necessary
  • Article: 280
  • Appointment by the President 
  • Composition: Chairman, Four members
  • Eligible for further appointment
  • Powers
    • Decides the basis for sharing the divisible taxes by the centre and the states
    • Any matter in the interest of sound finance can be referred to the President evaluates the rise in the Consolidated Fund of a state in order to affix the resources of the state Municipalities and Panchayats
    • FC has the powers of a civil court

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (Similarly for tribes and OBC)

  • It is an Indian constitutional body established with a view to provide safeguards against the exploitation of Scheduled Castes and Anglo Indian communities to promote and protect their social, educational, economic and cultural interests, special provisions were made in the Constitution. 
  • Articles 338
  • Composition
    • Chairman, Vice-chairman, 3 other members
    • Tenure & removal: 3 years
  • Eligible for further appointment
  • Powers
    • It is a quasi-judicial body
    • Monitoring and reporting about the implementation of constitutional safeguards for Scheduled Castes
    • It has a civil court’s powers

Special officer for Linguistic Minorities

  • Articles 350 B
  • Composition Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner
  • Tenure and removal: Pleasure of the President
  • Further appointment: Yes
  • Powers: Monitoring and reporting the working of constitutional safeguards for linguistic minorities

UPSC Prelims 2017 PYQ-

Consider the following statements:

1. The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.

2. Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and bye-elections.

3. Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognised political parties.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 3 only

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, document, archive, other. Drop files here

Online Counselling
Table of Contents
Today's Current Affairs
This is default text for notification bar