5 institutions that helped shape India | India News

In the first years after independence, the need to establish institutions capable of formulating policies and implementing them was essential. Institutions are also needed to help citizens meet their aspirations and provide them with a forum to address their grievances. For this, and to give effect to its founding values, the Constitution has provided for the following institutions:
If elections gave life to democracy in independent India, Parliament saw to it that it endured. The first Lok Sabha, the directly elected house of Parliament, was constituted on April 17, 1952. With a majority of parliamentarians from the Indian National Congress, the first session of this Lok Sabha began on May 13, 1952. On May 16, it witnessed the first presidential speech of Rajendra Prasad. While discussing India’s economic situation, relations with other states and the demands of a welfare state, Prasad expressed hope that the new parliament would set an example of friendly cooperation and efficient work.
Because of its sweeping powers to secure justice for the marginalized, India’s Supreme Court, a creation of Section 124, is often referred to as “the most powerful court broker in the world”. The origins of these powers date back to the year 1979. Renowned lawyer Kapila Hingorani read reports about the plight of prisoners on trial in Bihar and approached the court for their release. In a petition by one of these prisoners, Hussainara Khatoon, the court ordered the release of nearly 40,000 others. This marked the birth of public interest litigation (PIL), whereby the Supreme Court facilitates convenient access to itself to secure justice.
Since 2007, the Banej polling station inside the Gir forest in Gujarat has recorded a 100% turnout every election cycle. Until his disappearance in 2019, Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas, the only voter in Gir, could exercise his right to vote as the Election Commission of India would set up a polling booth inside the Gir forest for a single voter. Article 324 of the Constitution entrusted the ECI with the responsibility of conducting free and fair elections. Whether Darshandas could successfully exercise his right to vote during his lifetime, it is because the Commission has discharged its constitutional duty well.
“A mere figurehead” is how the Indian President has been described by many, including BR Ambedkar. The Constitution, however, gives the president the ability to assert himself or
itself, especially in the legislative framework, empowers the president to withhold assent to a bill and prevent it from becoming law. In 1987, PresiGiani Zail Singh used his veto power and refused to approve the Post Office (Amendment) Bill 1986, which authorized the government to intercept all mail. Singh took a step ahead, exercising a “pocket veto” by not sending the Invoice return to Parliament. The bill never became law and was eventually withdrawn.
In the executive organization of India, the Council of Ministers is on an equal footing with the Prime Minister, the latter being considered the first among equals. This agreement was disrupted after the proclamation of a national emergency by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed on June 25, 1975, on the recommendation of Indira Gandhi. Under section 352,
an emergency can only be enacted upon the written request of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. This crucial technicality, however, was lost on the Prime Minister who completely bypassed his Council. In that brief moment, the possibility of government by decree overriding collective decision-making seemed all too real. Next: Five basic rights that shaped India.

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