Constitutional Safeguards for the Minorities
- Article 25, 29 and 30 of the constitution deals with the minorities and matters relating to them.
- Article 25 lays down that all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate any religion. However, this right to religious freedom is subject to public order, morality and health. At the same time, the state can make laws regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activities which may be associated with religious practice.
- The cultural educational rights embodied in the Article 29 and 30 of the constitution aim particularly at the protection of cultural and educational interest of religious and linguistic minorities. Article 29 guarantees to every section of the citizens residing anywhere in India the right to have a distinct language, script or culture of its own and to conserve the same and lays down further that no citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institutions maintained by the state or receiving aid out of state funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.
Art. 30 is strictly in the nature of a minority right i.e. one intended to protect the right of minorities, it is quite wide inasmuch as it is not confined like Article 29 only to conservation of language, script and culture. At the same time, the right of minorities under this Article to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice includes the right to choose the medium of instruction, curricula subjects to be taught etc.
- Article 30(1) says that all minorities, whether religious or linguistic, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. Clause 1 (A) added by the 44th constitutional amendment Act, 1978 in effect provides that if the property of any such institution is acquired, the compensation paid would be proper and adequate so that the right given by the Article remains meaningful.
- Article 30(2) ensures that in granting aid to educational institutions, the state shall not discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language. Actually, the main aim of Article 30 is to protect the knowledge, language, culture etc of the minorities.
- Article 350 A of the constitution directs every state to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups and empower the president to issue proper direction to any state in this behalf
Constitutional Safeguards Related to Women
- Article 14
- Article 15(1)(2)(3)
- Constitutional Article 42
- Article 16(2)
- Article 39 (a)(d)(e)
- Constitution of India Article 243(D) 2,3,4
- Article 46
- Article 51(A) e
- Constitutional Article 243 (T) 2,3,4
Comptroller and Auditor General of India
- Article 148 refers to the appointment and conditions of service of the Comptroller and Auditor General. He is appointed by the President for a period of 6 years. The Constitution is silent about his qualifications. In fact such a person is recommended to him by the cabinet.
- He may quit his office any time by tendering resignation to the president, or he may be removed by the President in case a special address is passed by each house of parliament by special majority on the grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity.
- His salary and other conditions of service are determined by parliament and not variable to his disadvantage after the appointment.
- The administrative expenses of the office of the Auditor General including Salaries, allowances and pensions payable to persons serving in his office are chargeable on the consolidated fund of India.
Role and Functions – Constitutional Safeguards for the Minorities
- He performs such duties and exercise such powers is relation to the accounts of the union and the state government as defined in an act of parliament or in the absence of any such legislation as entrusted to him by the government of India audit and accounts order of 1936. Surprisingly, the parliament has so far passed no such legislation.
- He examines the accounts of the union government and submit a report to the president and in case of the state governments to submit such a report to the governor.
- They assist the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by detecting the points of question in accounts and leaving it to the former to pursue the matter as it deems fit.
- He submits his report to the public account’s committee regarding the factual verification of matters if a case is so referred to him by the ministry concerned and to attend the meaning of PAC when it sits to finalize its report.
- He assists the committee on public undertakings in pursuing such matters as have been raised in the audit reports.
- They furnish any information sought for to either house of parliament through public accounts committee.
- He exercises administrative control over the offices of the auditors working in state capitals and in pursuance there of to prescribe the form and the manner in which these accounts are to be prepared and maintained.
Analysis of Powers – Constitutional Safeguards for the Minorities
- An analysis of these powers reveals that he has hardly anything to perform by virtue of being the comptroller of India.
- He does not possess power to control the receipts and issue of public funds and his jurisdiction commences after the incurring of the expenditure. However, as Auditor General he is the custodian of public revenues.
Constitutional Safeguards for the Minorities – UPSC
- Article 315 makes it obligatory for the Union to constitute a Public Service Commission.
- It is presided over by a chairman who is designated as the chairman, Union Public Service Commission.
- The chairman and the members of the commission are appointment by the president.
- They hold office for a period of six years from the date they join duty or until they attain the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier.
- It is provided that at least one half of the members of the commission should be persons with a minimum of 10 years experience in government service.
- The number of a member on the commission is determined by the president by regulations.
How Independence Ensured?
- A member of the commission is ineligible for the same appointment for a second term. His further employment elsewhere also is severely restricted. The chairman of the Union Public Service Commissions ineligible for further employment either under the government of India or under the government of a state. A member other than the chairman is eligible to become either the chairman of the UPSC or the chairman of a State Public Service Commission. But for these two offices he is ineligible for appointment to any post under the union government or any state government in India.
- The president is empowered to determine by regulations the salary and other conditions of service of the members of the commission. He may also make regulations with respect to the strength of the staff of the commission and their conditions of service. It is provided that the conditions of service of a member of the commission cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment. The entire expenses of the commission, including the salaries and allowances of its members are charged to the consolidated fund of India.