Constitution of India: A ‘Bag of Borrowings’

*Dr. Deepak Miglani

Indian Constitution-makers studies the Constitutions  of several democratic countries (e.g. UK, USA, Australia, Ireland, Canada) and adopted whatever material they could find useful to suit the Indian circumstances and aspirations. The fusion of the Theory of Fundamental Law-  a concept basic to written Constitution of the USA, with the philosophy of Parliamentary Sovereignty (unwritten Constitution of UK) is a unique feature of the Indian Constitution.



  • Parliamentary form of Government-from U.K. viz. Bicameral Legislature (Lok Sabha and Rajaya Sabha); President as the Constitutional Head of the State; Cabinet and The Prime Minister. Also, ‘Rule of Law’.
  • Federal Structural/distribution of subject matters of Legislation-from Canada viz. strong Centre, vesting of residuary powers in Centre.
  • Concurrent list- from Australia.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy-from Ireland. Also, the use of Electoral College in the election of President, nomination of persons having experience in science or fine arts to the Rajya Sabha, have been borrowed from the Constitution of Ireland.
  • Powers of the President, position and duties of Vice-President-from U.S.A.
  • Preamble to the Constitution-based on the model of the American Declaration of Independence; and , United Nations.
  • Organization and Independence of the Supreme Court (including Judicial Review)-from U.S.A.
  • Advisory opinion of the Supreme Court-from Canada.
  • Fundamental Rights-from U.S.A.
  • Fundamental Duties- from Russia (USSR).
  • Trade and Commerce-from Australia.
  • Formation of Alternate Government-from Itlay.
  • Amendment of the Constiution-from U.S.A.
  • Single Citizenship-from Canada.
  • Procedure established by law-from Japan.
  • Emergency provisions-from German Reich, and, Government of India Act, 1935.