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Important Concepts of Constitutional Law for CLAT PG 2024: Key Concepts, Exam Strategies and More!

Author : Shashwat Srivastava

Updated On : November 16, 2023


Reader's Digest: Let's discuss the important concepts of Constitutional Law for the CLAT PG 2024 exam. Unravel the intricacies of fundamental rights, separation of powers, and more. Equip yourself with essential knowledge for a strong exam performance!

For those gearing up for the CLAT PG 2024 exam, getting a grip on constitutional law is like building a genuinely strong foundation for a legal career. This subject is all about how a country is run, people's rights, and what they should do.

Also anytime you look into the syllabus for CLAT PG, the very first topic mentioned is Constitutional Law. Nearly 40-50 marks of weightage are offered for the Constitutional Law section in CLAT PG. The questions are asked in form of objective and subjective types of questions. 

You must mainly focus on Landmark cases, recent cases, and current affairs while preparing for the Constitutional Law section. This article takes you through these Important Concepts of Constitutional Law for CLAT PG 2024 exam.Let's begin!

Key Contents:

  • Emphasizes mastering constitutional law for CLAT PG 2024 exam.
  • Highlights understanding of country's functioning, citizens' rights, and duties.
  • Significant weightage in exam; recommends focusing on landmark cases, recent developments, and current affairs.
  • Outlines key constitutional law topics.
  • Offers study guidance for specific subjects.
  • Underscores importance of staying updated with recent case laws.

Below you'll find hand-curated study material that will help you make it through the CLAT PG 2024!

 Important Features of Constitutional Law for CLAT PG 

The list below consists of Important Features of Constitutional Law: 

  1. Single Citizenship
  2. Sovereignty resides in the people
  3. Fundamental Duties
  4. Lengthiest constitution in the world
  5. Fundamental Rights and duties
  6. Directive principles of the state policies
  7. Quasi Federal in Nature
  8. Universal Adult Suffrage
  9. Democracy
  10. Republic
  11. Secular
  12. Parliamentary form of Government
  13. The unique blend of rigidity and flexibility
  14. Fundamental Rights
  15. Judicial review and parliamentary sovereignty
  16. Independence of Judiciary

Check: CLAT Online Coaching

You should watch this last year's video, where our subject matter experts discuss preparations for CLAT PG Constitutional law, which remains the same for this academic year. 

 Important Concepts of Constitutional Law for CLAT PG 2024 

The CLAT Syllabus topics and respective topics to be covered are listed below: 

1. Preamble 

  • Study the Preamble: The Preamble is the introductory statement of the Constitution that outlines its objectives and guiding principles. It sets the tone for the entire Constitution.
  • Significance: Understand why the Preamble holds importance as a source of interpreting the Constitution's spirit and intentions.
  • Interpretation of Words: Analyze the words used in the Preamble such as "Sovereign," "Socialist," "Secular," "Democratic," "Republic," and their implications.
  • Cases Related to Preamble: Examine court cases that have interpreted and clarified the meaning and scope of the Preamble.

2. Indian Constitutional History 

  • Framing of the Constitution: Dive into the historical background of how the Constitution was drafted, including the Constituent Assembly's debates and discussions.
  • Understanding Constitution Parts: Familiarize yourself with the different parts of the Constitution and their significance in shaping India's governance structure.

3. Features of the Indian Constitutional

  • Federalism: Study the distribution of powers between the central government and state governments, as outlined in the Constitution.
  • Secularism: Understand the principle of religious neutrality in governance and the separation of religion from state affairs.
  • Parliamentary System: Explore how the executive branch is accountable to the legislature and derives its legitimacy from it.

4. Doctrine of Constitutionalism

  • Limitations on Amending Power: Study the restrictions placed on the Parliament's authority to amend the Constitution, ensuring the Constitution's core principles remain intact.
  • Landmark Case Laws: Analyze important legal cases that have shaped the interpretation of constitutional amendments and their limitations.

5. Citizenship

  • Part 2 (Article 5-11): Explore the provisions in Part 2 of the Constitution that deal with citizenship, including who is considered a citizen of India.
  • Basic Principles: Understand the foundational principles that determine citizenship, such as birth, descent, registration, and naturalization.
  • Acquisition and Termination: Learn the ways in which individuals can acquire and lose Indian citizenship, and the legal procedures involved.
  • Citizenship Act, 1955: Study the Citizenship Act and its implications on citizenship-related matters.
  • Recent Amendments: Examine recent amendments like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and their legal and social implications.
  • Cases: Explore court cases related to citizenship matters and their impact on legal interpretations.

Check: CLAT Mock Tests 2024

6. Article 12 

Concepts of State: Understand the term "State" as used in Article 12, which extends the definition of the State beyond just government bodies to include other entities exercising governmental functions.

7. Article 13 

  • Supremacy of Fundamental Rights: Grasp the concept that any law inconsistent with or in violation of fundamental rights shall be declared void to uphold the supremacy of these rights.
  • Judicial Review: Learn about the power of courts to review laws and executive actions to ensure their conformity with the Constitution.
  • Related Concepts: Explore doctrines like the Doctrine of Eclipse (validity of pre-constitutional laws) and Doctrine of Severability (separating valid and invalid portions of a law).

8. Article 32 and 226

  • Article 32 (SC) and 226 (HC): Understand the extraordinary powers conferred on the Supreme Court and High Courts for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
  • Infringement of Fundamental Rights: Study the circumstances under which a citizen can approach the courts for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
  • Waiver of Fundamental Rights: Explore whether fundamental rights can be voluntarily waived by individuals.

9. Fundamental rights 

  • Right to Equality (Article 14-18): Study the concept of equal protection of laws, prohibition of discrimination, and exceptions.
  • Right to Freedom (Article 19-22): Understand the fundamental freedoms including speech, assembly, movement, and right to practice professions.
  • Right Against Exploitation (Article 23-24): Explore provisions against human trafficking, forced labor, and child labor.
  • Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28): Grasp the rights related to religion, religious practices, and cultural freedom.
  • Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30): Learn about rights of minorities to protect their language, culture, and educational institutions.
  • Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32): Study the right to move the Supreme Court for enforcement of rights through writs.

10. Types of Writs 

  • Habeas Corpus: Understand the writ that safeguards personal liberty and prevents illegal detention.
  • Mandamus: Learn about the writ issued to compel public officials to perform their legal duties.
  • Certiorari: Study the writ used to quash decisions of inferior courts that have exceeded their jurisdiction.
  • Prohibition: Explore the writ issued to prevent inferior courts from exceeding their jurisdiction.
  • Quo Warranto: Grasp the writ that challenges a person's right to hold a public office.
  • Writ Jurisdiction: Understand how the Supreme Court (Article 32) and High Courts (Article 226) can issue writs for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
  • Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and Locus Standi: Explore the concept of PIL and who has the right to approach the court for public interest matters.

11. Directive principles of state policies and fundamental duties

  • Guides for Welfare State: Study the principles that guide the government in creating a just and equitable society.
  • Fundamental Rights vs. DPSP: Understand the relationship between citizens' rights and the state's obligation to implement social and economic welfare measures.
  • DPSP Enforcement: Learn about the role of DPSPs in policy-making and their enforceability by courts.
  • Landmarks and Recent Cases: Explore significant cases that have shaped the interpretation and enforcement of DPSPs.
  • Article 51A and Fundamental Duties: Grasp the concept of fundamental duties that citizens are expected to uphold for the integrity and development of the nation.

Check: List of Jobs after CLAT PG

12. Union State

  • Chapter 1 of Part 5: Study the key positions in the Indian political system including the President, Vice President, and Governor.
  • Nature, Election Procedure, Tenure: Understand the constitutional roles, manner of election, and tenure of these positions.
  • Powers and Duties: Explore the powers and functions assigned to these positions.

13. Parliament 

    • Chapter 2 of Part 5: Study the composition of the Indian Parliament, including the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
    • Nature, Election Procedure, Tenure: Understand the nature of these legislative bodies, the process of election, and their term durations.
    • Powers, Duties, and Privileges: Grasp the legislative powers, responsibilities, and privileges of the Parliament.

14. Additional Topics

  • Judiciary and Quasi-Judicial Bodies: Explore the structure and functioning of the Indian judiciary, including high courts, district courts, and special tribunals.
  • Tribunals and Emergency Provisions: Learn about specialized administrative tribunals and provisions related to national emergencies.
  • Constitutional Amendments and Official Languages: Study the process of amending the Constitution and the use of official languages.
  • Panchayats and Municipalities: Understand the system of local self-governance in rural and urban areas.
  • Center-State Relations, Union List, State List, and Concurrent List: Explore the division of legislative powers between the central and state governments.
  • Doctrine of Pith and Substance, Doctrine of Colourable Legislation, Doctrine of Repugnancy: Study legal principles that guide the interpretation of laws in matters of legislative competence.

Check: CLAT PG Question Papers 2024

clat mock test

clat mock test

 Other important Constitutional Laws for CLAT PG 

Constitutional Bodies:

  • Election Commission:

    • The Election Commission is a vital constitutional body responsible for conducting free and fair elections in India.
    • It operates independently and ensures the electoral process remains unbiased and transparent.
    • Important provisions: Article 324 of the Constitution empowers the Election Commission to oversee elections.
  • UPSC (Union Public Service Commission):

    • The UPSC is tasked with recruiting candidates for various central government positions through competitive exams.
    • It plays a pivotal role in maintaining the merit-based selection process for civil services.
    • Relevant provisions: Articles 315 to 323 outline the structure and functions of the UPSC.
  • State PSCs (Public Service Commissions):

    • State PSCs are responsible for recruiting candidates for state-level government positions.
    • They function similarly to the UPSC but focus on appointments within the state administration.
    • Constitution provisions: Article 315 empowers states to establish their own PSCs.
  • Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG):

    • The CAG acts as an independent auditor of government finances, ensuring fiscal accountability.
    • It audits government expenditures and reports irregularities and financial mismanagement.
    • Relevant articles: Articles 148 to 151 deal with the role and functions of the CAG.
  • Attorney General:

    • The Attorney General is the chief legal advisor to the government of India.
    • They provide legal counsel, represent the government in legal matters, and offer advice to various ministries.
    • Constitution reference: Article 76 outlines the appointment and functions of the Attorney General.
  • Finance Commission:

    • The Finance Commission allocates financial resources between the central government and states.
    • It determines how resources are divided to maintain fiscal equilibrium.
    • Relevant provision: Article 280 mandates the formation and functions of the Finance Commission.
  • National Commission for SCs, STs:

    • These commissions are dedicated to safeguarding the rights and interests of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
    • They work to eliminate discrimination, promote social justice, and uplift marginalized communities.
    • Constitution provisions: Articles 338 to 342 establish these commissions and outline their roles.
  • Advocate General:

    • Advocate General is the top legal advisor to a state government.
    • They provide legal advice, represent the state in legal matters, and contribute to effective governance.
    • Reference in the Constitution: Article 165 governs the appointment and responsibilities of the Advocate General.

Non-Constitutional Bodies:

  • NITI Aayog:

    • NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) replaced the Planning Commission.
    • It focuses on policy formulation, innovation, and strategic development planning.
    • Not governed by specific constitutional provisions but established through executive resolution.
  • National Development Council:

    • The NDC plays a crucial role in formulating development policies and programs.
    • It fosters cooperation between the center and states for balanced growth.
    • It is not a constitutional body but operates through executive decisions.
  • National Human Rights Commission:

    • NHRC ensures the protection and promotion of human rights in the country.
    • It investigates human rights violations and advocates for justice.
    • While not a constitutional body, it was established under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
  • State Human Rights Commission:

    • SHRCs are set up at the state level to address human rights violations within the state.
    • They complement the NHRC's efforts in ensuring human rights protection.
    • Created through state legislations rather than direct constitutional provisions.
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI):

    • The CBI is the premier investigative agency in India, handling cases of national importance.
    • It operates under the jurisdiction of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
    • Not directly mentioned in the Constitution but functions under legal provisions.
  • Central Vigilance Commission:

    • The CVC is responsible for preventing corruption in government organizations.
    • It oversees vigilance and anti-corruption measures, promoting transparency.
    • Established by the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003, not part of the Constitution.
  • Lokpal and Lokayuktas:

    • Lokpal addresses grievances against public officials at the central level, while Lokayuktas do so at the state level.
    • They aim to curb corruption and enhance accountability in public administration.
    • Enacted through the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, rather than a constitutional provision.
  • Central and State Information Commissions:

    • These commissions handle matters related to the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
    • They ensure citizens' access to government information and transparency.
    • Established under the RTI Act, not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.

 Recent Case Laws For CLAT PG 2024 Constitutional Law Exam 

These landmark cases showcase the Indian judiciary's pivotal role in interpreting and safeguarding the Constitution's fundamental principles, thereby shaping the constitutional landscape of the country:

  • Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala (1973):

    • Description: This case is a watershed moment in Indian constitutional history, dealing with the concept of "basic structure" of the Constitution. The Supreme Court held that while Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution, it cannot alter its basic structure, which includes fundamental rights, the principle of federalism, and the secular character of the Constitution.
    • Significance: The judgment laid the foundation for judicial review of constitutional amendments and ensured the preservation of essential democratic and constitutional values.
  • Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (1978):

    • Description: In this case, the Supreme Court expanded the scope of the right to personal liberty (Article 21) by emphasizing that procedural due process must be fair, just, and reasonable. The court held that any law that deprives a person of their personal liberty must conform to the principles of natural justice.
    • Significance: This case established that the right to life and personal liberty is not confined to mere survival but includes the right to lead a meaningful life with dignity.
  • Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain (1975):

    • Description: This case centered on the election of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, challenged by Raj Narain. The Supreme Court held that although Parliament has the authority to amend the Constitution, it cannot destroy its "basic structure." The verdict struck down certain provisions of the 39th Amendment Act that sought to shield certain election disputes from judicial scrutiny.
    • Significance: The case affirmed the doctrine of the basic structure and reinforced the principle that the Constitution's core values are beyond the reach of ordinary amendments.

 Constitution Provisions to be Studied For CLAT PG 2024 

  • In your CLAT PG 2024 preparation, it's crucial to grasp these fundamental constitutional provisions. Dive into the Indian Constitution's bare act for detailed insights into these concepts:

  • Relevant Constitutional Provisions to Explore:

    • Article 324 (Election Commission): Understand the powers and functions of the Election Commission, responsible for overseeing elections in India.
    • Articles 315-323 (UPSC and State PSCs): Delve into the provisions governing the composition, roles, and responsibilities of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and State Public Service Commissions (PSCs).
    • Article 148-151 (CAG - Comptroller and Auditor General): Learn about the role of the CAG in auditing government accounts, ensuring financial transparency and accountability.
    • Article 76 (Attorney General): Explore the constitutional provisions related to the Attorney General, the principal legal advisor to the government, and the nuances of their role.
    • Article 280 (Finance Commission): Study the Finance Commission's significance in determining the distribution of financial resources between the central and state governments.
    • Article 338-342 (National Commission for SCs, STs): Grasp the provisions establishing and defining the responsibilities of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
    • Article 165 (Advocate General): Learn about the Advocate General's role as the top legal advisor to a state government and their duties.
  • In-Depth Understanding Through the Bare Act:

    • Utilize the Indian Constitution's bare act to gain comprehensive insights into these provisions.
    • Examine the language and context of each article for a clearer comprehension of their implications.
    • Pay attention to any amendments or related articles that can provide a broader context for the concepts.
  • Why Constitution Provisions Matter:

    • Constitutional provisions are the backbone of India's governance and legal framework.
    • A deep understanding of these concepts is essential for aspiring legal professionals, as they form the basis of legal arguments and decisions.
    • Mastery of these provisions enhances your ability to analyze complex legal scenarios and provide well-informed opinions.
  • Effective Preparation Strategy:

    • Dedicate focused study time to each of the mentioned provisions.
    • Make concise notes highlighting key points, legal principles, and important cases associated with each concept.
    • Test your understanding through practice questions and mock exams, applying the knowledge you've gained from studying the provisions.

Check: Criminal Law Questions for CLAT PG

Key Takeaways

  1. Essential Foundation: Constitutional Law forms the cornerstone of a strong legal career and understanding of a country's governance, citizens' rights, and duties.

  2. Exam Weightage: Constitutional Law holds significant weight in the CLAT PG 2024 exam, accounting for nearly 40-50 marks. It's essential to excel in this section.

  3. Focus Areas: Prioritize studying landmark cases, recent developments, and current affairs related to Constitutional Law. These aspects play a crucial role in answering both objective and subjective questions.

  4. Comprehensive Topics: The article covers various vital concepts, including the Preamble, Indian Constitutional History, Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, and more.

  5. Exam Strategies: Utilize the provided study guidance and familiarize yourself with key constitutional provisions. Dive into the bare act for an in-depth understanding and practice answering questions related to these concepts.

  6. Landmark Cases: Recognize the importance of landmark cases like Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, and Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain in shaping the Indian constitutional landscape.

  7. Constitutional Bodies: Gain insights into the role of crucial bodies such as the Election Commission, UPSC, CAG, and more, which contribute to India's governance and administration.

  8. Preparation Strategy: Focus, comprehensive notes, practice questions, and mock exams are key elements of an effective preparation strategy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are types of Writs?

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