Constituent Power & Sovereignty: In Light of Amendments to the Indian Constitution

Constituent Power & Sovereignty: In Light of Amendments to the Indian Constitution

Volume 1 Issue 3 ()

This article attempts to explore the links between sovereignty and constituent power. Both these concepts have deep-rooted links to amendments affected in any Constitution. Accordingly, their interplay with respect to the Indian Constitution is explored in this paper. The first section is concerned with a general introduction to the subject. The second section provides a jurisprudential understanding of the concepts explaining their relevance individually and further to  different theories notably that of Carl Schmitt, linking sovereignty with constituent power. The third section is devoted to understanding the link between sovereignty and constituent power, and the amending power. The fourth section works through a tentative solution suggesting that the amending power is something akin to constituent power and discusses briefly how sovereignty could be protected by exercise of the amending power. The concept of implied limitations is discussed with reference to the position prevailing indifferent countries, furthered with the aid of the basic structure doctrine prevailing in India. The conclusion ends on a cautionary note: that judges, who propose to be the self- designated guardians of sovereignty and the Constitution, could need some guarding as well

Cite as: Snigdha Nahar & Abhishek Dadoo, Constituent Power & Sovereignty: In Light of Amendments to the Indian Constitution, 1 NUJS L. Rev. 559 (2008)