Legal Terms: Executive, Exploitation, Economic Justice and Fraternity

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  • Executive: A branch of government which implements and executes or administers law. The Cabinet, the Council of Ministers and the Public Services are a part of the Executive.

  • Exploitation: To make use of the services of others for selfish purposes.

  • Economic Justice: It implies removal of economic inequalities. All citizens are guaranteed a decent standard of living.

  • Fraternity: Spirit or brotherhood among the citizens.

  • Fundamental Rights: Rights fundamental or essential to good living; six fundamental rights are guaranteed by our constitution.

  • Impeachment: It means accusing a high official like President of India, Supreme Court Judge, etc. of disloyally to the country and corruption and trying him in the Parliament according to a procedure set by law.

  • Judiciary: A branch of government which decides disputes among individuals, between individuals and the government or between parts of governments; for example, Supreme Court, High Court and Subordinate Courts.

  • Magna Carta: The great Charter of England, granted by King John is called Magna Carta. “It provides that “no man shall be taken or imprisoned nor will he pass upon him or condemn him but by lawful judgement.

  • President’s Rule: A situation may rise when the Governor feels that no party in the State Vidhan Sabha has a clear majority or that the state ministry has lost the confidence of the Legislature and it is not possible to form an alternative ministry. There may be a situation when he feels it is not possible to carry on the administration of the state in a constitutional manner. In such a case, the President, on the report of the Governor, may dissolve the Assembly and dismiss the Council of Ministers. The State then comes under what is popularly known as the Governor’s Rule or President’s Rule.

  • Preamble: A Statement of the spirit and meaning of the Constitution. It is the introduction in which the purpose of the Constitution is given.

  • Prorogue: An act of ending of a session. It is the discretion of the President and the Governor.

  • Laissez faire: A general principle of non-interference.

  • Legislature: A law-making body of elected representatives who make law for a country or a state; for example. Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha.

  • Question Hour: The list of the business before the House of Legislature is given to the members in advance. Generally, the first hour of each sitting is “Question Hour”. The Government give replies to the question already sent by the members. The members are entitled to get more information through “supplementary Question”. The main purpose of the “Question Hour” is to seek information and draw the attention of the Government to issues of public importance. After the “Question Hour, the agenda is taken up”.

  • Recess: The term is used for the period between the prorogation of parliament and its reassembly in a new session.

  • Secular State: A state which gives every individual a right to practise his religion and worship in his own way. It treats all religions alike. It neither favours any religion nor discriminates against any religion. India is a Secular State.

  • Snap General Election: Means a general election which is called for suddenly. This happens in a democratic regime when a duly installed majority government finds it difficult to deal with an extraordinary situation and wants the electorate to give a fresh verdict on its programmes and policies.

  • Snap Poll: A snap poll means a sudden election to a legislature held at short notice before the expiry of its full term. A midterm poll also means the same thing, even if an election is ordered many months after the middle of a legislature’s usual five-year span. But it was the surprise dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1971 and the election ordered soon afterwards that has given wide currency to the expression “snap poll”.

  • Socialistic Pattern of Society: Means distribution of economic power or reduction of inequalities in income and wealth in a country. The Resolution for a “Socialistic Pattern of Society” was adopted at the Avadi Session of the Indian National Congress.

  • Splinter Group: Quite often parties have within them certain groups which can be referred to as splinter groups. They are groups of people who differ from the main body in their approach views or strategy.

  • Starred and Unstarred Questions: When asking questions members of Parliament may ask for either oral or written answers. Questions to which oral answers are required are marked with an asterisk and are known as Starred Question. Questions requiring written replies are Unstarred Questions.

  • Socialist State: A state which tries to bring about economic and social equality in the country. India aims at establishing such a socialist state.

  • Sovereign Government: A government that is supreme and free and does not take directions from any outside authority.

  • Social Justice: It implies that all citizens are treated equal and none can be discriminated against on basis of caste, creed, religion or status.

  • State of Emergency: The President can declare a state of emergency in the country in an emergency caused by way, of foreign attack or internal disturbances and the armed rebellion in the country on an express request of the cabinet.

  • Simple Majority Vote: Usually a candidate who secures the highest percentage of votes is declared elected by a simple majority vote. He may actually not get even fifty percentages of votes.

  • Sine die: It is an adjournment of a meeting to a date which is not fixed specifically at that time.

  • Single Transferable Vote: Under the system, the voters cast their votes for candidates in order of preference. If a candidate does not secure more than fifty percent votes, the second preference votes are also counted and a candidate is elected on the basis of total votes polled, first preference and second preference.

  • Single Citizenship: India has single citizenship. It means that all the citizens of India. They are not the citizens of state i.e. Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal. In U.S.A., the citizens have double citizenship. They are the cities of U.S.A. and also of a particular state.

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