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Indian Polity / Constitutional Offices and Authorities

Constitutional, Statutory and Extra Constitutional Bodies in India

    We generally have 3 types of offices or bodies in India namely, (i) Constitutional bodies or offices, (ii) Statutory or Legal bodies or offices and (iii) Extra Constitutional as well as extra Legal bodies.

    Constitutional Bodies in India

    • It is any office that is being created by the Constitution or it has its origin in Constitution itself like Election Commission of India, Public Service Commissions, Finance Commission, Inter State Council, Comptroller and Auditor General, Attorney General, Advocate General of a State, etc.

    • The following bodies are the Constitutional bodies which were accorded a Constitutional status eventually or subsequently by amending the Constitution of India.

      They are National Commission for SCs (Article 338), National Commission for STs (Article 338A), National Commission for Backward Classes (through 102nd Constitutional Ammendment by inserting Article 338B), etc.

    • If an office is a multi-membered one, it is called a body. If it is a single member one, it is called office or officer.

    • Some offices or bodies like Election Commission of India, Comptroller and Auditor General and Finance Commission are common to both Union and States.

      Some are exclusively for the Union like Attorney General, Union Public Service Commission, etc. and some are exclusively for the States like Advocate General, State Public Service Commission, etc.

    • Some offices or bodies are permanent and some are temporary in nature. Finance Commission in India is a temporary body, which implies that it will be constituted for every 5 years.

    Legal or Statutory Bodies in India

    If any office or body is being created by the law of the Parliament or by the state legislature, it will be called Statutory or Legal Body.

    Some examples are National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, UGC, SEBI, etc.

    Extra Constitutional and Extra Legal Bodies in India

    These bodies are neither created by the Constitution nor by any Law of the Parliament. They are created by Executive orders that is by the decision of the Cabinet. Some examples are NITI Aayog, National Development Council, Law Commission, etc.