Difference Between Statutory Body and Constitutional Body

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 11, 2022, 12:38

In order to maintain law and order in the country and promote civil behaviour amongst the citizens of India, various types of Bodies and tribunals exist that help enacts, administer and enforce laws. In everyday use, however, there are three major kinds of bodies that one comes across:

  • Constitutional bodies
  • Statutory bodies
  • Regulatory bodies

Each of these bodies has their own scope of operation, their own limits and extent of autonomy and jurisdiction. They all perform their functions in different ways, have different methods of appointment and hearing cases. Let’s understand this in a little more detail.

In this article, let's understand the difference between constitutional bodies and statutory bodies.

Definition of Constitutional Body

Constitutional bodies are the entities that derive mentions from the Constitution of India. These bodies are immensely important; in order to change the mechanism of operation of these bodies, there would first need to be an amendment in the Constitution itself. Additionally, these bodies are defined by their own dedicated articles in the Indian Constitution.

Definition of Statutory Body

Statutory bodies are the entities that come into being through enacting an Act of Parliament. The name Statutory comes from the word Statute which is essentially laws passed by the legislature or the Parliament. These bodies do not have any mention in the Constitution of India, hence are termed as non-constitutional bodies.

Difference Between a Constitutional Body and a Statutory Body

The table below highlights the major points of difference between a constitutional body and a statutory body.

Constitutional body

Statutory body

These bodies are instated by the Constitution of India through dedicated articles that detail their functions and operative ambits

Statutory bodies are not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution of India.

The functions or operative mechanism of a constitutional body cannot be changed unless the Constitution of India is amended

Statutory bodies come into existence through Acts of the Parliament; therefore, through passing acts, the functions of a statutory body can be defined or modified

The members of a constitutional body are appointed by special committees or by the higher governmental offices (like the President of India or others)

Statutory bodies have members that can be appointed by either the President or by entities of authority under which the statutory bodies are setup

Some examples of Constitutional bodies in India are the Attorney General of India, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, the National Commission for Backward Classes, etc.

Some popular examples of statutory bodies in India are National Commission for Women, Central Vigilance Commission, National Green Tribunal, etc.

These are the major differences between constitutional bodies and statutory bodies in India.

The purpose behind setting up different bodies to administer law and order in the country is to offload some case burden from the main judicial arm of the centre or the state. They can be viewed as quicker, less busy channels for hearing cases.

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FAQs on Difference Between Statutory Body and Constitutional Body

Q.1) How is a constitutional body made?

It is made by passing a constitutional bill of the amendment since these bodies are empowered by the Constitution of India and cannot be established or changed any other way.

Q.2) Are statutory bodies non-constitutional bodies?

Yes, since the Indian Constitution does not mention any statutory body. However, statutory bodies are not the only non-constitutional bodies.

Q.3) Is Niti Ayog a statutory body?

Niti Ayog is neither statutory nor a constitutional body. It was established through an executive resolution of the Union Cabinet.

Q.4) What kind of body is the Niti Ayog?

Niti Ayog is an executive body.