Difference between Constitutional, Statutory, and Autonomous Bodies

From Prelims Sureshots » Government Bodies and Agencies

Constitutional Bodies

  • Constitutional bodies derive their authority from the constitution. In other words, Constitutional Bodies are formed by the Constitution which helps the Government to run properly.
  • Each of these permanent or semi-permanent organisations is responsible for the administration of specific functions.
  • It is mandatory for the government to set up such a body and it cannot dispense off with it easily when it becomes uncomfortable.
  • Such bodies or institutions are written into the Constitution of a nation and can’t be abolished without amending that part of the Constitution which sometimes also requires the consent of the states. And also can be invalidated by the Supreme Court.
  • All the constitutional bodies have dedicated article in the constitution.
  • The chief of the constitutional bodies are appointed by either the President or the Prime Minister.
  • Cannot be a statutory body.
  • Can be an autonomous body. Example- Election Commission is both Constitutional and autonomous body.
  • Important bodies such as the Finance Commission, the UPSC, the Election Commission, the CAG, National Commissions for SCs and STs, etc. are constitutional bodies.

Statutory Bodies

  • Statutory body or authority means a non-constitutional body which is set up by the legislature. Therefore, an Act of Parliament or an Act of State Legislatures create a statutory body.
  • statutory bodies can be dissolved only by another legislation.
  • Statutory bodies are authorized to pass the law and take the decision on the behalf of state or country.
  • It cannot be a constitutional body.
  • It can be an autonomous body. Example: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is both statutory and autonomous organisation.
  • Examples: National Commission for Minorities, National Human Rights Commission, Armed Forces Tribunal, National Commission for Women, National Green Tribunal, etc.

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Autonomous Bodies

  • An Autonomous Body (AB) is set up by the government for a specific purpose.
  • It is independent in day-to-day functioning, but the government has some control over ABs.
  • The government funds ABs in some way — revenue expenditure, capital expenditure, or both.
  • It can be a constitutional body. Example: Election Commission – Constitutional and Autonomous.
  • It can be a statutory body. Example: Reserve Bank of India – Statutory and Autonomous.
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