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List of 32 Important Amendments that have been Made to the Indian Constitution

January 24, 2019 0 Comment

Nothing shall prevent the State from imposing reasonable restrictions on speech in the interest of the security of the State, friendly relations with the foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to the contempt of court or defamation or incitement to violence.

It also empowered the State to make any special provision for the socially and educationally backward classes of citizens, i.e. the Scheduled Castes, and the Scheduled Tribes. The right to property was so restricted as not to invalidate any law providing for the acquisition by the State of any landed estate on the ground that such law is inconsistent with any of the fundamental rights.

The validity of such acquisition laws as had already been passed was secured by listing them in a new Schedule (9th Schedule) added to the Constitution.

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4th Amendment (1955):

It amended Article 31. It provided that no property shall be compulsorily acquired or requisitioned except for a public purpose and except by the authority of a law which provides for compensation. No such law shall be called in question in any court on the ground that the compensation provided by that law is not adequate.

7th Amendment (1956):

This amendment pertains to the establishment of new States and alterations in State boundaries. It abolished the distinction between Part A, Part B and Part C States, and classified certain areas as Union Territories. Some other provisions of this amendment related to the allocation of seats to the States in the Rajya Sabha, creation of second chambers in certain States, etc.

8th Amendment (1959):

The reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the nomination of Anglo-Indians to the legislatures of the States and Parliament were extended for a further period of 10 years, i.e. up to 26th January, 1970.

11th Amendment (1961):

It enabled the necessity of a joint meeting of the two Houses of Parliament for the election of Vice-President of India.

18th Amendment (1966):

It enabled the bifurcation of Punjab, i.e. the creation of Punjab and Haryana. Besides, some areas from the erstwhile Punjab were merged into Himachal Pradesh.

21st Amendment (1967):

Sindhi was included in the VIII Schedule as the 15th Indian language.

24th Amendment (1971):

It affirmed Parliament’s power to amend any part of the Constitution including Fundamental Rights. This neutralised the decision on the famous Golaknath case.

26th Amendment (1971):

This Amendment deprived the Indian princes of their privy purses and privileges which were guaranteed to them under the Constitution.

36th Amendment (1975):

By this Amendment Sikkim became the 22nd State of the Indian Union.

38th Amendment (1975):

This Amendment put the Proclamation of Emergency and the Ordinances issued by the President and the Governors beyond the jurisdiction of the Courts.

39th Amendment (1975):

The Act placed beyond challenge in Courts, the election to Parliament of a person holding the office of Prime Minister or Speaker and the election of the President and Vice-President. It also sought to render pending proceedings in respect of such election under the existing law null and void.

42nd Amendment (1976):

This Amendment brought about drastic changes in the Indian Constitution. The Amendment Bill was passed at a time when most of the Opposition leaders were behind bars.

Because of its wide, sweep and drastic nature, the 42nd Amendment Act came to be called a “mini- constitution.” Its main provisions:

1. The 42nd Amendment Act narrowed down the scope of judicial review of laws. Under the original Constitution, no distinction was made between Central laws and State laws as regards judicial review, Parliament and State legislatures were equally subject to the limitations imposed by the Constitution on their law-making power.

The Supreme Court was competent to invalidate a law of Parliament or of the State legislature if it was not in tune with any provision of the Constitution. Similarly, a High Court had the power to invalidate any law irrespective of the source of such law.

The 42nd Amendment, for the first time, made a distinction between Central laws and State laws as regards the competence of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts to invalidate them on the ground of unconstitutionality.

It provided that (a) the Supreme Court could not declare any State law unconstitutional unless in such proceedings the constitutionality of the Central law was also involved; and (b) the High Court could not strike down a Central law-as unconstitutional.

2. A law made to implement any of the Directive Principles of State Policy could not be struck down by the Supreme Court or the High court on the ground that it violated any of the Fundamental Rights.

3. A Central or State law could not be declared invalid unless not less than two-thirds of the judges hearing the case held the same to be constitutionally invalid.

4. It provided that no amendment of the Constitution could be challenged in any Court.

5. Directive Principles of State Policy were given precedence over the Fundamental Rights.

6. It empowered the Centre to send its armed forces to meet any “grave situation of law and order” in any State, irrespective of the wishes of the State Government.

7. It empowered Parliament, to the exclusion of State legislatures, to make laws to prevent or prohibit the formation of anti-national associations and indulgence in anti-national activities.

8. It made it explicit that the President would be bound by the advice of the Council of Ministers.

9. The term of the Lok Sabha and of the State Legislatures was extended from five years to six years.

10. The incorporation of a set of Fundamental Duties for citizens formed an important part of the Amendment Act.

43rd Amendment (1977):

(I) It restored to the High Courts and the Supreme Court their jurisdiction to consider the constitutional validity of Central or State laws. (2) The special power conferred on Parliament to make laws in respect of anti-national activities was repealed. (3) The 2/3 majority requirement (Art. 144-A and Art. 228-A) for invalidating any Central or State law was repealed.

44th Amendment (1978):

(1) A Proclamation of Emergency can be issued only when the security of India or any part of its territory is threatened by war or armed rebellion. (2) Fundamental rights to life and liberty cannot be suspended, even during the Emergency. (3) The right to property, a Fundamental Right, was taken away and now it is only a legal right. (4) The President’s position, declared by the 42nd Amendment that he was bound by the advice of the Council of Ministers (Article 74), was not changed, but the President was given the option of asking his Ministers to reconsider their advice.

45th Amendment (1980):

It extended reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and representation of Anglo-Indians in the Lok Sabha for a further period of 10 years that is up to 1990.

52nd Amendment (1985):

It put a ban on defections and gave for the first time legal recognition to political parties.

54th Amendment (1986):

It increased the salaries of Supreme Court and High Court Judges. The salary of the Chief Justice of India was increased from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 10,000. The salaries of High Court Chief Justice and Supreme Court judges were increased from Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 9,000. The salaries of High Court judges have been raised from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 8,000.

The salaries were further increased by 3.1 times by an ordinance by the United Front Govt, in mid 1997. The new pay scales are – President of India – Rs. 66,000, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court – Rs. 33,000; Judge of the Supreme Court Rs. 30.000; Judge of High Court – Rs. 26,000.

61st Amendment (1989):

It reduced voting age from 21 years to 18 years for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

62nd Amendment (1989):

It provided for reservation for another ten years to the members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in Parliament and state assemblies and 4th reservation for Anglo-Indian community by nomination.

65th Amendment (1990):

To set up National Commission for Scheduled Castes & Tribes.

69th Amendment (1991):

Delhi declared National Capital Territory.

73rd and 74th Amendments (1993):

Ensuring direct elections to all seats in Panchayats & Urban local bodies, reservation of seats for SCs & STs in proportion to their population and reservation of not less than one third of the seats for women (Became 73rd Amendment Act).

76th Amendment (1994):

Reservation of seats in educational institutes and also in appointments in public services for SC/STs & Backward classes.

79th Amendment (1999):

President gave assent on 24 Jan. 2000 to the Constitution (79th Amend­ment) Act. 1999 extending reservations for SC/ST in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for a further period of 10 years beyond 15th Jan. 2000.

80th Amendment (2000):

Relates to devolution of revenue between the Union and the States, 26% out of gross products of Union taxes and duties to be assigned to the states

80th Amendment (2001):

Limit of 50% job reservation of SC/ST/OBC in the union government removed.

81st Amendment Bill of 1997:

Called Women’s Reservation Bill – to provide l/3rd reservation of seats for women in Lok Sabha & State Assemblies – Bill was introduced, but could not be considered by the Parliament as the 11th Lok Sabha was dissolved. There was stiff opposition to the bill from some political circles. 12th Lok Sabha also failed to adopt it. It still remains elusive.

91st Amendment (2001):

The strength of the members of the Parliament and the Legislative Assem­blies fixed for next 25 years i.e., up to 2026 at the existing level.

93rd Amendment (2001):

Right to literacy a fundamental right.

95th Amendment 2003:

Inclusion of “taxes on services” in the Union List/04. The Bill paved the way for inclusion of services within the purview of VAT.

96th Amendment Act:

Makes the 2001 census the basis for delimiting Lok Sabha and Assembly seats.

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