Important Constitutional Amendments in India
December 12,2014 01:55PM view : 949
It will be appropriate here to describe the major Constitutional Amendment in
The Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951
In June 1951, the Constitution (First Amendment) Act was passed, and the
following Amendment in the Constitution were inserted : (i) To Article 15, a new
clause (4) was added: (ii) clauses (2) and (6) of Article 19 were recast; (iii)
After Article 31, Article 31A and 31B were inserted; (iv) For Original Article
85, a new Article was substituted; (v) In Article 87, clauses (1) and (2) were
recast; (vi) For the Original Article 174, a new Article was substituted; (vii)
In Article 176, clauses (1) and (2) were recast: (viii) Clause (1) of Article
341 was recast; and similarly, clause (1) of Article 342, sub-clause (a) of
Article 342, sub clause (a) of clause (3) of Article 372, and clause (1) of
Article 376 were also recast; (ix) After the Eight Schedule to the Constitution
a Ninth Schedule was added and thirteen laws passed by State Legislatures were
included in it so that those Acts might not be challenged in courts.
The main purpose of the Amendment was the removal of certain practical
difficulties created by court decisions in several cases such as Kameshwar Singh
vs. State of Bihar, Romesh Thapar vs. State of Madras, Brij Bhusan vs. State of
Delhi and Motilal vs. Government of Uttar Pradesh. The issues involved in these
cases were numerous, such as the scope of the fundamental right of freedom of
speech, acquisition of Zamindari (land) of intermediaries, conflict between a
citizen’s fundamental right to practise any profession, or to carry on any
business or trade (Article 19) and state monopoly of any trade, and so on.
The Constitution (Second Amendment) Act, 1952
The Second Amendment amended Article 81 in order to remove the prescribed limit
of 7,50,000 of the population for one member to be elected to the Lok Sabha.
According to the original provision, at least on member was to be elected to the
Lok Sabha for every 7,50,000 of the population. It was further provided that the
maximum number of elected member to the Lok Sabha should not exceed 500.
The Constitution (Third Amendment) Act, 1954
The Third Amendment brought about changes in the Seventh Schedule consisting of
the three legislative lists and entry 33 of the Concurrent List was substituted
by a new one.
The Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955
Article 31 and 31A were amended by the Constitution Fourth Amendment Act. Clause
(2) of Article 31 clause (1) of Article 31A were substituted by new clauses as.
As a result of these, the adequacy of the quantum of compensation paid for the
compulsory acquisition of property for ‘a public purpose’ could not be
questioned in a court of law. It also amended Article 305 and the Ninth
The Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Act, 1955
The Constitutional Fifth Amendment Act amended Article 3. in the Constitution
there was no time limit during which a State Legislature should express its
boundaries, which the Centre may like to make. With the help of this amendment
is was provided that the State will be required to express its views on such
matters within such period as may be specified in the reference or within such
further period, as the President may allow.
The Constitution (Sixth Amendment) Act, 1956
In this Act, the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution was amended and in the
Union List, a new entry was added after entry 92 in the State List, a new entry
was substituted for entry 54. it also amended Articles 269 and 286 dealing with
The Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956
The Seventh Amendment brought about the most comprehensive changes so fair in
the Constitution. This amendment was designed to implement the State
Reorganisation Act. The Second and Seventh schedules were substantially amended
for the purpose of the States Reorganization Act.
The Constitution (Eight Amendment) Act, 1959
The Act extended the period of reservation seats in Lok Sabha and State
Legislatures for the Anglo-Indians, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by
another 10 years.
The Constitution (Ninth Amendment) Act, 1960
It provided for the transfer of certain territories of India to Pakistan under
and agreement between India and Pakistan as a part of a comprehensive settlement
of border disputes between the two countries.
The Constitution (Tenth Amendment) Act, 1961
The Tenth Amendment integrates the areas of Free Dadra and Nagar Haveli with the
Union of India and provides for their administration under the regulation making
powers of the President.
The Constitution (Eleventh Amendment) Act, 1961
It amends Article 71 so as to make it clear that the election of the President
or the Vice-President shall not be challenges on the ground of any vacancy for
whatever reason in the appropriate electoral college. It also obviates the
necessity of a joint meeting of the two Houses of Parliament (Article 66) by
constituting them into an electoral college for the election of the
The Constitution (Twelfth Amendment) Act, 1962
The main object of the Amendment was to add Union Territories of Goa, Daman and
Diu to the Union of India and for this First Schedule of the Constitution was
The Constitution (Thirteenth Amendment) Act, 1962
The Act provides the creation of Nagaland as the Sixteenth State of the Union.
The Amendment provides also for the vesting of certain special responsibilities
in the Governor of Nagaland.
The Constitution (Fourteenth Amendment) Act, 1962
The amendment provides for the incorporation of the former French Establishments
in India, under the name Pondicherry, as an integral part of the territory of
the Indian Union. it also amended Article 31 to increase, from a maximum 20 to
25, the number of seats assigned in the Lok Sabha for the Union Territories.
The Constitution (Fifteenth Amendment) Act, 1963
The amendment raised the retirement age of High Court. Judge from 60 to 62
years. It also empowered the various High Courts to hear cases against to the
The Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963
The Act seeks to enable Parliament to make laws provident penalty for any person
questioning the sovereignty and integrity of India. Under the provisions of the
this Amendment, a person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in
Parliament or in the Legislature of State unless, inter-alia, he maker or
subscribes before a person authorised by the Election Commission an oath or
affirmation that he will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution and
will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.
The Constitution (Seventeenth Amendment) Act, 1964
The Act amend the definition of the term ‘estate’ in Article 31A to include
lands held under ryotwari settlement and also other lands in respect of which
provisions are normally made in land reform enact-ments. It also amends the
Ninth Schedule of the Constitution to include therein 44 State enactment
relation to land reforms in order to remove any uncertainty or dobut that may
arise with regard to their validity.
The Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 1966
The amendment provides for the creation of new States, namely, Punjab and
Haryana as a result of the reorganisation of the former State of Punjab and the
Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh.
The Constitution (Nineteenth Amendment) Act, 1966
The Act modified Article 324 so as to terminate the jurisdiction of election
tribunals to decide election disputes. The Amendment withdrew from the Election
Commission the power of setting up election tribunals.
The Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Act, 1966
The Act inserts a new Article 233A immediately after Article 233 in order to
validate the appointment of District Judges, which might not have conformed
fully to the different Constitutional requirements, which were in existent prior
The Constitution (Twenty-first Amendment) Act, 1967
It amended the Eight Schedule to the Constitution by including ‘Sindhi’ therein.
The Constitution (Twenty-second Amendment) Act, 1969
The amendment conferred legislative power on Parliament for the purpose of
creating and autonomous Hill State within the State of Assam. Accordingly,
Parliament passed the Assam Reorganization (Meghalaya) Act 1969 to set up the
State of Meghalaya within the State of Assam.
The Constitution (Twenty-third Amendment) Act, 1969
It deals with the questions of reservation of seat in Parliament and State
Assemblies for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Anglo-Indian and further
extend the period of reservation by another ten years, which means in effect
thirty years from the commencement of the Constitution.
The Constitution (Twenty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1971
It amends Article 13 and 368 with a view to removing all possible doubts
regarding the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure
thereof. It gets over the Golak Nath ruling and asserts the power of Parliament,
denied to in the Golak Nath, to amend fundamental rights.
The Constitution (Twenty-fifth) Amendment Act, 1971
The 25th amendment of the Constitution in 1971 added a new clause, Article 31C
to the Constitution. Upto 1971, the position was that fundamental rights
prevailed over the directive principles of State Policy and that a law enacted
to implement a directive principle could not be valid if it conflicted with a
fundamental right. Article 31C sought to change this relationship to some extent
by conferring primacy on Articles 39(b) and 39(c) over Articles 14, 19 and 31.