Important Constitutional Amendments in India
December 12,2014 01:55PM view : 556
The Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1971
It abolishes Articles 291 and 362 of the Constitution and also inserts a new
Article 362A after Article 363. the cumulative effect of these changes is the
end of the recognition granted to the former rulers of Indian States and the
abolition of Privy Purses.
The Constitution (Twenty-seventh Amendment) Act, 1971
The Act was enacted to implement the decision to establish the Union Territory
of Mizoram. It empowered Parliament to create a legislature and Council of
Minister for the new territory.
The Constitution (Twenty-eight Amendment) Act, 1972
The amendment deletes Article 314 of the Constitution, whish had given
protection to the I.C.S. Officers, condition of service and privileges and
inserted a new Article 312A.
The Constitution (Twenty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1972
By the twenty-ninth Amendment Act, 1972 two Kerala Acts dealing with land
reforms were included in the 9th Schedule to the Constitution.
The Constitution (Thirtieth Amendment) Act, 1972
By this amendment Article 133 was recast so as to redefine the Civil Appellate
Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The result of this Amendment is that while
any case involving an important question of law can reach the Supreme Court by
way of appeal, a case however large the amount involved therein but involving no
substantial point of law, would fail to reach the Supreme Court.
The Constitution (Thirty-first Amendment) Act, 1973
By this amendment, the strength of the Lok Sabha was increased from 525 to 545
members. This was done to accommodate the increase in population as revealed by
the 1971 Census. Accordingly, Article 81(i)(a) was suitably amended.
The Constitution (Thirty-second Amendment) Act, 1973
The amendment Act was enacted to make few special provisions for the State of
Andhra Pradash to satisfy the aspirations of the people of the Telangana region.
The Constitution (Thirty-third Amendment) Act, 1974
It amended Articles 101 and 190. Before this Amendment, the resignation of a
member of legislature became effective the moment it was tendered. This position
is now changed. A resignation becomes effective only after it has been accepted
by the Presiding Officer of the House concerned who may refuse to accept the
same if he is satisfied that the resignation is not voluntary or genuine. This
precautionary provision appeared to be necessary to avoid the members of
Parliament or state legislatures being forced to resign.
The Constitution (Thirty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1974
By this amendment twenty State Acts concerning land ceiling and land tenure
reforms were added to the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution.
The Constitution (Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Amendment) Acts, 1974-1975
The 35th Amendment Act introduced and innovation in the Indian Constitution by
conferring on Sikkim the status of an associate in the Indian Union. This was
however, a short-lined experiment. The people of Sikkim desired to be and
integral part of India. Accordingly, the Constitution Thirty-sixth Amendment Act
was enacted in 1975 to confer full-fledged statehood on Sikkim.
The Constitution (Thirty-seventh Amendment) Act, 1975
The Amendment upgraded the status of Arunachal Pradesh as a Union Territory.
Articles 239A and 240 were amended so as to authorize Parliament to create for
Arunachal Pradesh a Legislature and Council of Ministers.
The Constitution (Thirty-eight Amendment) Act, 1975
This Amendment Act was enacted during the emergency to make certain modification
in the emergency provisions. The Presidential ‘satisfaction’ to issue a
proclamation was declared to be final and conclusive. A classificatory clause
was added to Article 356(1) so as to make Presidential ‘satisfaction’ to issue a
proclamation there under as ‘final and conclusive’ which shall not be questioned
in any court on any ground.
This Amendment also declared that the ‘satisfaction’ of the president and a
State Governor to issue ordinances would be ‘final and conclusive’ and shall not
be questioned in any court on any ground’.
The Constitution (Thirty-ninth) Amendment) Act, 1975
The voiding of the election the Lok Sabha of PM Indira Gandhi by the Allahabad
High Court in 1975 on the pertion of Raj Narain led to the enactment of the 39th
Amendment Act, 1975. it introduced changes in the method deciding election
disputes relating to the four high official of the state, viz. President,
Vice-President, Prime Minister and the Speaker. Under the new Article 71(2),
Parliament by the law was to establish some ‘authority’ or ‘body’ for deciding
such disputes, and its decisions have not be challengeable in any court.
The Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Act, 1976
The Amendment Act extended immunity to 64 Central and State statues by including
them in the IX Schedule. These statues pertained to lad reform, Urban Ceiling
and prevention of publication of objectionable matter.
The Constitution (Forty-first Amendment) Act, 1976
The Constitution Forty-first Amendment Act, 1976 raised the age of retirement of
the chairman and members of state public service Commissions from 60 to 62.
The Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976
The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act brought a number of changes in the
Constitution. The Act inter-alia gave preponderance to the Directive Principles
of State Policy over the Fundamental Rights. Established the supremacy of
Parliament and curtailed the powers of Judiciary. The Act was first of its kind.
Is was the most comprehensive Act and touched almost all the sensitive areas of
the Constitution. The Amendment was meant to enhance enormously the strength of
The major Amendments made in the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment Act are:
The characterization of India as ‘Sovereign Democratic Republic’ has been
changed to ‘Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic’. The words ‘Unity
of the nation’ have been changed to ‘Unity and integrity of the nation’.
Parliament and state legislatures : The life of the Lok Sabha and State
Legislative Assemblies was extended from 5 to 6 years.
Executive : It amended Article 74 to state explicitly that the President
shall act in accordance with the advice of the Council of Ministers in discharge
of his functions.
Judiciary : The 42nd Amendment Act inserted Article 32A in order to deny
the Supreme Court the power to consider the Constitutional validity of a State
law. Another new provision. Article 131A, gave the Supreme Court and exclusive
jurisdiction to determine question relating to the Constitutional validity of a
Article 144A and Article 128A, the creatures of Constitutional Amendment Act
made further innovation the area of judicial review of the Constitutionality of
legislation. Under Article 144A the minimum number of judges of the Supreme
Court to decide a question of a Constitutional validity of a central or State
law was fixed as at least seven and further, this required two-two-thirds
majority of the judges sitting declare law as unconstitutional. While the power
of the High Court enforce fundamental rights remained untouched, several
restrictions were imposed on its power to issue writs ‘for any other purpose’.