The Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955 – Article 31 (2) of the Constitution was amended to re-state more precisely the State’s power of compulsory acquisition and requisitioning of private property and distinguish it from cases where the operation of regulatory or prohibitory laws of the States results in “deprivation of property”. Article 31A of the Constitution was also amended to extend its scope to cover categories of essential welfare legislation like abolition of zamindaris, proper planning of urban and rural areas and for effecting a full control over the mineral and oil resources of the country, etc. Six Acts were also included in the Ninth Schedule. Article 305 was also amended to save certain laws providing of State Monopolies.
Most important Amendments of the Indian Constitution
The Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1950 – This amendment provided for several new grounds of restrictions to the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to practise any profession or to carry on any trade or business as contained in Article 19 of the Constitution. These restrictions related to public order, friendly relations with foreign States or incitement to an offence in relation to the right to freedom of speech, and to the prescribing of professional or technical qualifications or the carrying on by the State, etc., of any trade, business, industry or service in relation to the right to carry on any trade or business. The amendment also inserted two new Articles, 31A and 31B and the Ninth Schedule to give protection from challenge to land reform laws.
The Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Act, 1955 – This amendment made a change in Article 3 so as to empower President to specify a time limit for state legislatures to convey their views on the proposed Central laws affecting areas, boundaries, etc., of their states.
The Constitution (Sixth Amendment) Act, 1956 – This amendment made some changes in Articles 269 and 286 relating to taxes on sale and purchase of goods in the course of inter-state trade and commerce. A new entry 92 A was added to the Union List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.
The Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956 – This amendment purported to give effect to the recommendations of the State Reorganisation Commission and the necessary consequential changes. Broadly, the then existing states and territories were changed to have two-fold classification of states and union territories. The amendment also provided for composition of the House of the People, re-adjustment after every census, provisions regarding the establishment of new High Courts, High Court Judges, etc.
The Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Act, 1960 – Article 334 was amended with a view to extending the period of reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and to the Anglo-Indian community by nomination in Parliament and in the State Legislatures for a further period of ten years.