Important Amendments of Indian Constitution
24th amendment of Indian constitution
Article 368 in Part XX of the Constitution deals with the powers of the Parliament to amend the Constitution and its procedure. The Parliament may in the exercise of its constituent power amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any provision of the Constitution in accordance with the procedure laid down.
Prior to the Golak Nath Case, the Supreme Court maintained that Fundamental Rights were also amendable. The case ruled that the Fundamental Rights were transcendental in nature and the Parliament cannot abridge or take away any Fundamental Rights.
Reacting to this Judgement of the Supreme Court the Parliament through the 24th Amendment Act, 1971 brought certain changes to the amend ability of the Fundamental Rights. The 24th Amendment Act, 1971 amended Articles 13 and 368. It declared that the Parliament has the power to abridge or take away any of the Fundamental Rights under Article 368 and such an Act, will not be a law under the meaning of Article 13.
The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the 24th Amendment Act, and stated that the Parliament is empowered to abridge or take away any of the Fundamental Rights but at the same time laid down the new doctrine of the ‘basic structure of the Constitution’.
42nd Amendment act of the Constitution
- Two changes were made in the Preamble. Firstly, the Characterisation of India as “Sovereign democratic republic” has been changed to “Sovereign socialist, secular democratic republic” and Secondly, the words “unity of nation‘ were changed to “unity and integrity of the nation“.
- 42nd Amendment provided for the readjustment in constituencies for election to Lok Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies, after every census held after ten years at the point of 1971 census till the holding of the first census after the year 2000. The Number of seats for SC and ST tribes in Lok Sabha was also frozen. A person holding an ‘office of profit’ is disqualified from the membership of Parliament or a State Legislature and the court’s power to declare what was an office of profit was ceased. The boundation of President under Article 103 to follow the opinion of Election commission was also removed.
- The amendment restricted the power of High Court to only adjudicate upon the validity of State legislation and Supreme court on Central legislation. A new provision was added as Article 131A, providing only Supreme court exclusive jurisdiction to determine the question relating to central legislation. Article 226A and Article 228A restricted the high courts. It was also added through Article 144A and 228A that at least seven judge bench would sit to decide a question of the constitutional validity of Central Law and the legislation can be held unconstitutional only with a two-thirds majority.
- Article 352 was amended to authorize the President to declare Emergency not only throughout the country and but also in any part. For this, some necessary changes were made in Article 353, Article 358, and Article 359. Earlier the proclamation of Emergency under Article 356 needed parliamentary approval to operate at the end of every six years, but now this period was extended to one year.
- Through the change in Article 31-C, an attempt was made to give primacy to DPSP over Fundamental rights. Though no change was made directly in the articles related to fundamental rights. A certain changes were made to dilute its effect. The article 31-D was added to enable Parliament to make the law to prevent and prohibit Anti-national activities. Also, the laws made under article 31-D was forbidden to be held void for being violative of Article 14, 19 or 31.
93rd amendment of the Constitution of India
93rd amendment, 2006 added clause (5) in Article 15 which stated-nothing shall prevent the State from making any special provision, by law, for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in so far as such special provisions relate to their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions.
The One Hundred and First Amendment of the Constitution of India, officially known as The Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016, introduced a national Goods and Service Tax (GST) in India from 1st April 2017. The GST is a Value Added Tax (VAT) and is proposed to be a comprehensive indirect tax levied on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods as well as services at the national level which will replace all indirect taxes levied on goods and services by a single tax on the supply, right from the manufacturer to the consumer.
The following Articles have been inserted:
Article 246A: By this Article, the State Legislatures now have the power to make individual laws with respect to GST imposed by the Centre and to make necessary arrangements for implementation of the same in inter-state trade, while the Centre has exclusive power to make GST laws in case of inter-state trade. Both the Union and States in India now have concurrent powers to make law with respect to goods & services.
Article 269A: Goods and services tax on supplies in the course of inter-State trade or commerce shall be levied and collected by the Government of India and such tax shall be apportioned between the Union and the States in the manner as may be provided by Parliament by law on the recommendations of the Goods and Services Tax Council.
Article 279A: This Article provides for the constitution of a GST Council along with its powers and positions. The process of decision-making also has to be done through voting.
Compensation and Transition
Upon recommendation by GST Council, the Parliament will provide compensation to the States in case of any loss due to the implementation of GST to five years. However, no redressal against the advice or decisions of the GST council has been provided to the States. Special powers have been given to the president to make such necessary adaptations and modifications by order within a period of three years for removing any difficulty that may arise.
102nd Amendment of the Constitution of India
The 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act was passed by the Parliament and received President’s assent on 11th August 2018. The act provides for the grant of constitutional status to National Commission for Backward Classes on par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, which was first set up under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
The government had created a Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes via a resolution in 1987. It was given constitutional status by passing Constitution (65th amendment) Act, 1990, leading to creation of National Commission of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (NCSCST) in 1992. Via the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003; the NCSCST was split into two different commissions viz. NCSC and NCST by inserting Article 338-A.
NCSC was mandated to look into the grievances and complaints of backward classes also. However, in 1992, the Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney case had directed the government to create a permanent body to entertain, examine and recommend the inclusion and exclusion of various Backward Classes for the purpose of benefits and protection. Towards this, the parliament passed National Commission for Backward Classes Act in 1993 and constituted the National Commission for Backward Classes as a statutory body. Currently, this body is responsible to look into the inclusion and exclusion of backward classes only. To safeguard the interests of these classes more effectively, there was a need to give constitutional status to NCBC.
- 102nd Amendment Act inserted a new article 338B in the constitution which provides for NCBC, its composition, mandate, functions and various officers.
- It inserted a new article 342-A which empowers the President to notify the list of socially and educationally backward classes of that state / union territory.
- It inserted Clause (26C) under Article 366 with modified definition viz. “socially and educationally backward classes” means such backward classes as are so deemed under Article 342A for the purpose, this Constitution.
- Amendment Repealed the National Commission for Backward Classes Act 1992 enacted to give effect to the Supreme Court judgement in Indira Sahawey Case. The NCBC, a statutory body created in 1993, was given limited powers – only to recommend to the government inclusion or exclusion of a community in the central list of OBCs. Also, the power to hear complaints of the OBCs and protect their interests remained with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
103rd amendment of the constitution of india
A big 10% of all government jobs and college seats will now have a reservation for people outside high income brackets as 124th Constitutional Amendment bill passed by parliament and became 103rd amendment act of Indian constitution.
Salient features of the act
- It provides reservation of jobs in central government jobs as well as government educational institutions.It is also applicable on admissions to private higher educational institutions.
- Article 15 (6) is added to provide reservations to economically weaker sections for admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of Article 30. The amendment aims to provide reservation to those who do not fall in 15 (5) and 15(4) (effectively, SCs, STs and OBCs).
- Article 16 (6) is added to provide reservations to people from economically weaker sections in government posts.
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