November 21, 2012

The Amendments of the Constitution

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1.     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 of India draws extensively from Western legal traditions in its outline of the principles of liberal democracy. It follows a British parliamentary pattern with a lower and upper house. It embodies some Fundamental Rights which are similar to the Bill of Rights declared by the United States constitution. It also borrows the concept of a Supreme Court from the US.
2.     The Constitution (Second Amendment) Act, 1952---By this amendment, the scale or representation for election to the Lok Sabha was readjusted.
3.     The Constitution (Third Amendment) Act, 1954---This amendment substituted entry 33 of List III (Concurrent List) of the Seventh Schedule to make it correspond to Article 369.
4.     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.
5.     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.
6.     The Constitution (Sixth Amendment) Act, 1956---This amendment made some changes in Articles 269 and 286 relating totaxes 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.
7.     The Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956---This amendment Act 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.
8.     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.
9.     The Constitution (Ninth Amendment) Act, 1960---The purpose of this amendment is to give effect to the transfer of certain territories to Pakistan in pursuance of the agreement extended into between Governments of India and Pakistan. This amendment was necessitated in view of the Judgement of Supreme Court in In Re Berubari Union by which it was held that any agreement to cede a territory to another country could not be implemented by a law made under Article 3 but would only be implemented by an amendment of the Constitution.
10.  The Constitution (Tenth Amendment) Act, 1961---This Act amended Article 240 and the First Schedule in order to include areas of Dadra and Nagar Haveli as a Union Territory and to provide for its administration under the regulation making powers of President. 
11.  The Constitution (Eleventh Amendment) Act, 1961---The purpose of this amendment was to amend Articles 66 and 71 of the Constitution to provide that the election of President or Vice President could not be challenged on the ground of any vacancy in the appropriate electoral college. 
12.  The Constitution (Twelfth Amendment) Act, 1962---This amendment sought to include Goa, Daman and Diu as a Union Territory and to amend Article 240 for the purpose. 
13.  The Constitution (Thirteenth Amendment) Act, 1962---By this amendment, a new Article 371A was added to make special provisions with respect to state of Nagaland in pursuance of an agreement between Government of India and Naga People's Convention. 
14.  The Constitution (Fourteenth Amendment) Act, 1962---By this Act, Pondicherry was included in the First Schedule as a Union Territory, and this Act has also enabled the creation of Legislature by Parliamentary law for Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Goa, Daman and Diu and Pondicherry. 
15.  The Constitution (Fifteenth Amendment) Act, 1963---This amendment provided for increase in the age of retirement of High Court Judge and for the provision of compensatory allowance to judges who are transferred from one High Court to another. The Act also provided for appointment of retired judges to act as judges of High Court. Article 226 was also enlarged to empower High Court to issue direction, orders or writs to any Government authority, etc., if the cause of action for the exercise of such power arose in the territories wherein the High Court exercise jurisdiction notwithstanding that seat of such Government authority is not within those territories. The Act also provided for the exercise of powers of Chairman of the Service Commissions, in their absence, by one of their Members.
16.  The Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963---Article 19 was amended by this Act to impose further restriction on the rights to freedom of speech and expression, to assemble peaceably and without arms and to form associations in the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India. The oath of affirmation to be subscribed by candidates seeking election to Parliament and State Legislatures have been amended to include as one of the conditions that they will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India. The amendments are intended to promote national integration. 
17.  The Constitution (Seventeenth Amendment) Act, 1964---Article 31A was further amended to prohibit the acquisition of land under personal cultivation unless the market value of the land is paid as compensation and the definition of "estate" as contained in that Article had also been enlarged with retrospective effect. The Ninth Schedule had also been amended to include 44 more Acts. 
18.  The Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 1966---Article 3 was amended by this Act to specify that the expression "State" will include a union territory also and to make it clear that the power to form a new state under this Article includes a power to form a new state or union territory by uniting a part of a state or a union territory to another state or union territory.
19.  The Constitution (Nineteenth Amendment) Act, 1966---Article 324 was amended to effect a consequential change as a result of the decision to abolish Election Tribunals and to hear election petitions by High Courts. 
20.  The Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Act, 1966---This amendment was necessitated by the decision of the Supreme Courts in Chandramohan vs. State of Uttar Pradesh in which certain appointments of District Judges in State of Uttar Pradesh were declared void by Supreme Court. A new Article 233A was added and the appointments made by Governor were validated. 
21.  The Constitution (Tiventy-first Amendment) Act, 1967---By this amendment, Sindhi Language was included in the Eighth Schedule.
22.  The Constitution (Tiuenty-second Amendment) Act, 1969---This act was enacted to facilitate the formation of a new autonomous state of Meghalaya within state of Assam. 
23.  The Constitution (Twenty-third Amendment) Act, 1969---Article 334 was amended so as to extend the safeguards in respect of reservation of seats in Parliament and State Legislatures for Schedules Castes and Scheduled Tribes as well as for Anglo-Indians for a further period of ten years.
24.  The Constitution (Twenty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1971---This amendment was passed in the context of a situation that emerged with the verdict in Golaknath's case by Supreme Court. Accordingly, this Act amended Article 13 and Article 368 to remove all doubts regarding the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution including the Fundamental Rights.
25.  The Constitution (Twenty-fifth Amendment) Act, 1971---This amendment further amended Article 31 in the wake of the Bank Nationalisation case. The word `amount' was substituted in place of `compensation' in the light of the judicial interpretation of the word `compensation' meaning `adequate compensation'.
26.  The Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1971---By this amendment, the privy and privileges of the former rulers of Indian states were abolished. This amendment was passed as a result of Supreme Court decision in Madhav Rao's case.
27.  The Constitution (Twenty-seventh Amendment) Act, 1971---This amendment was passed to provide for certain matters necessitated by the reorganisation of north-eastern states. A new Article 239B was inserted which enabled the promulgation of Ordinances by Administrators of certain union territories.
28.  The Constitution (Twenty-eighth Amendment) Act, 1972---The amendment was enacted to abolish the special privileges of the members of Indian Civil Services in matters of leave, pension and rights as regard to disciplinary matters.
29.  The Constitution (Twenty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1972---The Ninth Schedule to the Constitution was amended to include therein two Kerala Acts on land reforms.
30.  The Constitution (Thirtieth Amendment) Act, 1972---The purpose of the amendment was to amend Article 133 in order to do away with the valuation test of Rs 20,000 as fixed therein, and to provide instead for an appeal to Supreme Court in Civil proceedings only on a certificate issued by High Court that the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance and that in opinion of High Court, the question needs to be decided by Supreme Court. 
31.  The Constitution (Thirty-first Amendment) Act, 1973---This Act inter alia raises the upper limit for the representation of states in the Lok Sabha from 500 to 525 and reducing the upper limit for the representation of union territories from 25 members to 20.

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