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Amendment of the Indian Constitution

  • Neither easy as Britain nor as difficult as the USA, In other word, the Indian Constitution is neither flexible nor rigid but a synthesis of both.
  • Article 368 in Part XX of the Constitution deals with the Power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and its procedure.
  • Parliament amends by way of addition, variation, repeal and provision of the Constitution.
  • However, Parliament can't amend those provision which from the 'basic structure' of the Constitution. This was ruled by the Supreme court in the 'Kesavananda Bharati Case' in 1973 vs State of Kerala.
PROCEDURE FOR AMENDMENT

  1. Can initiate only by the introduction of a bill for the purpose in either House of Parliament and not in the State legislature.
  2. Bill can introduce either by Minister or by Private members and does not require prior permission of the President.
  3. The Bill must be passed in each House by a special majority ( that is more than 50 percent)  of the total membership of the House and a majority of two-thirds of the members of House present and votings.
  4. Each House must be passed the bill separately. If there is in case disagreement between the two houses, there is no provision for holding a joint sitting of the two houses for the purpose of deliberation of the passage of the Bill.
  5. If the Bill seeks to amend the federal provision of the Constitution, it must also be ratified by the Legislature of half of the States by a simple majority, that is. a majority of the members of the House present and voting.
  6. After dully passed by both House of the Parliament and ratified by the State legislature where necessity, the bill presented to the President for assent.
  7. The President must assent the bill, He can't hold or reconsider, return the bill to the Parliament.
  8. After the assent, the bill becomes an Act ( that is a constitutional amendment act. )
TYPES OF AMENDMENT

The Constitution can be amended in three ways-

  • Amendment by Simple majority of the Parliament
  • Amendment by special majority of the Parliament
  • Amendment by special majority of the Parliament and ratification of half of the State legislature.
SIMPLE MAJORITY OF THE AMENDMENT

  1. Admission or established of new States
  2. Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States
  3. Abolition or creation of legislative council in States
  4. Second Schedule- emoluments, allowances, privileges and so on of the President, the Governor, the Speaker, Judges etc.
  5. Quorum in Parliament
  6. Salaries and allowances of members of Parliament
  7. Rules of Procedure in Parliament
  8. Privileges of the Parliament, its member and committee
  9. Use of English language in Parliament
  10. Number of puisne judges in the supreme court
  11. Conferment of more jurisdiction of the supreme court
  12. Use of official language
  13. Citizenship- acquisition and termination
  14. Election of Parliament and State legislature
  15. Delamination of Constitution
  16. Union Territories
  17. Fifth Schedule- administration of schedule areas and schedule tribes
  18. Sixth Schedule- administration of tribal areas
BY SPECIAL MAJORITY OF PARLIAMENT

A majority ( that is, more than 50 percent) of the total membership of each House and a majority of two-thirds members of each House present and voting. The expression 'total membership' means the total number of members comprising the House irrespective of the fact whether there are vacancies or absentees.

  1. Fundamental Rights
  2. Directive Principle of State Policy ( DPSP )
  3. All other provision which is not covered by the first and third categories\
BY SPECIAL MAJORITY OF PARLIAMENT AND CONSENT OF STATES

To change the federal structure of the Constitution can be amended by special majority of the Parliament and also with the consent of half of the State legislature by a simple majority. If one or more States were taken no action on the bill. it does not matter, the moment half of the States given their consent, the formality is completed.

  1. Election of President and its manner
  2. The extent of the Executive power of the Union and States
  3. Supreme court and high court
  4. Distribution of legislative power between the Union and States
  5. Any list in the Seventh schedule
  6. Representation of States in Parliament
  7. Power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and its procedure ( Art. 268 itself )

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