Important amendments of Indian Constitution

Important amendments of Indian Constitution

Amendments means a kind of improvement which makes any legislation more better and applicable as per the ongoing circumstances. Our Constitution was made many years ago so there is a huge difference between the needs and circumstances of independent India and developing India. Human society and it needs changes with time and our constitution framers were quite aware of it so they made the provision of amendment of constitution in our constitution.

If we compare the amendment procedure of Indian constitution with the constitution like USA and other Federal countries we will find that the amendment procedure of these countries is very rigid and it is not at all flexible but when we look at our Indian constitution and the procedure of its amendment is not that rigid and neither that flexible that it can be changed as per whims and caprices of people.

There have been 104 amendments in Indian constitution till 2020. In this article we will discuss few important amendments in Indian Constitution.

First Constitutional Amendment 1951

In this amendment three major changes were made which are as follows

  • Three more Grounds of restriction in Article 19 (2)
    • Public order
    • Friendly relation with foreign states and
    • Incitement to an offence
    • These grounds were added after the decisions of Supreme court in Romesh Thapper v. State of Madras. It added the word reasonable before the word restriction to make these restrictions justiciable.
  • Ninth schedule was added which had regulations regarding Zamindari abolition laws.
  • A new clause 4 was added in article 15 of the constitution which was about empowering the state to make special provisions for advancement of socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and it was done after the decision of Supreme Court in Champakam dorairajan vs State of Madras.

Seventh amendment 1956

The major change done by this Amendment was abolishment of the existing classification of states into three categories, e.g. part A, Part B, Part C. It was done to implement the state reorganization plan. After this amendment the states under part A, and B were treated on equal footing and Part C state were made Union territories.

24th amendment, 1971

This amendment was passed to remove the restrictions made by Supreme Court in the case of Golaknath vs State of Punjab in which it held that an amendment under Article 368 was a law within the meaning of article 13 of the constitution and article 368 talks only about procedure of amendment.

By this amendment new words were added , “Parliament may amend by way of addition variation or appeal any provision of the constitution”. Which made sure that article 368 contained power as well as procedure of the amendment. The validity of the cement was upheld by Supreme Court in keshavananda Bharati case

42nd amendment act 1976

This is one of the most important amendments of our Indian constitution. Maximum number of amendments were done in this act and because of this it is also known as mini constitution. And it is also known as The Constitution act, 1976. The major changes done by this Amendment act are as follows;

  • Preamble- Three new words were inserted in preamble
    • Socialist
    • Secular and
    • Integrity.
  • Directive principles– This act added three new directives
    1. 39(a)- Equal justice and free legal aid
    2. 43(a)- Participation of workers in management of industries.
    3. 48(a)- protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forest and wildlife
  • Fundamental duties
    • It inserted part 4 (a) with one article 51(a) which provides for 10 fundamental duties for the citizens of India.
  • Parliament, Executive and State legislatures- It amended article 74 and made clear that President is bound by the advice of council of ministers. And few others changes were done in some articles.
  • Judiciary- It added 6 new articles. Article 32-A, 131-A, 139-A, 144-A, 226-A, 228-A and also amended Articles 145, 225, 227 and 228.
  • It added new clause 4 to article 368 which provided that “ no constitutional amendment made under Art 368 shall be called in question in any court on any ground”. This amendment was brought to remove Limitations imposed by Supreme court in the judgement of Keshwananda Bharti’s case. This was later struck down by Minerva mill’s case.
  • It increased the tenure of loksabha for one year and made it 6 years.
  • It provided special powers to parliament to enact laws to prohibit anti national activities by way of article 31-d

Forty fourth amendment, 1978

This amendment was brought mainly to remove the disruptions of forty second amendment act.

  • It restored the tenure of loksabha and state legislative assemblies to five years.
  • It restored the power of courts to decide whether an office was and “office of profit” under article 102(1)(a).
  • It restored the Article 71 which provided for decision By supreme courts in matters of dispute in president and vice president
  • elections, to its original for which was amended earlier by 42nd amendment act.
  • The word “internal disturbance” in article 352 was substituted by words “armed rebellion”. And also provided that article 20 and 21
  • can not be suspended during emergency.
  • Emergency will be declared only by special majority.
  • Added clause 5 in article 352 which retained the power of Supreme Court of judicial review
  • Other than this it made changes in preventive detention and ordinance making, property rights, emergency period and few other articles.

Fifty second amendment act, 1985

It added 10th schedule to the constitution which provided for anti defection laws to curb the evils of defections from the body politic of our country.

Sixty first amendment act 1988

This amendment amended art 326 of the constitution and reduced the voting age from 21 to 18 years.

Seventy third amendment act 1992

This amendment added a new part 9 to the constitution consisting 16 articles and a new schedule 11 . These articles provided for panchayati raj , its constitution, composition, election, duration, powers etc.

Seventy fourth amendment act 1992

This amendment added a new part 9-A to the constitution and a new schedule “12th schedule”. This part consisted of 18 articles related to Urban local bodies, constitution, composition, election, duration And power etc of municipalities.

86th amendment act, 2002

This amendment made following changes

  • It added article 21(a) which made right to education to children of the age of 6-14 years a fundamental right.
  • It substituted article 45 and made provision that state shall provide for early childhood cate and education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years.
  • It also added a new fundamental duty

Author: Saumya Shukla,
Final year CMP degree college Prayagraj

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