The Constitution of India: Amendments 26-50
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The 26th to 30th Amendments: 1971-1972
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.
The 31st to 35th Amendments: 1973-1974
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.
32. The Constitution (Thirty-second Amendment) Act, 1973—
This Act provided the necessary constitutional authority for giving effect to the provision of equal opportunities to different areas of the State of Andhra Pradesh and for the constitution of an Administrative Tribunal with jurisdiction to deal with grievances relating to public services. It also empowered Parliament to legislate for the establishment of a Central University in the State.
33. The Constitution (Thirty-third Amendment) Act, 1974—
By this amendment, Articles 101 and 190 were amended in order to streamline the procedure for resignation of Members of Parliament and State Legislatures.
34. The Constitution (Thirty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1974—
By this Act, twenty more land tenure and land reforms laws enacted by various State Legislatures were included in the Ninth Schedule.
35. The Constitution (Thirty-fifth Amendment) Act, 1974—
By this Act a new Article 2A was added thereby conferring on Sikkim the status of an associate State of Indian Union. Consequent amendments were made to Articles 80 and 81. A new schedule, i.e., Tenth Schedule, was added laying down terms and conditions of association of Sikkim with the Union.
The 36th to 40th Amendments: 1975-1976
36. The Constitution (Thirty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1975—
This was enacted to make Sikkim a fullfledged State of Indian Union and to include it in the First Schedule to the Constitution and to allot to Sikkim one seat each in the Council of States and in the House of the People. Article 2A and the Tenth Schedule inserted by the Constitution (Thirty-fifth Amendment) Act were omitted and Articles 80 and 81 were suitably amended.
37. The Constitution (Thirty-seventh Amendment) Act, 1975—
By this Act, Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh was provided with a Legislative Assembly. Article 240 of the Constitution was also amended to provide that as in the case of other union territories with Legislatures, the power of President to make regulations for the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh may be exercised only when the assembly is either dissolved or its functions remain suspended.
38. The Constitution (Thirty-eighth Amendment) Act, 1975—
This Act amended Articles 123, 213 and 352 of the Constitution to provide that the satisfaction of President or Governor contained in these Articles would be called in question in any court of law.
39. The Constitution (Thirty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1975—
By this Act, disputes relating to the election of President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Speaker are to be determined by such authority as may be determined by Parliamentary Law. Certain Central enactments were also included in the Ninth Schedule by this Act.
40. The Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Act, 1976—
This act provided for vesting in the Union of all mines, minerals and other things of value lying in the ocean within the territorial waters or the continental shelf or the exclusive economic zone of India. It further provided that all other resources of the exclusive economic zone of India shall also vest in the Union. This act also provided that the limits of the territorial waters, the continental shelf, the exclusive economic zone and the maritime zones of India shall be as specified from time to time by or under any law made by Parliament. Also some more Acts were added to the Ninth Scheme.
The 41st to 45th Amendments: 1976-1980
41. The Constitution (Forty-first Amendment) Act, 1976—
By this Act, Article 316 was amended to raise the retirement age of Members of State Public Service Commissions and Joint Public Service Commissions from 60 to 62 years.
42. The Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976—
This act made a number of important amendments in the Constitution. These amendments were mainly for purpose of giving effect to the recommendations of Swaran Singh Committee. Some of the important amendments made are for the purpose of spelling out expressly the high ideals of socialism, secularism and the integrity of the nation, to make the Directive Principles more comprehensive and giving them precedence over those Fundamental Rights which have been allowed to be relied upon to frustrate socio-economic reforms.
The amendment Act also inserted a new chapter on the Fundamental Duties of citizens and made special provisions for dealing with anti-national activities, whether by individuals or by associations. The judiciary provisions were also amended by providing for a requirement as to the minimum number of judges for determining question as to the constitutional validity of law and for a special majority of not less than two-third for declaring any law to be constitutionally invalid.
To reduce the mounting arrears in High Courts and to secure the speedy disposal of service matters, revenue matters and certain other matters of special importance in the context of socio-economic development and progress, this amendment Act provided for the creation of Administrative and other tribunals for dealing with such matters while preserving the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in regard to such matters under Article 136 of the Constitution. Certain modifications in the writ jurisdiction of High Courts under Article 226 were also made.
43. The Constitution (Forty-third Amendment) Act, 1977—
This Act inter alia provided for the restoration of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts, curtailed by the enactment of the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 and accordingly Articles 32A, 131A, 144A, 226A and 228A included in the Constitution by the said amendment, were omitted by this Act.
The Act also provided for the omission of Article 31 which conferred special powers on Parliament to enact certain laws in respect of anti-national activities.
44. The Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1978—
The right to property which had been the occasion for more than one amendment of Constitution was omitted as a Fundamental Right and it was made only as a legal right.
It was, however, ensured that the removal of the right to property from the list of Fundamental Rights would not affect the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. Article 352 of the Constitution was amended to provide “armed rebellion” as one of the circumstances for declaration of emergency. Internal disturbance not amounting to armed rebellion would not be a ground for the issuance of a Proclamation.
The right to personal liberty as contained in Articles 21 and 22 is further strengthened by the provision that a law for preventive detention cannot authorise, in any case, detention for a longer period than two months unless an Advisory Board has reported that there is sufficient cause for such detention. The additional safeguard has also been provided by the requirements that Chairman of an Advisory Board shall be a serving Judge of the appropriate High Court and that the Board shall be constituted in accordance with the recommendations of the Chief Justice of that High Court.
With a view to avoid delays, Articles 132 and 134 were amended and a new Article 134A was inserted to provide that a High Court should consider the question of granting a certificate for appeal to Supreme Court immediately after the delivery of the judgement, final order or sentence concerned on the basis of an oral application by a party or, if the High Court deems it so to do, on its own.
The other amendments made by the Act are mainly for removing or correcting the distortions which came into the Constitution by reason of the amendment initiated during the period of internal emergency.
45. The Constitution (Forty-fifth Amendment) Act, 1980—
This was passed to extend safeguards in respect of reservation of seats in Parliament and State Assemblies for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes as well as for Anglo-Indians for a further period of ten years.
The 46th to 50th Amendments: 1980-1984
46. The Constitution (Forty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1982—
Article 269 was amended so that the tax levied on the consignment of goods in the course of inter-state or commerce shall be assigned to the states. This Article was also amended to enable Parliament to formulate by law principle for determining when a consignment of goods takes place in the course of inter-state trade or commerce.
A new entry 92B was also inserted in the Union List to enable the levy of tax on the consignment of goods where such consignment takes place in the course of inter-state trade or commerce.
Clause (3) of Article 286 was amended to enable Parliament to specify, by law, restrictions and conditions in regard to the system of levy rates and other incidence of tax on the transfer of goods involved in the execution of a works contract, on the delivery of goods on hire-purchase or any system of payment of instalments, etc.
Article 366 was also suitably amended to insert a definition of “tax on the sale or purchase of goods” to include transfer for consideration of controlled commodities, transfer of property in goods involved in the execution of a works contract, delivery of goods on hire-purchase or any system of payment by instalments, etc.
47. The Constitution (Forty-seventh Amendment) Act, 1984—
This amendment is intended to provide for the inclusion of certain land Reforms Acts in the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution with a view to obviating the scope of litigation hampering the implementation process of those Acts.
48. The Constitution (Forty-eighth Amendment) Act, 1984—
The Proclamation issued by President under Article 356 of the Constitution with respect to the State of Punjab cannot be continued in force for more than one year unless the special conditions mentioned in clause (5) of the said Article are satisfied. As it is felt that the continued force of the said Proclamation is necessary, therefore, the present amendment had been effected so as to make the conditions mentioned in clause (5) of Article 356 inapplicable in the instant case.
49. The Constitution (Forty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1984—
Tripura Government recommended that the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution may be made applicable to tribal areas of that State. The amendment involved in this Act is intended to give a constitutional security to the autonomous District Council functioning in the State.
50. The Constitution (Fiftieth Amendment) Act, 1984—
by Article 33 of the constitution, Parliament is empowered to enact laws determining to what extent any of the rights conferred by Part III of the constitution shall, in their application to the members of the armed forces or the forces charged with the maintenance of public order, be restricted or abrogated so as to ensure proper discharge of their duties and maintenance of discipline among them.
It was proposed to amend Article 33 so as to bring within its ambit:
(i) the members of the Force charged with the protection of property belonging to or in the charge or possession of the state; or
(ii) persons employed in any bureau or other organisation established by the state for purposes of intelligence or counter-intelligence; or
(iii) persons employed in or in connection with the telecommunication systems set up for the purposes of any Force, bureau or organisation.
Experience has revealed that the need for ensuring proper discharge of their duties and maintenance of discipline among them is of paramount importance in the national interest.
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