Introduction

  • Like any other written Constitution in the world, the Constitution of India also provides for its amendment in order to adjust itself according to the changing conditions and needs.
  • Article 368 in Part XX of the Constitution deals with the powers of Parliament to amend the Constitution and its procedure. It states that the Parliament may amend the Constitution by way of addition, variation or repeal any provision in accordance with the procedure laid down for the purpose.
  • However, the Parliament cannot amend those provisions which form the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution. This was ruled by the Supreme Court in the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973).

First Amendment Act, 1951

  • Reasons:
    • To remove certain practical difficulties created by the court’s decision in several cases such as Kameshwar Singh Case, Romesh Thapar Case, etc.
    • Issues involved in the cases included freedom of speech, acquisition of the Zamindari land, State monopoly of trade, etc
  • Amendments:
    • Empowered the state to make special provisions for the advancement of socially and economically backward classes.
    • Provided for the saving of laws providing for acquisition of estates, etc.
    • Added Ninth Schedule to protect the land reforms and other laws included in it from the judicial review. After Article 31, Articles 31A and 31B were inserted.
    • Added three more grounds of restrictions on freedom of speech and expression: public order, friendly relations with foreign states and incitement to an offence. Also, it made the restrictions ‘reasonable’ and thus, justiciable in nature.
    • Provided that state trading and nationalisation of any trade or business by the state is not to be invalid on the ground of violation of the right to trade or business.

Fourth Amendment Act, 1955

  • Amendments:
    • Made the scale of compensation given in lieu of compulsory acquisition of private property beyond the scrutiny of courts.
    • Authorised the state to nationalise any trade.
    • Included some more Acts in the Ninth Schedule.
    • Extended the scope of Article 31 A (savings of laws).

Seventh Amendment Act, 1956

  • Reasons:
    • To implement the recommendations of the State Reorganization Committee and to implement the State Reorganization Act, 1956.
  • Amendments:
    • Second and Seventh Schedules were amended
    • Abolished the existing classification of states into four categories i.e., Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D states, and reorganised them into 14 states and 6 union territories.
    • Extended the jurisdiction of high courts to union territories.
    • Provided for the establishment of a common high court for two or more states.
    • Provided for the appointment of additional and acting judges of the high court.

Ninth Amendment Act, 1960

  • Reasons:
    • After the Nehru-Noon agreement was signed between India and Pakistan to divide the territory of Berubari Union, the Government of West Bengal opposed it. After this Union referred the matter to SC which held that the power of Parliament to diminish the area of a state (under Article 3) does not cover cession of Indian territory to a foreign country. Hence, Indian territory can be ceded to a foreign state only by amending the Constitution under Article 368. Consequently, the 9th Constitutional Amendment Act (1960) was enacted.
  • Amendments:
    • Facilitated the cession of the Indian territory of Berubari Union (located in West Bengal) to Pakistan as provided in the Indo-Pakistan Agreement (1958).

Tenth Amendment Act, 1961

  • Amendments:
    • Incorporation of Dadra, Nagar and Haveli as a Union Territory, consequent to acquisition from Portugal.

Eleventh Amendment Act, 1961

  • Amendments:
    • Changed the procedure of election of the vice president by providing for an electoral college instead of a joint meeting of the two Houses of the Parliament.
    • Provided that the election of the President or vice president cannot be challenged on the ground of any vacancy in the appropriate electoral college.

Twelfth Amendment Act, 1962

  • Amendments:
    • Incorporated Goa, Daman and Diu in the Indian Union.

Thirteenth Amendment Act, 1962

  • Amendments:
    • Gave the status of a state to Nagaland and made special provisions for it.

Fourteenth Amendment Act, 1962

  • Amendments:
    • Incorporated Puducherry in the Indian Union.
    • Provided for the creation of legislatures and council of ministers for the Union Territories of Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Goa, Daman and Diu, and Puducherry.

Seventeenth Amendment Act, 1964

  • Amendments:
    • Prohibited the acquisition of land under personal cultivation unless the market value of the land is paid as compensation.
    • Included 44 more Acts in the Ninth Schedule

Eighteenth Amendment Act, 1966

  • Amendments:
    • Made it clear that the power of Parliament to form a new state also 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.
    • It created new states namely, Punjab and Haryana

Twenty First Amendment Act, 1967

  • Amendments:
    • Included Sindhi as the 15th language in the Eighth Schedule.

Twenty Fourth Amendment Act, 1971

  • Reasons:
    • Twenty Fourth Constitutional Amendment Act was brought in response to the Golaknath ruling (1967) of the Supreme Court which held that the Parliament does not have the power to take away any fundamental rights through amendment to the Constitution.
  • Amendments:
    • Affirmed the power of Parliament to amend any part of the Constitution including fundamental rights by amending Article 13 and 368.
    • Made it compulsory for the President to give his assent to a Constitutional Amendment Bill.

Twenty-Fifth Amendment Act, 1971

  • Amendments:
    • Curtailed the fundamental right to property.
    • Provided that any law made to give effect to the Directive Principles contained in Article 39 (b) or (c) cannot be challenged on the ground of violation of the rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 19 and 31.

Twenty-Sixth Amendment Act, 1971

  • Amendments:
    • Abolished the privy purses and privileges of the former rulers of princely states.

Thirty First Amendment Act, 1973

  • Reasons:
    • An increase in the population of India revealed in the Census of 1971.
  • Amendments:
    • Increased the number of Lok Sabha seats from 525 to 545.

Thirty Third Amendment Act, 1974

  • Amendments:
    • Amended Articles 101 and 190 and provided that the resignation of the members of Parliament and the state legislatures may be accepted by the Speaker/Chairman only if he is satisfied that the resignation is voluntary or genuine

Thirty-Fifth Amendment Act, 1974

  • Amendments:
    • Terminated the protectorate status of Sikkim and conferred the status of an associate state of the Indian Union. The Tenth Schedule was added laying down the terms and conditions of association of Sikkim with the Indian Union

Thirty Sixth Amendment Act, 1975

  • Amendments:
    • Made Sikkim a full-fledged State of the Indian Union and omitted the Tenth Schedule.

Thirty-Eighth Amendment Act, 1975

  • Amendments:
    • Made the declaration of emergency by the President non-justiciable.
    • Made the promulgation of ordinances by the President, governors and administrators of Union territories non-justiciable.
    • Empowered the President to declare different proclamations of national emergency on different grounds simultaneously.

Thirty-Ninth Amendment Act, 1975

  • Reasons:
    • It was enacted in response to the ruling of the Allahabad High Court who declared the election of PM Indira Gandhi to Lok Sabha void on the petition of Raj Narain.
  • Amendments:
    • Placed the disputes relating to the president, Vice President, prime minister and Speaker beyond the scope of the judiciary. They are to be decided by such authority as may be determined by the Parliament.
    • Included certain Central Acts in the Ninth Schedule

Forty Second Amendment Act, 1976

  • Amendments:
    • Added three new words (i.e., socialist, secular and integrity) in the Preamble.
    • Added Fundamental Duties by the citizens (new Part IV A).
    • Made the president bound by the advice of the cabinet.
    • Provided for administrative tribunals and tribunals for other matters (Added Part XIV A).
    • Froze the seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies on the basis of 1971 census till 2001 – Population Controlling Measure
    • Made the constitutional amendments beyond judicial scrutiny.
    • Curtailed the power of judicial review and writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and high courts.
    • Raised the tenure of Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies from 5 to 6 years.
    • Provided that the laws made for the implementation of Directive Principles cannot be declared invalid by the courts on the ground of violation of some Fundamental Rights.
    • Empowered the Parliament to make laws to deal with anti-national activities and such laws are to take precedence over Fundamental Rights.
    • Added three new Directive Principles viz., equal justice and free legal aid, the participation of workers in the management of industries and protection of the environment, forests, and wildlife.
    • Facilitated the proclamation of national emergency in a part of the territory of India.
    • Extended the one-time duration of the President’s rule in a state from 6 months to one year.
    • Empowered the Centre to deploy its armed forces in any state to deal with a grave situation of law and order.
    • Shifted five subjects from the state list to the concurrent list, viz, education, forests, protection of wild animals and birds, weights and measures and administration of justice, constitution and organisation of all courts except the Supreme Court and the high courts.
    • Did away with the requirement of quorum in the Parliament and the state legislatures.
    • Empowered the Parliament to decide from time to time the rights and privileges of its members and committees.
    • Provided for the creation of the All-India Judicial Service.
    • Shortened the procedure for disciplinary action by taking away the right of a civil servant to make representation at the second stage after the inquiry (i.e., on the penalty proposed).

Forty-Third Amendment Act, 1977

  • Amendments:
    • Restored the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the High Courts in respect of judicial review and issue of writs.
    • Deprived the Parliament of its special powers to make laws to deal with anti-national activities.

Forty-Fourth Amendment Act, 1978

  • Amendments:
    • Restored the original term of the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies (i.e., 5 years).
    • Restored the provisions with regard to the quorum in the Parliament and state legislatures.
    • Omitted the reference to the British House of Commons in the provisions pertaining to the parliamentary privileges.
    • Gave constitutional protection to publication in a newspaper of true reports of the proceedings of the Parliament and the state legislatures.
    • Empowered the president to send back once the advice of the cabinet for reconsideration. But, the reconsidered advice is to be binding on the president.
    • Deleted the provision which made the satisfaction of the president, governor, and administrators final in issuing ordinances.
    • Restored some of the powers of the Supreme Court and high courts.
    • Replaced the term ‘internal disturbance’ by ‘armed rebellion’ in respect of national emergency.
    • Made the President to declare a national emergency only on the written recommendation of the cabinet.
    • Made certain procedural safeguards with respect to a national emergency and President’s rule.
    • Deleted the right to property from the list of Fundamental Rights and made it only a legal right.
    • Provided that the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21 cannot be suspended during a national emergency.
    • Omitted the provisions which took away the power of the court to decide the election disputes of the president, the vice-president, the prime minister and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Fiftieth Amendment Act, 1984

  • Amendments:
    • Empowered the Parliament to restrict the Fundamental Rights of persons employed in intelligence organisations and telecommunication systems set up for the armed forces or intelligence organisations.

Fifty-Second Amendment Act, 1985

  • Reasons:
    • To stop defection and the politics of ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’
  • Amendments:
    • Provided for disqualification of members of Parliament and state legislatures on the ground of defection and added a new Tenth Schedule containing the details in this regard.

Fifty Eighth Amendment Act, 1987

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for an authoritative text of the Constitution in Hindi language and gave the same legal sanctity to the Hindi version of the Constitution.

Sixty-First Amendment Act, 1989

  • Amendments:
    • Reduced the voting age from 21 years to 18 years for the Lok Sabha and state legislative assembly elections.

Sixty-Fifth Amendment Act, 1990

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for the establishment of a multi-member National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the place of a Special Officer for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Sixty-Ninth Amendment Act, 1991

  • Amendments:
    • Accorded a special status to the Union Territory of Delhi by designing it as the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The amendment also provided for the creation of a 70-member legislative assembly and a 7-member council of ministers for Delhi.

Seventy-First Amendment Act, 1992

  • Amendments:
    • Included Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali languages in the Eighth Schedule. With this, the total number of scheduled languages increased to 18.

Seventy Third Amendment Act, 1992

  • Amendment:
    • Granted constitutional status and protection to the Panchayati Raj institutions. For this purpose, the Amendment has added a new Part-IX entitled as ‘the panchayats’ and a new Eleventh Schedule containing 29 functional items of the panchayats

Seventy Fourth Amendment Act, 1992

  • Amendment:
    • Granted constitutional status and protection to the urban local bodies. For this purpose, the Amendment has added a new Part IX-A entitled as ‘the municipalities’ and a new Twelfth Schedule containing 18 functional items of the municipalities.

Seventy Seventh Amendment Act, 1995

  • Amendment:
    • Provided for reservation in promotions in government jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. This amendment nullified the Supreme Court ruling with regard to reservation in promotions.

Eightieth Amendment Act, 2000

  • Amendment:
    • Provided for an ‘alternative scheme of devolution’ of revenue between the Centre and states. This was enacted on the basis of the recommendations of the Tenth Finance Commission which had recommended that out of the total income obtained from Central taxes and duties, 29% should be distributed among the states.

Eighty First Amendment Act, 2000

  • Amendments:
    • Empowered the state to consider the unfilled reserved vacancies of a year as a separate class of vacancies to be filled up in any succeeding year or years. Such class of vacancies is not to be combined with the vacancies of the year in which they are being filled up to determine the ceiling of 50% reservation on total number of vacancies of that year. In brief, this amendment ended the 50% ceiling on reservation in backlog vacancies.

Eighty Second Amendment Act, 2000

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for making of any provision in favour of the SCs and STs for relaxation in qualifying marks in any examination or lowering the standards of evaluation, for reservation in matters of promotion to the public services of the Centre and the states

Eighty Fourth Amendment Act, 2001

  • Amendments:
    • Extended the ban on the readjustment of seats in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies for another 25 years (i.e., up to 2026) with the same objective of encouraging population limiting measures. In other words, the number of seats in the Lok Sabha and the assemblies are to remain the same till 2026. It also provided for the readjustment and rationalisation of territorial constituencies in the states on the basis of the population figures of 1991 census.

Eighty Fifth Amendment Act, 2001

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for ‘consequential seniority’ in the case of promotion by virtue of rule of reservation for the government servants belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with retrospective effect from June 1995.

Eighty Sixth Amendment Act, 2002

  • Amendments:
    • Made elementary education a fundamental right under the Article 21A
    • Changed the subject matter of Article 45 in Directive Principles
    • Added a new fundamental duty under Article 51-A

Eighty Seventh Amendment Act, 2003

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for the readjustment and rationalisation of territorial constituencies in the states on the basis of the population figures of 2001 census and not 1991 census as provided earlier by the 84th Amendment Act of 2001.

Eighty Ninth Amendment Act, 2003

  • Amendments:
    • Bifurcated the erstwhile combined National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes into two separate bodies, namely, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (Article 338) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (Article 338-A).

Ninety First Amendment Act, 2003

  • Amendments:
    • Made the following provisions to limit the size of Council of Ministers, to debar defectors from holding public offices, and to strengthen the anti-defection law:
      • The total number of ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Central Council of Ministers, shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha.
      • A member of either house of Parliament belonging to any political party who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a minister.
      • The total number of ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a state shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Legislative Assembly of that state. But, the number of ministers, including the Chief Minister, in a state shall not be less than 12.
      • A member of either House of a state legislature belonging to any political party who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a minister.
      • A member of either House of Parliament or either House of a State Legislature belonging to any political party who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to hold any remunerative political post. The expression “remunerative political post” means:
        • Any office under the central government or a state government where the salary or remuneration for such office is paid out of the public revenue of the concerned government or,
        • Any office under a body, whether incorporated or not, which is wholly or partially owned by the central government or a state government and the salary or,
        • Remuneration for such an office is paid by such a body, except where such salary or remuneration paid is compensatory in nature (Article 361-B).
      • The provision of the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) pertaining to exemption from disqualification in case of split by one-third members of the legislature party has been deleted. It means that the defectors have no more protection on grounds of splits.

Ninety Second Amendment Act, 2003

  • Amendments:
    • Included four more languages in the Eighth Schedule. They are Bodo, Dogri (Dongri), Maithili and Santhali. With this, the total number of constitutionally recognised languages increased to 22

Ninety Third Amendment Act, 2005

  • Amendments:
    • Empowered the state to make special provisions for the socially and educationally backward classes or the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in educational institutions including private educational institutions (whether aided or unaided by the state), except the minority educational institutions (clause (5) in Article 15).
    • This Amendment was enacted to nullify the Supreme Court judgement in the Inamdar case (2005) where the apex court ruled that the state cannot impose its reservation policy on minority and non-minority unaided private colleges, including professional colleges. The court declared that reservation in private, unaided educational institutions was unconstitutional.

Ninety Sixth Amendment Act, 2011

  • Amendments:
    • Substituted “Odia” for “Oriya”. Consequently, the “Oriya” language in the Eighth Schedule shall be pronounced as “Odia”.
  • Ninety Seventh Amendment Act, 2011
  • Amendments:
    • Gave constitutional status and protection to cooperative societies. It made the following three changes in the constitution:
      • It made the right to form co-operative societies a fundamental right (Article 19).
      • It included a new Directive Principle of State Policy on the promotion of co-operative societies.
      • It added a new Part IX-B in the constitution which is entitled “The Co-operative societies”.

Ninety Ninth Amendment Act 2014

  • Amendments:
    • Replaced the collegium system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts with a new body called the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
    • However, in 2015, the Supreme Court declared this Amendment Act as unconstitutional and void. Consequently, the earlier collegium system became operative again

One Hundredth Amendment Act, 2014

  • Amendments:
    • Gave effect to the acquiring of certain territories by India and transfer of certain other territories to Bangladesh (through the exchange of enclaves and retention of adverse possessions) in pursuance of the Land Boundary Agreement of 1974 and its Protocol of 2011.
    • For this purpose, this amendment act amended the provisions relating to the territories of four states (Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura) in the First Schedule of the Constitution.

One Hundred and First Amendment Act, 2017

  • Amendments:
    • Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax
    • Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax (or consumption tax) used in India on the supply of goods and services. It is a comprehensive, multistage, destination-based tax: comprehensive because it has subsumed almost all the indirect taxes except a few state taxes.

One Hundred and Second Amendment Act, 2018

  • Amendments:
    • Constitutional status was provided to the National Commission for Backward Classes under India’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
    • Article 338B into the Constitution after Articles 338 and 338A which deal with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (SC) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (ST) respectively.

One Hundred Third Amendment Act, 2019

  • Amendments:
    • It introduced reservations for Economic Weaker Section for the first time in independent India
    • Amendment in Article 16 allows a 10% reservation to EWS in public employment.