Amendments to The Indian Constitution

INTRODUCTION

The constitution of India is not rigid and not flexible, but it is a combination of these both. Article 368 in part XX gives powers to parliament to amend the constitution and its procedures. Parliament can amend it by adding article, or delete any provision, but however parliament cannot amend those provisions which change the ‘basic structure’ of parliament (The supreme court of India has ruled this in Kesavananda Bharti case in 1973). The American constitution is very rigid & that of Britain very flexible. Our constitution is the synthesis of these two constitutions.

                         Constitutional Amendments

TYPES OF AMENDMENTS

Article 368 gives two types of amendments first is by special majority & other is by special majority with ratification of half of states with simple majority. Some articles of constitution can be amended by simple majority that is majority of members of each house present and voting but these type of amendments are not considered to be amendments constitution under Article 368.

The amendments can be done by three ways:

  • Amendments by simple majority of parliament (i.e. majority of the people present and voting)
  • Amendments by special majority of parliament
  • Amendments by special majority of the parliament and the ratification of half of the state legislatures

AMENDMENTS BY SPECIAL MAJORITY

Special majority means amendment of the constitution under article 368 involving 1) majority of the total membership of the house (i.e. more than 50% of the total members of the house) plus ii)majority of two-third of the members of each house present and voting (i.e. the people present at the time of voting in the house should amount to two-third).

Following provisions can be amended by special majority;

  • Fundamental rights
  • Directive principles of state policy
  • All the provisions which are not covered by first and third categories.
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