Amendments to the Constitution of India for CLAT

Amendment” denotes the modification or alteration of existing legal provisions, an essential process to adapt the country’s laws over time. In India, amendments to the Constitution are facilitated under Article 368. It’s crucial for legal frameworks to remain dynamic, reflecting progress and societal changes. Historical constitutional amendments in India have played a pivotal role in reshaping statutes and specific provisions, highlighting the fluid nature of our legal system in response to evolving needs and values.

Important Amendments to the Constitution

The Indian Constitution strikes a balance between rigidity and flexibility. According to Article 368, Parliament has the power to amend it, provided the changes adhere to the ‘Basic structure of the Constitution.’ There are three ways to amend it: by a simple majority, by a special majority, or by a special majority with ratification by half of the states.

Here is a comprehensive list of “Important Amendments to the Indian Constitution.”

1st Constitutional Amendment Act, 1951:
  • After India gained independence, the first amendment was enacted, introducing changes to Part III of the Constitution.
  • Notable additions include Article 15 clause 4 and Article 19 clause 6.
15th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1963:
  • Increased the retirement age of High Court judges from 60 to 62 years.
21st Constitutional Amendment Act, 1967:
  • Added Sindhi language to the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution as a regional language.
24th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1971:
  • Overturned Golaknath’s case, granting Parliament the power to modify fundamental rights and Constitution elements.
  • Article 368 empowers Parliament to amend any article of the Constitution.
42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976:
  • Often referred to as the mini-Constitution, added ‘SOCIALIST,’ ‘SECULAR,’ and ‘INTEGRITY’ to the preamble.
  • Mandated the President to act with the advice of the council of ministers.
  • Introduced Fundamental Duties in Part IVA of the Constitution.
44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978:
  • Removed the right to property as a fundamental right; now a legal and constitutional right under Article 300A.
  • Modified criteria in Article 352 for declaring a national emergency.
58th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1987:
  • Provided access to an authentic Hindi version of the Constitution for the people of India.
61st Constitutional Amendment Act, 1988:
  • Altered the election pattern by lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years.
73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992:
  • Introduced Part XI to address the Panchayati Raj System in India.
74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992:
  • Added Part IXA to the Constitution, focusing on municipalities.
77th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1995:
  • Inserted clause 4A to Article 16, enabling the promotion of scheduled castes and tribes in government positions.
81st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2000:
  • Removed the 50% ceiling cap for reservation in government jobs, promoting the forward carry rule for backlog vacancies.
86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002:
  • Established the right to education for children aged 6 to 14 as a Fundamental Right under Article 21A.
92nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003:
  • Added Bodo, Dogri, Santhali, and Maithili to the Eighth Schedule.
99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014:
  • Established the National Judicial Appointment Commission, later declared illegal in 2015.
101st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2017:
  • Reintroduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a comprehensive tax, eliminating various federal and state taxes.
103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019:
  • Introduced a 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) under Articles 15 and 16.
104th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2020:
  • Extended the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures.

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