Analyse various types of constitutional amendments, with suitable examples. (150 words)

 Analyse various types of constitutional amendments, with suitable examples. (150 words)

Approach

  • Write about constitutional amendment and related provisions
  • Write about types and minimum majority etc. needed
  • Conclude accordingly
Model Answer :

Like any other written constitution, the Indian constitution also provides for its amendment in order to adjust itself to changing environment. The procedure laid down in Indian constitution is neither too easy nor too tough. Further parliament cannot amend those provisions which form basic structure.

Types of amendments:

Article 368 provides for two types of amendments that is, by special majority of parliament and also through the ratification of half of the states by a simple majority. But, some other articles provide for the amendment of certain provisions of the constitution by a simple majority. Notably, these amendments are not deemed to be amendments of the constitution for the purpose of Article 368.

Therefore, the constitution can be amended in three ways:

  1. Amendment by simple majority of the parliament: These amendments are outside scope of Article 368. For example: Establishment of new state, abolition or creation of legislative councils in state, schedule 5 and 6 etc.
  2. Amendment by special majority of the parliament: Majority of the provisions of constitution are amended by special majority, which is the majority of total membership of the house and two-third of present and voting. For example: fundamental rights, DPSPs, all provisions which are not covered by first or third category.
  3. Amendment by special majority of parliament and ratification of half of the state legislatures: It includes provisions related to federal structure. For example: Election of the President and the manner, SC/HCs, representation of states in parliament etc. The recent GST amendment bill which sought to change the levying and distribution of taxes between Centre and States needed an amendment of this type.

Hence we can say that Indian constitution is neither too flexible nor too rigid but a synthesis of both. It depends of the gravity and type of provision, which brings it under type different category (and procedure to be followed to change it).

Subjects : Polity

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