Sunday, April 23, 2017

Fifth Constitutional Amendment - 5th Amendment in Constitution

Fifth Constitutional Amendment - 5th Amendment in Constitution: It amended Article 3 of the Indian Constitution. Originally, Article 3, did not prescribe a time limit for expression of views by the States on the States reorganisation laws. It was feared that the States could forestall the passage of State Reorganisation Act by not expressing their views for any length of time. The amended Article now provides a time limit within which the State have to express their views. If they do not express their views within the specified time the Bill may be passed by Parliament.
5th Amendment in Indian Constitution

The Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Act enacted in 1955 and it amended Article 3 of Constitution of India.

This Article envisaged that before Parliament passed an Act to re-organise the States, the Bill for the purpose should be referred by the President to the State Legislatures concerned for expression of their views thereon. A defect in the original Article 3 was  that it did not lay down a time-limit  within which the States concerned  were to express  their views. The absence of any such limit  could cause delay or even hold up Parliamentary Legislation for the purpose.

The Government of India was anxious to expedite re-organisation of the States on a linguistic basis and it apprehended that an aggrieved State might forestall the passage of the necessary legilation by Parliament merely by non-expression of its views for any length of time. The Amending Act therefore made it possible for the President to set a time-limit  within which a State must express its views. On  the expiry of the prescribed time-limit, Parliament could proceed with the matter without waiting for the views of the State concerned.

Fourth Constitutional Amendment - 4th Amendment in Constitution

Fourth Constitutional Amendment - 4th Amendment in Constitution: This amendment was passed to remove the difficulties created by the Supreme Court's decision in Bela Banerjee's case. The Court had insisted  for payment of compensation in every case of compulsory deprivation of property by the State. It was held that clause (1) and clause (2) of Article 31 deal with the same subject, that is deprivation of private property. In Bela Banerjee's case the court had held the word 'compensation' meant 'just compensation' i.e. a just equivalent of 'what the owner had been deprived of'. 
4th Amendment in Constitution of India

The amendment modified Article 31 (2) and made it clear that clause (1) and clause (2) deal with different things i.e. deprivation and compulsory acquisition. The new Article 31 (2) (A) made it clear that the compensation was only payable in the case of compulsory acquisition, i,e, where the State acquires  the ownership in property taken. The adequacy of compensation was also made non-judicially. The amendment broadened the scope of Article 31-A and included more statutes in the Ninth Schedule. It also amended Article 305 and empowered the State to nationalise any trade.

The Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act was enacted in 1955.

Third Constitutional Amendment - 3rd Amendment in Constitution

Third Constitutional Amendment - 3rd Amendment in Constitution of India 1954:
This amendment amended Entry 33 of the Concurrent List. Originally, Entry 33 empowered the Centre to control the products of the controlled industry only. The control of essential commodities was not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Centre. It fell under the State sphere under Entry 27, List II. This position was found to be unsatisfactory. The food situation in the country was difficult. Essential supplies were in short supply. To remove this difficulty this amendment widened the scope of Entry 33, List III, empowering Parliament to control the production, supply and distribution of all kinds of commodities.
3rd Amendment in Constitution

The Constitution (Third Amendment) Act enacted in 1954 amended the original entry 33 of List III, expanded its scope and gave it its present shape.

The Amendment somewhat changed the federal balance of power in favour of the Centre.

This Amendment was brought by Parliament due to food security issue in the country due to short supply of essential commodities. This amendment affected the power sharing between the Centre and the States. 

Second Amendment in Constitution - 2nd Amendment

Second Amendment in Constitution - 2nd Amendment 1952:
It amended Article 81(1) (b) which dealt with representation of States in Parliament. It provided that one member of the House could represent even more than 7,50,000 persons thus made it possible  to maintain the total strength of Lok Sabha constant at 500 which would have become impossible under the original Article.
2nd Constitutional Amendment

The Constitution (Second Amendment) Act was passed in 1952.
Originally, Article 81(1)(b) required that Lok Sabha would have not less than one member for every 7,50,000, of the population. The strength of the Lok Sabha was fixed at 500 and at the rate of one member for every 7.5 lakhs of people, the formula became unworkable the moment the population reached 37.5 crores. The Amending Act, therefore, dropped the minimum requirement of one member for every 7.5 lakhs of people in Art. 81(1)(b). Only the maximum requirement was retained. 

Corresponding changes were effectuated in Article 170(2) relating to the State Legislatures.

This Amendment would not have been necessary had the constitution-makers taken into consideration the population trends in the country.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

First Amendment in Constitution of India - 1st Amendment

The proposed first amendment comprised of restrictions upon citizens with regard to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a). This was envisaged primarily to prevent abuse of such fundamental right by some persons for dubious reasons. Another important change was to validate agrarian reform measures undertaken by some state legislatures. Zamindari abolition laws were some such legislation's meant for the welfare of the general public. Another change was to make the educational and economic measures proposed to be undertaken for weaker section of the people, provision under Article 15. Thus for the first time Article 46 of the Directive Principles of State Policy came to the fore as of guidance.

Inspite of this amendment things remained unchanged for the weaker section. On the contrary concept  of Right to equality under Article 15 has been made a hoax. Reasonable restrictions under Article 19 have given a wide latitude to judiciary to define 'reasonable' and each judge having his own holy yardstick. Agrarian reform measures are still a mirage for common man. Instead 'reasonable' a pure literary word has become a legal opinion and riddle.

First Amendment in Constitution of India - 1st Amendment:
The Amendment Bill  regarding Right to freedom effecting Article 19, etc., was moved on 10th May 1951 and was passed on 18th June 1951

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Prosecution of a Judge - K Veeraswami Case

Prosecution of a judge:
In K. Veeraswami case, a five judge constitution bench of Supreme Court held that a Judge of a Supreme Court or High Court can be prosecuted and convicted for criminal misconduct. In this case Veeraswami who was a retired Chief Justice of Madras High Court was prosecuted under The Prevention of Corruption Act. Veeraswami pleaded that a judge can not be prosecuted. The only remedy available against him is that provided in Article 124 of Indian Constitution i.e. Impeachment.

Supreme Court rejected his plea. Article 124 is not a shield conferring immunity to a judge from being prosecuted on a charge of corruption.

Citation / Relevant Case Law:K. Veeraswami vs Union of India 1991 3 SCC 655

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Meaning of Life and Personal Liberty

Article 21 is a Fundamental right in Indian Constitution. 

Meaning of Life and Personal Liberty: - Life is not mere animal existence or survival. It would include the right to live with human dignity and all those aspects of life which go to make a man's life meaningful, complete and worth living.

The expression personal liberty covers a wide variety of rights which go to constitute the personal liberties of a man other than those which are already included in Article 21. The courts are inclined to give the widest amplitude to the expression. On account of the liberal interpretation Article 21 has now come to be invoked almost as a residuary right, even to  the extent which the founding fathers never dreamt of.

From the judgments of the Supreme Court the following are some of the rights that are to be read in Article 21:
  1. Right not to be subjected to bonded labour
  2. Right to livelihood by means which are not illegal, immoral or opposed to public policy
  3. Right to decent environment
  4. Right to shelter
  5. Right to travel abroad
  6. Right to speedy trial
  7. Right to legal aid
  8. Right to privacy
  9. Right against solitary confinement
  10. Right against bar fetters
  11. Right against handcuffing
  12. Right against delayed execution
  13. Right against custodial violence
  14. Right to education (not professional or special)
  15. Right to drinking pure water
  16. Right to good roads
  17. Right to reputation
  18. Freedom from noise pollution.