How is the Constitution amended? Describe the amendment procedure.
Write an essey on Procedure of Amendment given in the Indian Constitution.
The framers of the Constitution were fully conscious that the Constitution should not be very flexible, because, in that case, the Constitution will be a play thing in the hands of any government in the future. So they did not want to adopt the flexibility of the British Constitution. They followed the middle course. Indian Constitution is not very rigid in so far as the essential amendment of the Constitution are concerned. But at the same time it is not very flexible or simple in so far unnecessary amendments were concerned.
Procedure for the Amendment of the Indian Constitution:
1. Amendment by simple majority: The Indian Parliament has the power to amend some of the provisions of the Constitution by its own initiative or by the initiatives of some of the Legislative Assemblies of the States. Amendment in the following cases can be made by simple majority in the Parliament:
(a) Matter related to Article 3 of the Constitution whereby a new State is formed or change in the name of boundary of the State is proposed. These matters can be carried out by simple majority of both the Houses of Parliament. But such a legislation will be put before the Parliament only on the desire of the President who will consult the related states on the amendment before putting such a legislation before the Parliament. The State Reorganisation Act of 1956 was carried out by means of this Article. Afterwards many new States were formed or the name boundaries of old States were changed.
(b) Matter related to Article 169 on the formation or abolition of the second chamber or the Legislative Council of states can be decided by simple majority by the Parliament after fulfilling certain formalities.
(c) Amendment on matters related to Article 240 on the good administration of the centrally administered territories can be made by simple majority.
2. Amendment by a special majority in the Parliament: The process of amending the Constitution is given in Article 368. The article or subjects which are not given in this Article, can be amended by the Parliament alone with a special majority. The Bill for such an amendment may be introduced in any of the two Houses. If both the Houses pass it with absolute majority or 2/3 majority of the members present and voting, it will be sent to the President. The Constitution will stand amended on that point, when the Bill is signed by the President. All the subjects which are not mentioned in the first list of the amendment and as well as the third list of the amendment can be amended through this procedure.
3. Amendment by a special majority in Parliament alongwith the consent of the States: If an amendment is concerned with the article and the subjects given in Article 368, it must be approved by one-fourths of the State Assemblies after being passed by both the Houses with absolute majority or 2/3 majority of the members present and voting. The amendment will come into force after being signed by the President. The subjects given in Article 368 are as follows:
(a) Election of the President,
(b) Removal of the President,
(c) Extent of the executive power of the Union,
(d) Extent of executive power of the States,
(e) High Court for Union Territories,
(f) Union Judiciary,
(g) The High Courts in the states,
(h) Legislative relations between the Centre and States,
(i) Lists of the VII Schedule,
(j)The representation of States in Parliament, and
(k) Article 368 itself.