A mini constitution -amendment 42nd of indian constitution.


What is an amendment? Amendment’s are needed in order to adjust itself to the changing needs and conditions. It all started when the nation was facing challenges with the emergency, in the year 1975-1977. Indira Gandhi the then prime minister wanted her supremacy over the judiciary and everything else. She introduced the 42nd amendment officially known as The Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 in the year 1976 with her speech including these words,

“Is responsive to the aspiration of the people, and reflects the relatives to the present time and the future”.[1]

Amendment 42nd is recognized as the most comprehensive and most controversial amendment of the Indian constitution. The amendment almost rewrote the constitution and therefore it is also called as “Mini Constitution”

The main purpose of the amendment was to alter the powers of judiciary with regard to the issue of judicial review and writs Supreme court (Art. 32) and High court (Art.226) and strengthen the central government. This amendment made several changes to the constitution.

  1. Judicial review was curtailed.
  2. Supremacy of parliament or central government.
    • It made the president bound by the advise of the cabinet.
    • Constitutional amendments beyond judicial scrutiny.
    • Tenure of Lok Sabha was increased to 6 years.
    • Empowered Centre to deal with the grave situation of law/order by deploying armed forces.
    • Removed election disputes from courts preview.
  3. It eroded the federal structure.
  4. It curtailed judicial review.
  5. Directive principle of state policy was given more priority over fundamental rights.
  6. Four DPSP were added and they were:
    • Equal justice and free legal aid to poor.
    • Participation of workers in the management of industries.
    • Protection of environment, forests and wildlife.
    • Secure opportunity for healthy development of children.
  7. Major changes were made in the preamble of the constitution by inserting the words like, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, and INTEGRITY.
  8. Fundamental duties were added, i.e part 4A, ARTICLE 51A.[2]

Landmark Cases due to which 42nd amendment came in the constitution:

  1. Shankari prasad Singh deo v. union of India (AIR 1951 SC 458)
    1. Parliament has power to amend fundamental rights
    2. “LAW” in Art.13 doesn’t include amendment of constitution
    3. Amendment by way of art 368 done in exercise of constituent power, not legislative power[3]
  2. Sajjan Singh v state of Rajasthan (AIR 1965 SC 845)
    1. Shankari Prasad was upheld by majority (3:2)
    2. Two judges dissented- “certain basic features are sacred”[4]
  3. Golakh Nath v. state of Punjab (AIR 1967 SC 1643)
    1. FR cannot be amended
    2. Any amendment violating fundamental rights is not allowed in the scheme of Indian constitution[5]
  4. Keshavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru and Ors.v state of Kerala and Anr.(AIR 1973 SC 1461) case
    1. SC overruled Golaknath’s judgement
    2. Upheld validity of 24th amendment
    3. Stated that parliament can take away FR
    4. But said that power of parliament to amend doesn’t enable it to alter
    5. Basic structure of the constitution
    6. There then 42nd amendment came into force.[6]

Way forward:

 After Keshavananda case, parliament again reacted and enacted, then there 42nd amendment came into force. Declared that parliament can amend anything including basic structure (limited power). In my opinion constitution is supreme, it guides the citizen of the nation to perform their duty within the ambit of law. As such there was no need of 42nd amendment, because it totally gave the power to change anything mentioned in the constitution to the legislature. SC also stated that constitution is supreme not the parliament. Amendment 42nd changed the constitution and India forever. Though changes are necessary it should be made wisely so that the citizens does not have to suffer. Amendment 42nd widened legislative powers. This changed Indian constitution completely.






[6]. https://www.latestlaws.com/articles/supreme-court-case-analysis-kesavananda-bharati-v-state-of-kerala

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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