Salient Features of the 15th Amendment of the Constitution

The Constitution (15th Amendment Act), 1963:

  • Gave the High Court the right to issue writs to any person or authority, even if they were not subject to its territorial jurisdiction if the cause of action originated there.
  • Judges on the high court now have to retire at age 62 instead of 60.
  • As long as former judges of the high court are nominated to serve as acting judges on the same court.
  • Provided the remuneration for judges who were moved from one High Court to another.
  • Allowed the retired High Court judge to serve as an ad hoc judge on the Supreme Court.
  • Outlined the process for determining the justices of the Supreme Court and High Court’s ages.

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS:

  1. The Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Bill was presented to Lok Sabha in November 1955. It included amendments to the Constitution’s articles 276, 297, 311, and 316, which were later accepted with a few minor changes. New suggestions are related to Union List entries 78, 124, 128, 217, 220, 222, 224A, and 226.
  2. It is proposed to raise the age of retirement of High Court Judges from 60 to 62 years. It is considered in the public interest that Judges should be transferred from one High Court to another. The only High Court which has jurisdiction concerning the Central Government is the Punjab High Court.
  3. The Bill’s notes on clauses explain each clause’s contents.

K. SEN; NEW DELHI

November 14th, 1962.

ACT OF 1963 RELATING TO THE CONSTITUTION (FIFTIETH AMENDMENT)

[October 5th, 1963.]

An Act further amending the Indian Constitution

BE IT ENACTED AS FOLLOWS BY THE PARLIAMENT IN THE FOURTEENTH YEAR OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA:

  • Brief title. This Act may be referred to as the Constitution (Fifteenth Amendment), Act of 1963 (Amendment).
  • Amendment to Article 124. The following sentence should be introduced after clause (2) in Article 124 of the Constitution:

“(2A) The age of a Judge of the Supreme Court shall be established by such authority and in such way, as Parliament may by legislation prescribe.”

  • Amendment to Article 128. After the phrase “Federal Court,” the words “or who has held the office of a Judge of a High Court and is lawfully qualified for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court” shall be included in Article 128 of the Constitution.
  • Modification of Article 217.- The following changes are made to Article 217 of the Constitution:

(a) in clause (1), the words “sixty years” are to be replaced with “sixty-two years”;

(b) after clause (2), the following clause is to be inserted and is to be deemed to have always been inserted, namely:

“(3) If any question as to the age of a Judge of a High Court arises, the question shall be decided by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

  • Amendment to Article 222.-The following clause shall be inserted in Article 222 of the Constitution, after clause (1), as follows:

“(2) When a Judge has been or is so transferred, he shall, during the period he serves, after the effective date of the Constitution (Fifteenth Amendment) Act of 1963, as a Judge of the other High Court, be entitled to receive in addition to his salary such compensatory allowance as may be determined by Parliament by law and until so determined.

  • Amendment to Article 224. The phrase “sixty years” shall be replaced with “sixty-two years” in clause (3) of Article 224 of the Constitution.
  • Addition of new Article 224A.-The following Article shall be introduced after Article 224 of the Constitution, namely: –

224A. Appointment of retired Judges at sittings of High Courts.-. The Chief Justice of a High Court for any State may at any time with the previous consent of the President, request any person who has held the office of a Judge of that Court to sit and act as a Judge in that Court.

  • Modification of Article 226.- Article 226 of the Constitution states that: (a) the clause that follows clause (1) must be added, namely: –

A High Court with jurisdiction over the territories in which the cause of action arises may also exercise its power to issue directions, orders, or writs to any Government, authority, or person, even if that Government, authority, or person’s home is outside of those territories.

(b) “clause (1) or clause (1A)” shall be used in place of the words, brackets, numbers, and letter “clause (1)” in clause (2).

  • Amendment to Article 297. The phrase “or the continental shelf” shall be included after the words “territorial waters” in Article 297 of the Constitution.
  • Modification to Article 311. The following clauses shall be replaced for clauses (2) and (3) of Article 311 of the Constitution, namely: –

“(2) Only evidence presented during an investigation by the Office of the Chief Constable may be used as the basis for his decision.

Given that this clause won’t be applicable-

  1. where a person is let go, demoted, or demoted in rank due to behaviour that resulted in his conviction on a criminal accusation;
  2. if the authority authorised to dismiss or remove a person or decrease his rank is convinced that for whatever reason, to be documented in writing by that authority, it is not reasonably possible to undertake such inquiry; or
  3. when the President or Governor, as the case may be, is persuaded that such an investigation is not necessary for the security of the State.

(3) If a doubt arises as to whether it is practically possible to conduct the investigation referred to in subsection (2), the decision of the authority entitled to fire or remove such person or downgrade him in rank shall be final.”

  • Amendment to Article 316. The following clause shall be added to Article 316 of the Constitution, immediately after clause (1):

“(1A) The President, in the case of a Union or Joint Commission, and the Governor of the State in the case of a State Commission, may appoint an officer to perform the duties of the Chairman of the Commission.

  • Modification to the seventh schedule. The brackets and the phrases “(including vacations)” must be included below the term “organisation” in List I, entry 78 of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, and they are always assumed to have been there.

References

https://legislative.gov.in/constitution-fifteenth-amendment-act-1963

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