Salient Features of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Amendment of the Indian Constitution

2nd Amendment of Indian Constitution

The CONSTITUTION (SECOND AMENDMENT) BILL, 1952, which was enacted as the Constitution (Second Amendment) Act, 1952, included a Statement of Objects and Reasons.


The House of People has an absolute ceiling of 500 elected members, according to Article 81(1)(a). According to Article 81(1)(b), the States shall be divided, grouped, or formed into territorial constituencies, with the number of members allotted to each constituency being determined so that there is not less than one member for every 750,000 people and not more than one member for every 500,000 people.

The current delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly seats is based on population estimates that have been accorded legal validity by the President by an order issued under Article 387 of the Constitution. However, under Article 81(3) of the Constitution, the representation of the various territorial constituencies in the House of People and the Legislative Assemblies of each State must be re-adjusted by such authority, in such way, and with effect from such date as Parliament may by legislation determine. A bill is being filed in Parliament to address the issues raised in the article. In that Bill, provisions are made for the establishment of a Delimitation Commission to effect re-adjustment of representation in the House of People and the State Legislative Assemblies based on the population as determined by the 1951 census.

The population of the several states, as estimated in the President’s decree, differs significantly from the population as determined by the 1951 census. At the moment, seats in the House of People have been allocated to Part A and Part B States on the basis of one member for every 7.2 lakhs of the expected population, giving these States a total of 470 members. In all cases, the census estimates are higher, and given the overall maximum of 500 members set forth in Article 81(1)(a), it is impossible to increase the total number of seats granted to these States significantly. As a result, the representation must be reduced from one member per 7.2 lakhs of population to one member every 7.5 lakhs of population, as per the 1951 census. As previously stated, the current maximum allowable under article 81(1)(b) is 7.5 lakhs; but, since the average population of a Parliamentary constituency in any State is 750,000, it is clear that the population of a certain number of constituencies will exceed that figure.

As a result, article 81(1)(b) of the Constitution should be amended to relax the limits set forth in that article in order to avoid a constitutional irregularity in delimiting constituencies for the purpose of readjusting representation in the House of People as required by article 81(3) of the Constitution. As a result, this Bill proposes to alter the Constitution’s article 81(1)(b) to replace the figures listed in that article with the figures 850,000 and 650,000, respectively.

3rd Amendment of Indian Constitution

The Constitution (Third Amendment) Act, 1954, re-enacted entry 33 of the Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution to include trade and commerce in, as well as the production, supply, and distribution of four classes of essential commodities: foodstuffs, including edible oil seeds and oils; cattle fodder, including oilcakes and other concentrates; and raw cotton, whether ginned or unginned.

On September 6, 1954, the Constitution (Third Amendment) Act, 1954, was introduced in the Lok Sabha as the Constitution (Third Amendment) Bill, 1954. (Bill No. 40 of 1954). T. T. Krishnamachari, the then-Minister of Commerce and Industry, introduced it. The bill attempted to add a new entry to the Constitution’s Seventh Schedule, replacing the previous entry 33 of List III with a new entry (Concurrent List).

4th Amendment of Indian Constitution

The Fourth Amendment Act altered Articles 31 and 31A of the Constitution. New clauses were added to replace Article 31 clause (2) and Article 31A clause (1). As a result, the sufficiency of the compensation given for the compulsory seizure of property for “a public purpose” could not be called into question in a court of law. Article 305 and the Ninth Schedule were also changed.

1. This bill aims to alter the Constitution’s articles 31, 31A, and 305, as well as the Ninth Schedule.

2. The Supreme Court has recently given clauses (1) and (2) of Article 31 a fairly broad interpretation. Despite the differences in language, the two sentences are considered to be about the same thing.  The term “deprivation of property” as used in section (1) should be interpreted broadly to include any restriction on one’s right to property. Even if it is caused by a purely regulatory provision of law and is not accompanied by the State acquiring or taking ownership of that or any other property right, the law must provide for compensation under clause (2) of the article in order to be lawful according to these rulings. As a result, it is seen necessary to re-state the State’s authority of forcible acquisition and requisitioning of private property, as well as to distinguish it from circumstances where the State’s regulatory or prohibitory laws result in “deprivation of property.” Clause 2 of the Bill seeks to do this.

3. It will be recalled that the zamindari abolition laws, which came first in our programme of social welfare legislation, were attacked by the interests affected primarily with reference to articles 14, 19, and 31, and that the Constitution (First Amendment) Act enacted articles 31A and 31B, as well as the Ninth Schedule, to put an end to the dilatory and wasteful litigation and to place these laws above challenge in the courts. Following judicial rulings interpreting articles 14, 19, and 31, the Union and States have faced significant obstacles in enacting other, equally essential social welfare laws along the desired lines, such as the following:-

(i)  While the abolition of zamindaris and the numerous intermediaries between the State and the tiller of the soil has been mostly achieved, our next land reform goals are to set limits on the amount of agricultural land that can be owned or occupied by any individual, to dispose of any land held in excess of the prescribed maximum, and to modify the rights of land owners and tenants in agricultural holdings.

(ii) Proper urban and rural planning necessitates the efficient use of unoccupied and waste lands, as well as the eradication of slum areas.

(iii) In the interests of the national economy, the state should have complete control over the country’s mineral and oil resources, including the ability to revoke or change prospecting permits, mining leases, and similar arrangements. This is also required in the case of public utility companies that provide power, light, or water to the general public under state-issued permits.

(iv)  It is frequently necessary to temporarily place a commercial or industrial undertaking or other property under State supervision in the public interest or to ensure better management of the undertaking or property. The Constitution should allow for laws that allow for such interim transfers to state management.

(v) Company law reforms currently under consideration, such as the gradual elimination of the managing agency system, provisions for the compulsory amalgamation of two or more companies in the national interest, the transfer of an undertaking from one company to another, and so on, must be set aside from challenge.

As a result, it is proposed in clause 3 of the Bill to broaden the scope of article 31A to include these types of important welfare legislation.

4. As a corollary to the proposed alteration of article 31A, clause 5 of the Bill proposes that two more State Acts and four Central Acts that fall within the scope of sub-clauses (d) and (f) of clause (1) of the amended article 31A be added to the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution. As a result of the provisions of Article 31B, they will receive comprehensive, retrospective validation.

5. A recent Supreme Court decision in Saghir Ahmed v. the State of Uttar Pradesh raised the subject of whether an Act granting a State monopoly in a particular trade or company violates article 301’s guarantee of freedom of trade and commerce, but left the issue unresolved. The Constitution (First Amendment) Act altered clause (6) of article 19 to exclude such State monopolies from the scope of sub-paragraph (g) of clause (1) of that article, but there was no similar provision in Part XIII of the Constitution with regard to the opening words of article 301.

According to the Supreme Court’s decision, despite Parliament’s or a State Legislature’s clear authority to impose a State monopoly in a particular sphere of trade or commerce, the law may have to be justified in court as “in the public interest” under article 301 or as a “reasonable restriction” under article 304. (b). Any such question, it is thought, should be left to the Legislatue’s final decision. As a result, Clause 4 of the Bill recommends amending Article 305 to make this apparent.


1. Second Amendment in Constitution – 2nd Amendment, April 23, 2017,

2. THE CONSTITUTION (THIRD AMENDMENT) ACT, 1954, Legislative Department,

3. THE CONSTITUTION (FOURTH AMENDMENT) ACT, 1955, Legislative Department,

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