SALIENT FEATURES OF THE 16TH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION.

1963, this was the period in which a lot of national integrity problem came up in India and this became one of the important factor for amending this 16th amendment act, 1963 . When we speak about national integrity it means “A bond of togetherness between people irrespective of their caste, creed, religion and gender is national integrity. This is a feeling of oneness and brotherhood in a country where diversity is the main ethos.” National Integration keeps the entire country tote and strong, despite the differences in culture, language, and main livelihood.

An integrated nation will always progress towards development and prosperity. So the togetherness which is really important for any country to be happy and in peace that was only disturb during this period. This period even brought up with the problem of communism. Many parts of India faced the crisis because of communism specially the north eastern are they were very badly heated with the problem of communism from so long duration we are speaking about communism so let me tell u what we exactly communism so basically communism is a system of social organisation in which all property is owed by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

the Sixteenth Amendment Act of 1963 has two provisions as follows:

  • Empowered the state to impose further restrictions on the rights to freedom of speech and expression, to assemble peacefully and to form associations in the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India.
  • Included sovereignty and integrity in the forms of oaths or affirmations to be subscribed by contestants to the legislatures, members of the legislatures, ministers, judges and CAG of India.

This amendment has given a lot of importance for national integrity during this period as all our India was asking for the practice of communism so a lot of cases came infront of the parliament regarding the national integrity so as this problems were occurring so government thought to make some changes in the constitution.

A committee called national integration and regionalism was being appointed by national integration council who recommended to get some changes in article 19. basically article 19 speaks about protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech.so the committee stated that article 19 of the constitution be so amended that adequate powers become available for the preservation and maintain the integrity and sovereignty of the union. Though article 19 gives us with freedom of speech and expression but sometimes people use it in such a way that it opposes the nation’s integrity that’s why committee took the decision that in constitution there should be some parameters present which can give the solution for national integrity.

Parliament should form such laws that can remove the negative impact of article 19 or can cartail it or to moderate it. the committee also brought up the changes to the members and the officers who used to hold state legislature and parliament so as we know that through third schedule they take a oath to serve our nation so they also have to take the oath for maintaining the integrity of the nation.so as the oath was taken so it became the duty or responsibility of the state legislature to maintain the nations integrity. So as the reason of national integrity article 19 clause (2) (3) and (4) was amended because it used to unable the state to make any law imposing reasonable restriction on the exercise of the rights conferred by sub clause (a) (b) and (c) of the clause (1) of that article in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India. It also proposed to amend article 84 and 173 and forms of oath in the third schedule of the constitution so as to provide that every candidate for the membership of the parliament or state legislature , union and state ministers ,members of parliament and state legislature, judges of supreme court and high courts and the comptroller and auditor general of India should take an oath to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.

Amendment to article 19

  • (a) in clause (2), after the words “in the interest” the word “the sovereignty and integrity of India” shall be inserted
  • (b) in clauses (3) and (4) after the word “in the interest of ” the word “the sovereignty and integrity of India” shall be inserted

Amendment to article 84 and 173

  • (a)is a citizen of India and makes and subscribes before some person authorized in that behalf by the election commission an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the third schedule 
  • After the words “constitution of India as by law established” the words that “I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India “shall be inserted

So when we speak about article 19 it is clearly mention in the interest of sovereignty and integrity the members of parliament can get the changes in the rights that are mention in article 19 . rights are curtail if they fill that sovereignty or integrity is harmed and even government is given with complete permission to make a new law if it brings changes in the sovereignty and integrity .

This amendment was recommended by national integration council which was made after the conference. our prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru has called upon an conference in September-october 1961.this conference was brought because to sove the evil that occur due to communism ,casteism, Religionalism , linguism and narrow mindedness .national integration council was made to review all matter pertaining to national integration and to make recommendations there on. National integration council held its first meeting in 1962. National integration council declared its objective in 1968which were as the foundation of our national life is common citizenship, unity in diversity freedom of religions ,secularism ,equality justice-social ,economic and political and fraternity among all communities .the national integration council reiterates its faith in these values and dedicates itself to the achievement and also it will get the concerns in front of then parliamentary and government will make law for it or government will try to resolve the concerns. If any communal activity is going on it will inform the government and make its solution or if there is any problem that is faced in political parties or in any society if there is violence or tolerance then this committee will inform it to the parliament to make the laws. this is one of the best amendment that was brought to find the solution of national integrity and it has worked in a peaceful manner.

Reference :

ISBN: 978-93-5143-064-3

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