List of Important Constitutional Amendments

From the date of coming to existence, the constitution of India has been amended more than 100 times so far. The list of Important constitutional amendments are as follows –

List of important constitutional amendments

The First Constitutional Amendment

It was carried out in year 1951 to overcome certain practical difficulties relating to Fundamental Rights pertaining to equality, liberty and property. It made provision for special treatment for educationally and socially backword classes and added ninth schedule to the constitution. The acts added in 9th schedule can’t be changed by courts.

The Fourth Constitutional Amendment

It was carried out in 1955. It amended provisions relating to property, trade and commerce. It deprived courts of the right to decide the adequacy of compensation for acquisition of property. It also authorised the state to nationalise any trade.

The Fifth Constitutional Amendment (1955)

It empowered the president to fix the time limit for state legislatures to express their views on central laws affecting the areas and boundary of state.

The Eighth Constitutional Amendment (1959)

It extended reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Anglo Indian for a period of 10 years ie till 1970.

The Ninth Constitutional Amendment (1960)

It made certain changes in the first schedule, which became necessary on account of the transfer of certain territories like Berubari, Khulna etc to Pakistan as a result of an agreement concluded by the two governments.

The Tenth Constitutional Amendment (1961)

By this amendment the territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli were incorporated in Indian union.

The Eleventh Constitutional Amendment (1961)

It made changed in the procedure of election of Vice President and provided for a joint meeting of the two houses of parliament. It also provided that election of a President or a Vice President would not be challenged on the ground of vacancy in the appropriate electoral college.

The Twelfth Constitutional Amendment (1962)

By this amendment the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu were incorporated in the Indian Union.

The Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment (1962)

This amendment gave Nagaland the status of state and also provided some special provisions to it.

The Fourteenth Constitutional Amendment (1963)

It incorporated the former French territory of Pondicherry (now puducherry) in the Indian union. It also provided legislatures and/or councils of minsters for the union territories of Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Goa, Daman, and Diu and Pondicherry.

The Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment (1966)

It was passed to facilitate the reorganisation of Punjab on linguistic basis into Punjab and Haryana. It also tranferred home territory to Himachal Pradesh and created union territory of Chandigarh.

The twenty-first Amendment of Constitution (1967)

It included Sindhi as the 15th regional language in the Eighth Schedule.

The twenty-second Amendment (1969)

It created autonomous sub state of Meghalaya within Assam.

The Twenty-third Amendment (1969)

It extended the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and nomination of Anglo Indians for further 10 years.

The Twenty-fourth Amendment (1971)

It affirmed the right of parliament to amend any part of constitution including Fundamental Rights. It made the assent of the President to such amendments automatic. Thus, this amendment overcame the restrictions imposed on the powers of the parliament to amend Fundamental Rights due to Supreme Court’s judgement in the Golak Nath Case.

The Twenty-sixth Amendment (1971)

It abolished the titles and special privileges of former rulers of Princely states.

The Twenty-seventh Amendment (1971)

It created the Union Territories of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Thirty-first Amendment (1973)

It raised the number of Lok Sabha seats from 525 to 545. It also reduced the representation of Union territories from 25 to 20.

The Thirty-sixth Amendment (1975)

This amendment accorded full fledged status of state to Sikkim.

The Thirty-eighth Amendment (1975)

It provided that the right of President to proclaim emergency and promulgate ordinances by President, governors,  and administrative heads of union territories would be final and can not be challenged in any court of law.

The Thirty-ninth amendment (1976)

It placed the election of President, Vice President, Prime Minister and speaker of Lok Sabha beyond the purview of judiciary. Election disputes regarding these officers were to be heard by special courts to be set up by parliament and not by High Courts or the Supreme Court.

The Forty-first Amendment (1976)

It raised the retirement age of members of state public service commission from 60 to 62.

The Forty-second Constitutional Amendment (1976)

It was the most comprehensive amendment to the constitution of India and carried out drastic changes. Some of the major changes are as follows –

  • It added the word socialist and secular in the preamble
  • it provided that the laws enacted for the implementation of Directive Principles could not be struck down by courts on the ground that they violated some Fundamental Rights.
  • It added a set of 10 Fundamental Duties to the constitution.
  • It asserted the supremacy of Parliament with regard to amendment of constitution.
  • It curtailed the powers of High Courts and Supreme Court with regard to issue of writs and judicial review.
  • It froze the seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies from five to six years.
  • It made it obligatory for the President to act on the advice of Council of Ministers.
  • It transferred subjects like forests, education, population control from the state list to concurrent list.
  •  It granted Union government to deploy armed forces in any state to deal with “grave situation of law and order”.
  • It authorized Parliament to make laws to deal with anti-national activities and such laws were to take precedence over Fundamental Rights.

The Forty-third Amendment (1977)

It was carried out by Janta Dal government and sought to nullify the changes introduced by the 42nd amendment by Indira Gandhi government. The important points are –

  • It deprived Parliament of the special powers conferred on it by the 42nd amendment to enact laws for the prohibition of anti-national activities.
  • It restored the jurisdiction of the Supreme court and High courts to pronounce upon the constitutional validity of laws.
  • It again reduced the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies to 5 years.
  • It did away with the special privileges of Prime Minister and Speaker with regard to disputes pertaining to their election to Lok Sabha.

The Forty-fourth Amendment (1979)

It also replaced some of the changes introduced by the 42nd amendment. It modified the emergency provisions of constitution to ensure that these are not misused in future. It restored the jurisdictions and powers of Supreme Court and High Courts that they have before 42nd amendment. It also deleted the right to property from the list of Fundamental Rights. It also took away power from centre to send armed forces to any state to meet a grave situation.

The Fifty-second Amendment (1985)

The Fifty-second amendment was passed unanimously. It was intended to curb political defections by this amendment. This ensured disqualification of a member of Parliament or state legislature who leaves the party on whose symbol he/she contested the election. However the amendment permits a group of people to leave a party and split it in process.

The Fifty-sixth Amendment (1987)

Goa was accorded the status of full fledged state by this amendment.

The Sixty-first Amendment (1989)

It reduced the voting age from 21 years to 18 years for Lok Sabha as well as state assembly elections.

The Seventy-first Amendment (1992)

It included Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali languages in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution thus increasing total number of scheduled languages to 18.

The Seventy-third Amendment (1992)

It cleared the way for formation of Panchayats at village and other levels, direct election to all seats in Panchayats, reservation of SC & ST seats in Panchayat etc. It fixed the term of Panchayats as five years and provided mandatory elections at the end of term.

The Seventy-fourth Amendment (1992)

Provision of Urban Local Bodies was incorporated in constitution.  Provision for constitution, composition, election, duration of municipalities were fixed. Powers and responsibilities of municipalities regarding preparation of plan was also decided.

The Seventy-seventh Amendment (1995)

It nullified the effect of Supreme Court judgement according to which reservation in promotions can not be made.

The Eighty-sixth Amendment (2002)

This  amendment ensured free and compulsory education for all children between age group of 6 to 14 years.

The Ninety-second Amendment (2003)

This amendment paved the way for including Bodo, Dongri, Santhali and Maithili to the Eights Schedule of Constitution. Thus total number of official languages of India increased from 18 to 22.

The Ninety-third Amendment (2006)

This enabled 27 % reservation for OBCs in government and private educational institutes.

The Ninety-sixth Amendment (2011)

According to this amendment “Oriya” was substituted by “Odia”.

The One Hundred Nineteenth Amendment (2015)

India Bangladesh land agreement was confirmed as per this amendment.