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Power and Procedure of Amendment of constitution

Power and Procedure of Amendment
Power and Procedure of Amendment


The power to amend a constitution is crucial for ensuring its relevance and adaptability to evolving societal needs. In the case of India, the Constitution provides a well-defined procedure for amendment, outlined primarily in Article 368. This article provides the steps necessary to modify different provisions of the Constitution, ensuring a delicate balance between flexibility and rigidity to uphold fundamental principles while accommodating changes.


Categories of Provisions

The Indian Constitution categorises its provisions into three classes based on their significance:

  1. Provisions of Less Significance: These include provisions related to the admission of new states, citizenship, executive powers, and language usage. They can be amended through the ordinary legislative process, akin to passing regular laws in Parliament.

  2. Material and Vital Provisions: This category encompasses provisions crucial to the functioning of the Constitution. They require a higher threshold for amendment, necessitating a special majority in both Houses of Parliament.

  3. Entrenched Provisions: These are the most critical aspects of the Constitution, particularly those related to its federal character. Amending these provisions requires not only the special majority in Parliament but also ratification by at least half of the State Legislatures.

Procedure for Formal Constitutional Amendment

The procedure for formal constitutional amendment, as laid out in Article 368, includes several distinct steps:

  1. Initiation: An amendment can only be proposed by introducing a bill for that purpose in either House of Parliament.

  2. Passage: The bill must be passed by each House by a majority of its total membership and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting.

  3. Presidential Assent: After passing both Houses, the bill must receive the assent of the President to become law.

  4. Ratification (for Entrenched Provisions): For amendments affecting the federal character of the Constitution, the bill must also be ratified by the legislatures of at least half of the States by resolutions.

Significance of the Ratification Process

The inclusion of a ratification process for entrenched provisions reflects the federal principle enshrined in the Constitution. It ensures that changes with significant implications for federalism receive the consent of the State Legislatures, thus maintaining the delicate balance between the Centre and the States.


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