Polity Study Material: Constitutional amendments

Amendment To The Constitution

Method of Amendment Indian Constitution provides three methods of amending the Constitution:

  1. Amendment by Special Majority: Under Article 368 of the Constitution, the general provision for the amendment of the Constitution can be initiated out by the introduction of a Bill in either House of Parliament. If the Bill is passed by a majority of total membership of the House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting in each House and thereafter assented to by the President, the Constitution stands amended.

  2. Amendments requiring Special Majority and Ratification by States: Changes in the Constitution with regard to the following matters can be made by the Parliament after the Bill has been passed by both the Houses of Parliament by a majority of total membership of each House and by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting in each House and having been ratified by not less than one-half of the States and assented to by the President:

    1. the manner of election of the President

    2. extent of executive powers of the Union and the States

    3. provisions relating to the Supreme Court and High Courts

    4. distributing of legislative powers between Union and the States

    5. representation of States in Parliament

    6. provisions for the amendment of the Constitution.

  3. Amendment by Simple Majority: A Bill in respect of any of the following subjects is treated as an ordinary Bill, that is, it is passed by a simple majority of members present and voting:

    1. admission or establishment of new States, formation of new States, and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States (Art. 4)

    2. creation or abolition of Legislative Council in the States (Art. 169)

    3. administration and control of Scheduled Areas (para 7 of the Fifth Schedule)

    4. administration of Tribal Areas in the States of Assam, Meghalaya. Tripura and Mizoram (para 21 of the Sixth Schedule). Though normal legislative procedure holds good so far as this class of amendments is concerned, certain conditions. However, do attach to the bills referred to in i and ii above, such as recommendation of the President for introduction of such Bills in Parliament and adoption of necessary resolution by concerned State Legislative Assembly, respectively.