Constitutional Amendments: List of Amendments to our Indian Constitution

31 Oct 2023  Read 4888 Views

'To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.'

- Winston Churchill

These words by Winston Churchill highlights the importance of a Constitution that can change and adapt. For India, the world's largest democracy, the Constitution is not just a legal document but a living testament to its commitment to justice, equality, and liberty. Since its adoption on January 26, 1950, the Indian Constitution has undergone a series of amendments, as a response to changing times.

Constitutional amendments by Parliament play a pivotal role in shaping the future of a country. It simply means the process of making changes to the Constitution under Article 368 of Part XX of our Indian Constitution.

The best way to understand the nature of the constitutional amendment process is to use Pandit Nehru’s insight that the Constitution shouldn’t be so rigid that it can’t be modified to meet changing requirements for national progress and strength.

So, let's discuss the list of amendments made under Indian Constitution along with the amendment procedure in detail.

What is Article 368 of Indian Constitution?

Article 368 of Part XX of the Indian Constitution provides for two types of amendments.

  • By a special majority of Parliament
  • By a special majority of the Parliament with the ratification by half of the total states

Amendments as per Article 368

  1. Introduction in the Parliament: First, the bill for a change, called an amendment, has to be introduced in one of the two Houses of India's Parliament, state legislatures cannot interfere. The President’s previous approval is not mandatory for either a ministry or a private member to present the measure.

  2. Special Majority Needed: To actually make the constitutional amendment happen, the bill must be passed in each House separately by special majority (many MPs need to agree in each House). That is; it's not a simple majority, it has to be more than half of all the members in Parliament and two-thirds of the ones who are present and voting on the day they talk about it.

  3. Two Houses, Two Approvals: The bill has to be accepted by both the Houses of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. In case of any disagreement, there's no provision for them to come together with the help of a joint session and make it happen.

  4. Ratification by State Legislatures, when needed: If the bill seeks to amend the federal provisions of the Constitution, it must also be ratified by the legislatures of half of the states by a simple majority, that is, a majority of the members of the House present and voting (more than 50%).

  5. Bill presented before the President: After duly passed by both the Houses of Parliament and ratified by the state legislatures, where necessary, the bill is presented to the President for assent.

  6. President's Final Say: Once both the Houses of Parliament agree, the bill goes to the President. The President has to say "yes" to it. He is unable to refuse to sign the law or send it back for the Parliament to reconsider.

  7. Bill Becomes a Law: When the President says "yes," the bill becomes a law, called a constitutional amendment act. This means the Constitution changes according to the new rules in this law.

Also read The 105th Amendment of Indian Constitution

Types of Constitutional Amendments

1. Examples of Simple Majority Amendment in Constitution

Under this category, amendments such as the admission of a new state under article 2, Schedule IV, and article 11, among other things, may be made.

2. Examples of Amendment requiring Special Majority in Constitution

Certain provisions of the Constitution may be modified by a special majority. The Instances are as follows:

  • Passing of constitutional amendment without harming the basic structure of The Indian Constitution.
  • Removal of Judges from High Court or Supreme Court.
  • National Emergency.
  • Removing the chief Election Commissioner.
  • Removing the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

3. Examples of Amendment requiring Special Majority with Ratification from State Assemblies 

Some provisions require a special majority from the Parliament as well as ratification from half of the State Assemblies. Such provisions include: election of President, Supreme Court and High Courts, representation of states in Parliament, distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the states, and the extent of executive power of the Union and the states.

What are the limitations on the amending powers of the Parliament?

  • In the landmark Kesavananda Bharati case of 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament possesses the authority to amend any part of the constitution, but it cannot alter the 'basic structure of the constitution'.

  • The ingredients of the basic structure are not clearly defined by the court. However, it has been interpreted to include provisions like the values enshrined in the Preamble, such as secularism, equality as well as concepts like federalism, separation of powers, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, and so on.

List of all Amendments in Indian Constitution 

The table below provides the list of all the amendments until now made to our Indian Constitution. That is; 105 amendments in total.

Note: The amendments marked in bold are the most important from competitive exam's point of view.

Amendments  Amendments to the Constitution of India
1st Articles 15, 19, 85, 87, 174, 176, 341, 342, 372, and 376
Inserted articles 31A and 31B
Inserted schedule 9
2nd Amended Article 81(1)(b)
3rd Amended schedule 7
4th Amended articles 31, 31A, and 305
Amended schedule
5th Amended article 3
6th Amended articles 269 and 286
Amended schedule 7
7th Amended articles 1, 3, 49, 80, 81, 82, 131, 153, 158, 168, 170, 171, 216, 217, 220, 222, 224, 230, 231, and 232
Inserted articles 258A, 290A, 298, 350A, 350B, 371, 372A and 378A
Amended Part 8
Amended schedules 1, 2, 4, and 7
8th Amended article 334
9th Amended schedule 1
10th Amended article 240
Amended schedule 1
11th Amended articles 66 and 71
12th Amended article 240
Amended schedule 1
13th Amended article 170
Inserted new article 371A
14th Amended articles 81 and 240
Inserted article 239A
Amended schedules 1 and 4
15th Amended articles 124, 128, 217, 222, 224, 226, 297, 311 and 316
Inserted article 224A
Amended schedule 7
16th Amended articles 19, 84 and 173
Amended schedule 3
17th Amended article 31A
Amended schedule 9
18th Amended article 3
19th Amended article 324
20th Inserted article 233A
21st Amended schedule 8
22nd Amended article 275
Inserted articles 244A and 371B
23rd Amended articles 330, 332, 333 and 334
24th Amended articles 13 and 368
25th Amended article 31
Inserted article 31C
26th Amended article 366
Inserted article 363A
Removed articles 291 and 362
27th Amended articles 239A and 240
Inserted articles 239B and 371C
28th Inserted article 312A
Removed article 314
29th Amended schedule 9
30th Amended article 133
31st Amended articles 81, 330 and 332
32nd Amended article 371
Inserted articles 371D and 371E
Amended schedule 7
33rd Amended articles 101 and 190
34th Amended schedule 9
35th Amended articles 80 and 81
Inserted article 2A
Inserted schedule 10
36th Amended articles 80 and 81
Inserted article 371F
Removed article 2A
Amended schedules 1 and 4
Removed schedule 10
37th Amended articles 239A and 240
38th Amended articles 123, 213, 239B, 352, 356, 359 and 360
39th Amended articles 71 and 329
Inserted article 329A
Amended schedule 9
40th Amended article 297
Amended schedule 9
41st Amended article 316
42nd Amended articles 31, 31C, 39, 55, 74, 77, 81, 82, 83, 100, 102, 103, 105, 118, 145, 150, 166, 170, 172, 189, 191, 192, 194, 208, 217, 225, 226, 227, 228, 311, 312, 330, 352, 353, 356, 357, 358, 359, 366, 368 and 371F
Inserted articles 31D, 32A, 39A, 43A, 48A, 131A, 139A, 144A, 226A, 228A and 257A
Inserted Parts 4A and 14A
Amended schedule 7
43rd Amended articles 145, 226, 228 and 366
Removed articles 31D, 32A, 131A, 144A, 226A and 228A
44th Amended articles 19, 22, 30, 31A, 31C, 38, 71, 74, 77, 83, 103, 105, 123, 132, 133, 134, 139A, 150, 166, 172, 192, 194, 213, 217, 225, 226, 227, 239B, 329, 352, 356, 358, 359, 360 and 371F.
Inserted articles 134A and 361A
Removed articles 31, 257A and 329A
Amended Part 12
Amended schedule 9
45th Amended article 334
46th Amended articles 269, 286 and 366
Amended schedule 7
47th Amended schedule 9
48th Amended article 356
49th Amended article 244.
Amended schedules 5 and 6
50th Amended article 33
51st Amended articles 330 and 332
52nd Amended articles 101, 102, 190 and 191
Inserted schedule 10
53rd Inserted article 371G
54th Amended articles 125 and 221.
Amended schedule 2
55th Inserted article 371H
56th Inserted article 371I
57th Amended article 332
58th Inserted article 394A
Amended Part 22
59th Amended article 356
Inserted article 359A
60th Amended article 276
61st Amended article 326
62nd Amended article 334
63rd Amended article 356
Removed article 359A
64th Amended article 356
65th Amended article 338
66th Amended schedule 9
67th Amended article 356
68th Amended article 356
69th Inserted articles 239AA, and 239AB
70th Amended articles 54 and 239AA
71st Amended schedule 8
72nd Amended article 332
73rd Inserted Part 9. Inserted schedule 11
74th Inserted Part 9A, inserted schedule 12; Amended article 280
75th Amended article 323B
76th Amended schedule 9
77th Amended article 16
78th Amended schedule 9
79th Amended article 334
80th Amended articles 269 and 270.
Removed article 272
81st Amended article 16
82nd Amended article 335
83rd Amended article 243M
84th Amended articles 55, 81, 82, 170, 330 and 332
85th Amended article 16
86th Amended articles 45 and 51A.
Inserted article 21A
87th Amended articles 81, 82, 170 and 330
88th Amended article 270.
Inserted article 268A.
Amended schedule 7
89th Amended article 338.
Inserted article 338A
90th Amended article 332
91st Amended articles 75 and 164.
Inserted article 361B.
Amended schedule 10
92nd Amended schedule 8
93rd Amended article 15
94th Amended article 164
95th Amended article 334
96th Amended schedule 8
97th Amended Article 19 and added Article 43B and Part IXB
98th To insert Article 371J in the Constitution
99th Insertion of new articles 124A, 124B, and 124C. Amendments to Articles 127, 128, 217, 222, 224A, 231
100th Amendment of First Schedule to the Constitution
101st Addition of articles 246A, 269A, 279A. Deletion of Article 268A.
Amendment of articles 248, 249, 250, 268, 269, 270, 271, 286, 366, 368, Sixth Schedule, Seventh Schedule
102nd Addition of articles 338B, 342A, and Added Clause 26C.
Modification of articles 338, 366
103rd Amendment to Article 15, added Clause [6]
Amendment to Article 16, added Clause [6]
104th Amended article 334
105th Amended Articles 338B, 342A and 366

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the amendments made to the Indian Constitution represent the nation's ability to adapt and evolve in response to changing times and circumstances. From its inception, India's Constitution has been a dynamic document, reflecting the country's commitment to upholding the values of justice, equality, and liberty.

While the process of amending the Constitution is rigorous and thoughtful, it is essential to ensure that the fundamental principles enshrined in the Preamble, such as secularism, equality along with the concepts like federalism, and the rule of law, remain intact. These amendments have not only refined the Constitution but have also strengthened India's democracy, reinforcing the idea that the nation continues to strive for a just and inclusive society. 

Competitive Exam Questions on Constitutional Amendments

Question 1: Which legislative body in India can initiate the process of amending the Constitution?

A) State legislatures

B) The President

C) Rajya Sabha

D) Parliament

Question 2: What majority is required for a constitutional amendment bill to pass in both houses of Parliament?

A) Simple majority

B) Two-thirds majority of members present and voting

C) Majority of the entire membership of the house

D) Absolute majority

Question 3: In the Kesavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament cannot alter the "basic structure of the Constitution." What is included in the basic structure?

A) The number of states in India

B) Fundamental rights

C) The official languages of India

D) The composition of the President's Council of Ministers

Question 4: What happens after a constitutional amendment bill is approved by both houses of Parliament?

A) It goes to the President for approval

B) It goes to the Prime Minister for final review

C) It is automatically enacted as an amendment

D) It is sent to the Supreme Court for validation

Question 5: Which part of the Indian Constitution reflects the values and principles that are considered part of the "basic structure"?

A) Directive Principles of State Policy

B) Fundamental Duties

C) Preamble

D) Schedule of Amendments

Answers

1. D) Parliament

2. B) Two-thirds majority of members present and voting

3. B) Fundamental rights

4. A) It goes to the President for approval

5. C) Preamble

About the Author: Kakoli Nath | 275 Post(s)

She is a Legal Content Manager at Finology Legal! With a Masters in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), a BBA.LL.B from ITM University, and patent analyst training from IIPTA, she truly specializes in her field. Her passion for IPR and Criminal laws is evident from her advanced certification in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Profiling from IFS, Pune.

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