Amendment of Constitution

Amendment of Constitution - Emergency Provisions

Provision for amendment of the Constitution is made with a view to overcome the difficulties which may encounter in future in the working of the Constitution.

“It has been the nature of the amending process itself in federation which has led political scientist to classify federal Constitution as rigid. A federal Constitution is generally rigid in character as the procedure of amendment is unduly complicated. The procedure of amendment in American Constitution is very difficult.

So is the case with Australia, Canada and Switzerland. It is a common critism of federal Constitution that is too conservative, too difficult to alter and that it is consequently behind the times.”

The framers of the Indian Constitution were keen to avoid excessive rigidity. They were anxious to have a document which could grow with a growing nation, adapt itself to the changing need and circumstances of a growing people. The nature of the ‘amending process’ envisaged by the framers of our Constitution can best be understood by referring the following observation of the late Prime Minister Pt.Nehru, “While we want this Constitution be as solid and permanent as we can make it, there is no permanence in the Constitution.

There should be certain flexibility. If you make anything rigid and permanent you stop the nation’s growth, of a living, vital, organic people……In any event, we could not make this Constitution so ‘rigid’ that it cannot be adopted to changing conditions. 

But the framers of Indian Constitution were also aware of the fact that if the Constitution was so flexible it would be a playing of the whims and caprices of the ruling party. They were, therefore, anxious to avoid flexibility of the extreme type. Hence, they adopted a middle course. It is neither too rigid to admit necessary amendments, nor flexible for undesirable changes.

The machinery of amendment should be like a safety valve, so devised as neither to operate the machine with too great facility nor to require, in order setting in motion, an accumulation of force sufficient to explode it. The Constitution-makers have, therefore, kept the balance between the danger of having non-amendable Constitution and a Constitution which is too easily amendable.

For the purpose of amendment the various Articles of the Constitution are divided into three categories: (1) Amendment by Simple Majority, (2) Amendment by Special Majority and (3) By Special Majority and Ratification by States.

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Amendment of Constitution

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By Hassham

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