UPSC NCERT POLITY NOTES: TOPIC WISE SOLVED MCQ’s
UPSC Polity : Citizenship, Directive Principles of the State Policy and Fundamental Duties Notes Part 1
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Today’s Topic:Amendment of the Constitution
Q1. Which of the following statements are not true about the process of constitutional Amendment in India?
a) The Parliament can amend the Constitution with a special majority.
b) State Assemblies can propose amendment in the Constitution.
c) A Bill for Constitution Amendment can be introduced only in the Lower House of the Parliament.
d) Deadlock between the two Houses of Parliament over a Bill for Constitution Amendment can be removed by a joint session of the Parliament.
The President of India enjoys the veto power over Constitutional Amendment Bills passed by the Parliament.
Select the correct answer from the codes given below.
a) a, c and d
b) b, c, d and e
c) a, d and e
d) a, b, c and d
Explanation: The constitution provided for three categories of amendments are those contemplated in articles 4 (2), 169 (3) – 1962, 239A (2) – 1962, 239AA (7b) – 1991, 243M (4b) – 1992, 243ZC (3) – 1992, 244A (4) – 1969, 356 (1)c, para 7(2) of schedule V and para 21 (2) of Schedule VI. These amendments can be effect majority by Parliament by a simple majority such as that required for the passing of any ordinary law. The amendments under this category are specifically excluded from the purview of article 368 which is the specific provision in the Constitution dealing with the power and the procedure for the amendment of the Constitution. Article 4 provide that laws made by Parliament under article 2 (relating to admission or establishment of new States) and article 3 (relating to formation of new States and alternation of areas, boundaries or names of existing States) effecting amendments in the First Schedule or the Fourth Schedule and supplemental, incidental and consequential matters shall not be deemed to be amendments of the Constitution for the purposes of article 368. For example, the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, Which brought about reorganisation of the States in India, was passed by Parliament as an ordinary piece of legislation. In Mangal Singh v.Union of India (A.I.R. 1967 S.S. 944), the Supreme Court held that power to reduce the total number of members of Legislative Assembly below the minimum prescribed under article 170 (1) is implicit in the authority 4. Article 169 empowers Parliament to provide by law for the abolition or creation of the Legislative Councils in States and specifies that though such law shall contain such provisions for the amendment of the Constitutions as may be necessary, it shall not be deemed to be an amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of article 368. The Legislative Councils Act, 1957, which provided for the creation of a Legislative Council in Andhra Pradesh and for increasing the strength of the Legislative Councils in certain other States, is an example of a law passed by Parliament in exercise of its powers under article 169. The Fifth Schedule contains provisions as to the administration and control of the administration and control of the Schedule Areas and Scheduled Tribes. Para 7 of the Schedule vests Parliament with plenary powers to enact laws amending the Schedule and lays down that no such law shall be deemed to be an amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of article 368. Under para 21 of the Sixth Schedule, Parliament has full power to enact laws amending the Sixth Schedule which contains provisions for the administration of Tribal Areas in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. No such law, will be deemed to be an amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of article 368.
The Second category includes amendments that can be effected by Parliament by a prescribed ‘special majority’; and the third category of amendments includes those that require, in addition to such “special majority”, ratification by at least one half of the state Legislatures. The last two categories are governed by article 368.
Ambedkar speaking the Constituent Assembly on 17 September 1949, pointed out that there were “innumerable articles in the Constitution” which left matters subject to law made by Parliament. Under article 11, Parliament may make any provision relating to citizenship not withstanding anything in article 5 to 10. Thus, by passing ordinary laws, Parliament may, in effect, provide, modify or annul the operation of certain provisions of the Constitution without actually am ending’ them within the meaning of article 368. Since such laws do not in fact make any change what so ever in the letter of the Constitution, they cannot be regarded as amendments of the Constitution nor categorized as such. Other examples include PartXXI of the Constitution—“Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions” whereby “Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution” power is given to Parliament to make laws with respect to certain matters included in the State List (article 369); article 370 (1) d) which empowers the President to modify, by order, provisions for the Constitution in their application to the State of Jammu and Kashmir; provisions to article 83 (2) and 172 (1) empower Parliament to extend the lives of the House of the people and the Legislative Assembly of every state beyond a period of five years during the operation of a Proclamation of Emergency; and articles 83(1) and 172 (2) provide that the Council of States/Legislative Council of a state shall not be subject to dissolution but as nearly as possible one –third of the members thereof shall retire as soon as may be on the expiration of every second year in accordance with the provisions made in that behalf by Parliament by law.]
Q2. Which constitutional amendment provided for the setting up of Administrative Tribunals in India?
a) 24th Amendment
b) 59th Amendment
c) 42nd Amendment
d) 44th Amendment
Explanation: 323A. Administrative Tribunals- (1) Parliament may, by law, provide for the adjudication or trial by administrative tribunals of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State or of any local or other authority within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India or of any corporation owned or controlled by the Government.]
Q3. In which of the following case the Supreme Court of India held that, the power of amendment belonged to the Parliament, and this power was an unlimited one?
a) SankariPrasasd V. Union of India
b) Bela Banerjee and Others V. State of West Bengal
c) KesavanadaBhartiV.State of Kerala
d) RomeshThaparV.State of Madras
Explanation: Article 13 of the original constitution said that the state shall not make any law that takes away or abridges the rights given to the citizens in Part III and any such law made in contravention of this article shall be deemed void to the extent of contravention. Thus, it seemed that parliament cannot amend the constitution in a way that takes away the fundamental rights of the citizens.
The logic was first tested by the Supreme Court in the case of Shankari Prasad Vs. Union of India AIR 1951.In this case, an amendment to add Article 31 A and 31 B to the constitution was challenged on the ground that they take away fundamental right of the citizens and therefore not allowed by article 13].
Q4. Which among the following pertains to the sixty first Constitutional Amendment?
a) Ninth Schedule
c) Amendment of Article 368
d) Lowering of voting age
Explanation: The Constitution (Sixty-first Amendment) Act, 1988, lowered the voting age of elections to the LokSabha and to the Legislative Assemblies of States from 21 years to 18 years. This was done by amending Article 326 of the Constitution, which concern to elections to the LokSabha and the Assemblies.]
Q5. Which of the following Articles were not part of the original Constitution of India?
Select the correct answer from the codes given below:
a) (i) and (ii)
b) (i) and (iii)
c) (ii) and (iii)
d) (ii) and (iv)
Explanation: Article 300A now reads as follows: Persons not to be deprived of property save by authority of law. No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.
The Constitution of India can be accessed here.
This amendment had two immediate implications:
- The Right to Property would now be a Constitutional Right and not a Fundamental Right. A legislation violating the constitutional right to property could now be challenged only in High Courts and not directly in the Supreme Court.
- Due to the deletion of Article 31 the Government was no longer under an obligation to compensate persons whose land has been acquired as per a law passed by Parliament.
Part IV-A was added by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976. It encompasses Part IV, Article 51A enu-merating Ten Fundamental Duties of the Citizens of India.]
Q6. Which amendment of the Constitution of India limits the number of Ministers?
Explanation: The Constitution (Ninety-First Amendment) Act, 2003, restricts the size of a Council of Ministers to 15% of the total number of members in Parliament or a State Legislature. The Amendment also strengthened anti defection laws, and withdrew the protection to a member of a House from disqualification on the ground of defection in case of split in the political party.]
Q7. Which of the following are voluntary provisions in the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act (1992)?
- Minimum age of 21 for contesting elections to Panchayats.
- Indirect elections to the post of Chairperson of Panchayats at the intermediate and district levels.
- Representation of Members of Parliament and State Legislature on Panchayati Raj institutions.
- Reservation of seats for backward classes.
Select the correct answer from the code given below:
a) 1, 2 and 4
b) 2, 3 and 4
c) 1, 2 and 3
d) 3 and 4
Explanation: 73rd Amendment Constitution of India: Definition in this Part, unless the context otherwise requires:
a) “district” means a district in a State;
b)”Gram Sabha “ means a body consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of Panchayat at the village level;
c)”Intermediate level” means a level between the village and district levels specified by the Governor of a State by public notification to be the intermediate level for the purposes of this Part;
d)”Panchayat” means an institution (by whatever name called) of self-government constituted under article 243B, for the rural areas;
e) “Panchayat area” means the territorial area of a Panchayat;
f)”Population’ means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published;
g) “village” means a village specified by the Governor by public notification to be a village for the purposes of this Part and includes a group of villages so specified.
-A Gram Sabha may exercise such powers and perform such functions at the village level as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide.
243-B. Constitution of Panchayats
a) There shall be constituted in every State, Panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels in accordance with the provisions of this Part.
Notwithstanding anything in clause (1), Panchayats at the intermediate level may not be constituted in a State having a population not exceeding twenty lakhs.
243-c.Composition of Panchayats
a) Subject to the provisions of this part, the Legislature of a State may, by law, making provisions with respect to the composition of Panchayats : provided that the ratio between the population of the territorial area to a Panchayat at any level and the number of sects in such Panchayat to be filled by election shall, so far as practicable, be the same throughout the State.
b) All the seats in a Panchayat shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the Panchayat area and, for this purpose, each Panchayat area shall be divided into territorial constituencies in such manner that the ratio between the population of each constituency and the number of seats allotted to it shall, so far as practicable, be the same throughout the Panchayat area.
c) The Legislature of a State may, by law, provide for the representation –
a) of the Chairpersons of the Panchayat at the village level, in the Panchayat at the intermediate level or, in the case of a state not having Panchayat at the intermediate level, in the Panchayat at the district level;
b) of the Chairpersons of the Panchayatat the intermediate level, in the Panchayat at the district level;
c)of the members of the House of the People and the members of the Legislative Assembly of the State representing constituencies which comprise wholly or partly a Panchayat area at a level other than the village level, in such Panchayat;
d)of the members of the Council of State and the members of the Legislative Council of the State, where they are registered as electors within-
(i)A Panchayat area at the intermediate level, in Panchayat at the intermediate level, in Panchayat at the intermediate level;
(ii) a Panchayat area at the district level, in Panchayat at the district level.
d) The Chairperson of a Panchayat and other members of a Panchayatwhether or not chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the Panchayat area shall have the right to vote in the meetings of the Panchayats.
(5) The Chairperson of –
a) a Panchayat at the village level shall be elected in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide; and
b) a Panchayat at the intermediate level or district level shall be elected by, and from amongst, the elected members thereof.
243-D. Reservation of seats –
(1) Seats shall be reserved for –
- a) The Scheduled Castes; and b) the Scheduled Tribes,. In every Panchayat and the number of seats so reserved shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in that Panchayat as the population of the Scheduled Castes in that Panchayat area or of the Scheduled Tribes in that Panchayat area bears to the total population of that area and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.
- b) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled castes or, as he case may be, the Scheduled Tribes.
- c) Not less than one – third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.
- d) The offices of the Chairpersons in the Panchayat at the village or any other level shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and women in such manner as the Legislature of State may, by law, provide: Provided that the number of offices of Chairpersons reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Panachayats at each level in any State shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of such offices in the Panchayats at each level as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the State or of the Scheduled Tribes in the State bears to the total population of the State ‘Provided further that not less than one-third of the total number of offices of Chair persons in the Panchayats at each level shall be reserved for women.
Provided also that the number of offices reserved under this clause shall be allotted by rotation to different Panchayats at each level.
5. The reservation of seats under clauses (1) and (2) and the reservation of offices of Chairpersons (other than the reservation for women) under clause (4) shall cease to have effect on the expiration of the period specified in Article 334.
6. Nothing in this Part shall prevent the Legislature of a State from making any provision for reservation of seats in any Panchayat or offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayats at any level in favour of backward class of citizens.
243-E. Duration of Panchayats etc.
a) Every Panchayat, unless sooner dissolved under any law for the time being in force, shall continue for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting and no longer.
b) No amendment of any law for the time being in force shall have the effect of causing dissolution of a Panchayat at any level, which is functioning immediately before such amendment. Till the expiration of its duration specified in clause.(1).
(3) An election to constitute a Panchayat shall be completed-
a) Before the expirty of its duration specified in clause(1):
b) Before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution: Provided that where the reminder of the period for which the dissolved Panchayat would have continued is less than six months, it shall not be necessary to hold any election under this clause for constituting the Panchayat.
(4) A Panchayat constituted upon the dissolution of a Panchayat before the expiration of its duration shall continue only for the remainder of the period for which the dissolved Panchayat would have continued under clause (1) had it not been so dissolved.
243-F.Disqualifications for membership:
a) A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of a Panchayat a) if he is so disqualified by or under any law for the time being in force for the purposes of elections to the Legislature of the State concerned: Provided that no person shall be disqualified on the ground that he is less than twenty – five years of age, if he has attained the age of twenty-one years; b) if he is so disqualified by or under any law made by the Legislature of the State. b) if any question arises as to whether a member of a Panchayat has become subject to any of the disqualification mentioned in clause (1), the question shall be referred for the decision of such authority and in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide.
243-G. Powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayats-
Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Legislature of a State may, by law, endow the Panchayats with such powers and authority with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government and such law may contain provisions for the devolution of powers and responsibilities upon Panchayats at the appropriate level, subject to such conditions as may be specified therein, with respect to:
a) the preparation of plans for economic development and social justice; b)the implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice s may be entrusted to them including those in relation to the matters limited in the Eleventh Schedule.
243-H-Powers to impose taxes by, and Funds of the Panchayats- The Legislature of a State may, by law,-
a)Authorise a Panchayat to levy, collect and appropriate such taxes, duties, tolls and fees in accordance with such procedure and subject to such limits; b)assign to a Panchayat such taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied and collected by the State Government for such purpose and subject to such conditions and limits; c)Provide for making such grant-in-aid to the Panchayats from the Consolidated Fund of the State; and d)Provide for constitution of such funds for crediting all moneys received, respectively, by or on behalf of the Panchayats and also for the withdrawal of such moneys therefrom as may be specified in the law.
243-1-Constituion of Finance Commission to review financial position.
a) The Governor of a State shall, as soon as may be within one year form the commencement of the Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992, and thereafter at the expiration of every fifth year, constitute a Finance Commission to review the financial position of the Panchayats and to make recommendations to the Governor as to-
a) The principles which should govern-
(i) the distribution between the State and the Panchayats of the net proceeds of the taxes, duties, tolls and fees leviable by the State, which may be divided between them under this part and the allocation between and Panchayats at all levels of their respective shares of such proceeds; (ii) the determination of the taxes, duties, tolls and fees which may be assigned to, or appropriated by, the Panchayats.]
Q8. Which of the following are matters on which a constitutional amendment is possible only with the ratification of the legislature of not less than one-half of the states?
- Election of the President
- Representation of states in Parliament
- Any of the Lists in the 7th Schedule
- Abolition of the Legislature Council of a State
a) 1,2 and 3
b) 1,2 and 4
c) 1,3 and 4
d) 2,3 and 4
Explanation: Part XX of The Constitution of India contains only one Article 368. It deals with the power of the Parliament to amend the Constitution. It lays down two special methods for the amendment of various parts of the constitution. Along with it the Union Parliament has the power to change some specified features/parts of the Constitution by passing an ordinary law.
Two Special Methods of Amendment under Art 368.
- Amendment by 2/3rd Majority of Parliament:
Most parts of the Constitution (with exception of some specific provisions) can be amended by this method. Under this method, the Constitution can be amended by the Union Parliament alone. For this
Purpose an amendment bill can be passed by each of the two Houses of Union Parliament by a majority of its total member-ship (i.eabsolute majority) and by a two-third majority of members present and voting in each House. It is a rigid method in so far as it prescribes a special majority for amending the constitution but it is considered to be a flexible method because under it the Union Parliament alone can pass any amendment.
1.. Amendment by 2/3rd Majority of the Parliament plus Ratification by at least half of the several State Legislatures:
In respect of some specified provisions of the Constitution, a very rigid method of amendment has been prescribed.
In respect of these the amendment-making involves two stages:
First, the amendment bill is to be passed by both the Houses of the Union Parliament by a majority of total membership and a 2/3rd majority of members present and voting in each House.
Secondly, after this the amendment bill has to secure ratification from at least heal of the several State Legislatures (now at least 14 state legislatures). Only then it gets finally passed and incorporated as a part of the Constitution when the President Puts his signatures on the bill.
The following provisions of the Constitution can be amended by this rigid method:
(i) Election of the President . (ii) Scope of the executive power of the Union. (iii)Scope of the executive power of a State.(iv)Provisions regarding High Courts in Union Territories. (v) Provisions regarding Supreme Court of India. (vi) Provisions regarding High Court in States. (vii) Legislative Relations between the Union and States. (viii) Any of the Lists in the Seventh Schedule. (Division of powers between the Union and states) (ix) Representation of States in the Parliament. (x) The Provisions of Article 368. (Method of Amendment)
III. Additional Amendment making by A simple Majority in the Two Houses of Parliament:
In respect of some provisions of the Constitution the Parliament has been given the power to make necessary changes by passing as a law in the normal way.i.e. by simple majority of members of both of its Houses. It is, indeed, an easy method of amendment.
It applies to the following provisions of the Constitution:
(i) A Admission/formation of new States and alternation of areas, boundaries or names of existing States.(ii) Citizenship provision (iii) Provision regarding delimitation of constituencies. (iv) Quorum of the two Houses of Parliament.(v) Privileges and Salaries and allowances of the MPs. (vi) Rule of procedure in each House of the Parliament. (vii) English as a language of the Parliament. (viii)Appointment of Judges and jurisdiction of Supreme Court. (ix) Creation or abolition of Upper Houses in any state. (x) Legislatures for Union Territories. (xi) Elections in the country. (xii) Official language of India (xiii) Second, fifth and sixth Schedules of the Constitution.
These methods of amendment reflect a mixture of rigidity and flexibility in the Indian Constitution.]
Q9. Assertion (A) : The reservation of thirty-three per-cent of seats from women in Parliament and State Legislature does not require Constitutional amendment.
Reason(R) : Political parties contesting elections can allocate thirty-three Percent of seats they contest to women candidates without any Constitutional amendment.
a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A
b) Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A
c) A is true but R is false
d) A is false but R is true
Q10. An amendment to the Constitution of India can be initiated by the
- Lok Sabha
- Rajya Sabha
- State Legislature
a) 1 alone
b) 1, 2 and 3
c) 2, 3 and 4
d) 1 and 2