STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
The Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Act, 1966, was first titled as the Constitution (Twenty-third Amendment) Bill, 1966, when introduced in the Lok Sabha on 25th November 1966, the Bill proposed to insert a new Article 233A in the Constitution. The Bill was consented by the Lok Sabha in December 1966 with replacing the word “Twenty third” by the word “Twentieth”.
In a judgment of the Supreme Court, appointments of district judges were rendered invalid and illegal in Uttar Pradesh and a few other states, on the ground that such appointments were not made in accordance with the provisions of Article 233 of the Constitution. Another judgment of the Supreme Court held that the power of transfer of such judge from one station to another is not included under Article 233 i.e. the power of posting of a district judge and that under Article 235 of the Constitution, the power of transfer of a district judge is vested in the High Court.
The consequences of those judgments arose a situation because doubts were thrown on the validity of the judgments, decrees, orders, and sentences passed or made by these district judges and several writ petitions and other cases were filed challenging their validity. The functioning of the District Courts practically came to a standstill in Uttar Pradesh. It made necessary in those States, to validate the judgments, decrees, orders and sentences passed or made heretofore by all such District Judges and to validate the appointment, promotion, posting and transfers of such District Judges barring those few who were not eligible for appointment under Article 233.
WHAT IS THERE?
After Article 233 of the Constitution, Article 233A was inserted:-
- "233A. Validation of appointments of and judgments, etc., delivered by, certain district judges. -Notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of any court, -
- (a) (i) no appointment of any person already in the judicial service of a State or of any person who has been for not less than seven years an advocate or a pleader, to be a district judge in that State, and
(ii) no posting, promotion or transfer of any such person as a district judge, made at any time before the commencement of the Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Act, 1966, otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of article 233 or article 235 shall be deemed to be illegal or void or ever to have become illegal or void by reason only of the
fact that such appointment, posting, promotion or transfer was not made in accordance with the said provisions;
- (b) no jurisdiction exercised, no judgment, decree, sentence or order passed or made, and no other act or proceeding done or taken, before the commencement of THE CONSTITUTION (Twentieth Amendment) Act, 1966 by, or before, any person appointed, posted, promoted or transferred as a district judge in any State otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of article 223 or article 235 shall be deemed to be illegal or invalid or ever to have become illegal or invalid by reason only of the fact that such appointment, posting promotion or transfer was not made in accordance with the said provisions.".
The Act inserted the Article 233A, validating the appointments of, and judgments, etc., delivered before the commencement of the present Act, by the district judges who were appointed, promoted, posted or transferred as a district judge in any State otherwise than under the provisions of article 233 or article 235 of the Constitution, hence a crucial Amendment following the Independence.