The Constitutional (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955

The reasons for the bill to be enforced was aimed to make changes or to amend Articles 31, 31A and 305 and Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

The seminal judgments of the Supreme Court of India have provided a wide sense to Article 31(1) and (2).The deprivation of property referred to in clause (1) was to be interpreted in the broadest sense in order to be true in compliance with the decision; the provision for compensation referred to in clause (2) of the Article was intended. It was therefore deemed necessary to restore the State's power of compulsory acquisition and requisitioning of private property and to differentiate it from cases where the application of the regulatory or prohibitive laws of the State results in "deprivation of property."

In the purposes of examining their constitutionality with reference to Articles 14, 19 and 31, as well as Articles 31A and 31B and the Ninth Schedule, the terms of the Constitution (First Amendment) Act were taken into account. Another suggestion was to add in the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution, two more State Acts and four Union Acts which fall within the reach of sub-clauses (d) and (f) of clause (1) of the revised Article 31A.

The Supreme Court in case of Saghir Ahmed v. State of Uttar Pradesh 1954 AIR 728, considered that "whether an act allowing for a State monopoly on a specific industry or business conflict with the freedom of trade and trade pursuant to article 301" but left the matter unresolved. The suggestion, then, was to make Article 301 explicit.

History behind Article 31A-

The Bihar Land Reform Act of 1950 was declared to be unconstitutional pursuant to Article 14 for classifying zamindars in a discriminatory way for purposes of reimbursement in Kameshwar Singh v. State of Bihar AIR 1953 Pat 167. A new clause has been introduced to the Indian Constitution by the Central Government – Section 31A allowing for the acquisition by the State of any property or privileges therein, or for the extinguishment or alteration of any such assets, no statute shall be invalid on the basis of some conflict with either of the constitutional rights set out in Articles 14, 19 and 31.

Article 31 was the only clause for providing compensation in the Constitution. The only difference was that the President would approve such a rule. Article 31A (1)'s second clause addresses the ceiling cap. In the case of Bhagat Ram v. State of Punjab AIR, 1970 P H 9, the object of this clause was considered to be that "an individual who cultivates land in a personally and it is his source of livelihood shall, except if compensation at a market rate is charged, not be deprived of the land by virtue of the any law covered by Article 31A."

Constitutionality of Article 31A-

In Ambika Mishra v State of Uttar Pradesh AIR 1980 SC 1762, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of paragraph (a) of Article 31A(1) on the grounds of the examination of the fundamental framework. In Minerva Mills v Union of India AIR 1980 SC 1789, the Court held that Article 31A as a whole was unassailable on the grounds of stare decisis, a silence which should not be permitted to be broken. In Waman Rao v. Union of India (1981) 2 SCC 362 and I R Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu (2007) 2 SCC 1, the first amendment to which Article 31A was added and the fourth amendment to which new clauses in this Article were inserted is held to be constitutional.

Section 3 of the Constitution (Fourth Amendment ) Act, 1955, which superseded with retrospective force the existing clause (1), sub-clauses (a) to (e) of the original clause (1), does not breach any of the fundamental or necessary features of the Constitution or its legal form and has been kept to be legitimate and lawful within the competence of the Indian Parliament under the Constitution.

Other objectives of the Act-

As far as land reform is concerned, setting limitations on the amount of agricultural property that can be owned or occupied by either individual, the disposition of any property kept in excess of the specified cap and the further modification of the privileges of landowners and tenants in agricultural holdings. With reference to the appropriate urban and rural preparation for the effective usage of barren and desert lands and the demolition of slum areas. In the public interest, take over a business or agricultural undertaking or other land throughout order to insure effective control of the undertaking or land.