The First, Second & Third Constitutional Amendment, 1954

Ever since the Constitution of India was enacted in 1950 there have been 104 amendments till January 2020. There are basically three types of amendments to the Indian Constitution, out of which the second and third categories of amendments are governed by Article 368. 

The first category of the amendment requires that it will be passed by a "simple majority" in each House of the Indian Parliament. The second category of the amendment requires that it must be enacted by the Parliament by a prescribed "strong majority" in each House. The third category of the amendment involves those which include ratification by minimum one half of the State Legislature. 

The Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951, passed on 10th May 1951, introduced specific provisions for the development of all economically and educationally deprived groups or for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs). To maintain the complete statutory integrity of the Zamindari abolition laws and to impose a fair limit on the freedom of expression. A modern statutory provision, entitled Schedule 9, has been adopted to defend against statutes that are contradictory to legally protected human rights. Such statutes infringe the property rights, freedom of speech and equality before the law. Jawaharlal Nehru persuaded the Indian Parliament to introduce the law in reaction to the case of State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan, which was put before the High Court of Madras and then the Supreme Court of India. In that event, the Brahmin woman in Madras questioned the State Communal General Order, which defined caste quotas in government-sponsored medical and engineering colleges, on the grounds that it had deprived her of equality under the law; both the courts consequently upheld her petition.

The Constitution (Second Amendment) Act, was enforced in 1952, it removed the upper population limit for a parliamentary constituency by amending Article 81(1)(b) of the Constitution. Article 81(1)(a) calls for a total limit of 500 representative members of the Parliament. Article 81(1)(b) specifies that States shall be divided, clustered or constituted into territorial constituencies and also that the number of representatives to be assigned to all of these constituencies shall be calculated in such a way so as to ensure that there can be no less than one member for every 750,000 citizens and no more than one representative for every 500,000 citizens. The present separation of the constituencies of the Parliament and of the Assembly shall be focused on projections of the population which have been granted legal power by order of the President pursuant to Article 387 of the Indian Constitution. However, Article 81(3) of the Constitution mandates that, at the conclusion of each census, the representation of a number of territorial constituencies in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha of each State be adjusted again by that executive power in such way and with effect from the date that Parliament may decide by statute. A bill dealing with the issues related to in the article shall be presented in Parliament. Provision was provided in that bill for the creation of the Delimitation Commission for the intent of re-adjusting the composition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the basis of the population as decided by the survey of 1951.

There is a substantial disparity between the population of many States as projected by the President’s order and the population as calculated by the survey of 1951. Currently, representations in the Lok Sabha have been assigned to Part A and the Part B States on the base of one member per 7,2 lakhs of the projected population, providing a total of 470 representatives to those States. The survey statistics are higher in both situations and, despite the maximum cap of 500 representatives set out in point (a) of Article 81(1), it is not necessary to greatly raise the total number of representatives assigned to these States. It is also essential to minimize the representation of one representative per 7.2 lakh of the population to one representative per 7.5 lakhs of the population as per the 1951 survey. As mentioned above, this amount of 7.5 lakhs is the total permissible under Article 81(1)(b) as it exists at present; but nonetheless, if the total population of a legislative constituency in any Region is to be 750,000, it is evident that the population of a certain range of constituencies would surpass that level. It is also imperative to modify Article 81(1)(b) by amending the limitations laid down in that provision in order to prevent a legislative irregularity in the concept of constitutions for the purpose of re-adjusting the representation in the Rajya Sabha as provided by Act 81(3) of the Constitution. Accordingly, this bill proposes to amend Article 81(1)(b) of the Constitution in order to substitute the figures referred to in that article with the figures of 850,000 and 650,000 respectively.

The Third Constitutional Amendment is included in the third category of an amendment to the constitution. It was enacted by Parliament in the Fifth Year of the Republic of India. It came into being on 22 February 1955 to amend the Seventh Schedule. The main objective was the Re-enactment of entry 33 of the Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule which relates to including trade and commerce in, and the production, supply and distribution of four classes of essential commodities, viz., foodstuffs, including edible oilseeds and oils; cattle fodder, including oilcake and other concentrates; raw cotton whether ginned or un-ginned and cotton seeds; and raw jute.  Before the Indian constitution came into being, India’s situation relating to essential commodities, industries and food commodities was not very good, so when the constitution was enacted, Article 369 was included in which the Indian Parliament had temporary powers for five years to make law on certain subjects. The article was to be removed after five years i.e. after 25th January 1955, and that power to make laws was to be transferred to the State Legislatures. To stop this power from going to the State Legislature and to eliminate the chances of creating an anomaly in India in relation to essential commodity and foodstuff, the Central government and Parliament wanted that the powers to make laws regarding these should remain with them. In order to do so, they added the majority of the provisions of Article 369 to the Seventh Schedule in entry 33 of the Concurrent List.