42nd Amendment

42nd Amendment Act:

  • Enacted in 1976 during Emergency by Indira Gandhi Government
  • It is regarded as one of the most controversial amendment
Amendment had four major purposes:
  1. Exclude the courts entirely from election disputes;
  2. To strengthen the central government vis-à-vis the state governments and its Compatibility to rule the country as a unitary, not a federal, system;
  3. To give maximum protection from judicial challenge to social revolutionary legislation;
  4. ‘To trim’ the judiciary, so as to ‘make it difficult for the court to upset parliament’s policy in regard to many matters’.
Changes were :
  • Preamble : It changed the characterization of India to “sovereign, socialist, secular democratic republic” from “sovereign democratic republic” and the words unity of the nation‘ was changed to “unity and integrity of the nation”.
  • Parliament: Raised the term of Loksabha and Vidhansabha from 5 to 6 years. The  quorum was left to be fixed by the rules of each house.
  • Judicial : Stating that the amendments can’t be questioned by any court on any ground.
  • Executive: The amendment stated that the president shall act in accordance to the council of ministers.
  • Federal : enable the Centre to deploy armed forces for dealing with situations of law and order in any state.
  • Emergency :authorizing the President to declare emergency in “a part” of the country
The 42nd amendment changed the whole complexion of the constitution, making parliament the supreme sovereign body, excluding courts entirely from election disputes, strengthening central government to rule as a unit NOT as a federal system, cutting  down the judiciary powers to challenge legislation abolishing democracy and devaluing fundamental rights.
The 42nd Amendment almost rewrote the Constitution, making Parliament the supreme sovereign body. Critically analyze. (200
Words)
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