THE CONSTITUTION (FIRST AMENDMENT) ACT, 1951
Statement of Objects and Reasons appended to the Constitution (First Amendment) Bill, 1951 which was enacted as the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
During the last fifteen months of the working of the Constitution, certain difficulties have been brought to light by judicial decisions and pronouncements specially in regard to the chapter on fundamental rights. The citizen's right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by article 19(1)(a) has been held by some courts to be so comprehensive as not to render a person culpable even if he advocates murder and other crimes of violence. In other countries with written constitutions, freedom of speech and of the press is not regarded as debarring the State from punishing or preventing abuse of this freedom. The citizen's right to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business conferred by article 19(1)(g) is subject to reasonable restrictions which the laws of the State may impose "in the interests of general public". While the words cited are comprehensive enough to cover any scheme of nationalisation which the State may undertake, it is desirable to place the matter beyond doubt by a clarificatory addition to article 19(6). Another article in regard to which unanticipated difficulties have arisen is article 31. The validity of agrarian reform measures passed by the State Legislatures in the last three years has, in spite of the provisions of clauses (4) and (6) of article 31, formed the subject-matter of dilatory litigation, as a result of which the implementation of these important measures, affecting large numbers of people, has been held up.
The main objects of this Bill are, accordingly to amend article 19 for the purposes indicated above and to insert provisions fully securing the constitutional validity of zamindari abolition laws in general and certain specified State Acts in particular. the opportunity has been taken to propose a few minor amendments to other articles in order to remove difficulties that may arise.
It is laid down in article 46 as a directive principle of State policy that the State should promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and protect them from social injustice. In order that any special provision that the State may make for the educational, economic or social advancement of any backward class of citizens may not be challenged on the ground of being discriminatory, it is proposed that article 15(3) should be suitably amplified. Certain amendments in respect of articles dealing with the convening and proroguing of the sessions of Parliament have been found necessary and are also incorporated in this Bill. So also a few minor amendments in respect of articles 341, 342, 372 and 376.
Dated: May 10, 1951
THE CONSTITUTION (FIRST AMENDMENT) ACT, 1951
Dated: June 18, 1951
An Act to amend the Constitution of India.
BE it enacted by Parliament as follows:-
1. Short title:-
This Act may be called the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951.
2. Amendment of article 15:-
To article 15 of the Constitution, the following clause shall be added:-
3. Amendment of article 19 and validation of certain laws:-
(1) In article 19 of the Constitution,-
(2) No law in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of the Constitution which is consistent with the provisions of article 19 of the Constitution as amended by sub-section (1) of this section shall be deemed to be void, or over to have become void, on the ground only that, being a law which takes away or abridges the right conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of the said article, its operation was not saved by clause (2) of that article as originally enacted.
Explanation:-In this sub-section, the expression "law in force" has the same meaning as in clause (1) of article 13 of the Constitution.
4. Insertion of new article 31A:-
After article 31 of the Constitution, the following article shall be inserted, and shall be deemed always to have been inserted, namely:-
5. Insertion of new article 31B:-
After article 31A of the Constitution as inserted by section 4, the following article shall be inserted, namely:-
6. Amendment of article 85:-
For article 85 of the Constitution, the following article shall be substituted, namely:-
"85. Sessions of Parliament, prorogation and dissolution:-
(1) The President shall from time to time summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session.
(2) The President may from time to time-
7. Amendment of article 87:-
In article 87 of the Constitution,-
(1) in clause (1), for the words "every session", the words "the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year" shall be substituted;
(2) in clause (2), the words "and for the precedence of such discussion over other business of the House" shall be omitted.
8. Amendment of article 174:-
For article 174 of the Constitution, the following article shall be substituted, namely:-
9. Amendment of article 176:-
In article 176 of the Constitution,-
10. Amendment of article 341:-
In clause (1) of article 341 of the Constitution, for the words "may, after consultation with the Governor or Rajpramukh of a State,", the words "may with respect to any State, and where it is a State specified in Part A or Part B of the First Schedule, after consultation with the Governor or Rajpramukh thereof," shall be substituted.
11. Amendment of article 342:-
In clause (1) of article 342 of the Constitution, for the words "may, after consultation with the Governor or Rajpramukh of a State,", the words "may with respect to any State, and where it is a State specified in Part A or Part B of the First Schedule, after consultation with the Governor or Rajpramukh thereof," shall be substituted.
12. Amendment of article 372:-
In sub-clause (a) of clause (3) of article 372 of the Constitution, for the words "two years", the words "three years" shall be substituted.
13. Amendment of article 376:-
At the end of clause (1) of article 376 of the Constitution, the following shall be added, namely:-
14. Addition of Ninth Schedule:-
After the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution, the following Schedule shall be added, namely:-