44th Amendment of the Indian Constitution

Introduction


  • The 44th Amendment of the Indian Constitution was enacted in 1978 by the Janata Party government, which had come to power after defeating the Indira Gandhi-led Indian National Congress in the 1977 general elections.
  • The amendment was intended to undo several changes that had been made to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment, which had been enacted by the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency.
  • The 44th Amendment was a significant step in restoring the democratic rights that had been curtailed during the Emergency.
  • It also helped to balance the power of the executive and the judiciary.

Changes made by the 44th Amendment Act


Restoration of Fundamental Rights:

  • One of the most significant changes brought about by the 44th Amendment was the restoration of certain fundamental rights that had been suspended during the Emergency.
  • These rights included the right to personal liberty, the right to freedom of speech and expression, and the right to freedom of assembly and association.

Protection of Judicial Review:

  • The 44th Amendment Act reinforced the power of the judiciary to review and strike down laws that violated fundamental rights.
  • It emphasized the importance of judicial review as a check on the executive and legislative branches of government.

Election of the President and Vice President:

  • The amendment reduced the voting age for the election of the President and Vice President of India from 21 years to 18 years, in line with the voting age for general elections.

Abolition of the Right to Property:

  • The 44th Amendment Act removed the right to property as a fundamental right.
  • It was reclassified as a legal right, subject to constitutional limitations.
  • This change aimed to strike a balance between individual property rights and social welfare.

Limitation on Emergency Powers:

  • The amendment imposed stricter conditions for the declaration of a national emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution.
  • It clarified that a state of emergency could only be declared in cases of armed rebellion or external aggression, making it more difficult for the central government to misuse emergency powers.

Extension of the Term of the Lok Sabha:

  • The term of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) was extended from 5 years to a maximum of 6 years during a national emergency.
  • This change was made to prevent the manipulation of elections during emergency periods.

Prohibition of Detention for Political Beliefs:

  • The 44th Amendment Act prohibited the detention of individuals solely on the grounds of political beliefs.
  • This change aimed to prevent the misuse of preventive detention laws for political purposes.
Modification Article(s) Amended Effect
Right to property is no longer a fundamental right Article 31 Property is now a legal right, and the government can acquire it for public purposes, but only with due compensation.
The power of the government to amend the Constitution is limited Article 368 The government can no longer amend the Constitution in a way that would change its basic structure. This includes the secular, democratic, and republican character of the state, the separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary.
The term of the Lok Sabha is reduced to 5 years Article 83 The term of the Lok Sabha was previously 6 years, but the 44th Amendment Act reduced it to 5 years.
The power of the President to proclaim emergency is limited Article 352 The President can now only proclaim emergency in case of war, external aggression, or armed rebellion. The emergency cannot be used to suspend fundamental rights.
The power of the Governor to dismiss a state government is limited Article 356 The Governor can now only dismiss a state government if the state legislature is unable to function or if there is a breakdown of law and order in the state.
The independence of the judiciary is restored Article 124 The 44th Amendment Act restored the power of the Supreme Court to strike down laws that are unconstitutional. It also restored the power of the high courts to review the election of the President, the Vice President, and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

 

Conclusion


  • The 44th Amendment to the Indian Constitution was a significant step in restoring the balance of power between the government and the judiciary.
  • It reversed many of the changes made by the 42nd Amendment, which had been seen as a major assault on the fundamental rights of citizens.
  • The 44th Amendment restored the right to property to the status of a fundamental right, and it also strengthened the right to liberty by requiring that preventive detention orders be reviewed by an advisory board within three months.
  • It also made it more difficult for the government to declare a national emergency, and it required that Parliament meet within 14 days of such a declaration.
  • The 44th Amendment was a major victory for the judiciary and for the people of India.
  • It helped to ensure that the fundamental rights of citizens would be protected from arbitrary government interference.

FAQ


The 44th Amendment of the Constitution of India was enacted in 1979 by the Janata Party government, which had come to power after defeating the Indira Gandhi-led Indian National Congress in the 1977 general elections. The amendment was aimed at undoing several changes that had been made to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment, which had been enacted by the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency.

 

1978

The 44th Amendment of the Constitution of India was introduced on 2 November 1978. It was passed by the Parliament of India and came into force on 30 April 1979. The 44th Amendment was introduced to reverse some of the provisions of the 42nd Amendment, which had been passed by the Indira Gandhi government in 1976.

The 44th Amendment of the Constitution of India was signed by the then President of India, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, on 30 April 1979. The amendment was passed by the Parliament of India on 7 December 1978. The amendment aimed to undo several changes that had been made to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment which had been enacted by the Indira Gandhi-led Indian National Congress during the Emergency.

  • Article 300A of the 44th Amendment of the Indian Constitution, provides that no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law. This means that the state cannot take away a person's property without following due process of law. The law must be validly enacted and must be just, fair, and reasonable.
  • The right to property was originally a fundamental right under Article 31 of the Constitution. However, the 44th Amendment removed it from the list of fundamental rights. This was done in response to the Emergency (1975-1977), during which the government had used the right to property to acquire land for development projects without proper compensation.
  • Article 300A does not mean that the state cannot acquire property. It simply means that the state must follow due process of law when it does so. This includes providing fair compensation to the property owner.
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