Prelims tit-bits- Polity part 3

1. Amendment of the Constitution

  • Amendment bill can be introduced in either house of parliament but not in state legislature
  • Unlike money bill, does not require permission of president before introduction
  • Bill has to be passed by both the houses separately with special majority, hence no scope of joint sitting
  • President must give his assent to the bill<24th amendment>
  • For amending federal provisions ratification of half the state legislatures (29/2=15) by simple majority is required <apart from special majority in parliament eg. GST>
  • In states there is no role of Vidhan Parishads in ratification of amendment bills

Discuss– Different types of majorities

2. Amendment of constitution

  • Admission or establishment of new states (art 2) and formation of new states and alteration of areas, names etc is not considered amendment under article 368 i.e simple majority required to amend
  • Amendment of 2nd schedule (salary, allowances) and 5th, 6th schedule is also not considered amendment
  • But addition to the list of national languages and change of name of language under schedule 8 is amendment (special majority)
  • 7th schedule (3 lists) can be amended only by special majority plus ratification by half the states

Discuss – Contrast amendment procedure in India with that in US

3. Parliamentary legislation on state list

  • Art. 249 : When the RS declares that it is necessary in the National Interest that Parliament make laws on State Subjects. It remains in force for one year. After 1 year it automatically goes out of force. <what’s the mechanism for RS to authorise so?>
  • Art. 250 : During National Emergency under art. 352. It becomes non operative 6 months after the emergency has ceased to operate
  • Art. 252 : If 2 or more states pass a resolution requesting the Parliament to enact laws on a matter in the State List. Now State legislature can never repeal such acts. Only parliament can repeal such acts.
  • Art. 253 : To give effect to any international agreement or treaty <no state or RS authorisation required>
  • Art. 256 : During the President’s Rule ( Art. 356) . it remains operative even after the president’s rule but state legislature can at any time repeal or alter it <contrast it with art 250 under article 352>

Discuss- what’s the mechanism to give effect to international agreements in USA? Does Indian procedure not violate standards of true federal constitution?

4. Parliamentary committees

  • Members are nominated to most of the ad hoc <for specific purpose> and standing committees ,round the year>
  • Departmental related standing committees started from 1993 and at present there are 24 such committees < 31 members i.e 21 plus 10, all nominated >
  • 3 most imp committees, committee on estimates, Public account committee and Committee on PSUs have their members elected <read about them in detail>
  • Committee on estimates largest committee, 30 members, all from LS
  • PAC chairperson is conventionally from oppositions party, CAG reports, acts as friend, philosopher and guide

Discuss– what’s this joint committee, select committee, JPC etc and where do they come into picture?

5. Attorney General

  • Not debarred from private legal practice <remember Mukul Rohatgi represented Kerala bar owners against liquor prohibition>
  • Reference to AG can be made only by law ministry <not even by PMO>
  • AG has right to take part in proceedings of both the houses as well as its committees but no right to vote
  • Solicitor general (SG) and ASG are not constitutional posts

Discuss– Qualifications, appointment and removal procedure of AG

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!