42nd Amendment Passed in Lok Sabha - [November 2, 1976] This Day in History

2 November 1976

Lok Sabha passed the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution

What happened?

On 2 November 1976, the Lok Sabha passed The Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 which made sweeping changes to the country’s Constitution and is hence referred to as a ‘mini-constitution’.

The 42nd amendment act was enacted in 1976 during the emergency (June 1975 – March 1977). It was enacted by the Congress Party that was ruling at that time. Hence, it also got the name the ‘Constitution of Indira’. The 42nd Amendment act brought several changes to the Indian Constitution. The major changes are:

  • This amendment made the Parliament the supreme body in the country.
  • The powers of the judiciary were curtailed. It removed election disputes from the purview of the courts. It also gave the Parliament the power to enact constitutional amendments without judicial review.
  • This amendment also made laws created to pursue the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) safe from the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. It stated that such laws could not be rendered invalid by the courts on grounds of the violation of Fundamental Rights. Thus, the amendment lowered the importance of Fundamental Rights and made it secondary to DPSP.
  • This amendment also weakened the federal structure of the country.
  • The tenure of the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies were increased from 5 to 6 years. The quorums in the houses were left to be fixed by the rules of each house.

The details of 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 is given in the linked article. Candidates may check the article as the amendment act is very important for the exam.

Also on This Day 

1755: Birth of Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. 1774: Death of Robert Clive. 1877: Birth of Aga Khan III, the first President of the All India Muslim League.

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.

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