Article 368 of Part XX of the Indian Constitution provides for two types of amendments.
- By a special majority of Parliament
- By a special majority of the Parliament with the ratification by half of the total states
Amendments as per Article 378
According to article 368, the procedure for the amendment of the Constitution is laid down in Article 368 as follows:
- An amendment of the Constitution can be initiated only by the introduction of a bill for the purpose in either House of Parliament (Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha) and not in the state legislatures.
- The bill can be introduced either by a minister or by a private member and does not require prior permission of the president.
- The bill must be passed in each House by a special majority, that is, a majority (that is, more than 50 per cent) of the total membership of the House and a majority of two-thirds of the members of the House present and voting.
- Each House must pass the bill separately.
- In case of a disagreement between the two Houses, there is no provision for holding a joint sitting of the two Houses for the purpose of deliberation and passage of the bill.
- If the bill seeks to amend the federal provisions of the Constitution, it must also be ratified by the legislatures of half of the states by a simple majority, that is, a majority of the members of the House present and voting.
- After duly passed by both the Houses of Parliament and ratified by the state legislatures, where necessary, the bill is presented to the president for assent.
- The president must give his assent to the bill. He can neither withhold his assent to the bill nor return the bill for reconsideration of the Parliament
- After the president’s assent, the bill becomes an Act (i.e., a constitutional amendment act) and the Constitution stands amended in accordance with the terms of the Act.