KNC501/KNC601 Constitution of India, Law and Engineering
Chapter 2: Indian Constitution
Amendment of the Constitutional Powers and Procedure
The Constitution of India provides for its amendment in order to adjust itself to the changing conditions and needs. Article 368 in Part XX of the Constitution deals with the powers of Parliament to amend the Constitution and its procedure.
The procedure for the amendment of the Constitution as laid down under Article 368 is 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 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 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.
- 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 to the Parliament for reconsideration.
- 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.