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Report No. 46

3. Background of the Twenty-fourth Amendment.-

It is unnecessary to refer in detail to the background of judicial decisions which made it necessary for Parliament to adopt the Twenty-fourth Amendment. The question about the scope and effect of the provisions contained in Article 368 of the Constitution was first considered by the Supreme Court in Shankari Prasad's case.1 Patanjali Sastri J., who spoke for the unanimous Court, held in the said case that, in substance, Article 368 conferred on Parliament power to amend any provision of the Constitution, provided that, in making such amendment, Parliament followed the procedure prescribed by the said Article and complied with its requirements. This judgment was pronounced on the 5th October, 1951.

1. Shankari Prasad Singh Deo v. Union of India, AIR 1951 SC 418.

The same view was reiterated by a majority of three Judges in Sajjan Singh's case.1 This judgment was delivered on the 30th October, 1964. On the 27th February, 1967, the Supreme Court considered the same question over again in Golak Nath's case2 and, by a majority of 6:5, held that the earlier decisions had not properly interpreted the scope and effect of Article 368 and that, the said Article did not confer power on Parliament to amend Part III of the Constitution in any event. It is as a result of the last decision of the Supreme Court in Golak Nath's case that Parliament thought it necessary to pass the Twenty-Fourth Amendment Act.

1. Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1965 SC 845.

2. Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, AIR 19678 SC 1643.

The Constitution (Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Bill, 1971 Back

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