Constitution As A Living Document Class 11 Notes Political Science Chapter 9 - CBSE

Chapter : 9

What Are Constitution As A Living Document ?

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    • There are many countries that changed their constitutions in reaction to changing circumstances, shifting social ideologies, or even political upheavals.
    • The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November 1949. Its implementation formally started on 26 January 1950.
    • The Constitution was questioned many times for its viability but the makers of our Constitution had framed a very robust Constitution; its basic  framework is very much suited to our country even today.
    • Our Constitution provides enough flexibility of interpretations according to changing needs of society.
    • The above factors have made our Constitution a living document rather than a closed and static rulebook.
    • The Constitution must be a document that provides the framework of the government for the future as well.
      It has to be able to respond to the challenges that may arise in the future.
    • The Constitution is a sacred document and it is an instrument that may require changes from time to time.
    • The Constitution must be amended if so required. But it must be protected from unnecessary and frequent changes.
    • The Constitution is supposed to be ‘Flexible’ and ‘Rigid’ at the same time. Flexible means open to changes and
      rigid means resistant to changes.
    • The Amending power of the Constitution exists with the Parliament.
    • Its constituent power to amend by way of addition, variation, or repeal any provision of this Constitution in
      accordance with the procedure laid down in this article.
    • The Constitution can be amended in three basic ways:
    • No special procedure for amendment is required in such cases and there is no difference at all between an amendment and an ordinary law.
    • Similar to the method mentioned above, this way requires the article to be modified by passing in both houses
      by a simple majority.
    • It requires a special majority of the Parliament and the consent of half of the State legislatures. All amendments to the Constitution are initiated only in the Parliament.
    • The basic principle behind the amending procedure is that it should be based on broad support among the
      political parties and parliamentarians.
    • The President has no power to send it back for reconsideration in an amendment bill.
    • The Sovereignty of elected representatives (parliamentary sovereignty) is the basis of the amendment procedure.
    • When an amendment aims to modify an article related to the distribution of powers between the States and the Central government, or articles related to representation, it is necessary that the States must be consulted  and that they give their consent.
    • This means that irrespective of the nature of politics and the party in power, amendments were required to be made from time to time.
    • After 1992-93, an overall consensus emerged in the country about these measures, and therefore, amendments regarding these measures were passed without much difficulty.
    • The 42nd Amendment made changes to the Preamble, to the seventh schedule of the Constitution, and to 53 articles of the Constitution.
    • It says that no amendment can violate the basic structure of the Constitution; It allows the Parliament to amend any and all parts of the Constitution .
    • Reservations in jobs and educational institutions cannot exceed fifty percent of the total seats.
    • Reservations for other backward classes, the Supreme Court introduced the idea of a creamy layer and ruled that persons belonging to this category were not entitled to benefits under reservations.
    • In a parliamentary democracy, the Parliament represents the people and therefore, it is expected to have an
      upper hand over both the Executive and Judiciary.