Amendment of the Constitution in India
In part XX of the Constitution, Article 368 deals with the Parliament’s authority to amend the Constitution and its process.
The process set for its modification is not as easy as it is in Britain nor as complicated as it is in the USA.
The Indian Constitution is not a flexible or static constitution but a combination of both.
Parliament can not change certain provisions that constitute the Constitution’s’ basic framework.’
The Supreme Court ruled on this in the case of Keshavananda Bharati (1973).
Process for amendment
The process for amending the Constitution as laid out in Article 368 is as follows:
An amendment to the Constitution may only be enacted by presenting a bill in either House of Parliament and not in the state legislatures, for the purpose.
The bill may be presented by either a minister or a private member, and does not require the president’s prior approval.
The bill will be approved by a special majority of each Chamber, that is to say, a majority (that is, more than 50%) of the House’s overall representation and a two-third majority of the members of the House present and voting.
Each House will independently pass the bill. In the case of a dispute between the two houses, no provision is made for holding a joint sitting of the two houses for the purpose of deliberating and passing the legislation.
If the bill aims to amend the federal provisions, it must also be approved by the legislators of each of the states by a clear majority, that is to say, majority of the House representatives present and vote.
The bill is submitted to the president for assent after being properly approved by both the House of Parliament and ratified by the State legislatures, if possible.
The President must approve the bill.
He can not withdraw his assent to the bill, nor will he return the bill to the Parliament for reconsideration.
The legislation is a Law upon the president’s assent.