Here we are providing Class 11 Political Science Important Extra Questions and Answers Chapter 9 Constitution as a Living Document. Political Science Class 11 Important Questions with Answers are the best resource for students which helps in class 11 board exams.
Class 11 Political Science Chapter 9 Important Extra Questions Constitution as a Living Document
Constitution as a Living Document Important Extra Questions Very Short Answer Type
What do you know by the amendment of the Constitution?
The amendment of the constitution means to change, adapt and adopt the provisions of the Constitution according to the demands of the new situations and circumstances-Amendment indicates the flexibility in the document of the constitution. Amendment also indicates the dynamism of society to which it represents.
Differentiate between a flexible and rigid Constitution. What is the nature of the Indian constitution?
The flexible Constitution is one that can be amended easily i.e; by a simple method and the rigid constitution is one which is difficult to be amended ie; for which amendment a long and difficult procedure is adopted. Indian constitution is both flexible as well as rigid because some of the articles of the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority while other parts of the Constitution need a special majority and ratification by the 50% State Assembly.
What precaution is taken by the constitution-makers while giving the provisions of amendment in Art 368?
The constitution-makers wanted to strike a balance. They wanted constitutional amendment when it becomes necessary but they wanted it protected from unnecessary and frequent changes. Therefore they made the constitution both flexible as well as rigid.
Describe Art 368?
Art 368 of the Constitution, deals with the amendment of the Constitution. Parliament may in the exercise of its constituent power amend by way of addition, variation, or repeal any provision of this Constitution in accordance with the procedure laid down in this constitution.
What is special majority needed for amendment?
Amendment of some of the articles (11 Art) needs the special majority of the Parliament which means the majority of the total members of the house and 2/3 majority of present and voting on the constitutional amendment bill.
Who is involved in the constitutional amendment?
Following process/constitution are involved in the process of a constitutional amendment.
- State legislature
When is the ratification of a constitutional amendment required?
For the amendment of some articles, only a special majority is not sufficient. When the amendment aims to modify an article related to the distribution of power between the states and the central government or articles related to representation. The states must be consulted and they give their consent. The Constitution has ensured this by providing that legislatures of half the states have to pass the amendment bill before the amendment comes into effect.
Name the amendment which has been passed through political consensus.
There is a large group of amendments that have been made as a result of consensus among the political parties. Some of them are as under.
- 52 Amendment 1985
- 61 Amendment 1988
- 73 Amendment 1992
- 74 Amendment 1992
- 77, 8.1 & 82 Amendments.
What is the role of the President of India in the matter of constitutional amendment?
President has a limited role in the matters of the constitutional amendment. He has no discretion and has to go by the advice of the council of ministers, as per Art. 74 (1) of the Constitution. A constitutional bill, after having passed by both the houses of the Parliament separately as per required procedure is sent to the President for his assent. President has no other choice but to give his assent. After his ascent, it comes in force.
What is the 52nd amendment?
52amendment of the constitution was effected in 1985 by Rajiv Gandhi’s government to curb the evil of defection in Indian politics: Rajiv Gandhi was committed to check defection. This amendment made several provisions to check defection.
What were the main provisions of the 52 constitutional amendments?
Followings were the main provisions of 52 amendments of the Constitution:
- A member elected on a political party’s Ticket will lose his membership if he joins another party.
- If an independent candidate joins a political party, he will lose his membership.
- In case of a merger of political parties and a split in the party, anti-defection, the law will not apply.
- The Speaker of the house will decide the split or merger of the political parties.
Why the 42nd amendment remained controversial?
The 42nd constitutional amendment is known to be the most controversial. amendment due to the following reasons.
- It was enacted when the internal emergency was in force.
- When it was passed most of the top political leaders of all political parties were in jail.
- By this amendment, the Constitution was subverted.
What was the decision in the Keshwa Nand Bharti case 1973?
In the Keshwa Nand Bharti case 1973 Supreme Court ruled that Parliament can amend any part of the constitution, including Fundamental Rights but cannot change the basic structure of the Constitution.
What was the aim of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments?
When Narasimha Government assumed office in 1991 it brought the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment for which necessary political consensus was created. The purpose of this amendment was to restructure the local government by giving adequate representation to women and other weaker sections of the society and to make then local bodies more vibrant and functional.
What do you know about the constitutional review commission?
For a long time, the need is being felt to switch over from the Parliamentary system to the Presidental system and to review the entire Constitution. When the NDA government assumed office under the leadership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999, it set up a National Constitution Review commission in 2000. Former Chief Justice Venkatechillia was made the Chairman of the Commission.
Constitution as a Living Document Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type
Define constitutionalism and constitution.
Constitutionalism stands for a check on the arbitrariness of the ruler. Constitutionalism stands for rule of law and seeks to check the rule of whims and fancies of the rulers. Constitutionalism stands for discussion and debate on the issues of government. Constitutional development is a part of constitutionalism. Which is meant for evolving the norm and regulations for administrators.
The constitution can be defined as a body of rules and regulations which provide a framework for governance in a democratic setup. It defines the area of work for different organs of the government. It also decides the made and norms and philosophy and direction of the government as well as ‘ society.
Discuss how the Constitution is a living document.
A constitution is a living document because it reflects the aspirations of living beings. This is a document-which keeps on responding to the situations and circumstances arising from time to time. Like a living being the constitution responds to experience. A constitution is a dynamic document reflecting the movement and dynamism of the society. It continues to work for society effectively because of its dynamism and response to the changing situations and the demand of the circumstances. The constitution protects the democracy and Fundamental Rights of the people and the existence of different constitutions. The constitution allows the evolution of new practices and also needs respect from the citizens.
Explain the contribution of the judiciary in the development of the Constitution.
Judiciary plays important role in the development of the Constitution. Judiciary is the final authority in the matter of interpretation of the constitution. Judiciary examines and interprets the laws made by the parlia¬ment and state legislature and gives a final ruling on different issues which becomes the source of law and part of the Constitution. Judiciary ensures that all the laws of the legislatures and policies and programs of the executives are made within the framework of the constitution. Sometimes this leads to controversy between the judiciary and Parliament.
It has happened many times on different occasions when the Judiciary declared the laws of the Parliament as unconstitutional and Parliament amended the Constitution to nullify the ruling of the Judiciary. For example in 1967 in the Golakhnath case, the judiciary gave the ruling that Parliament cannot amend the Fundamental Rights but Parliament brought the 38th and 39th Amendments to nullify the effect of that ruling.
What is the basic structure theory case?
To nullify the effect of the ruling in the Golakhnath case, the Parliament passed 38th and 39th amendments in the constitution in 1971. In 1973, in the Keshwananda Bharti case, these amendments were challenged by the Supreme Court, The court ruled that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution, including Fundamental Rights but cannot amend the basic structure of the constitution. This particular case ie; Keshwananda Bharti Case is known as the Basic Structure Theory case.
Make a distinction between the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
In the interpretation of the Constitution and in giving its ruling in different cases, the judiciary has made a distinction between the letter and spirit of the constitution. The court is of the view that in reading a text of a document, we must respect the intention behind that document. A mere text of the law is not so important as the social circumstances and aspirations that has produced that law or document or the aspiration which are reflected by that document. The circumstances and the background of the law or document can indicate the real intention and purpose of the document. Therefore spirit is more important than the letter of the Constitution.
Discuss the circumstances and main provisions of the 42nd amendment.
42 amendment of the constitution is known to be the most con¬troversial amendment and it was passed in the most controversial circumstance. 42nd amendment was passed in 1976 when an internal Emergency was in force and top opposition leaders were in jail.
The main provisions 42nd Amendment are as under:
- The term of Parliament and state legislature were extended for six years in place of 5. years.
- Fundamental Rights were made. inferior to Directive Principles of State Policy.
- Important institutions like Judiciary were made weak and subordinate
- Two new words socialism and secularism were added in the Preamble of the Constitution.
- The position of the President is also reduced.
- The powers of the press were snatched
- Restrictions were put on the judiciary
- Chapter 10 of Fundamental Duties were added.
How far the Constitution should be flexible and rigid.
The Constitution provides the framework of the government which is most suitable and responsive for the present and future society. The Constitution has to be. able to respond to the challenges that may arise in the future. Therefore it must be the quality and characteristic of the consti¬tution- that it has something that is contemporary and something that has a more durable importance suiting to the needs of the future. It should also show some rigidity also so that the Constitution does not become a plaything in the hands of the ruling, party and it is not misused at any stage.
Indian Constitution is both flexible as well as rigid. Explain.
The makers of the Indian constitution were aware of both the needs of the Constitution ie; flexibility as well as rigidity. Therefore they struck a balance. They made the Constitution above law and expected that the future generation will respect this document. At sometimes were aware that in the future this document will require modifications because circumstances are bound to change according to the needs of the time. Due to differences of Opinion also change would become necessary. It is because of this they made it flexible and to save the Constitution from the atrocity of the ruling party they made it rigid.
Explain the significance of the 44th constitutional amendment.
42nd amendment distorted the entire Constitution during the Emergency in 1976. In 1977 elections were held in which the Congress party under Mrs. Indira Gandhi was badly ruled out and Janata Party come to power under the Prime- ministership of Shri Morarji Desai. Janata Party Government was committed to correct the distortions of the 42nd amendment. Therefore the 44th constitutional amendment was passed by Janata Party Government in 1979 for this purpose its main provisions are as under:
- The tenure of Parliament and State legislature were again deduced to five years.
- The status and position of the President and judiciary were restored to them by this amendment.
- Fundament Rights were given primary position.
- The fundamental Right of the property was deleted from the Constitution.
Mention the main provisions of the 52 amendments of the Constitution.
52nd amendment was passed in 1985 by Rajiv Gandhi Government to check the evil of defection in Indian politics. The main provisions of this Act are as under: It was based on the consensus of all political parties.
- A person who is elected on a ticket of a particular party will lose his/her membership if he/she joins another party after the election
- An independently elected member will also lose the membership if he/she joins any political party of the election.
- If a nominated member joins any political party he/she will also lose the membership of the house.
- However, in the case of a split and merger of the political parties, the membership will not be affected. For split 1/3 membership will be required and for a merger 2/3 majority of the legislative group of the party will be required.
- Speaker will be the final authority to decide the split or merger of the political parties.
What is the procedure of constitutional amendment as given in Art 368?
The procedure of constitutional amendment is given in Art 368 of the Indian Constitution. There are two methods of amending the constitution and they apply two different sets of articles of the constitution. One method is that when some articles of the Constitution are amended by a simple majority of the Parliament for example changing the boundaries of the state, creation of new states, and increasing the pay and allowances of the members of parliament.
The other method of amendment is related to those articles of the constitution in which a special majority is required. Special majority includes
- Majority of the total membership of the house.
- 2/3 majority of the present and voting of the members on that particular bill.
- Some of the articles which are related to the distribution of power in states need the satisfaction by at least 50% of state legislature besides the requirement given in point 2.
Write some important features of a constitutional amendment in India
Followings can be given as important features of a constitutional amendment
- We have adopted the process of constitutional amendment from South Africa.
- The procedure is given in Art 368 of the Constitution
- States have a limited role in the matter of constitutional amendment as the process of the amendment cannot be initiated in the state assemblies.
- There cannot be a joint session of Parliament to resolve the difference, between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
- President cannot send back a constitutional amendment bill after reconsideration which is passed by the Parliament.
- Three methods are used separately to amend three different categories of the Constitution.
Describe the amendments through political Consensus.
There is a large group of amendments that have been made as a result of the consensus among the main political parties of that time. This consensus made it necessary that some changes had to be made in order to reflect the prevailing political philosophy and aspirations of the Society. This consensus was also obtained during the era of coalition politics. The followings are some important amendments that may be put in this category.
- 52nd Amendments as Anti defection Act 1985
- 61st Amendment 1988 bringing down the minimum age of voting from 21 to 18 years.
- 73rd Amendment 1992 empowering and restructure rural local government.
- 74th Amendment 1992 empowering and restructuring the urban local government.
Describe the significance of the Basic Structure Theory Case.
Kesha Nand Bharti case 1973 is popularly known as Basic Structure Theory Case in which it was ruled by Judiciary that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution including Fundamental Rights of the Constitution but cannot amend the Basic structure of the Constitution. The followings are the main significance of this case.
- It has set specific limits to the Parliaments’ power to amend the Constitution. It means that no amendment can violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
- It allows the Parliament to amend any and all parts of the Constitution (within this limit)
- It places the judiciary as the final authority in deciding if any amendment has violated the basic structure and what constitutes the basic structure.
- The theory of basic structure has emerged with the interpretation of the Constitution.
Describe the main features of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment
Following are the features of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amend¬ments.
- The local governments have been given constitutional status.
- Fixed tenure and uniform tenure of local bodies in all states.
- 1/3 seats of the local governments are reserved for women and l/3rd seats are reserved for scheduled castes in membership as well in the part of President and Sarpanches.
- The powers of the local bodies are increased
- Provision of State Election Commission
- Provision of State Finance Commission.
Constitution as a Living Document Important Extra Questions Long Answer Type
Explain the meaning, need of the amendment of the Constitution. Reflect the conflict between Judiciary and Parliament.
The Constitution is a living and dynamic document hence needs an addition, change modification as per the demand of the situation which keeps on changing from time to time When these modifications and changes are effected in the Constitution it is called an amendment.
The constitution needs to be amended because it is dynamic and not a closed and static rule book. The constitution needs to reflect the efforts to take the problems that the society is facing at the time of the making of the society and in the time to come also. Constitution has to be able to respond to the challenges that may arise in the future. The Constitution is not a frozen document. It is a document made by human beings and for human beings therefore it needs amendments. ‘
The first amendment of the Constitution was effected in 1951 itself when the land reform laws were challenged in the court. The conflict between the judiciary and the Parliament became open in 1967 when the judiciary ruled that Parliament cannot amend the Fundamental Rights in the Golak Nath case in 1967. To overcome the ruling in this case, Parliament passed 38th and 39th con¬stitutional amendments in 1971, and again there amendments were challenged in the court in Keshwa Nand Bharti \case. In the face of the power of Judicial review and PI (Public Interest litigation) the conflict between the Parliament and Judiciary has become more bitter.