The three year period in the case of proclamation issued on 17th May 1987 with respect to the State of Punjab was earlier extended to four years by the Constitution (sixty-seventh Amendment) Act, 1990. This Act further amends clause (4) of Article 356 so as to further extend the period upto a total period of five years.
The three year period in the case of proclamation issued on 11th May 1987 with respect to the State of Punjab was extended to three years and six months by the Constitution (Sixty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1990. This Act further amends clause (4) of Article 356 so as to further extend the period upto a total period of four years.
The Act protects 55 State Acts relating to land reforms and ceiling on agricultural land holdings enacted by States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan,Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and administration of the Union Territory of Puducherry, from challenge in courts, by including them in the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution.
Article 338 of the Constitution provides for a Special Officer for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution and to report to the President on their working. The Article has been amended for the constitution of a National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes consisting of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and five other Members who shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal. The amended Article elaborates the duties of the said Commission and covers measures that should be taken by the Union or any state for the effective implementation of the reports presented by the Commission. It also provides that the Commission shall, while investigating any matter or inquiring into any complaint have all the powers of a Civil Court trying a suit and the reports of the said Commission shall be laid before Parliament and the Legislature of the states.
Thus Act amends clauses (4) and (5) of Article 356 of the Constitution with a view to facilitate the extension of the proclamation issued under clause (1) of Article 356 of the Constitution on 11th May 1987 upto a total period of three years and six months in relation to the State of Punjab.
The Constitution (Fifty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1988 was enacted in March 1988 making certain changes in regard to making a Proclamation of Emergency in Punjab and to the duration of President's rule in State. On reconsideration, the Government decided that the special powers in regard to the Proclamation of Emergency in Punjab as envisaged in the said amendment is no longer required. Accordingly the provision to clause (5) of Article 356 and Article 359A of the Constitution have been omitted.
Article 334 of the Constitution lays down that the provisions of the Constitution relating to the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the representation of the Anglo-Indian community by nomination in the Lok Sabha and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States shall cease to have effect on the expiry of a period of 40 years from the commencement of the Constitution. Although the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes have made considerable progress in the last 40 years, the reasons which weighed with the Constituent Assembly in making provisions with regard to the aforesaid reservation of seats and nomination of members, have not ceased to exist. The Act amends Article 334 of the Constitution to continue the reservation for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the representation of the Anglo-Indians by nomination for a further period of 10 years.
The Act provides for reducing voting age from 21 to 18 years by amending Article 326 of the Constitution to provide to the unrepresented youth of the country an opportunity to give vent to their feelings and help them become a part of political process.
The Act amends clause (2) of Article 276 of the Constitution so as to increase the ceiling of taxes on professions, trades, callings and employment from Rs 250 per annum to Rs 2,500 per annum. The upward revision of this tax will help state governments in raising additional resources. The proviso to clause (2) has been omitted.
The Act amends Article 365 (5) of the Constitution so as to facilitate the extension of a Presidential Proclamation issued under clause (1) of Article 356 beyond a period of one year, if necessary upto a period of three years, as permissible under clause (4) of Article 356 with respect to the State of Punjab because of the continued disturbed situation there. The Act also amends Article 352 of the Constitution pertaining to the Proclamation of Emergency in its application to the State of Punjab and includes internal disturbance as one of the grounds for making a Proclamation in respect of the State of Punjab only. As a consequence of amendment in Article 352, Articles 358 and 359 in relation to the State of Punjab will be operative only for a period of two years from 30 March 1988, which is the date of commencement of the amendment.
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