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126TH CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL

126TH CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL

Recently, 126th Constitutional Amendment Bill was passed by Parliament.

126TH CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL

126TH CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL

MORE ABOUT 126TH CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL EXTENDING RESERVATION TILL 25TH JANUARY 2030

  • This bill was brought for two objectives:
    • Extend reservation for Scheduled castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) to Lok Sabha and legislative bodies.
    • Remove provision of nominating Anglo Indians to Lok Sabha and legislative bodies.
  • The bill has provisions for amending Article 334 and extending reservation only for Scheduled castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) to Lok Sabha and legislative bodies till 25th January, 2030 (which was expiring in 2020).
  • Article 334 originally provided that reservation of seats and special representation would cease 10 years after the commencement of Constitution. But this was extended every 10 years (8th,23rd,45th,62nd,79th and 95th amendments).
  • Currently, only some state Assemblies like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand etc. have one Anglo-Indian member each. The Amendment does away with this as well.
  • No member from the Anglo-Indian community has been nominated to the current Lok Sabha.
  • Earlier a panel, comprising Union Defence Minister, Home Minister, Social Justice Minister etc. had observed that the community was doing well and did not need reservation.
  • Since, the amendment falls within the purview of Article 368 (2) (d) dealing with “the representation of States in Parliament”, it is required to be ratified by the Legislature of not less than half of the States by simple majority.
    • Article 368 deals with power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure therefor.
      Constitutional Provisions for reservation of seats For SC/STs
    • Article 330 and 332 provides for the reservation of seats for SC/STs in Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies respectively, on the basis of their population ratio.
    • Also, there is no bar on SC/STs candidates contesting from general seats.
  • For Anglo-Indians:
    • The reservation for Anglo Indians was provided as they were in very small numbers and were diffused over different parts of the country. o The idea of such nominations is traced to Frank Anthony, who headed the All India Anglo-Indian Association. Article 331 was added in the Constitution following his suggestion to Jawaharlal Nehru.

Provisions

  • Under Article 331 President can nominate two members of Anglo-Indian community in Lok Sabha, if not adequately represented.
  • Article 333 provides same powers to Governor of a state to nominate one Anglo-Indian member.
  • According to the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, Anglo-Indian members of Lok Sabha and state Assemblies can take the membership of any party within six months of their nomination. But, once they do so, they are bound by their party whip.
  • The Anglo-Indian members enjoy the same powers as other MPs, but they cannot vote in the Presidential election.