constitutional amendment Current Affairs - 2020

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Resolution to be moved in Rajya Sabha to remove the word “Socialism” in the Constitution

The ruling party (BJP) member of Rajya Sabha Shri Rakesh Sinha has issued a notice to the Chairman to permit to move a resolution. The resolution aims to drop the word “Socialist” in the Constitution.

Highlights

The resolution claims that the world socialism is redundant in the current scenario. It has to be dropped to create space for economic thinking. The Preamble of Constitution declares India to be sovereign, secular, socialist and democratic republic.

The resolution claims that word was included without enough debate in the Parliament as it was introduced during emergency.

42nd amendment of the Constitution

The words “Socialist” and “Secular” were included in the 42nd amendment of the Constitution. The amendment was passed during the emergency period. The amendment attempted to reduce the powers of Supreme Court. It laid down fundamental duties of Indian Citizens. The amendment brought in several changes for it was addressed as “Mini-constitution”.

The amendment gave Parliament powers amend the constitution without judicial review. IT also changed the preamble of the constitution. The description of India in the preamble as “Sovereign Democratic Republic” was changed to “Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic”. It also changed “unity of the nation” to “unity and integrity of the nation”.

Can Preamble be amended?

Yes.

However, till 1973, the Supreme Court also held that Preamble shall not be amended as it is not a part of the Constitution.

In 1973, Keshvananda Bharti Case, the Supreme Court pronounced that Preamble is a part of the Constitution and Parliament has full rights to amend the Preamble.

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Supreme Court seeks immediate floor test from Madhya Pradesh State Government

On March 17, 2020, the Supreme Court of India issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh State Government to conduct a floor test. A bench headed by Justice Chandrachud issued the notice.

What is the issue?

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who lost 2019 election in Madya Pradesh ended his 18 years association with Congress party and joined BJP. Following this, 16 Members of the Legislative Assembly who won elections with congress ticket submitted their resignation letter to the speaker of the assembly. The assembly commenced for the budget session recently. The speaker accepted their resignation.

Now, there is a question of majority in the house for which when appealed by the MLAs to the SC, the apex court has ordered for a floor test.

Floor Test

The Floor test is conducted in order to prove majority of a government. The Chief Minister or Prime Minister moves vote of confidence. If he gains majority support, he continues to remain in power else he has to resign.

Scindia

The Scindia family ruled the princely state of Gwalior. Jivajirao Scindia (grandfather of Jyotiraditya Scindiya) was the last Maharaja of princely state of Gwalior. His son Madhavrao Scindia was a titular ruler. The 26th amendment of constitution abolished the official symbols of princely states in the country. This put an end to titles, privy purses and privileges enjoyed.

26th Constitutional Amendment

The 26th Constitutional amendment put an end to the privy purse in India. Privy purse was the payment made by the royal families of princely states to stay integrated with India after independence. At the time of independence there were 555 princely states covering 48% of the area and 28% of the population. The rulers were free to make choice in joining India or stay independent. It was Sardar Vallbhbhai Patel, who initiated unification of the princely states.

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