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25th AMENDMENT ACT, 1971

Author: Anil kumar Raj Purohit, III year of B.com.,LL.B.(Hons.) from Vels University


INTRODUCTION

In 25th amendment the parliament curtailed the right to property which was given as the fundamental right under article 19(1) (f), and permitted the government to acquire the private property for public use. And also added that the payment of compensation should be determined by the parliament and not by the court of law. In 1970, the Supreme Court, in its judgement on RustomCavasjee Cooper v. Union Of India, which is basically also known as the Bank Nationalization case, held that the Constitution guarantees the right to compensation which is provided under article 31, to pay the adequate compensation to for the private property which is acquired or requisitioned by government for the public purpose. And the court held that the law for requisitioned of property should fulfil the requirement in article 19(1)(f). This amendment was introduced to overcome the restriction imposed on government by its ruling. Basically article 31 of the constitution as it stands that no law providing for the compulsory acquisition of property which either fixes the amount of compensation or specifies the principle on which the compensation is to be determined and given shall be called in any court of law in the ground that the compensation provided is not adequate. Therefore Supreme Court also uphold the constitutional right, right to compensation.


REASON FOR AMENDMENT

There are two main reason for the amendment, they are

1. Amended the article 31

2. Inserted article 31C


Amended the article 31: According to the Parliament,right to compensationwas creating a disturbance in acquiring the private property for public purpose. So as per the 24th amendment parliament re-established there power to amend any part of the constitution. Taking the power to amend the constitution parliament amended the article 31 as article 31 gives the right to adequate compensation for the acquisition or requisition of the private property for public purpose.And owners of the property use to file a suit of adequate compensation in court. And in 1970 after the Supreme Court judgement in RC cooper Vs Union of India decided that constitution guarantees right to compensation.And thereafter parliament amended the article 31 by replacing and amending the word “compensation” to “amount” of the property acquired or requisitioned. Further they also added that the compensation will be provided as per the principles which is given in law and no such law shall be questioned in any court on the grounds of adequate compensation or the whole part or some amount of otherwise given in cash.


Inserted Article 31 C: Saving of laws giving effect to certain directive principle. Notwithstanding anything contained in article 13, no law giving effect to the policy of the State towards securing the principles specified in clause (b) or clause (c) of article 39 shall be deemed to be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with, or takes away or abridges any of the rights conferred by article 14, article 19 or article 31; and no law containing a declaration that it is for giving effect to such policy shall be called in question in any court on the ground that it does not give effect to such policy.


Provided that where such law is made by the Legislature of a State, the provisions of this article shall not apply thereto unless such law, having been reserved for the consideration of the President, has received his assent.


NOTE: In the year 1969 Indira Gandhi government nationalized 14 private banks, and passed a legislation to run this effect.RustomCavasjee cooper one of the shareholder in one of this bank have challenged this legislation before Supreme Court.He argued that the legislation did not give him adequate compensation, therefore violating his fundamental right to property under Article 31, and freedom to carry on a business under Article 19(1)(g). The Court agreed with Cooper and passed a judgment striking down the relevant portion of the legislation. This made Parliament to pass the 25th Amendment to overturn the decision in R.C. Cooper.


PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE OF AMENDMENT

The 25th amendment 1971, was introduced in the Lok Sabha by H.R Gokhale who was the Law and Justice Minister of India. It was introduced on 28July 1971. As the bill proposed the following:

1. To replace the word in article 31(2) the word ‘compensation’ for the acquisition of the property to ‘amount’. And also stated that amount could be paid otherwise than cash.


2. Clause (2B) was inserted after clause (2A) which stated that the article 19(1) (f) shall not be applicable to law relating to acquisition of property for the public purpose.


3. The bill also introduced article 31C, mentioning any law passed to give effect to directive principle in article 39(b) and 39(c) and also made that such law could not be challenged in any court of law for violating fundamental rights 14, 19, and 31.


The bill was considered by loksabha on 30 November and 1 December 1971. The bill was passed by loksabha (in favour 353 and against 20) on 1 December and 8 December, 1971 respectively. On 20th April 1972 the bill received for assent of PresidentVarahagiri V. Giri and also came into force on the same day. The Prime Minister Indira Gandhi claimed that it is not her or party’s intention to weaker the judiciary. And further she stated that ‘the judiciary must not take over the parliament’.


AFTERMATH

The 25thamendment was a measure taken by Indira Gandhi to increase the power of parliament. With 24th amendment, 25th amendment was followed by several constitutional amendment and designed to lessen the power of judiciary and enhance the power of parliament. Such amendment are made to priorities the directive principle of state policy over fundamental right. As well as article 31C also mentioned that article 39(b) and (c) would not be open to judicial review.


Short note on kesavanandabharti Vs state of kerala

I have added this case also because in this case 25th amendment was also challenged and made some changes in 25th amendment.


Kesavanandabharati moved to Supreme Court under article 32 for infringing his rights which were article 25, 26, 14, 19 and 31. During this case constitutional validity of 25th amendment was challenged. The Supreme Court in its judgement held that parliament cannot the basic fundamental rights which is now also known as basic structure of constitution. Now after that parliament have power to amend the rest fundamental rights but cannot basic structure. There after Supreme Court struck down the second part of the 25th amendment.


Note: Eventually after the 44th amendment article 31 was repealed and was added in article 300A as constitutional right.


SUMMARY

In this article we have learnt about the why, how, and when the 25th amendment was introduced. As this amendment was to overcome the issues which were was interrupting the government when they acquire or requisite property for public purpose. And the owner of the property use to file a suit of non-adequate compensastion. And this led the issues for the government which should be resolved. Considering this parliament introduced 25th amendment in 1971 and also added some circumstance which were infringing the fundamental rights. Like people cannot ask for judicial review and cannot challenge in any court of law. As this amendment increased the power of the present ruling government and the parliament but in Supreme Court in its judgement of kesavanandabharati Vs state of kerala decided that basic structure of constitution cannot be amended.


REFERENCE

1. V.N Shukla: Constitution of India

2. J.N Pandey: Constitution of India

3. Smriti Roy: Constitutional law

4. Law commission report: law committee

5. Legislative.gov: Web page

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