Who has the power to amend the Constitution of India?

Answer By law4u team

The power to amend the Constitution of India lies with the Parliament of India. Specifically, the procedure for amending the Constitution is outlined in Article 368 of the Constitution. The power to amend is not absolute and requires a special majority of both houses of Parliament, as well as ratification by a majority of the state legislatures. Key points regarding the power to amend the Constitution include: Initiation of Amendment: An amendment to the Constitution can be initiated by either house of Parliament. The process can be started through the introduction of a bill for amendment. Special Majority: The amendment bill must be passed by each house of Parliament by a special majority. A special majority implies that the amendment must be supported by: A majority of the total membership of each house. A majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting. Ratification by States: Some amendments require the ratification of a majority of the state legislatures. The President of India seeks the views of state legislatures, and if the amendment is related to matters specified in Article 1 or the First Schedule or affects the representation of states in Parliament, it requires ratification by a majority of states. No Presidential Veto: The President of India does not have the power to veto a constitutional amendment. Once an amendment bill is duly passed by Parliament and, if necessary, ratified by the states, the President's assent is a formality. Limitations on Amendment: While Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution, certain basic features and essential principles are protected from arbitrary changes. The Supreme Court of India has the authority to review and strike down amendments that violate the basic structure of the Constitution. Amendment Procedures: The procedures for different types of amendments may vary. Amendments can be classified into the following categories: Simple Majority Amendments: Some amendments can be passed by a simple majority. Special Majority Amendments: The majority of amendments require a special majority. Special Majority and State Ratification: Certain amendments require both a special majority and ratification by states. Example of Basic Structure Doctrine: The basic structure doctrine, established by the Supreme Court in the Kesavananda Bharati case, holds that while Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution, it cannot alter or amend its basic structure. The basic structure includes principles like democracy, judicial review, federalism, and secularism. The process of amending the Constitution is designed to ensure that changes are made with due consideration and reflect a broad consensus. The involvement of both houses of Parliament and, in some cases, state legislatures, is intended to balance the need for flexibility with the preservation of the Constitution's core principles.

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