April 8, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Amendment Reversal

Article 329-A made special provision for challenging the election to Parliament of the Prime Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker.

By: Editorial | Updated: April 8, 2017 12:39 am

A seven-clause Constitution Amendment Bill seeking to reverse some of the changes made in the Constitution by the Congress government during the Emergency was introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to restore the five-year tenure for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The controversial Constitution (42nd amendment) Act increased the normal term of these legislations from five to six years. Article 31-D and 329-A, incorporated into the Constitution by amendments enacted during the Emergency, are sought to be deleted. Article 31-D gave sweeping powers to Parliament to make laws for dealing with anti-national activities and anti-national associations. Article 329-A made special provision for challenging the election to Parliament of the Prime Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker. The Bill provides that Article 329-A shall be omitted and deemed to have been omitted with retrospective effect from August 10, 1975.

Morarji On NAM

Prime Minister Morarji Desai assured the international community that India will remain non-aligned in the real sense of the term. Desai, who inaugurated the meeting of the 25-member coordination bureau of the non-aligned movement, said non-alignment had now become the “mainstream of international life”. In India, he added, non-alignment represented a national consensus. Desai said non-alignment was the natural continuation of the country’s struggle for freedom.

Judge To Probe

A commission of inquiry headed by an eminent judge will be set up to look into all complaints of “excesses, malpractices and abuse of authority” during the Emergency, announced Home Minister Charan Singh in Parliament. The Home Minister said it was only fair that those who were guilty — from the highest political authority to the lowest functionary— did not escape punishment.

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