THE CONSTITUTION (THIRTY-NINTH AMENDMENT) ACT, 1975

THE CONSTITUTION (THIRTY-NINTH AMENDMENT) ACT, 1975

Statement of Objects and Reasons appended to the Constitution
(Fortieth Amendment) Bill, 1975 which was enacted as
the Constitution (Thirty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1975

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

Article 71 of the Constitution provides that disputes arising out of
the election of the President or Vice-President shall be decided by
the Supreme Court. The same article provides that matters relating to
their election shall be regulated by a parliamentary law. So far as
the Prime Minister and the Speaker are concerned, matters relating to
their election are regulated by the provisions of the Representation
of the People Act, 1951. Under this Act the High Court has
jurisdiction to try an election petition presented against either of
them.

2. The President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister and the
Speaker are holders of high offices. The President is not answerable
to a court of law for anything done, while in office, in the exercise
of his powers. A fortiori matters relating to his election should not
be brought before a court of law but should be entrusted to a forum
other than a court. The same reasoning applies equally to the
incumbents of the offices of Vice-President, Prime Minister and
Speaker. It is accordingly proposed to provide that disputes relating
to the election of the President and Vice-President shall be
determined by a forum as may be determined by a parliamentary law.
Similar provision is proposed to be made in the case of the election
to either House of Parliament or, as the case may be, to the House of
the People of a person holding the office of Prime Minister or the
Speaker. It is further proposed to render pending proceedings in
respect of such election under the existing law null and void. The
Bill also provides that the parliamentary law creating a new forum for
trial of election matters relating to the incumbents of the high
offices abovementioned shall not be called in question in any court.

3. Recourse was had in the past to the Ninth Schedule whenever it was
found that progressive legislation conceived in the interests of the
public was imperilled by litigation. It has become necessary to have
recourse to this device once again now. Between 1971 and 1973
legislation was enacted for nationalising coking coal and coal mines
for conservating these resources in the interests of steel industry.
These enactments have been brought before courts on the ground that
they are unconstitutional. So is the case of sick textile
undertakings which were nationalised in 1974. To prevent smuggling of
goods and diversion of foreign exchange which affected national
economy Parliament enacted legislation which again has been challenged
in the Supreme Court and in High Courts. These and other important
and special enactments which it is considered necessary should have
the constitutional protection under article 31B, are proposed to be
included in the Ninth Schedule. Certain State legislations relating
to land reform and ceiling on agricultural land holdings have already
been included in the Ninth Schedule. Certain amendments made to these
legislations also require protection of the provisions of article 31B.

4. The Bill seeks to give effect to the above objects.

NEW DELHI; H. R. GOKHALE.

The 6th August, 1975.

THE CONSTITUTION (THIRTY-NINTH AMENDMENT) ACT, 1975

[10th August, 1975.]

An Act further to amend the Constitution of India.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twenty-sixth Year of the Republic of
India as follows:-

1. Short title.-This Act may be called the Constitution Thirty-ninth
Amendment) Act, 1975.

2. Substitution of new article for article 71.-For article 71 of the
Constitution, the following article shall be substituted, namely:-

"71. Matters relating to or connected with the election of a
President or Vice-President.-(1) Subject of the provisions of this
Constitution, Parliament may by law regulate any matter relating to or
connected with the election of a President or Vice-President,
including the grounds on which such election may be questioned:

Provided that the election of a person as President or Vice-President
shall not be called in question on the ground of the existence of any
vacancy for whatever reason among the members of the electoral college
electing him.

(2) All doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with the
election of a President or Vice-President shall be inquired into and
decided by such authority or body and in such manner as may be
provided for by or under any law referred to in clause (1).

(3) The validity of any such law as is referred to in clause (1) and
the decision of any authority or body under such law shall not be
called in question in any court.

(4) If the election of a person as President or Vice-President is
declared void under any such law as is referred to in clause (1), acts
done by him in the exercise and performance of the powers and duties
of the office of President or Vice-President, as the case may be, on
or before the date of such declaration shall not be invalidated by
reason of that declaration.".

3. Amendment of article 329.-In article 329 of the Constitution, for
the words "Notwithstanding any thing in this Constitution", the words,
figures and letter "Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution but
subject to the provisions of article 329A" shall be substituted.

4. Insertion of new article 329A.-In Part XV of the Constitution,
after article 329, the following article shall be inserted, namely:-

"329A. Special provision as to elections to Parliament in the case of
Prime Minister and Speaker.-(1) Subject to the provisions of Chapter
II of Part V [except sub-clause (e) of clause (1) of article 102], no
election-

(a) to either House of Parliament of a person who holds the office of
Prime Minister at the time of such election or is appointed as Prime
Minister after such election;

(b) to the House of the People of a person who holds the office of
Speaker of that House at the time of such election or who is chosen
as the Speaker for that House after such election,

shall be called in question, except before such authority [not being
any such authority as is referred to in clause (b) of article 329] or
body and in such manner as may be provided for by or under any law
made by Parliament and any such law may provide for all other matters
relating to doubts and disputes in relation to such election including
the grounds on which such election may be questioned.

(2) The validity of any such law as is referred to in clause (1) and
the decision of any authority or body under such law shall not be
called in question in any court.

(3) Where any person is appointed as Prime Minister or, as the case
may be, chosen to the office of the Speaker of the House of the
People, while an election petition referred to in clause (b) of
article 329 in respect of his election to either House of Parliament
or, as the case may be, to the House of the People is pending, such
election petition shall abate upon such person being appointed as
Prime Minister or, as the case may be, being chosen to the office of
the Speaker of the House of the People, but such election may be
called in question under any such law as is referred to in clause (1).

(4) No law made by Parliament before the commencement of the
Constitution (Thirty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1975, in so far as it
relates to election petitions and matters connected therewith, shall
apply or shall be deemed ever to have applied to or in relation to the
election to any such person as is referred to in clause (1) to either
House of Parliament and such election shall not be deemed to be void
or ever to have become void on any ground on which such elction could
be declared to be void or has, before such commencement, been declared
to be void under any such law and notwithstanding any order made by
any court, before such commencement, declaring such elction to be
void, such election shall continue to be valid in all respects and any
such order and any finding on which such order is based shall be and
shall be deemed always to have been void and of no effect.

(5) Any appeal or cross appeal against any such order of any court as
is referred to in clause (4) pending immediately before the
commencement of the Constitution (Thirty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1975,
before the Supreme Court shall be disposed of in conformity with the
provisions of clause (4).

(6) The provisions of this article shall have effect notwithstanding
anything contained in this Constitution.".

5. Amendment of the Ninth Schedule.-In the Ninth Schedule to the
Constitution, after entry 86 and before the Explanation, the following
entries shall be inserted, namely:-

"87. The Representation of the People Act, 1951 (Central Act 43 of
1951), the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 1974 (Central
Act 58 of 1974) and the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 1975 (Central
Act 40 of 1975).

88. The Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 (Central
Act 65 of 1951).

89. The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act,
1952 (Central Act 30 of 1952).

90. The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957
(Central Act 67 of 1957).

91. The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (Central
Act 54 of 1969).

92. The Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 (Central Act 26 of
1971).

93. The Coking Coal Mines (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1971 (Central
Act 64 of 1971).

94. The Coking Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 (Central Act
36 of 1972).

95. The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972
(Central Act 57 of 1972).

96. The Indian Copper Corporation (Acquisition of Undertaking) Act,
1972 (Central Act 58 of 1972).

97. The Sick Textile Undertakings (Taking Over of Management)
Act, 1972 (Central Act 72 of 1972).

98. The Coal Mines (Taking Over of Management) Act, 1973 (Central Act
15 of 1973).

99. The Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973 (Central Act
26 of 1973).

100. The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 (Central Act 46 of
1973).

101. The Alcock Ashdown Company Limited (Acquisition of Under-
takings) Act, 1973 (Central Act 56 of 1973).

102. The Coal Mines (Conservation and Development) Act, 1974 (Central
Act 28 of 1974).

103. The Additional Emoluments (Compulsory Deposit) Act, 1974
(Central Act 37 of 1974).

104. The Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling
Activities Act, 1974 (Central Act 52 of 1974).

105. The Sick Textile Undertakings (Nationalisation) Act, 1974
(Central Act 57 of 1974).

106. The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings)
(Amendment) Act, 1964 (Maharashtra Act XVI of 1965).

107. The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings)
(Amendment) Act, 1965 (Maharashtra Act XXXII of 1965.

108. The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings)
(Amendment) Act, 1968 (Maharashtra Act XVI of 1968).

109. The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings) (Second
Amendment) Act, 1968 (Maharashtra Act XXXIII of 1968).

110. The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings)
(Amendment) Act, 1969 (Maharashtra Act XXXVII of 1969).

111. The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings) (Second
Amendment) Act, 1969 (Maharashtra Act XXXVIII of 1969).

112. The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings)
(Amendment) Act, 1970 (Maharashtra Act XXVII of 1970).

113. The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings)
(Amendment) Act, 1972 (Maharashtra Act XIII of 1972).

114. The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings)
(Amendment) Act, 1973 (Maharashtra Act L of 1973).

115. The Orissa Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1965 (Orissa Act 13 of
1965).

116. The Orissa Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1966 (Orissa Act 8 of
1967).

117. The Orissa Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1967 (Orissa Act 13 of
1967).

118. The Orissa Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1969 (Orissa Act 13 of
1969).

119. The Orissa Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1970 (Orissa Act 18
of 1970).

120. The Uttar Pradesh Imposition of Ceiling on Land Holdings
(Amendment) Act, 1972 (Uttar Pradesh Act 18 of 1973).

121. The Uttar Pradesh Imposition of Ceiling on Land Holdings
(Amendment) Act, 1974 (Uttar Pradesh Act 2 of 1975).

122. The Tripura Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Third Amendment Act,
1975 (Tripura Act 3 of 1975).

123. The Dadra and Nagar Haveli Land Reforms Regulation, 1971 (3 of
1971).

124. The Dadra and Nagar Haveli Land Reforms (Amendment) Regulation,
1973 (5 of 1973).".