In India, which one of the following Constitutional Amendments was widely believed to be enacted to overcome the judicial interpretations of the Fundamental Rights?

UPSC Prelims 2023 Question:

In India, which one of the following Constitutional Amendments was widely believed to be enacted to overcome the judicial interpretations of the Fundamental Rights?

a) 1st Amendment

b) 42nd Amendment

c) 44th Amendment

d) 86th Amendment

Correct Answer: Option a) 1st Amendment

Learn more about Constitutional Amendments in the below-given explanation.

Explanation:

During the initial months of the working of the Constitution, certain difficulties were brought to light by judicial decisions and pronouncements especially in regard to the chapter on fundamental rights. The citizen's right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by article 19(1)(a) had been held by some courts to be so comprehensive as not to render a person culpable even if he advocates murder and other crimes of violence.

1st Constitutional Amendment 1951

As a result of this, the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951 was passed. It’s object was to amend Article 19 for the purposes indicated above and to insert provisions fully securing the constitutional validity of zamindari abolition laws in general and certain specified State Acts in particular.

The First Amendment Act made a number of important changes to the Constitution, including:

  • It empowered the state to make special provisions for the advancement of socially and economically backward classes.
  • It provided for the saving of laws providing for the acquisition of estates, etc.
  • It added the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution, which protects certain laws from judicial review.
  • It added three more grounds of restrictions on freedom of speech and expression, namely, public order, friendly relations with foreign states and incitement to an offence. It also made the restrictions 'reasonable' and thus, justiciable in nature.
  • It provided that state trading and nationalisation of any trade or business by the state is not to be invalid on the ground of violation of the right to trade or business.

Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer. 

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