42nd Amendment Act 1976

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 1, 2022, 6:33

The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976, passed by the Indian National Congress led by Indira Gandhi, is one of the most remarkable amendments to the Indian Constitution.

This post contains all the relevant information about the 42nd constitutional amendment.

42nd Constitutional Amendment 1976

The Indian Constitution is distinctive in both substance and essence. It establishes the rule of law, and it is generally the supreme law of the land. The constituent assembly that drafted our Constitution allowed amendments to make to it over time. As a result, the Indian Constitution as it stands today has undergone significant changes.

The general term for the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 is the Constitution Act of 1976, and it is one of the most contentious acts in the history of amendments to the Indian Constitution. It changed/added the following provisions:

42nd Amendment Act, 1976 - Preamble

The preamble now includes three new words: 'Socialist,' 'Secular,' and 'Integrity'.

42nd Amendment Act, 1976 - New Directives added under Part VI

The addition of three new DPSPs to the existing list and the amendment to one:

  • Article 39: to provide opportunities for children's healthy development.
  • Article 39 A: to provide free legal assistance to the poor and to promote equal justice
  • Article 43 A: To ensure worker participation in industry management.
  • Article 48 A: to safeguard forests and wildlife, as well as to protect and improve the environment
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42nd Amendment Act, 1976 - Concurrent List under VII Schedule

The transfer of five subjects from the state list to the concurrent list:

  • Education
  • Forests
  • Weights and Measures
  • Protection of Wild Animals and Birds
  • Administration of Justice

42nd Amendment Act, 1976 - Fundamental Duties

The government added Article 51A to the Constitution, which consists of ten Fundamental Duties, based on the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee.

Note: The addition of the 11th Fundamental Duty by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act states that a parent or guardian must provide educational opportunities for his or her child or ward between the ages of six and fourteen.

42nd Amendment Act, 1976 - Judiciary

  • Limitation to the High Courts' judicial review authority.
  • The provision for the establishment of the All-India Judicial Service.

42nd Amendment Act, 1976 - Addition to Part XIV A (Articles 323A and 323B)

Establishment of 'Administrative tribunals' and 'tribunals for other matters.'

Though the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 is regarded as the most contentious in the history of the Indian Constitution, specific provisions, such as the free legal aid policy, protection of children and the environment, fundamental duties, etc., have remained in effect for many years and continue to be so today because they are deemed beneficial.

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FAQs on 42nd Amendment Act 1976

Q.1. Why was the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 termed the most controversial amendment?

The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 is a contentious constitutional amendment because it attempted to limit Supreme Court's and the High Court's power while curtailing several other socio-political rights.

Q.2. What did the 42nd constitutional amendment attempt to do?

The 42nd constitutional amendment tried to modify the fundamental structure of the Constitution.

Q.3. Who was the President when the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 was passed?

The Government enacted the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 under the leadership of Indira Gandhi.

Q.3. Why is the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 called the Mini Constitution?

Because of the many amendments made by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 to the Indian Constitution, the Act is also known as the "Mini-Constitution."