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Constitutional Amendments The Constitution (118th Amendment) Bill, 2012 (Insertion of new article 371J)

The Constitution 118th Amendment Bill, 2012 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 7, 2012 by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde. The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs (Chairperson: Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu), which is scheduled to submit its report by the first week of the Winter Session of the Parliament. A resolution to make special provisions for the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region was passed by the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council of Karnataka in March 2012. The resolution aims to establish an institutional mechanism to develop the region and promote inclusive growth. It aims to reduce inter-region and inter-district disparity in the State of Karnataka. This Bill was introduced in Parliament to give effect to this resolution.

The Bill seeks to insert Article 371J in the Constitution to empower the Governor of Karnataka to take steps to develop the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region. As per the Statements of Objects and Reasons of the Bill, this Region includes the districts of Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal, Yadgir and Bellary. The President may allow the Governor to take the following steps for development of the region: (i) setting up a development board for the Region; (ii) ensure equitable allocation of funds for development of the Region; and (iii) provide for reservation in educational and vocational training institutions, and state government positions in the Region for persons from the Region.

The Constitution (One Hundred Seventeenth Amendment) Bill, 2012 Indira Sawhney v Union of India had held reservations in promotions to be unconstitutional. Subsequently in 1995, the central government had amended the Constitution and inserted Article 16(4A). This provided for reservation in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes which in the opinion of the state are not adequately represented in the services. In 2006, the Supreme Court in the case of M. Nagraj v Union of India upheld the constitutional validity of the amendment.

before framing any law on this issue, the state will have to satisfy the test of; (a) backwardness of the particular SC and ST group; (b) inadequate representation of the said group; and (c) efficiency of administration. In April 2012, the Supreme Court struck down the UP Government Seniority Rules which provided for reservations in promotions. The court held that the state government had not undertaken any exercise to identify whether there was backwardness and inadequate representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the state government. In light of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court, the central government has introduced the present Bill amending the Constitution. The Bill seeks to substitute Article 16(4A) of the Constitution of India. The Bill provides that all the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes notified in the Constitutional shall be deemed to be backward. Article 335 of the Constitution states that the claims of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have to be balanced with maintaining efficiency in administration. The Bill states that provision of the amendment shall override the provision of Article 335.

The Constitution (One Hundred and Sixteenth Amendment) Bill, 2011 The Bill amends the Constitution by inserting a new Part XIVB (adding Articles 323C and 323D) to the Constitution. It provides an outline for establishing a Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for the states . The Bill also amends the Third Schedule (insertion of Part IX) to provide for the form of oath to be taken by the Chairperson and members of Lokpal and the Lokayukta The Bill provides that that there shall be a Lokpal for the Union and a Lokayukta for the States Lokpal Lokpal with the power to (a) hold preliminary enquiry which may result in an investigation; and (b) prosecute offences. This power is in relation to a complaint filed under any prevention of corruption law made by Parliament an autonomous and independent body headed by a Chairperson

The number of members and the conditions of the service of the Lokpal shall be determined by Parliament The appointment of the Chairperson and the members of the Lokpal shall be made by the President not be eligible to hold any further government posts Lokayukta The number of Members and the conditions of service of the Lokayukta shall be determined by either Parliament or the State Legislatures as the case may be by the Governor