42nd Amnedment Act of 1976 was the only Amendment which had changes the basic structure of the constitution. It gave effect to the recommendations of Swaran Singh Committee. It is also called as Mini Constitution.  Its a very important topic for IAS Asprants as a lot of questions are asked in UPSC prelims and Mains exam. This topic is part of UPSC Mais GS paper 2 syllabus.


  • Changes brought by 42nd Amendment act 1976
    • Judiciary
    • Fedralism
    • Parliament



On Judiciary:

  •  It provided for administrative tribunals and tribunals for other matters Added Part 14 A).
  •  Made the constitutional amendments beyond judicial scrutiny.
  •  Curtailed the power of judicial review and writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and high courts.

It added a new Art. 31: Laws enacted under article 31D shall not be deemed to be void on the ground that it takes away or abridges any of the fundamental rights conferred by article 14, article 19 and article 31.

On Presidential power

:Article 74 was amended to make the President bound by the advice of the cabinet.

On Federalism:

  • Facilitated the proclamation of national emergency in a part of territory of India.
  • Extended the one-time duration of the President’s rule in a state from 6 months to one year.
  • Empowered the Centre to deploy its armed forces in any state to deal with a grave situation of law and order.
  • Shifted five subjects from the state list to the concurrent list:
    • Education,
    • Forests,
    • Protection of wild animals and birds,
    • Weights and measures and
    • Administration of justice,
    • Constitution and organisation of all courts except the Supreme Court and the high courts.

On Parliament and Parliamentary Functioning:

  • Froze the seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies on the basis of 1971 census till 2001.
  • It amended the articles 83 and 172 to raise the tenure of Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies from 5 to 6 years.
  • It did away with the requirement of quorum in the parliament and the state legislatures.
  • It empowered the Parliament to decide from time to time the rights and privileges of its members and committees. [Art. 105]
  • Article 102 was amended to provide that a person will be so disqualified if he holds any such office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State as is declared by Parliamentary law to disqualify offices will vest in Parliament instead of in the State Legislature.

On Preamble, Fundamental Rights Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles:

  • On Preamble: Added three new words (i.e., socialist, secular and integrity).
  • On Fundamental Duties: Added Fundamental Duties by the citizens (new Part 4 A).

On Directives:

  • Provided that the laws made for the implementation of Directive Principles cannot be declared invalid by the courts on the ground of violation of some Fundamental Rights
  • Added three new Directive Principles:
  • Equal Justice and free-legal aid,
  •  Participation of workers in the management of industries and
  •  Protection of environment, forests and wild life.

On Fundamental Rights:

Empowered Parliament to make laws to deal with anti national activities and such laws are to take precedence over Fundamental Rights.

On Governmental Functioning:

Article 77 and article 166 relating to the Union government and State government hadbeen amended to provide that no court or other authority will be entitled to require the production of any rules framed for the transaction of Government business. All the Ministries & Departments are created under these provisions

On All India Services:

Articles 308 to 314 in part 14 of the Constitution contain provisions with regard to all-India services, Central services and state services.

  • Provided for the creation of the All-India Judicial Service.
  • Shortened the procedure for disciplinary action by taking away the right of a civil servant to make representation at the second stage after the inquiry (i.e., on the penalty proposed). [Accountability of Civil Servants: Immunity & Art. 14]
  •  It provided for administrative tribunals and tribunals for other matters (Added Part 14 A).

This is a very importnat topic in terms of UPSC prelims as it has a potential of many factual questions and as for UPSC Mains exam, 42nd Amendment act 1976 changes the polity in Idia, So it is important in that perpective. To read more articles on polity Click here