Thirty Fourth Constitutional Amendment Act 1974 – Indian Polity – Free PDF Download
Constitutional Amendments Series
34th Amendment 1974
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
The Chief Ministers’ Conference held on the 23rd July, 1972, had made important suggestions with regard to reduction in the level of ceiling on land holdings, application of ceiling on the basis of land held by a family and the withdrawing of exemptions.
It is proposed to amend the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution to include therein the revised ceiling laws which have so far been enacted in broad conformity with the aforesaid guidelines so that they may have the protection under article 31B of the Constitution and any uncertainty or doubt that may arise in regard to the validity of those laws is removed.
In addition, two Acts dealing with the abolition of intermediary tenures are also proposed to be included in the Ninth Schedule, namely, the Bihar Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1972 and the Gudalur Janmam Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1969, so that they may also have the same protection.
What exactly is Article 31B?
With the vision to establish an egalitarian society, the then National Government enacted Zamindari Programme which empowered them to possess the lands of scourge zamindars.
However, several laws under this programme were declared ‘arbitrary’ and ‘unconstitutional’ by Judicial Courts as it infringed the basic rights of the zamindars.
In State of Bihar v. Kameshwar Singh: the Bihar Land Reforms Act, 1950, was declared to be unenforceable as it categorized the zamindars in a discriminatory manner for the purpose of compensation.
With such judicial decisions, the then National Government feared and felt that their goal of eradication of the Zamindari system might be at peril and therefore, amended the Constitution and a new provision i.e Article 31A was added.
Article 31(A) provides that if any law is legislated and is related to:
to the acquisition of any estate by the state.
Right of the government to take over or manage any property in public interest.
The amalgamation of two or more corporation’s property in public interest.
Elimination or modification of rights of managing agents, shareholders, directors etc.
Elimination, modification or termination of rights which is the result of a lease, license or agreement for the purpose of searching for minerals or minerals oils will not deemed to be void or null even if it abridges any of the rights conferred by Article 14 or Article 19 until it has received the assent of the President.