Constitution Review Commission

The topic of the Constitution Review Commission is recent. It was set up in 2000. The basic idea was that constitution, one the one had should not be amended too frequently and on the other hand it should reflect the changing dynamisms of the society. It should not be static.

The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution was set up vide Government Resolution dated 22 February, 2000 to examine, in the light of the experience of the past 50 years, as to how best the Constitution can respond to the changing needs of efficient, smooth and effective system of governance and socio-economic development of modern India within the framework of Parliamentary democracy, and to recommend changes, if any, that are required in the provisions of the Constitution without interfering with its basic structure or features.

  • On 23 February 2000, the President of India appointed Justice Shri M.N. Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India as the Chairperson of the Commission.

    Following persons as the other Members of the Commission:

  1. Justice Shri B.P. Jeevan Reddy, Chairman, Law Commission of India
  2. Justice Shri R.S. Sarkaria, former Judge, Supreme Court of India
  3. Justice Shri Kottapalli Punnayya, former Judge, Andhra Pradesh High Court
  4. Shri P.A.Sangma, former Speaker, Lok Sabha; and Member of Parliament
  5. Shri Soli J. Sorabjee, Attorney General for India
  6. Shri K. Parasaran, Senior Advocate and former Attorney General for India
  7. Dr.Subhash C. Kashyap, former Secretary General, Lok Sabha
  8. Shri C.R. Irani, Chief Editor and Managing Director, The Statesman
  9. Dr. Abid Hussain, former Ambassador of India in the USA
  10. Smt. Sumitra G. Kulkarni, former Member of Parliament, (Rajya Sabha)

    Dr. Raghbir Singh, Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs (Legislative Department) was asked to look after the work of the Secretary to the Commission immediately and on his superannuation, he was appointed as the Secretary to the Commission with effect from 1 April 2000.

    Terms of Reference:

    The terms of reference was approved by the cabinet through a resolution. It read as follows:

    “The Commission shall examine, in the light of the experience of the past 50 years, as to how best the Constitution can respond to the changing needs of efficient, smooth and effective system of governance and socio-economic development of modern India within the framework of parliamentary democracy and to recommend changes, if any, that are required in the provisions of the Constitution without interfering with its basic structure or features.”

    Tenure:

    The Commission was required to complete its work and make recommendations within one year. The tenure of the Commission was extended from time to time up to 31st March, 2002.

  • The Commission submitted its report in two volumes to the Government on 31st March, 2002.

    Recommendations:

    This commission recommended a long list of amendments and tried to touch almost all the issues. It recommended on Fundamental Rights, Directive principles, Fundamental Duties, legislatures, Electoral process, political parties, Executive and Public Administration, The judiciary, center state relations, Trade commerce and intercourse, Resolution of disputes & the Executive.

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