Which Bill is 100th amendment to Constitution?

May 07, 2015 04:12 am | Updated April 03, 2016 01:38 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Will the draft legislation rolling out the Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime enter the statute book as the 100th amendment to the Constitution or will the land swap agreement with Bangladesh get that distinction. It’s a race and it could go down to the wire.

As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley steered the GST Bill through the Lok Sabha and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj managed to secure Rajya Sabha’s nod for the land swap deal an hour later, both staked claim to their respective Bills being re-numbered 100th amendment to the Constitution.

In the case of the GST Bill, it was introduced in the Lok Sabha as The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014, while the draft legislation on the India-Bangladesh land swap agreement has been pending in the Rajya Sabha since December 2013 as The Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill.

Re-numbering the Bill

Ms. Swaraj said in the RS there were only four changes in this piece of legislation that had been drafted by the Congress. All changes, according to her, were of a technical nature and one of them was re-numbering the Bill as the 100th amendment to the Constitution. She, in fact, used the 100th amendment to the Constitution status of the Bill as another reason for the House to pass it unanimously.

An hour later, Mr. Jaitley informed the Lok Sabha Speaker that he had given notice for re-numbering the GST Bill as the 100th amendment to the Constitution.

Changing the number of an amendment to the constitution is nothing new as sometimes a Bill takes longer than another to get enacted; so there is considerable jumping of the queue. The final number of a Bill is determined as per the date on which it is cleared by both Houses of Parliament and the same rule will apply in this case also. Depending on which Bill clears the second House, it will get to be the 100th amendment to the Constitution.

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