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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
 
  May 2016
 
  April 2016
 
 
 
 
CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
The Constitution of India is the fountainhead from which all our laws derive their authority and force. This is next article in the series on constitutional provisions in order to aid our readers in understanding them.

81. "Composition of the House of the People"

81. "Composition of the House of the People .-(1) Subject to the provisions of Article 331, the House of the People shall consist of-

(a) not more than five hundred and thirty members chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the States, and

(b) not more than twenty members to represent the Union Territories, chosen in such manner as Parliament may by law provide.

(2) For the purposes of sub-clause (a) of clause (1)-

(a) there shall be allotted to each State a number of seats in the House of the People in such manner that the ratio between that number and the population of the State is, so far as practicable, the same for all States; and

(b) each State shall be divided into territorial constituencies in such manner that the ratio between the population of each constituency and number of seats allowed to it is, so far as practicable, the same throughout the State:

Provided that the provisions of sub-clause (a) of this clause shall not be applicable for the purpose of allotment of seats in the House of the People to any State so long as the population of that State does not exceed six millions.

(3) In this Article, the expression "population" means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published:

Provided that the reference in this clause to the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published shall, until the relevant figures for the first census taken after the year 2026 have been published, be construed,-

(i) for the purposes of sub-clause (a) of clause (2) and the proviso to that clause, as a reference to the 1971 census; and

(ii) for the purposes of sub-clause (b) of clause (2) as a reference to the 2001 census."

This Article is codified for the composition of Lok Sabha or Lower House in the Parliament of India. The first seven words in its clause (1) speak about Article 331 which states about the representation of the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha.

Article 81 has specified 552 members in the Lok Sabha vis-à-vis 530 members are elected directly through various constituencies of 28 States in India by the procedure of adult franchise; 20 members from 7 Union Territories and 2 members are nominated from Anglo-Indian community. Most importantly sub-clause (b) of clause (1) of this Article is silent about the selection procedure of members from Union Territories. This sub-clause only states that 20 members are to represent Union Territories by the Law which the Parliament provides for the purpose. But in practice such 20 members represent to Lok Sabha as per the Parliamentary procedure from time to time. Further the other two members are nominated by the President of India under Article 331 and not under this Article, only if the President of India feels that the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha.

Clause (2) and its sub-clause (a) deals with the ratio between the number of seats in the Lok Sabha and the population of each State. Sub-clause (b) deals with the division of States into different territorial constituencies as per the ratio between the population of each constituency and the number of seats allotted to it and the main provision of such sub-clause is that such ratio should be same throughout the State. That means the ratio is proportional on the basis of equity.

Again the Proviso to clause (2) of this Article states that the provisions of its sub-clause (a) is not applicable for the purpose of allotment of seats in the Lok Sabha to any State so long as the population of that State does not exceed six millions. Here "Population" means the population as per the last preceding census.

This Article has been amended nine times in the line of technicalities and effect of population census. First Amendment was by Constitution 2 nd Amendment in 1952, Second Amendment by Constitution 35 th Amendment in 1974, Third Amendment was in 1974 by Constitution 36 th Amendment, Fourth Amendment was by Goa, Daman and Diu Re-organisation Act in 1987, Fifth Amendment was by Constitution 31 st Amendment in 1973, Sixth Amendment by Constitution 14 th Amendment in 1962, Seventh Amendment by Constitution 42 nd Amendment in 1976, Eighth Amendment by Constitution 84 th Amendment in 2001 and Ninth Amendment was by Constitution 87 th Amendment in 2003. It is noteworthy that this Article has been amended many times due to contemporary increase in population on one hand and States Reorganisation Acts on the other.

 
 
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