Useful Notes on the Structure of Proteins

The primary structure is thus a complete description of the covalent connection of protein. Sanger, et al., 1955, established the sequence in insulin which contains fifty-one amino-acids. Later, the primary structure of ribonuclease, an enzyme containing 124 amino-acids, was elucidated by Stein et al.

Secondary structure:

The secondary structure of proteins refers to the spatial arrangement of the polypeptide chains as a result of hydrogen bond formation.

The secondary structure is a direct conse­quence of the sequential arrangement of the amino-acids in the poly­peptide chain. The a-helix and the 3-pleated sheet are best examples of secondary structure (Pauling, Cory et al., 1951).

The ?-helix is a rod-like structure. “Hi; tightly coiled polypep­tide chain forms the inner part of the ion and the aide chains extend outward in a helical array.

The a-helix is stabilized by hydrogen bonds between the NH and CO groups of the main chain. The CO group of each amino-acid is hydrogen bonded to the NH group of the amino-acid that is situated four residues ahead in the linear sequence.

Thus, all the main-chain CO and NH groups are hydrogen-bonded. Each residue is related to the next one by a translation of 5A along the helix axis and a rotation of* 100°, which gives 3.6 amino-acid residues per turn of helix.

Thus, amino-acids spaced three or four apart in the linear sequence are spatially quite close to one another in and a-helix. In contrast, amino-acids two apart in the linear sequence are situated on opposite sides of the helix and so are unlikely to make contact.

The pitch of the a-helix is 5-4A, the product of the translation (1-5A) and the number of residues per turn (3 6).

The screw-sense of a helix can be right-handed or left-handed; the a-helices found in proteins are right-handed.

The ?-pleated sheet structure of protein differs markedly from the a-helix in that it is a sheet rather than a rod.

The polypeptide chain in the ?-pleated sheet is almost fully extended rather than being tightly coiled as in the a-helix.

Adjacent amino-acids in a polypeptide chain occur every 36A, in contrast to 1-5A for the a-helix, and every amino-acid residue is rotated 180° with respect to adjacent ones.

The ?-pleated sheet is stabilized by hydrogen bonds between NH and CO groups in different polypeptide chains where as in the a-helix the hydrogen bonds are between NH and CO groups in the same poly­peptide chain.

A configuration of this type is not possible with amino-acids other than glycine because side chains (instead of hydrogen atoms) attached to the a-carbon could not be accommodated. Silk fibroin, a member of the class of ?-keratins rich in alanine or serine, is an exam­ple of a protein with a related structure.

A somewhat more complex type of molecular organization is illustrated by the protein collagen.

Collagen consists of three poly­peptide chains with parallel orientation but with the glycine of every triplet of amino-acids displaced one residue compared to the register of the other two chains.

The three chains are wound around in a coil so that hydrogen bonding occurs between the glycine residues in adja­cent chains.

While the a-carbons of the glycine residues tend to be oriented toward each other and the centre of the three-stranded unit, the other two-thirds of the amino-acid residues are oriented with the amino acid side chains facing outward.

The pyrrolidine rings of proline and hydroxyproline tend to be closely packed, pro­ducing a helical ridge on the outer surface of the molecule. Adjacent amino-acids residue in a chain occur 2 86A apart and are rotated108A.’

Tertiary structure:

When a long peptide chain, with or without a helix, is coiled and variously fojded in itself, the resulting highly specific three-dimensional configuration of the protein is termed as the tertiary structure. This tertiary structure is found especially in the case of globular proteins.

Tertiary structure results from various weak molecular forces within the protein and from interactions between the protein and the solvent water.

Disulphide covalent bonds and, rarely, interchain peptide bonds are responsible for the tertiary structure. Accumulating evidences suggest that hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic bonds are also involved in the tertiary structure of proteins.

Quaternary structure:

A protein is said to have quaternary structure if it is composed of several polypeptide chains which are not covalently liked to one another. Each polypeptide chain in such a protein is called as subunit.

The enzyme phosphorylase, for example, contains four subunits which are identical to each other but separately inactive catalytically.

However, when they are joined together, the en­zyme becomes active. This type of structure in which all the subunits are identical is termed as homogeneous quaternary structure. But, when the subunits are dissimilar, e.g., the tobacco mosaic virus, the struct­ure is said to be heterogeneous quarternary structure.

What are the different Classifications of Amino Acids? – Answered!

1. Neutral amino acids:

The neutral amino acids are mono- amino-mono-carboxylic acids and are characterized by the nature of their side chains. Such type of amino-acids contain one amino (—NH3) and one carboxyl group (—COOH), i.e., mono-amino mono- carboxyl group in their composition. They constitute most of the part of all proteins except protamines and histones.

These amino acids are further classified on the basis of group present at the position of’R’ of the empirical formula:

(i) Aliphatic amino acids:

Such amino-acids contain alipha­tic group at the position of ‘R Examples—glycine, alanine, valine, leucine and isoleucine.

(ii) Aromatic amino acids:

These amino-acids contain aro­matic group at the position of R. Examples—phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan.

(iii) Sulphur containing amino acids:

In these amino-acids R is represented by sulphur containing group. Examples—cysteine,cystine, methionine.

(iv) Hydroxy amino acids:

These amino-acids contain hyd­roxyl group at the position of R. Examples —serine, threonine.

(v) Heterocyclic amino acids:

In these amino-acids such as histidine, proline and hydroxyproline, R is represented by heterocyclic group.

Proline differs from other amino acids in the basic set of twenty in containing a secondary rather than a primary amino group.

Strictly speaking, proline is an unino-acid rather than an amino-acid. The side chain of proline is bonded to both the amino group and the carbon, thereby forming a cyclic structure.

2. Acidic amino acids:

Such type of amino-acids contain one amino group (— NH,) and two carboxyl groups (—COOH) in their composition. Examples—asparatic acid, glutamic acid.

3. Basic amino acids:

These amino-acids contain one carboxyl group and two amino groups in their composition. Examples—lysine, arginine, glutamine and aspargine.

The scope and extent of Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution of India

In a flexible Constitution, the amendment may be affected rather easily. The best example of such a Constitution is the English Constitution, which may be amended by passing an ordinary Act of Parliament and there is no distinction between ordinary legislation and constituent legislation. A federal Constitution is usually of a rigid type, for it seeks to achieve a balance between the Centre and the States.

In India, the most important process to modify and adopt the text of the Indian Constitution is contained in Article 368. For the purpose of amendment, various Articles of the Constitution are divided into three categories:

(1) Amendment by simple majority:

Amendments contemplated in Articles 5, 6, and 239-A, can be made by simple majority. These Articles are specifically excluded from the purview of the procedure prescribed in Article 368.

(2) Amendment by special majority:

Articles which can be amended by special majority are laid down in Article 368. All constitutional amendments, other than those referred to as above, come within this category and must be effected by a majority of the total membership of each House of the Parliament, as well as by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting.

(3) By special majority and Ratification by States:

Articles which require in addition to the special majority and ratification by not less than one-half of the State Legislatures come under this category. These are fundamental matters where States have important power under the Constitution and any unilateral amendment by Parliament may vitally affect the fundamental basis of the system built up by the Constitution. This class of articles consists of amendments which seek to make any change in the provisions mentioned in Article 368. The following provisions require such ratification by States:

(1) Election of President—Articles 54 and 55.

(2) Extent of Executive power of the Union and States—Articles 73 and 162.

(3) Articles dealing with Judiciary—Supreme Court and the High Court’s—Articles 124 to 147 and 214 to 231, and 241.

(4) Distribution of legislative powers between the Centre and the States.

(5) Any of the Lists of VII Schedule.

(6) Representation of States in Parliament IV Schedule.

(7) Article 368 itself.

Procedure for Amendment under Article 368:

A Bill to amend the Constitution may be introduced in either House of Parliament. It must be passed by each House by a majority of not less than two-thirds members of total membership of that House present and voting. When a Bill is passed by both Houses, it is presented to the President for his assent, who shall give his assent to the Bill and the Constitution shall stand amended.

The question whether amendment of fundamental rights are covered by the proviso to Article 368, came for consideration in Shankari Prasad v. Union of India, AIR 1951 S.C. 455. In this case, validity of the First Amendment which inserted Articles 31-A and 31-B, was challenged.

The Supreme Court held that power to amend the Constitution including the fundamental rights, was contained In Article 368 and that the word “Law” in Article 13 (2) includes only an ordinary law and not constitutional amendments. Therefore, a constitutional amendment will be valid even if it abridges or takes away any of the fundamental rights.

Same line of approach was followed in SaJJan Singh vs. State of Rajas than, AIR 1965 S.C. 845, in which the validity of Seventeenth Amendment of the Constitution was challenged. Supreme Court approved the majority Judgment given In Shankari Prasad case, that “amendment of the Constitution” means amendment of all the provisions of the Constitution.

But In Golak Nath vs. State of Punjab, AIR 1967 S.C. 1643, and Supreme Court overruled the decisions of Shankari Prasad and Sajjan Singh cases and held that Parliament had no power to amend Part III of the Constitution so as to abridge or take away the fundamental rights.

The Constitution (24th Amendment) Act, 1971, was passed to remove the difficulties created by the decision of Golak Nath case. This amendment provides that Article 13 does not include the amendment of the Constitution made under Article 368. It added a new sub-clause In Article 368 which provides that “notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament may, in exercise of constituent power, amend by way of addition, variation, or repeal any provision of the Constitution.”

The validity of this Amendment was again challenged In Keshvanand Bhartiv. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 S.C. 1461. In this case, Supreme Court overruled the decision of Golak Nath case and held that Article 368, even before the 24th Amendment of the Constitution, contained the powers as well as the procedure of the amendment.

As regards the scope of the amending power contained in Article 368, the court said that the word “amendment” has been used in various places to mean different things. In Article 368, It means any addition or change in any of the provisions of the Constitution. The fundamental rights cannot be abrogated, but they can be amended reasonably. The court further said that every part of the Constitution can be amended provided in the result the basic structure of the Constitution remains the same.

To remove the difficulties created by the decision of Keshvanand Bharti Case, the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, has added two new clauses (4) and (5) to Article 368 of the Constitution. Clause (4) provides that no constitutional amendment (including the provisions of Part III) or purporting to have been made under Article 368 whether before or after the commencement of Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, shall be called in question in any court on any ground.

Clause (5) declares that there shall be no limitation whether on the constituent power of Parliament to amend by way of addition, variation or repeal the provisions of the Constitution under this Article.

In Minerva Mills Ltd. v. Union of India, AIR 1980 S.C. 1789, the Supreme Court held clauses (4) and (5) of Article 368 as void, because through these clauses all limitations on the amending power of the Parliament were removed.

The court held that Parliament cannot have unlimited power to amend the Constitution. “Limited amending power” is the basic feature of the Constitution. The court, however, held that the doctrine of basic structure is to be applied only in judging the validity of the amendments to the Constitution and it does not apply for judging the validity of ordinary laws made by the Legislature.

Short Speech on our ‘Fundamental Rights’ (666 Words)

The guarantee of certain basic rights of the individual and quick and convenient means of its enforcement is the necessary element for a democratic set up. Almost all written Constitutions of the world contain declaration and guarantee of such rights in some form or the other.

Fundamental rights are a sort of limitation over the executive and legislative powers of the government. It is against the might of the State that individual needs Constitutional protection. The whole object of Part III of the Constitution is to provide protection to the freedoms and rights mentioned therein against arbitrary invasion by the State.

In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, AIR 1978 S.C. 597, dealing with the importance of fundamental rights, Justice Bhagwati observed, “These fundamental rights represent the basic values cherished by the people of the country since Vedic times and they are calculated to protect the dignity of the individual and create conditions in which human beings can develop their personality to the fullest extent”.

In this case, Justice Bhagwati has clearly read the principle of reasonableness in Article 14 of the Constitution. He has observed that “Article 14 strikes at reasonableness in State action and insures fairness and equality of treatment.

The principle of reasonableness, which logically as well as philosophically, is an essential element of equality or non-arbitrariness, pervades Article 14 like a brooding omnipresence.”

Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution:

The fundamental rights in Part III of the Constitution may be classified as follows:

(1) Right to equality (Articles 14 to 18)

(2) Right to freedom (Articles 19 to 22)

(3) Right against exploitation (Articles 23 and 24)

(4) Right to freedom of religion (Articles 25 to 28)

(5) Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29 and 30)

(6) Right to Constitutional Remedies (Articles 32 to 35)

Object of fundamental rights:

The object of fundamental rights is to provide security and equality of the Trust. The society receives grant from the State.

“Authorities under the control of the Government of India”, mean all areas outside Indian Territory but which are under or may come under the control of Government of India, such as mandatory or trust territories.

Such a territory may come under the control of Indian Government by international agreement. Such areas will also come within the purview of Part III of the Constitution and the inhabitants of those areas may also claim the benefit of Fundamental Rights guaranteed to the people of India.

Is judiciary Included in the Word, “State”.—The question whether judiciary includes within the meaning of “The State”, arose for consideration in Naresh v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1967 S.C. 1. The Supreme Court held in this case that even if a court is the State, a writ cannot be issued to a High Court against its judicial orders, because such orders cannot be said to be volatile of fundamental rights.

It may be noted that the answer to this question depends upon the distinction between judicial and non-judicial functions of the judiciary and while in the exercise of latter functions, the Courts fall within the definition of “State”, but in the case of former functions, it would not be included in the category of “the State”.

Therefore, Mr. H.M. Seervai, the eminent jurist, holds the view that judiciary should be included within the meaning of the term, “State”, and a judge acting as such, is subject to the jurisdiction of Supreme Court. The Courts, like other organs of the State are limited by the mandatory provision of the Constitution and they can hardly be allowed to override the fundamental rights and to make erroneous decision.

The doctrine of classification which is evoked by the court is not paraphrase of Article 14

By the end of 1973, however, Bhagwati J., speaking for himself, Chandrachud, and Krishna Iyer, JJ. in a concurring opinion in E.P. Royappa v. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 1974 S.C. 555, propounded a new approach to the concept of equality under Article 14, as follows :

“Equality is a dynamic concept with many aspects and dimensions and it cannot be “cribbed, cabined and confined” within traditional and doctrinaire limits. From a positivistic point of view, equality is antithetic to arbitrariness. In fact, one belongs to the rule of law in a republic while the other to the whim and caprice of an absolute monarchy.

Where an act is arbitrary it is implicit in it according to political logic and constitutional law and is, therefore, volatile of Article 14.”

A few months after the above judgment was pronounced, Justice Bhagwati again in a concurring opinion in M. Chhagan Lai v. Greater Bombay Municipality, AIR 1974 S.C. 2009, speaking on his behalf and Krishna Iyer, J., emphasized:

“Article 14 enunciates a vital principle which lies at the core of our republicanism and shines like a beacon light pointing towards the goal of classless egalitarian socio-economic order which we promised to build for ourselves when we made a tryst with destiny on that fateful day when we adopted our Constitution. If we have to choose between fanatical devotion to this great principle of equality and feeble allegiance to it, we would unhesitatingly prefer to err on the side of the former as against the latter.”

In the famous case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, AIR 1978 S.C. 597, Justice Bhagwati has held that the provisions of Part III of the Constitution should be given widest possible interpretation. He has observed that the correct way of interpreting the provisions of Part III is to expand the reach and ambit of the fundamental rights, rather than to attenuate their meaning and ambit.

Quoting himself from Royappa case, Justice Bhagwati very clearly read the principle of reasonableness in Article 14. He said: “Article 14 strikes at arbitrariness in State action and ensures fairness and equality of treatment. The principle of reasonableness, which logically as well as philosophically, is an essential element of equality or non-arbitrariness, pervades Article 14 like a brooding omnipresence.”

Till that time Justice Bhagwati was stating the new approach to the concept of equality contained in Article 14 in his concurring opinions. But in Ramema Dayaram Shetty v. International Airport Authority, AIR 1979 S.C. 1628 and Kasturi Lai v. State of J. & K„ AIR 1980 S.C. 1992, however, emphatically spoke for it for the unanimous court of three judge bench in each case.

Finally, in AJay Hasia v. Khalid Mujile, AIR 1981 S.C. 487, he stamped the new approach with a unanimous opinion of a Constitution bench of the Court in the following words:

“It must…. ….now be taken to be well-settled that what

Article 14 strikes at, is arbitrariness because an action that is arbitrary, must necessarily involve negation of equality. The doctrine of classification which is evolved by the court, is not paraphrase of Article 14 nor is it the objective and end of that Article.

It is merely a judicial formula for determining whether the legislative or executive action in question, is arbitrary and therefore constituting denial of equality. If classification is not reasonable and does not satisfy the two conditions referred to above (i) intelligible differential, and (ii) rational relation between the differential and the object sought, the impugned legislation or executive action would plainly be arbitrary and the guarantee of equality under Article 14 would be breached. Wherever, therefore, there is arbitrariness in State action whether it is of the legislature or the executive or of an authority under Article 12, Article 14 immediately springs into action and strikes down such State action”.

In Union of India v. Tulsi Ram Patel (1985) 3 S.C.C. 398, the Supreme Court has held that a violation of principles of natural justice by a State action is a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.

Mr. H.M. Seervai has expressed the opinion in this context that it is worthwhile to consider whether a law which gives some concession to tax-evaders after the evasion or, for that matter, to criminals after the crime has been committed, creates a right under Article 14 in those who have made no evasion or committed no crime to complain of discrimination.

These words are clear enough to distinguish from the old that reasonableness In State is the demand of Article 14 and the classification doctrine is one method of meeting that demand. What else is needed to meet that demand, is yet to be crystallised.

Short Speech on Article 12 of the Constitution of India (917 Words)

It is therefore the action of these bodies working as a unit of a State that can be challenged before the courts as violating the fundamental rights.

The term, State includes executive and legislative organs of the Union and State. Article 12 does not make any reference to judiciary and therefore the decision of a regularly constituted court, cannot be challenged as interfering the fundamental rights.

The expression, “local authority” has reference to a unit of local self-government like a Municipal Committee, a District Board, Village Panchayat, Improvement Trust and Mining Settlement Board.

In Mohammed Yasim v. Town Area Committee, AIR 1952 SC 115, the Supreme Court held that the by-laws of a Municipal Committee charging a prescribed fee on the wholesale dealer was an order by a State authority which contravened the provisions of Article 19(l)(g) of the Constitution. These by-laws In effect and in substance have brought about a total stoppage of the wholesale dealer’s business in the commercial sense.

The expression, “Other Authorities” is of vague and broad import. It means a public rather than a private authority. In VJJainbalw. State ofU.P., AIR 1962 SC 1621, the Supreme Court has held the view that a University maintained by a State, would fall within the meaning of a State. A university is a statutory body having legislative and administrative powers. Hence a university is held to be within the purview of the authority in Article 12.

Supreme Court has held In Electricity Board, Rajasthan v. Mohan Lai, AIR 1967 S.C. 1857 that to be within the expression, “Other authority”, and all authorities— created by the Constitution or Statute must get power under the law. So this interpretation, State Electricity Boards is the State within the meaning of Article 12.

The above decision of the Supreme Court has overruled the decision of Madras High Court in University of Madras v. Shanta Bai, AIR 1954 Madras 67, holding that a university is not a State within the meaning of expression “other authorities”, as used in Article 12.

In Sukhdeo Singh v. Bhagat Ram, AIR 1975 S.C. 1331, the Supreme Court has held that statutory corporations were “other authorities” within the meaning of Article 12 of the

Constitution, as they are created by statute of the Government.

It has been held In B.S. Minhas v. Indian Statistical Institute, 1983, 4 S.C.C. 582 that the Indian statistical society registered under the Society Registration Act, 1860, under the complete control of the Government of India, is an instrumentality of the Central government and therefore an authority within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution.

In Manmohan Singh Gaitla v. Commissioner, Union Territory of Chandigarh 1984 S.C.C. 540, it has been held that an aided school which received a government grant of 90% was an authority within the meaning of Article 12.

Similarly, Food Corporation of India, Life Insurance Corporation of India and Steel Authority of India, are State within the meaning of “other authority” under Article 12, as they are Instrumentalities of the State.

In Sheela Barsev. Secretary, Children’s Aid Society, 1987 S.C.C. 50, the Supreme Court has held that the Children’s Aid Society, Bombay, registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 was an instrumentality of the State and fell within the expression, “The State” within the meaning of Article 12. It is a public Trust within the meaning of “Bombay Public Act, 1950”. The Chief Minister of the State is ex officio President of the Trust. The society receives grant from the State.

“Authorities under the control of the Government of India”, mean all areas outside Indian territory but which are under or may come under the control of Government of India, such as mandatory or trust territories.

Such a territory may come under the control of Indian Government by international agreement. Such areas will also come within the purview of Part III of the Constitution and the inhabitants of those areas may also claim the benefit of Fundamental Rights guaranteed to the people of India.

Is judiciary included in the Word, “State”?

The question whether judiciary includes within the meaning of “The State”, arose for consideration in Naresh v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1967 S.C. 1. The Supreme Court held in this case that even if a court is the State, a writ cannot be issued to a High Court against its judicial orders, because such orders cannot be said to be volatile of fundamental rights.

It may be noted that the answer to this question depends upon the distinction between judicial and non-judicial functions of the judiciary and while in the exercise of latter functions, the Courts fall within the definition of “State”, but in the case of former functions, it would not be included in the category of “the State”.

Therefore, Mr. H.M. Seervai, the eminent jurist, holds the view that judiciary should be included within the meaning of the term, “State”, and a judge acting as such, is subject to the jurisdiction of Supreme Court. The Courts, like other organs of the State are limited by the mandatory provision of the Constitution and they can hardly be allowed to override the fundamental rights and to make erroneous decision.

Short Speech on Article 14 of the Constitution of India (1117 Words)

In the words of Prof. Dicey, the concept of equality as operates in English is that, “with us every official from the Prime Minister down to a constable or a Collector of Taxes, is under the same responsibility for any act done without any legal justification as any other citizen.” But the second expression, “equal protection of laws” corresponds to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States’ Constitution, which declares that, “No State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Under this Article two concepts are involved, Le., “equality before law” and “equal protection of the laws.” The first concept guarantees that there is no special privilege in favor of anyone, whether individual or class that all are subjected to the ordinary law of the land equally and no person whatever are his rank or condition, is above the law of the land.

The second concept, “The equal protection of the laws” is more positive in content. It does not mean, however, that identically the same rules of law should be made applicable to all persons or that every law must have a universal application within the country irrespective of differences in circumstances, situations and Constitutions.

What it means is subjection to equal laws applying to all in the same situation. It denotes equal treatment in equal circumstances. It implies that among equal, the law should be equal and equally administered, and the like should be treated alike without discrimination of race, religion, caste, sex, place of birth or political influence, etc.

But we know that every person is not born in equal circumstances or conditions. The legislature is required to deal with diverse problems arising out of infinite variety of human relations and therefore it must have the power of making laws to attain particular objects and for that purpose it must have the power of classification of persons and things upon which its laws have to operate. It means that the legislature is entitled to make reasonable classification for purposes of legislature and treat all in one class on equal footing. Classification to be reasonable should fulfil the following two tests:

(1) It should not be arbitrary. It should be based on an intelligible differential which distinguishes persons or things grouped together in the class from others left out of it. The classification should be based on some real and substantial distinction.

(2) The differentiation adopted as a basis of classification must have a rationed or reasonable relationship to the object sought to be achieved by the statute in question. In fact, public welfare requires that persons, property and occupations be classified and be subjected to different and appropriate legislation.

The Government has to encounter and must deal with the problems which come from persons in an infinite variety of relations. Classification is the recognition of the relations and in making it the Legislature is allowed wide latitude of discretion and judgment.

The consequences of such classification would undoubtedly be to differentiate persons belonging to that class from others.

Classification may be geographical or vocational. It is, however, necessary that there must be substantial basis for making the classification and a nexus between the basis of classification and the object of the statute under consideration.

Article 14 guarantees equal protection not only as regards substantive laws but also procedural laws. Whether a classification adopted by a law is reasonable or not, is a matter for the courts to decide. The Courts, however, show a good deal of deference to legislative judgment and do not lightly hold a classification to be unreasonable.

The true meaning and scope of Article 14 have been explained by the Supreme Court in a number of cases like Ameerunisa Begum v. Mahboob Begum, AIR 1953 S.C. 91, R.C. Cooper v. Union of India, AIR 1970 S.C. 564, R.K. Garg v. Union of India, AIR 1981 S.C. 2138, and Air India v. Nargesh Miija, AIR 1981 S.C. 1829, etc. But the principle as laid down by Das J. in R.K. Dalmia v. Justice TenduUcar, 1958 S.C. 538 about the true import of Article 14, are still held to be valid for classification.

These principles are as follows:

(1) A law may be Constitutional even though it relates to a single individual if on account of some special circumstances or reasons applicable to him but not applicable to others, that single individual may be treated as a class by himself.

(2) There is always a presumption in favor of the constitutionality of a statute and the burden is upon him who attacks it to show that there has been a clear transgression of constitutional principles.

(3) It must be presumed that legislature understands and correctly appreciates the need of its own people, that laws are directed to problem, made manifest by experience and that its discriminations are based on adequate ground.

(4) The Legislature is free to recognise degrees of harm and may confine its restriction to those cases where the need is deemed clearest.

(5) In order to sustain the presumption of constitutionality the court may take into consideration matters of common knowledge, matters of common report, and the history of times and may assume every State of facts which can be conceived existing at the time of legislation.

(6) While good faith and knowledge of the existing conditions on the part of the legislature are to be presumed, if there is nothing on the face of law or the surrounding circumstances brought to the notice of the court on which the classification may be reasonably regarded as based, the presumption of constitutionality cannot be carried to the extent of always, holding that there must be some undisclosed and unknown reasons for subjecting certain individuals or corporations hostile or discriminating legislation.

(7) The classification may be made on different basis, e.g., geographical or according to objects or occupations or the like.

(8) The classification made by a legislature need not be scientifically perfect or logically complete. Mathematical nicety and perfect equality are not required.

(9) Article 14 applies to both, the discrimination of the substantive law as well as procedural law. If the classification satisfies the above propositions, the law will be declared constitutional.

(10) The legislature is free to recognise degrees of harm and may confine its restrictions to those cases where the need is deemed to be the clearest.

The provisions relating to national emergency under the Indian Constitution

The President shall not issue a proclamation under clause (1) or a proclamation varying such proclamation unless the decision of the Union Cabinet has been communicated to him in writing. It means that the emergency can be declared only on the concurrence of the Cabinet and not merely on the advice of the Prime Minister as was done by the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi in June, 1975.

The proclamation of Emergency is to be laid before each House of the Parliament. It ceases to operate at the expiry of two months unless in the mean time it has been approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament.

If at the time of the issue of the proclamation or thereafter, the Lok Sabha is dissolved without approving the proclamation, and the Rajya Sabha approves it, then the proclamation ceases to operate only 30 days after the Lok Sabha sits again after fresh elections, unless in the meanwhile the new Lok Sabha passes a resolution approving the proclamation.

A resolution approving the proclamation must be passed by special majority that is by a majority of the total members of each House. Prior to the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978, such resolution could be passed by Parliament by a simple majority.

A proclamation of emergency once approved by Parliament shall remain in force for a period of six months from the date of passing of the second resolution approving it under clause (4) of Article 352, unless revoked earlier.

For the further continuance of the emergency beyond the period of six months, approval by Parliament would be required every six months. If the dissolution of the Lok Sabha takes place during the period of six months without approving the further continuance of emergency, but it has been approved by the Rajya Sabha, the proclamation shall cease to operate at the expiry of 30 days after the Lok Sabha sits after fresh election unless before the expiry of the above period, it is approved by the Lok Sabha. Here also the resolution is required to be passed by the special majority referred to as above.

According to clause (7) of Article 352, the President shall revoke a proclamation issued under clause (1) or a proclamation varying such proclamation if the Lok Sabha passes a resolution disapproving, or as the case may be, the continuance in force of, such proclamation.

Clause (8) of Article 352 provides that where a notice in writing signed by not less than 1/10 of the total number of members of the Lok Sabha, have been given their intention to move a resolution for disapproving the discontinuance of a proclamation of emergency :

(a) To the speaker, if the House is in session, or

(b) To the President, if the House is not in session, a special sitting of the Lok Sabha shall be held within 14 days from the date on which such a notice is received by the Speaker or the President for the purpose of considering the resolution. In such a case, the session must be convened for considering the resolution.

Clause (9) of Article 352 provides that the power conferred shall include the power on the President to issue different proclamations on different grounds, being war or external aggression or firmed rebellion or imminent danger thereof, whether or not, there is a proclamation already issued by the President under clause (1) and such proclamation is in operation.

The “satisfaction” of the President about the threatened security of India for making a proclamation of emergency is “the subjective satisfaction” of the President and it cannot be challenged in any court of law.

The President is the sole judge to decide whether the circumstances existed to justify the proclamation of emergency. But the word “satisfaction” does not mean the personal satisfaction of the President; rather it is the satisfaction of the Union Cabinet. The new clause (3) of Article 352 added by the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978, makes it clear that President shall declare emergency on the written advice of the Cabinet.

Article 352 enables the President to make a proclamation of emergency either “in respect of whole of India or of such part of the territory as may be specified”. These words were added by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, which now enables the President to confine the declaration of emergency to any part of the territory of India.

Prior to Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978, a proclamation of emergency could remain in force in the first instance for two months. But once approved by Parliament, emergency could remain in force indefinitely.

But the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, has curtailed the power of the executive to prolong the operation of emergency unnecessarily. Now for the continuance of emergency beyond six months, the approval of Parliament would be necessary after every six months. Thus, after the above Amendment, the continuance of emergency does not depend upon the discretion of the executive. It can now be done only with the approval of Parliament and that too by a special majority of the House.

The effect of a proclamation of emergency under the Indian Constitution

In this context Article 353 provides that the executive power of the Union to give directions under clause (a) and the power to make laws under clause (b) shall also extend to any State other than the State where emergency Is in force, if the security of India or a part thereof is threatened by activities in or in relation to any part of the territory of India.

(2) Power of Parliament to legislate on State subject:

According to Article 353 (b), while the proclamation of emergency is in operation, the Parliament is empowered to make laws with respect to the matters in the State List. The distribution of legislative power is thus fundamentally changed during emergency. The law-making power of the State is suspended during the emergency. The State may make laws but subject to overriding power of the Parliament.

(3) Power of the Centre to alter distribution of revenue between the Union and States:

Under Article 354, the President may, while a proclamation of emergency is in operation, by the order, alter the financial arrangement between the State and the Union as provided in Articles 268 to 279. Every such order is to be laid before each House of the Parliament and will come to an end by the closure of the financial year in which the proclamation of emergency ceases to operate.

(4) Extension of life of Lok Sabha:

According to Article 83 (2), while the proclamation of emergency is in operation, the President may extend the normal life of the Lok Sabha by a year each time up to a period not exceeding beyond six months after the proclamation of emergency ceases to operate.

(5) Suspension of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19:

Article 358 lays down that the six fundamental freedoms guaranteed to the citizens by Article 19 of the Constitution, are suspended during emergency. It provides that while a proclamation of emergency is in operation, nothing in Article 19 shall restrict the powers of the State to make any law or to take away any executive action bridging or taking away the rights guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution. It means that soon after proclamation of emergency, the freedoms guaranteed under Article 19 are automatically suspended.

The Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978 has made two important changes in Article 358. Firstly, Article 19 will be suspended only when a proclamation of emergency is declared on the ground of war or external aggression but not on the ground when emergency is declared due to armed rebellion.

Secondly, it has inserted a new clause (2) in Article 358 which provides that nothing in clause (1) shall apply to: (a) any law which does not contain a recital to the effect that such law is in relation to proclamation of emergency, or (b) to any executive action taken otherwise than under a law containing such recital. This clause makes it clear that Article 358 will only protect emergency laws from being challenged in a court of law and not other laws which are not related to emergency.

However, the proclamation of emergency does not invalidate a law which was valid before the proclamation of emergency.

(6) Suspension of right of enforcement of fundamental rights:

Article 359 empowers the President to suspend the right to enforce fundamental rights guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution. It provides that while the right to move any court for the enforcement of such of the fundamental rights as may be mentioned in the order (except Articles 20 and 21) and all proceedings pending in any court for the enforcement of such rights, shall remain suspended during the period of proclamation is in force or for such shorter period as may be specified in the order.

The Constitution (38th Amendment) Act, 1975 has made two significant changes by adding a new clause (1A) in Article 359. Firstly, it provides that under Article 359, the President does not have the power to suspend the enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed in Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution.

Secondly, it provides that suspension of any fundamental rights under Article 359 will not apply In relation to any law which does not contain a declaration that such a law is in relation to the proclamation of emergency in operation when it is made or to any executive action taken otherwise than under a law containing such a recital. Thus, laws not related to the emergency can be challenged in a Court of law even during emergency.

The provisions of the Constitution of India relating to Right to Property

Article 300-A provides, “No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law”.

The effect of the amendment of the Constitution is that for violation of his right to property under Article 300-A, a person will not be entitled to invoke the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32. He will, however, be entitled to invoke the jurisdiction of High Courts under Article 226.

The eminent jurist, H.M. Seervai has criticised the abolition of Right to Property, as fundamental right. He says, the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression which includes the freedom of press, and freedom of association, the freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India, to settle in any part of India, to carry on business, profession or vocation in any part of India, would be destroyed if the right to property is not guaranteed as a fundamental right and the obligation to pay compensation for private property, acquired for public purpose is not provided for.”

However, Prof. P.K. Tripathi in his article, “Right to property after 44th Amendment of the Constitution” published in AIR 1980 Journal 51, has concluded that now right to property of citizens and non-citizens, is more comprehensively and firmly secured under the constitutional law of India than before. He has justified his conclusion by saying that an amendment in existing position will now require not only the procedures laid down in Article 368. but also the consent of the States as required in the proviso to Article 368.

In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, AIR 1978 S.C. 597, and later in a series of cases, the Supreme Court has held that the validity of a law passed under the new Article 300-A for the purpose of depriving a citizen of his property, can be challenged on the ground of no provision for payment of compensation for the property compulsorily acquired for public purposes.

In this case the meaning and scope of law has been enlarged. Now after this decision, the term, “law” has been explained as a valid law, which is just, fair and reasonable in nature as well as procedure.

Any law made under Article 300-A which does not provide for compensation for the property to be acquired compulsorily for public purpose, will be declared void, unfair, unjust, unreasonable and hence unconstitutional.