The Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Sixth) Act was notified by the government on January 21, 2020.
The legislation, passed by both the Houses of Parliament last month, was ratified by the legislatures of more than half of the states recently. The Act is set to come into force on January 25, 2020 after having received the President’s assent on January 21.
Article 334 of the Constitution lays down that the provisions of the Constitution relating to the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the representation of the Anglo-Indian community by nomination in the House of the People and the Legislative Assemblies of the States.
The original Constitution provided that this Article would cease to have effect after twenty years from the commencement of the Constitution, but this was extended to 1970 by the 8th Amendment. The period of reservation was extended to 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 by the 23rd, 45th, 62nd and 79th Amendments respectively. The 95th Amendment extended the period of the reservation to 2020.
“Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after certain period.” Further, after clauses (a) and (b), for the words “seventy years”, the words “eighty years in respect of clause (a) and seventy years in respect of clause (b)” is to be substituted.”
After 126th Amendment Act, the Article reads:
Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after certain period:-
Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part [Part XVI], the provisions of this Constitution relating to—
(a) the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States;
(b) the representation of the Anglo Indian community in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States by nomination,
shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of “eighty years in respect of clause (a) and seventy years in respect of clause (b) from the commencement of this Constitution
Anglo Indians have taken to the street since the day bill was introduced in the Parliament. Representatives of 10 major Anglo Indian associations, comprising present and former ex-parliamentarians from the community have planned to conduct nationwide protests in view of the recent constitutional amendment. The representatives of the associations have sought an appointment to meet the President, Prime Minister and Home Minister to present a memorandum stating their demand of extending the special reservation.
Who all are Anglo-Indians?
The term Anglo Indian is defined in the Government of India Act, 1935. Anglo-Indian is considered to be someone who lives in India and whose father or any of the male ancestors belong to the British lineage Anglo-Indian, in India, a citizen of mixed Indian and, through the paternal line, European ancestry. From roughly the 18th to the early 20th century, the term referred specifically to British people settled in India.
How Anglo-Indians are represented in the Parliament?
There are total 552 seats in the Lok Sabha in the country, out of which only 2 are reserved for the Anglo-Indian community.
Article 331 provides:
The President of India is authorised to nominate 2 members of the Anglo-Indian community if he thinks the community is not represented in the Lok Sabha. Similarly, the Governor of the state is authorised to nominate 1 Anglo Indian in the lower house of the State Legislature if they are not represented.