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Timeline: The Constitution and Indian Polity Notes | Study Legal Reasoning for CLAT - CLAT

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1919: Parliament of India is founded.

  • 26th January, 1930: The Purna Swaraj Declaration is promulgated by Indian National Congress. 26th January observed as Independence Day since then, till 15th August, 1947.
  • August, 1935: Government of India Act 1935 is passed. The Constitution of India is majorly inspired by this Act. 
  • 19th February, 1946: British Government (under the initiative of Prime Minister Clement Attlee) declares that it’ll send a Cabinet Mission to India to resolve disputes relating to freedom and making of the Constitution. After various rounds of negotiations, the final plan is announced in June 1946. 
  • 24th August, 1946: The first National (interim) government of India is announced. 
  • 9th December, 1946: First session of Constituent Assembly starts, with Dr Sachchidananda Sinha as a temporary, 2-day President. 
  • 11th December, 1946: Dr Rajendra Prasad is elected as the President of Constituent Assembly. 
  • 3rd June, 1947: The Mountbatten Plan (also known as June 3 Plan) is announced. It laid down the particulars of independence, partition and accession of princely states. 
  • 18th July, 1947: Indian Independence Act is passed by the British Parliament 
  • 22nd July, 1947: National flag is adopted by the Constituent Assembly. 
  • 14th August, 1947: State of Pakistan is officially created. 
  • 15th August, 1947: India wins freedom. 
  • 29th August, 1947: Drafting committee is appointed with Dr B.R. Ambedkar as the Chairman 
  • 26th October, 1947: Maharajah Hari Singh, ruler of princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, signs the Instrument of Accession, thereby agreeing to accede to the dominion of India. 
  • 26th November, 1947: First Union Budget of Independent India is presented by R.K. Shanmukham Chetty, independent India’s first Finance Minister. 
  • 26th November, 1949: The Constitution of India is enacted by the Constituent Assembly
  • 24th January, 1950: ‘Jana Gana Mana’ is officially adopted as the National Anthem of India by the Constituent Assembly. 
  • 25th January, 1950: Election Commission of India is established, with Sukumar Sen as the first Chief Election Commissioner of India (appointed on 21st March, 1950). 25th January is celebrated as Voters’ Day since then. 
  • 26th January, 1950: The Constitution of India comes into force 
  • 28th January, 1950: The Supreme Court of India holds its inaugural sitting, with Justice H.J. Kania as the first Chief Justice of India. Justice H.J. Kania was the last Chief Justice of Federal Court of India, the predecessor of Supreme Court. 
  • 15th March, 1950: Planning Commission established with the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as the first Chairman.
  • June, 1951: First Amendment comes into effect. Schedule IX is introduced. Laws under this schedule are kept outside judicial review.
  • November, 1951: First Finance Commission of India is appointed. Mr K.C. Neogy is appointed as its first Chairman in April 1952.
  • December, 1951: Jawaharlal Nehru presents the first Five-Year Plan (1951–1956) to the Parliament of India. 
  • 21st February, 1952: First General Elections (started on 25th October, 1951) concludes. Indian National Congress comes to power. A.K. Gopalan becomes the first leader of opposition in Lok Sabha. 
  • 2nd May, 1952: First Presidential Elections are held. Dr Rajendra Prasad becomes the first elected President of independent India. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan becomes the first Vice-President of independent India. 
  • 13th May, 1952: First sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is held, with G.V. Mavalankar elected as the first Speaker of Lok Sabha. By virtue of his post (Vice-President), Dr S. Radhakrishnan becomes the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha (Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha).
  • October, 1953: Andhra State becomes the first state in India to be formed on linguistic basis (on the basis of language). 
  • 1955: First Law Commission of India established with Mr M.C. Setalvad (also the first Attorney General of India) as the Chairman.
  • November, 1956: Seventh Amendment comes into effect. States reorganized on linguistic basis. Union Territories established. Andhra State also merged with Telangana region of Hyderabad State to form Andhra Pradesh.
  • September, 1958: First Law Commission submits its last (14th) report.
  • February, 1959: Justice Anna Chandy becomes the first female High Court judge of India (Kerala High Court). She earlier was also the first woman district court judge of India by being appointed to the post in 1937.
  • October, 1959: Rajasthan becomes the first State to introduce Panchayati Raj in India.
  • August, 1961: Tenth Amendment comes into effect. It incorporates Dadra, Nagar and Haveli as a Union Territory.
  • December, 1961: Twelfth Amendment comes into effect. It incorporates Goa, Daman and Diu as Union Territories.
  • October, 1962: First ever proclamation of National Emergency (under Article 352), by President S. Radhakrishnan, owing to Indo-China war.
  • August, 1963: First ever no-confidence motion of independent India in Lok Sabha moved by socialist Acharya Kriplani against Jawaharlal Nehru, which he survives.
  • October, 1963: Sucheta Kriplani becomes the first ever woman Chief Minister of an Indian state, by virtue of being elected Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
  • December, 1963: Thirteenth Amendment comes into effect. Nagaland formed as a State.
  • February, 1967: The Supreme Court in I.C. Golaknath vs State of Punjab held that the Parliament cannot amend any part of the Fundamental Rights provided under the Indian Constitution.
  • April, 1967: Twenty-first Amendment comes into effect. Sindhi included as an official language.
  • May, 1967: Dr Zakir Hussain becomes the first Muslim President of India.
  • January, 1968: National emergency (which was imposed in October 1962) is lifted.
  • November, 1971: Twenty-fourth amendment comes into effect. Article 13 and 368 amended to remove doubts regarding powers of the Parliament to amend any part of the Constitution. In effect, the Parliament could now amend any part of Fundamental Rights, a privilege which was taken away from the Government pursuant to ruling in the Golaknath case.
  • December, 1971: Twenty-sixth Amendment comes into effect. Privy Purse paid to former rulers of princely states abolished.
  • April, 1973: Kesavananda Bharati vs State of Kerala case is decided by a 13-judge bench (largest ever). Supreme Court held that the wide powers of the Parliament to amend any part of the Constitution did not include power to amend the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution. The Supreme Court, however, remains silent on what constitutes ‘basic structure’.
  • April, 1973: Justice A.N. Ray appointed as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, breaking up with the convention of appointing the senior-most judges as the Chief Justice. The three judges superseded were Justice Shelet, Justice Hegde and Justice Grover. All of them resigned in protest. Interestingly, all these judges decided the Kesavananda Bharati case against the Government.
  • October, 1973: Thirty-first Amendment comes into effect. The size of Parliament increased from 525 to 545 seats.
  • April, 1975: Thirty-sixth Amendment passed. Sikkim conferred full-fledged statehood.
  • June, 1975: In the case of State of Uttar Pradesh vs Raj Narain, the Allahabad High Court convicted the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of electoral malpractices. The case starts the series of events eventually leading to imposition of emergency.
  • June, 1975: State of Emergency proclaimed by President F.A. Ahmed, on the request of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, under Article 352 of the Constitution of India.
  • August, 1975: Thirty-ninth Amendment comes into effect. Restrictions placed primarily on judicial scrutiny of election to the post of Prime Minister, Speaker, Vice-President and President. Widely seen as an attempt to negate the effects of the judgment of Allahabad High Court, which invalidated Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s election to the Parliament.
  • November, 1976: Forty-second Amendment comes into effect. Passed during internal emergency and known as a ‘MiniConstitution’ in itself. It (a) declares India as socialist and secular republic, by adding these words to the Preamble (b) lays down Fundamental Duties (c) extends the term of President’s rule from six months to a year, besides other far-reaching changes to the Indian Constitution.
  • January, 1977: Justice M.H. Beg appointed as the Chief Justice of India, superseding Justice H.R. Khanna, who was the senior-most judge of India at that time. Interestingly, in the Habeas Corpus case (A.D.M. Jabalpur vs Shivkant Shukla); decided in favour of the Government during the Emergency, Justice H.R. Khanna was the lone dissenter.
  • March, 1977: State of Emergency is lifted.
  • March, 1977: Janata Party forms the first non-Congress ruling government in the history of independent India. Morarji Desai becomes the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India.
  • July, 1977: Neelam Sanjiva Reddy becomes the first President (and still the only one) of India to have been elected unopposed.
  • August, 1977: Justice M. Hidayatullah becomes the first person in India to have served in all three offices – Chief Justice of India (February 1968–December 1970), Vice-President of India (August 1977–August 1982) and President (Acting) of India (July 1969–August 1969).
  • July, 1979: Morarji Desai becomes the first Prime Minister to resign from office.
  • August, 1979: First instance of Confidence Motion occurs when President N.S. Reddy directs Prime Minister Charan Singh to seek the confidence of Lok Sabha. However, even before the motion was taken up, Charan Singh resigns as he was unable to gather required support.
  • September, 1979: Forty-fourth amendment comes into effect. Right to Property deleted from the list of Fundamental Rights, and made only a legal right (under Article 300A). Safeguards provided for future subversion of the Constitution, as had happened during Emergency.
  • March, 1982: First Lok Adalat is organized at Una in Junagadh district of Gujarat.
  • July, 1982: Giani Zail Singh becomes the first Sikh President of India.
  • March, 1985: Fifty-second amendment comes into effect. It provides for disqualification of members from Parliament and Cabinet who defect from one party to another after elections.
  • August, 1987: The first Join Parliamentary Committee (JPC) of independent India is instituted by Lok Sabha, to inquire into the Bofors contract.
  • March, 1989: Sixty-first Amendment comes into effect. Voting age lowered from 21 years to 18 years.
  • October, 1989: Justice Fathima Beevi becomes first female judge to be elevated to the Supreme Court of India.
  • August, 1992: Seventy-first Amendment comes into effect. Eighth Schedule amended to include Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali as official languages.
  • May, 1993: Justice V. Ramaswami becomes the first judge against whom impeachment proceedings are initiated in independent India.
  • August, 1997: The Supreme Court, in the landmark judgment of Vishaka and ors. vs State of Rajasthan, defines sexual harassment at workplace for the first time, provides general guidelines, and holds that every instance of sexual abuse would be a breach of fundamental rights.
  • February, 2000: National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, headed by Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, set by President K.R. Narayanan.
  • March, 2002: National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution submits its final report.
  • December, 2002: Eighty-sixth Amendment comes into effect. Article 21A inserted with a view to make Right to Free and Compulsory education (of children aged 6 to 14 years) a Fundamental Right.
  • July, 2007: Smt. Pratibha Patil becomes the first woman President of India.
  • May, 2009: Mamata Banerjee becomes the first woman Railway Minister of India.
  • June, 2009: Meira Kumar becomes the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha.
  • August, 2011: Justice Soumitra Sen becomes the first ever judge in independent India to be impeached by Rajya Sabha.

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