The Constitution of India is the supreme law of the land and lays down the framework for the governance of the country. It comprises a preamble, 22 parts, and 12 schedules. One of the lesser-known schedules of the Indian Constitution is Schedule 9.
Schedule 9 was added to the Constitution by the 1st Amendment Act of 1951. It was introduced with the aim of protecting certain laws related to land reforms and the abolition of the zamindari system from being challenged in the courts on the grounds of violating the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
The laws covered under Schedule 9 are those that were enacted by various state governments after the commencement of the Constitution, with the aim of abolishing the zamindari system and other forms of intermediaries, and for implementing land reforms. These laws were enacted as part of the larger agrarian reform movement in the country, aimed at promoting social justice and reducing inequality.
The inclusion of these laws in Schedule 9 means that they are protected from judicial review under the Constitution. This means that they cannot be challenged on the grounds that they violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, such as the right to equality, right to property, and right to freedom of speech and expression.
Some of the notable laws included in Schedule 9 are the Kerala Land Reforms Act, the Bihar Land Reforms Act, the Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, and the West Bengal Land Reforms Act. These laws aimed at redistributing land from large landowners to the landless, tenant farmers, and sharecroppers, with the aim of promoting a more equitable distribution of land and reducing rural poverty.
However, the inclusion of these laws in Schedule 9 has been a subject of controversy, with some arguing that it curtails the power of the judiciary to ensure that laws are in compliance with the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Others argue that the inclusion of these laws in Schedule 9 is necessary to protect the gains made by the land reforms and ensure that they are not undone by future governments or court rulings.
In conclusion, Schedule 9 of the Indian Constitution is a crucial aspect of the country’s legal framework, protecting laws related to land reforms and the abolition of the zamindari system from judicial review. While it has been the subject of controversy, its inclusion in the Constitution has helped protect the gains made by the agrarian reform movement and promote social justice in the country.