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Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam

Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam


Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam: Parliament passed the Constitution (106th Amendment) Act, 2023, to provide for onethird reservation to women in the Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, and the Assembly of NCT of Delhi.


The Lok Sabha passed the Constitution amendment Bill with almost unanimous support, with only two members opposing it. The Rajya Sabha unanimously approved it.

Key features of the Act:

  • It provided for inserting Article 330A into the constitution, which borrows from the provisions of Article 330, which provides for the reservation of seats to SCs/STs in the Lok Sabha. It provided that reserved seats for women may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in states or Union Territories.
  • It aimed to reserve one-third of the seats for women on a rotational basis in the seats reserved for SCs/STs.
  • It introduces Article 332A, which mandates the reservation of seats for women in every state legislative assembly. Additionally, one-third of the seats reserved for SCs and STs must be allocated for women, and one-third of the total seats filled through direct elections to the Legislative Assemblies shall also be reserved for women.
  • It added a new clause in 239AA to the constitution that grants special status to the Union Territory of Delhi as the national capital concerning its administrative and legislative functioning. Article 239AA(2)(b) was amended to add that the laws framed by parliament shall apply to the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
  • Article 334A has been added, stating that the reservation will come into effect after the publication of the census conducted following the commencement of this Act.
  • Based on the census, delimitation will be undertaken to reserve seats for women. The reservation will be provided for 15 years. However, it shall continue till such date as determined by a law made by Parliament.
  • Seats reserved for women will be rotated after each delimitation, as determined by a law made by Parliament.

Issues/Concerns with the Act:

  • The idea of reservation runs counter to the principle of equality enshrined in the Constitution, as women may not be competing on merit.
  • Reservation of seats for women in legislature restricts voter’s choices and runs counter to the idea of self-determination.
  • Women are not a homogeneous community, such as a caste group. Therefore, the arguments made for caste-based reservations cannot be made for women.
  • There are larger issues of electoral reforms such as the criminalization of politics, internal democracy in political parties, etc., that might act as an impediment to the political empowerment of women.
  • The act provides for the reservation of 1/3rd seats across all Lok Sabha seats as against the provision of reserving 1/3rd seats in each State/UT as mentioned in the 2008 bill.
  • The act provides for the rotation of seats after every delimitation exercise as against after every general election to the Parliament/ State legislative assemblies.
  • The Act does not contain any provision for reservation for women in Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils of the States. Geeta Mukherjee Committee (1996) recommended providing reservations for women in Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils as well.

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