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Indian Constitution

Indian Constitution

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Published by Lokesh Verma

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Published by: Lokesh Verma on May 05, 2012
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Central Legislative Assembly
was a legislature for India created by the Government of India Act 1919from the former Imperial Legislative Council,implementing the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms.It was also sometimes called the
Indian Legislative Assembly
and the
ImperialLegislative Assembly
.As a result of Indian independence,the Legislative Assembly was dissolved on 14 August 1947 and its place taken by the Constituent Assembly of Indiaand the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.
The new Assembly was the lower house of a bicameral parliament,with a new Council of State as the upper house, reviewing legislation passed by the Assembly. However, both its powers and its electorate were limited.
 Initially, of its 144 members, 103 were elected and 41 were nominated. Of the 103 elected members, fifty-one came from general constituencies, thirtywere elected by Muslims,two by Sikhs,nine by Europeans, seven by landlords, and four by business men
 A new "Council House" was conceived in 1919 as the seat of the future Legislative Assembly, the Council of State, and the Chamber of Princes.The foundation stone was laid on 12 February 1921 and the building was opened on 18 January 1927 by Lord Irwin,theViceroy and Governor-General.The Council House later changed its name to Parliament House, or 
,and is the present-day home of the Parliament of India.
 The first elections to the new legislatures took place in November 1920 and proved to be the first significant contest between the Moderates andthe Non-cooperation movement,whose aim was for the elections to fail. The Non-cooperators were at least partly successful in this, as out of almost a million electors for the Assembly, only some 182,000 voted.
 The Assembly, the Council of State, and the Chamber of Princes were officially opened in 1921 by King George V's uncle, the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
 In 1923,Motilal Nehru,the father of Jawaharlal Nehru,was elected to the Assembly and became leader of the Opposition.In that role, he was able to secure the defeat, or at least the delay, of Finance bills and other legislation. He agreed to join a Committee with the object of promoting therecruitment of Indian officers into the Indian Army,but this decision contributed to others going further and joining the Government itself. In March 1926, Nehru demanded a representative conference to draft a constitution conferring fullDominion status on India, to be enacted by the parliament. When this demand was rejected by the Assembly, Nehru and his colleagues walked out and returned to the Congress.
 In September 1923, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was elected as Muslim member of the Assembly for Bombay.He organized many Indian Independent members to work with the Swaraj Party and helped to press demands for full responsible government. He was so active that when Lord Reading retired as Viceroy in 1925 he offered Jinnah a knighthood,which was declined.
 On 8 April 1929, great Indian revolutionary Bhagat Singh and his fellow revolutionaryBatukeshwar Dutt threw a bomb into the corridors of the Assembly in order to show their discontent and frustration against the British government's decision to implement the Defence of India Act 1915, ignoring thewidespread opposition. The fake bomb explosion was followed by a shower of leaflets citing their reasons and ideology behind the act and few gunshots in the air, shouting "
Inquilab Zindabad! 
" ("Long Live the Revolution!"). Later they surrendered themselves and the weapon without any resistanceas per plan instead of escaping. No one was injured in the explosions as the bombs did not contain any sharpnels or harmful chemicals and werespecifically designed not to hurt anyone, moreover they were thrown at the empty benches which had no one sitting nearby them. On June 12, 1929they were sentenced to Penal transportationfor the bombing by british court where they did not hire a lawyer and defended the case themselves.
 Bhagat Singhwas executed on march 23,1931 at the age of 23 between 7:15-7:30 PM along with his two fellow revolutionaries Sukhdev and Rajgurufor saunder's murder case. In 1934, the Congress ended its boycott of the existing legislatures and contested the elections to the fifth Central Legislative Assembly held that year.
 Following this move, there was a sharp increase in the number of government defeats in the Assembly. In a British House of Commons debate on 4 April 1935, the Secretary of State for India, Samuel Hoare,stated that "The number of divisions in the Legislative Assembly since the recent elections and up to the 25th March in which Government have been successful is five. The number of adverse divisions in the same period isseventeen." Henry Page Croftthen asked "Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Government would have been successful on any occasion without the support of the nominated members?" Hoare replied "I could not answer that question without looking into the figures, but in any case I seeno reason to differentiate between one class of member and another."
 Many resolutions put forward by the Congress in opposition to the Government of India were passed only with the support of the Muslims of Jinnah'sIndependents, and an unspoken alliance between the two groupings electrified the atmosphere of the Assembly on great occasions. Indeed, therewere reports of jubilant scenes of mutual embracing on occasions when the combination of the two succeeded.
The Government of India Act 1935introduced further reforms. The Assembly continued as the lower chamber of a central Indian parliament based in Delhi,with two chambers, both containing elected and appointed members. The Assembly increased in size to 250 seats for members elected by the constituencies ofBritish India,plus a further 125 seats for the Indian Princely states. The first elections to the reformed Assembly were held in 1937, and the Indian National Congress won 205 seats, with the Muslim League winning 73. With the situation in Palestine worsening, Indian troops were sent there. In the Assembly, the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, disallowed all questions and resolutions which asked him to express the concern of Indian Muslims about the position of Arabs in Palestine.
On 27 February 1942, during the Second World War,the Assembly held a secret session to discuss the war situation.
 The electorate of the Assembly was never more than a very small fraction of the population of India. In the British House of Commons on 10 November1942, the Labour MP Seymour Cocks asked the Secretary of State for India Leo Amery "What is the electorate for the present Central Legislative Assembly?" and received the written answer "The total electorate for the last General Election (1934) for the Central Legislative Assembly was1,415,892."
 Under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947,the Central Legislative Assembly was replaced in August 1947 by theConstituent Assembly of India,which became a fully sovereign body at midnight on 14/15 August,
Presidents of the Assembly
The presiding officer (or speaker)of the Assembly was called the President. While the Government of India Act 1919 provided for the President to be elected, it made an exception in the case of the first President, who was to be appointed by the Government, and the Governor-General's choice fellon Frederick Whyte,a former Liberal member of the British House of Commons who had beenaparliamentary private secretary to Winston Churchill.
 Whyte was succeeded on 24 August 1925 by Vithalbhai Patel,who was elected for a second time in 1927. He succeeded in laying down clearly defined practices and procedures for the business of the Assembly and defended members' rights and privileges. In 1928, he was able to create for thefirst time a separate office for the Assembly, independent of the administration of the Government of India. Patel established the convention that thePresident would neither take part in debates nor vote, except to use his casting vote in favour of the 
 Sir Muhammad Yakub was the deputy president of the Assembly from 1927 until 1930 and became President in 1930.
 Yakub's deputy presidentfrom 1931 to 1933, R. K. Shanmukham Chetty,was President from 1933 to 1934.
 In 1935,Sir Abdur Rahim KCSI was elected as second Muslim President of the Assembly, serving until 1945.
 He was a former Chief Justice ofthe Madras High Court and professor of law in the University of Calcutta.
 Ganesh Vasudev Mavlankar became the last President of the Assembly in January 1946 and remained in office until the Assembly came to an end on14 August 1947. (Mavlankar became the first Speaker of the Constituent Assembly of India,and in 1952 the first Speaker of the 
,the lowerhouse of the Parliament of India.
Lok Sabha is composed of representative of the people chosen by direct election onthe basis of adult suffrage. The maximum strength of the House envisaged by theConstitution is 552, upto 530 members to represent the States, up to 20 members torepresent the Union Territories and not more than two members of the Anglo-IndianCommunity to be nominated by the President, if, in his opinion, that community isnot adequately represented in the House. The total elective membership is distributed
among the States in such a way that the ratio between the number of seats allotted toeach State and the population of the State is, so far as practicable, the same for allStates. The number is divided among the 28 States and the 7 Union Territories asfollows: States 
(1) Andhra Pradesh-- 42
(2) Arunachal Pradesh --2
(3) Assam --14(4) Bihar-- 40
(5) Chhattisgarh - 11(6) Goa-- 2(7) Gujarat-- 26(8) Haryana-- 10(9) Himachal Pradesh --4(10) Jammu & Kashmir --6(11) Jharkhand - 14(12) Karnataka --28(13) Kerala --20(14) Madhya Pradesh --29(15) Maharashtra --48(16) Manipur --2(17) Meghalaya --2(18) Mizoram --1(19) Nagaland --1(20) Orissa --21(21) Punjab --13(22) Rajasthan --25(23) Sikkim --1(24) Tamil Nadu --39(25) Tripura --2(26) Uttar Pradesh --80

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