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Constitution of India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest[1] written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 444[Note 1] articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules and 118 amendments. Besides the Hindi version, there is an official English translation. Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is widely known as the father of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution follows parliamentary system of government and the executive is directly accountable to legislature. Article 74 provides that there shall be a Prime Minister of India as the head of government. It also states that there shall be a President of India and a Vice-President of India under Articles 52 and 63. Unlike the Prime Minister, the President largely performs ceremonial roles. The Constitution is federal in nature. Each State and each Union territory of India has their own government. Analogues to President and Prime Minister, is the Governor in case of States, Lieutenant Governor for Union territories and the Chief Minister. The 73rd and 74th Amendment Act also introduced the system of Panchayati raj in villages and municipalities. Also, Article 370 of the Constitution gives special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
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The Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950.[2] The date 26 January was chosen to commemorate the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence of 1930. With its adoption, the Union of India officially became the modern and contemporary Republic of India and it replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the country's fundamental governing document. To ensure constitutional autochthony, the framers of constitution inserted Article 395 in the constitution and by this Article the Indian Independence Act, 1947 was repealed.[3] The Constitution declares India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens of justice, equality, and liberty, and endeavors to promote fraternity among them.[4] The words "socialist" and "secular" were added to the definition in 1976 by constitutional amendment (mini constitution).[5] India celebrates the adoption of the constitution on 26 January each year as Republic Day.[6]

Contents

1 Background o 1.1 Government of India Act 1935 o 1.2 The Cabinet Mission Plan o 1.3 Indian Independence Act 1947 2 Constituent Assembly o 2.1 Drafting 3 Structure o 3.1 Parts o 3.2 Schedules 4 Amendment o 4.1 Limitations 5 Adoptions from other constitutions o 5.1 Judicial review 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Bibliography 10 External links

Background
Main article: Indian independence movement The major portion of the Indian subcontinent was under British colonial rule from 1857 to 1947. The impact of economic, political and social exploitation during this period helped the gradual rise of the Indian independence movement to gain independence from foreign rule. The movement culminated in the formation of the Dominion of India on 15 August 1947, along with the Dominion of Pakistan. The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November 1949 and came into effect on 26 January 1950, proclaiming India to be a sovereign, democratic republic. It contained the founding principles of the law of the land which would govern India after its independence from British rule. On the day the constitution came into effect, India ceased to be a dominion of the British Crown. The Indian constitution is the world's longest constitution. At the time of commencement, the constitution had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules. It consists of almost 80,000 words and took 2 years 11 months and 18 days to build. In the United Kingdom the office of the Secretary of State for India was the authority through whom Parliament exercised its rule (along with the Council of India), and established the office of Viceroy of India (along with an Executive Council in India, consisting of high officials of the British Government). The Indian Councils Act 1861 provided for a Legislative Council consisting of the members of the Executive council and non-official members. The Indian Councils Act 1892 established provincial legislatures and increased the powers of the Legislative Council. Although these Acts increased the representation of Indians in the government, their

power still remained limited. The Indian Councils Act 1909 and the Government of India Act 1919 further expanded participation of Indians in the government.

Government of India Act 1935


Main article: Government of India Act 1935 The provisions of the Government of India Act 1935, though never implemented fully, had a great impact on the Constitution of India. Many key features of the constitution are directly taken from this Act. The federal structure of government, provincial autonomy, a bicameral central legislature consisting of a federal assembly and a Council of States and the separation of legislative powers between the centre and states are some of the provisions of the Act which are present in the Constitution of India.

The Cabinet Mission Plan


Main article: 1946 Cabinet Mission to India In 1946, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee formulated a cabinet mission to India to discuss and finalize plans for the transfer of power from the British Raj to Indian leadership as well as provide India with independence under Dominion status in the Commonwealth of Nations.[7][8] The Mission discussed the framework of the constitution and laid down in some detail the procedure to be followed by the constitution drafting body. Elections for the 296 seats assigned to the British Indian provinces were completed by August 1946. The Constituent Assembly of India first met and began work on 26 November 1946. The mission consisted of Lord Pethick-Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, and A. V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty. However, Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, did not participate.

Indian Independence Act 1947


Main article: Indian Independence Act 1947 The Indian Independence Act, passed by the British Parliament on 18 July 1947, divided British India into two new independent states, India and Pakistan, which were to be dominions under the Commonwealth of Nations until they had each finished drafting and enacted a new constitution. The Constituent Assembly was divided into two for the separate states, with each new Assembly having sovereign powers transferred to it for the respective dominion. The Act also terminated British suzerainty over the princely states, each of which was left to decide whether to accede to one or other of the new dominions or to continue as independent states in their own right. However, in most cases the states were so dependent on central institutions that they were widely expected to accede to a dominion.

When the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950, it repealed the Indian Independence Act. India ceased to be a dominion of the British Crown and became a sovereign democratic republic. 26 November 1949 is also known as National Law Day.

Constituent Assembly
Main article: Constituent Assembly of India The Constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, which was elected by the elected members of the provincial assemblies.[9] Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Sanjay Phakey, Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Kanaiyalal Munshi, Purushottam Mavalankar, Sandipkumar Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Nalini Ranjan Ghosh, and Balwantrai Mehta were some important figures in the Assembly. There were more than 30 members of the scheduled classes. Frank Anthony represented the Anglo-Indian community, and the Parsis were represented by H. P. Modi. The Chairman of the Minorities Committee was Harendra Coomar Mookerjee, a distinguished Christian who represented all Christians other than Anglo-Indians. Ari Bahadur Gururng represented the Gorkha Community. Prominent jurists like Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, Benegal Narsing Rau and K. M. Munshi, Ganesh Mavlankar were also members of the Assembly. Sarojini Naidu, Hansa Mehta, Durgabai Deshmukh, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Vijayalakshmi Pandit were important women members.

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is hailed as the prime architect of Indian Constitution The first temporary 2-day president of the Constituent Assembly was Dr Sachidanand Sinha. Later, Rajendra Prasad was elected president of the Constituent Assembly.[9] The members of the Constituent Assembly met for the first time on 9 December 1946.[9]

Drafting

On the 14 August 1947 meeting of the Assembly, a proposal for forming various committees was presented.[9] Such committees included a Committee on Fundamental Rights, the Union Powers Committee and Union Constitution Committee. On 29 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed, with Dr B. R. Ambedkar as the Chairman along with six other members assisted by a constitutional advisor. These members were Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi (K M Munshi, Ex- Home Minister, Bombay), Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer (Ex- Advocate General, Madras State), N Gopalaswami Ayengar (Ex-Prime Minister, J&K and later member of Nehru Cabinet), B L Mitter (Ex-Advocate General, India), Md. Saadullah (Ex- Chief Minister of Assam, Muslim League member) and D P Khaitan (Scion of Khaitan Business family and a renowned lawyer). The constitutional advisor was Sir Benegal Narsing Rau (who became First Indian Judge in International Court of Justice, 195054). Later B L Mitter resigned and was replaced by Madhav Rao (Legal Advisor of Maharaja of Vadodara). Owing to death of D P Khaitan, T T Krishnamachari was chosen to be included in the drafting committee. A Draft Constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on 4 November 1947. Draft constitution was debated and over 2000 amendments were moved over a period of two years. Finally on 26 Nov. 1949, the process was completed and Constituent assembly adopted the constitution. 284 members signed the document and the process of constitution making was complete.[10] The Assembly met in sessions open to the public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on 24 January 1950. The original Constitution of India is hand-written with beautiful calligraphy, each page beautified and decorated by artists from Shantiniketan including Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose. Two days later, on 26 January 1950, the Constitution of India became the law of all the States and territories of India. Rs. 1,00,00,000 was official estimate of expenditure on constituent assembly. The Constitution has undergone many amendments since its enactment.[11]

Structure
The Constitution, in its current form (September 2012), consists of a preamble, 22 parts containing 444 [Note 1] articles, 12 schedules, 2 appendices[12] and 98 amendments to date.[11]

Parts
The individual Articles of the Constitution are grouped together into the following Parts:

Preamble Part I[13] Union and its Territory Part II[14] Citizenship. Part III Fundamental Rights. Part IV[15] Directive Principles of State Policy. Part IVA Fundamental Duties. Part V[16] The Union. Part VI[17] The States.

Part XII Finance, Property, Contracts and Suits Part XIII Trade and Commerce within the territory of India Part XIV Services Under the Union, the States. Part XIVA Tribunals. Part XV Elections Part XVI Special Provisions Relating to

Part VII[18] States in the B part of the First schedule(Repealed). Part VIII[19] The Union Territories Part IX[20] The Panchayats. Part IXA The Municipalities. Part IXB The Cooperative Societies Part X The scheduled and Tribal Areas Part XI Relations between the Union and the States.

certain Classes. Part XVII Languages Part XVIII Emergency Provisions Part XIX Miscellaneous Part XX Amendment of the Constitution Part XXI Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions Part XXII Short title, date of commencement, Authoritative text in Hindi and Repeals

Schedules
Schedules are lists in the Constitution that categorize and tabulate bureaucratic activity and policy of the Government.

First Schedule (Articles 1 and 4)- This lists the states and territories of India, lists any changes to their borders and the laws used to make that change. Second Schedule (Articles 59(3), 65(3), 75(6), 97, 125, 148(3), 158(3), 164(5), 186 and 221)- This lists the salaries of officials holding public office, judges, and Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Third Schedule (Articles 75(4), 99, 124(6), 148(2), 164(3), 188 and 219)Forms of Oaths This lists the oaths of offices for elected officials and judges. Fourth Schedule (Articles 4(1) and 80(2)) This details the allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of Parliament) per State or Union Territory. Fifth Schedule (Article 244(1)) This provides for the administration and control of Scheduled Areas[Note 2] and Scheduled Tribes[Note 3] (areas and tribes needing special protection due to disadvantageous conditions). Sixth Schedule (Articles 244(2) and 275(1)) Provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram. Seventh Schedule (Article 246)The union (central government), state, and concurrent lists of responsibilities. Eighth Schedule (Articles 344(1) and 351)The official languages. Ninth Schedule (Article 31-B) Originally Articles mentioned here were immune from judicial review on the ground that they violated fundamental rights. but in a landmark judgement in 2007, the Supreme Court of India held in I.R. Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu and others that laws included in the 9th schedule can be subject to judicial review if they violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 15, 19, 21 or the basic structure of the Constitution {(ambiguous)}[21] Tenth Schedule (Articles 102(2) and 191(2))"Anti-defection" provisions for Members of Parliament and Members of the State Legislatures. Eleventh Schedule (Article 243-D)Panchayat Raj (rural local government). Twelfth Schedule (Article 243-W)Municipalities (urban local government).

Amendment
Main article: Amendment of the Constitution of India Amendments to the Constitution are made by the Parliament, the procedure for which is laid out in Article 368. An amendment bill must be passed by both the Houses of the Parliament by a two-thirds majority and voting. In addition to this, certain amendments which pertain to the federal nature of the Constitution must be ratified by a majority of state legislatures. As of June 2013 there have been 118 amendment bills presented in the Parliament, out of which 98 have been passed to become Amendment Acts.[22] Most of these amendments address issues dealt with by statute in other democracies. However, the Constitution is so specific in spelling out government powers that many of these issues must be addressed by constitutional amendment. As a result, the document is amended roughly twice a year. In 2000 the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) was set up to look into updating the constitution.[23]

Limitations
The Supreme Court has ruled in Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala case that not every constitutional amendment is permissible, the amendment must respect the "basic structure" of the constitution, which is immutable.

Adoptions from other constitutions


The architects of Indian constitution were most heavily influenced by the British model of parliamentary democracy. In addition, a number of principles were adopted from the Constitution of the United States of America, including the separation of powers among the major branches of government, the establishment of a supreme court, and the system of having a President as well as a Prime Minister. The principles adopted from Canada were Unitary government with strong centre and also distribution of powers between central government and state governments along with placing residuary powers with central government. From Ireland, directive principle of state policy was adopted. From Germany, the principle of suspension of fundamental rights during emergency was adopted. From Australia, the idea of having a Concurrent list of shared powers was used as well and some of the terminology was utilized for the preamble.[24]

Judicial review
See also: Judicial review Judicial review is adopted in the Constitution of India from the Constitution of the United States of America (see[25]). In the Indian constitution, Judicial review is dealt with under Article 13.

Judicial Review refers that the Constitution is the supreme power of the nation and all laws are under its supremacy. Article 13 states that: 1. All pre-constitutional laws, if in part or completely in conflict with the Constitution, shall have all conflicting provisions deemed ineffective until an amendment to the Constitution ends the conflict. In such situation the provision of that law will again come into force, if it is compatible with the constitution as amended. This is called the Doctrine of Eclipse.[26] 2. In a similar manner, laws made after adoption of the Constitution by the Constituent Assembly must be compatible with the constitution, otherwise the laws and amendments will be deemed to be void ab initio. 3. In such situations, the Supreme Court or High Court interprets the laws to decide if they are in conformity with the Constitution. If such an interpretation is not possible because of inconsistency, and where a separation is possible, the provision that is inconsistent with constitution is considered to be void. In addition to article 13, articles 32, 226 and 227 provide a constitutional basis to judicial review in India.[27]

See also
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Notes
1. ^ a b Although the last article of the Constitution is Article 395, the total number, as of March 2012 is 444. New articles added through amendments have been inserted in the relevant location in the original constitution. In order not to disturb the original numbering, the new articles are inserted with alpha numberic enumerations. For example, Article 21A pertaining to Right to Education was inserted by the 86th Amendment Act. 2. ^ Scheduled Areas are autonomous areas within a state, administered federally, usually populated by a predominant Scheduled Tribe. 3. ^ Scheduled Tribes are groups of indigenous people, identified in the Constitution, struggling socioeconomically

References

1. ^ Pylee, M.V. (1997). India's Constitution. S. Chand & Co. p. 3. ISBN 81-219-0403-X. 2. ^ "Introduction to Constitution of India". Ministry of Law and Justice of India. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 3. ^ Swaminathan, Shivprasad (26). "Indias benign constitutional revolution". The Hindu: opinion. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 4. ^ "Preamble of the Constitution of India". Ministry of Law & Justice. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 5. ^ "Forty-Second Amendment to the Constitution". Ministry of Law and Justice of India. 28 August 1976. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 6. ^ Das, Hari (2002). Political System of India. Anmol Publications. p. 120. ISBN 817488-690-7. 7. ^ Mansergh, Nicholas; Moon, Penderel (1977). The Transfer of Power 1942-7 . Vol VII. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London. ISBN 978-0-11-580082-5. 8. ^ "Parliamentary Archives: HL/PO/1/595/11". Parliament and India, 18581947. British Parliamentary Archives. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 9. ^ a b c d "The Constituent Assembly Debates (Proceedings):(9th December,1946 to 24 January 1950)". The Parliament of India Archive. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 10. ^ "Some Facts of Constituent Assembly". Parliament of India. National Informatics Centre. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 2011-04-14. "On 29 August 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of B. R. Ambedkar to prepare a Draft Constitution for India" 11. ^ a b "THE CONSTITUTION (AMENDMENT) ACTS". India Code Information System. Ministry of Law, Government of India. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 12. ^ "Constitution of india". Ministry of Law and Justice, Govt. of India. 13. ^ Part I 14. ^ Part II 15. ^ Part IV 16. ^ Part V 17. ^ Part VI 18. ^ Part VII 19. ^ Part VIII 20. ^ Part IX 21. ^ I.R. Coelho (dead) by L.Rs. v. State of Tamil Nadu and others(2007) 2 S.C.C. 1 22. ^ name="amendments" 23. ^ http://kurishravan.blogspot.in/2011/02/national-commission-to-review-working.html 24. ^ http://www.hrdiap.gov.in/87fc/images11/4.pd 25. ^ V. Venkatesan - A fresh look at the relevance of three early doctrines that have defined the Indian Constitution over the years. Front-line (Vol. 29 - Issue 05 :: Mar. 10-23, 2012) 26. ^ Jain, M.P. (2010). Indian Constitutional Law. LexisNexis Butterworths Wadhwa Nagpur. p. 921. ISBN 978-81-8038-621-3. 27. ^ Lectures By Professor Parmanad Singh, Jindal Global Law School.

Bibliography

Baruah, Aparajita (2007). Preamble of the Constitution of India : An Insight & Comparison. Eastern Book Co. ISBN 978-81-7629-996-1.

Basu, Durga Das (1965). Commentary on the constitution of India : (being a comparative treatise on the universal principles of justice and constitutional government with special reference to the organic instrument of India) 12. S. C. Sarkar & Sons (Private) Ltd. Basu, Durga Das (1984). Introduction to the Constitution of India (10th ed.). South Asia Books. ISBN 0-8364-1097-1. Basu, Durga Das (1981). Shorter Constitution of India. Prentice-Hall of India. ISBN 9780-87692-200-2. Das, Hari Hara (2002). Political System of India. Anmol Publications. ISBN 81-7488690-7. Dash, Shreeram Chandra (1968). The Constitution of India; a Comparative Study. Chaitanya Pub. House. Ghosh, Pratap Kumar (1966). The Constitution of India: How it Has Been Framed. World Press. Jayapalan, N. (1998). Constitutional History of India. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. ISBN 81-7156-761-4. Khanna, Hans Raj (1981). Making of India's Constitution. Eastern Book Co. ISBN 97881-7012-108-4. RAHULRAI, Durga Das (1984). Introduction to the Constitution of India (10th ed.). South Asia Books. ISBN 0-8364-1097-1. Pylee, M.V. (1997). India's Constitution. S. Chand & Co. ISBN 81-219-0403-X. Pylee, M.V. (2004). Constitutional Government in India. S. Chand & Co. ISBN 81-2192203-8. Sen, Sarbani (2007). The Constitution of India: Popular Sovereignty and Democratic Transformations. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-568649-4. Sharma, Dinesh; Singh, Jaya; Maganathan, R.; et al. (2002). Indian Constitution at Work. Political Science, Class XI. NCERT. "The Constituent Assembly Debates (Proceedings):(9th December,1946 to 24 January 1950)". The Parliament of India Archive. Retrieved 2008-02-22.

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FIRST DAY IN THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY


The Constituent Assembly met for the first time in New Delhi on 9 December, 1946 in the Constitution Hall which is now known as the Central Hall of Parliament House. Decorated elegantly for the occasion, the Chamber wore a new look on that day with a constellation of bright lamps hanging from the high ceilings and also from the brackets on its walls. Overwhelmed and jubilant as they were, the hon'ble members sat in semi-circular rows facing the Presidential dias. The desks which could be warmed electrically were placed on sloping green-carpeted terraces. Those who adorned the front row were Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Acharya J.B. Kripalani, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Smt. Sarojini Naidu, Shri Hare-Krushna Mahatab, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Shri Sarat Chandra Bose, Shri C. Rajagopalachari and Shri M. Asaf Ali. Two hundred and seven representatives, including nine women were present. The inaugural session began at 11 a.m. with the introduction of Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha, the temporary Chairman of the Assembly, by Acharya Kripalani. While welcoming Dr. Sinha and others, Acharyaji said: "As we begin every work with Divine blessings, we request Dr. Sinha to invoke these blessings so that our work may proceed smoothly. Now, I once more, on your behalf, call upon Dr. Sinha to take the Chair." Occupying the Chair amidst acclamation, Dr. Sinha read out the goodwill messages received from different countries. After the Chairman's inaugural address and the nomination of a Deputy Chairman, the members were formally requested to present

their credentials. The First Day's proceedings ended after all the 207 members present submitted their credentials and signed the Register. Seated in the galleries, some thirty feet above the floor of the Chamber, the representatives of the Press and the visitors witnessed this memorable event. The All India Radio, Delhi broadcast a composite sound picture of the entire proceedings.

SOME FACTS
The Constituent Assembly took almost three years (two years, eleven months and seventeen days to be precise) to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India. During this period, it held eleven sessions covering a total of 165 days. Of these, 114 days were spent on the consideration of the Draft Constitution. As to its composition, members were chosen by indirect election by the members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies, according to the scheme recommended by the Cabinet Mission. The arrangement was: (i) 292 members were elected through the Provincial Legislative Assemblies; (ii) 93 members represented the Indian Princely States; and (iii) 4 members represented the Chief Commissioners' Provinces. The total membership of the Assembly thus was to be 389. However, as a result of the partition under the Mountbatten Plan of 3 June, 1947, a separate Constituent Assembly was set up for Pakistan and representatives of some Provinces ceased to be members of the Assembly. As a result, the membership of the Assembly was reduced to 299. On 13 December, 1946, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru moved the Objectives Resolution 1.This Constituent Assembly declares its firm and solemn resolve to proclaim India as an Independent Soverign Republic and to draw up for her future governance a Constitution; 2.WHEREIN the territories that now comprise British India, the territories that now form the Indian States, and such other parts fo India as are outside British India and the States as well as such other territories as are willing to be constituted into the Independent Soverign India, shall be a Union of them all; and 3.WHEREIN the said territories, whether with their present boundaries or with such others as may be determined by the Constituent Assembly and thereafter according to the law of the Constitution, shall possess and retain the status of autonomous Units, together with residuary powers and exercise all powers and functions of goverrnment and administration, save and except such powers and functions as are vested in or assigned to the Union, or as are inherent or implied in the Union or resulting therefrom; and

4.WHEREIN all power and authority of the Soverign Independent India, its constituent parts and organs of government, are derived from the people; and 5.WHEREIN shall be guaranteed and secured to all the people of India justice, social economic and political : equality of status, of opportunity, and before the law; freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action, subject to law and public morality; and 6.WHEREIN adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and depressed and other backward classes; and 7.WHEREBY shall be maintained the integrity of the territory of the Republic and its soverign rights on land, sea, and air according to justice and the law of civilized nations; and 8.this ancient land attains its righful and honoured placed in the world and make its full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind. This Resolution was unanimously adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 22 January 1947. Late in the evening of 14 August, 1947 the Assembly met in the Constitution Hall and at the stroke of midnight, took over as the Legislative Assembly of an Independent India. On 29 August, 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a Draft Constitution for India. While deliberating upon the draft Constitution, the Assembly moved, discussed and disposed of as many as 2,473 amendments out of a total of 7,635 tabled. The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November, 1949 and the hon'ble members appended their signatures to it on 24 January, 1950. In all, 284 members actually signed the Constitution. On that day when the Constitution was being signed, it was drizzling outside and it was interpreted as a sign of a good omen. The Constitution of India came into force on 2 6 January, 1950. On that day, the Assembly ceased to exist, transforming itself into the Provisional Parliament of India until a new Parliament was constituted in1952

Sessions of the Constituent Assembly

First Session: Second Session: Third Session: Fourth Session: Fifth Session: Sixth Session: Seventh Session: Eighth Session: Ninth Session: Tenth Session: Eleventh Session:

9-23 December, 1946 20-25 January, 1947 28 April - 2 May, 1947 14-31 July, 1947 14-30 August, 1947 27 January, 1948 4 November,1948 - 8 January, 1949 16 May - 16 June, 1949 30 July - 18 September, 1949 6-17 October, 1949 14-26 November, 1949

[The Assembly met once again on 24 January, 1950, when the members appended their signatures to the Constitution of India] IMPORTANT COMMITTEES OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY AND THEIR CHAIRMEN ------------------------------------------------------------Name of the Committee Chairman

------------------------------------------------------------Committee on the Rules of Procedure Steering Committee Finance and Staff Committee Credential Committee House Committee Order of Business Committee Ad hoc Committee on the National Flag Committee on the Functions of the Constituent Assembly Rajendra Prasad Rajendra Prasad Rajendra Prasad Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya K.M. Munsi Rajendra Prasad G.V. Mavalankar

States Committee Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas Minorities Sub-Committee Fundamental Rights Sub-Committee North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam Exluded & Partially Excluded Areas Sub-Committee Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (Other than those in Assam) Sub-Committee Union Powers Committee Union Constitution Committee Drafting Committee

Jawaharlal Nehru Vallabhbhai Patel

H.C. Mookherjee J.B. Kripalani Gopinath Bardoloi

A.V. Thakkar

Jawaharlal Nehru Jawaharlal Nehru B.R. Ambedkar

STATEWISE MEMBERSHIP OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA AS ON 31 DECEMBER, 1947 PROVINCES-229 ----------------------------------------------------------S.No. State No. of Members

----------------------------------------------------------1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Madras Bombay West Bengal United Provinces East Punjab Bihar C.P. and Berar Assam 49 21 19 55 12 36 17 8

9. 10. 11. 12.

Orissa Delhi Ajmer-Merwara Coorg INDIAN STATES-70

9 1 1 1

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

Alwar Baroda Bhopal Bikaner Cochin Gwalior Indore Jaipur Jodhpur Kolhapur Kotah Mayurbhanj Mysore Patiala Rewa Travancore Udaipur Sikkim and Cooch Behar Group Tripura, Manipur and Khasi States Group U.P. States Group Eastern Rajputana States Group Central India States Group (including Bundelkhand and Malwa)

1 3 1 1 1 4 1 3 2 1 1 1 7 2 2 6 2 1 1 1 3 3

23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

Western India States Group Gujarat States Group Deccan and Madras States Group Punjab States Group I Eastern States Group I Eastern States Group II Residuary States Group

4 2 2 3 4 3 4 ------

Total

299 ------

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