Making of the Constitution
DEMAND OF THE CONSTITUTION
1934: Idea of Constituent Assembly for india was put forward by M.N. ROY ( pioneer of communist movement).
1935: INC officially demanded a Constituent Assembly to frame the Constitution of India.
1938: JL Nehru on behalf of Indian National Congress (INC) declared that the constitution of free India must be framed without outside interference, by constituent Assembly(CA) elected on the basis of adult franchise.
1940: In August offer, the demand of Constituent assembly was accepted by the British Government.
1942: Cripps proposal was put forward which provided for framing an independent constitution to be adopted after World War II. However, It was rejected by Muslim League as it was demanding 2 autonomous states with 2 separate Constitution Assembly.
In 1946, the cabinet mission was sent to India. It rejected the idea of two constituent Assembly but satisfied the need of Muslim League.
COMPOSITION OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY:
It was constituted in 1946 November, under Cabinet Mission plan.
It was composed of 389 members with 296 seats reserved for British indian provinces and 93 for princely states.
Out of 296, 292 are from 11 governor provinces and 4 were from chief commissioner province.
In each province, seats were allocated in proportion to the population i.e. one seat per million population.
Seats in each province were divided among 3 principle communities which are Muslim, Sikhs, and general.
In provincial legislative assembly, representatives were elected through communal electorates through the method of proportional representation and single transferable vote.
Members were indirectly elected by members of provincial assemblies, who themselves were elected on a limited franchise.
In princely states, representatives were nominated by heads of princely states.
WORKING OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY:
The Constituent Assembly first met December 9, 1946. This meeting was boycotted by Muslim League. Dr. Sachidanand Sinha, the oldest member in the assembly was elected as the temporary president of the assembly following the French practice. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was then elected as the President of assembly. Vice president of the assembly was HC mukherjee and VT krishnamachari.
OBJECTIVE RESOLUTION: 1946
It was moved by Jawahar Lal Nehru and was unanimously adopted by assembly on January 22, 1947
Features of the resolution:
India will be a sovereign independent republic and to draw up for her future governance from the constitution.
Power and authority will be derived from people.
It provided for:
Social, economic and political justice,
Equality of status, opportunity and equality before the law.
Freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association, subject to law and public
It also provided for adequate safeguard for the minority.
Changes made by the Independence Act:
By this Act assembly was made a sovereign body and could frame the constitution.
It also empowered the assembly to abrogate any British law.
Through this act the assembly became a legislative body. G.V. Mavalankar became the president of the assembly in this aspect.
The Assembly was made to perform dual function till 1949.
Muslim league members withdrew from assembly and it allowed the strength of the assembly to derease to 299.
Other functions performed by Constituent Assembly:
It ratified India’s membership of the commonwealth in may 1949.
The assembly adopted the National flag on July 22, 1947.
It further adopted the National Anthem on january 24, 1950.
It also adopted the National Song on January 24, 1950.
The constituent Assembly elected Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first president of India on january 24, 1950.
The Constituent Assembly held 11 sessions in a time span of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days. It went through the constitution of 60 countries and drafted a constitution: considered for 114 days. Final session was held on 24 January 1950.
Committees of Constituent Assembly:
8 Major committee:
S.No. Name of Committee Head of the Committee
Union Power committee J.L. Nehru
Union constitution committee J.L. Nehru
Provincial constitution committee Sardar Patel
Rules of procedure committee Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Advisory committee on FR, minorities and tribal and excluded areas Sardar Patel
Fundamental Rights JB Kriplani
Minorities H.C. Mukherjee
NEF Tribal Areas and Assam excluded and partially excluded areas. Gopinath Bardoloi
Excluded and Partially excluded area (other than Assam). A.V. Thakkar
North west frontier tribal areas
Drafting committee Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
States committee J.L. Nehru
Steering committee Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Members of drafting committee:
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar
Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar
Dr. KM Munshi
Syed Mohammad saadullah
N Madhava Rau ( replaced BL Mitter)
It was set up in 1946 and the draft of the constitution was published in february 1948. The second draft of the constitution was published in October 1948.
The motion was passed and adopted on 26 November 1949. It contained the preamble, 395 Articles and 8 schedules.
Preamble was enacted after the entire constitution was already enacted.
Enforcement of the Constitution:
Some provisions of the constitution named as citizenship, election, parliament, temporary transitional provision: came into force on that day itself i.e. 26 November, 1949
Remaining provision of the constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.
With the enactment of constitution, Indian Independence act of 1947 and Government of India Act 1935, were repealed.
Abolition of privy council jurisdiction act 1949 was continued even after the enactment of constitution.