MAKING OF THE CONSTITUTION (UDAAN)

MAKING OF THE CONSTITUTION

 

DEMAND FOR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY (CA):
  • 1924 à Idea first given by Swaraj Party.
  • 1934 àN. Roy put forward the demand for C.A.
  • 1935 à INC officially demanded C.A. to frame Indian Constitution.
  • 1940 à Demand accepted in principle in August Offer.
  • 1942 à Cripps Proposal for Constitution rejected.
  • 1946 à Cabinet Mission Plan (CMP) accepted by all parties. (Lord Patrick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps, A V Alexander were its members). CMP rejected two C.A. ideas.

 

COMPOSITION OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY:
  • A. constituted in Nov 1946 under CMP. (Cabinet Mission Plan).
  • Seats allotted as per population proportion.
  • Voting by method of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote in case of provincial representation.
  • A. was partly nominated (by heads of Princely states) & partly elected body (In British Provinces)
  • Indirectly elected
  • Mahatma Gandhi was not part of C.A.
  • The 93 seats allotted to the princely states were not filled as they decided to stay away from the Constituent Assembly.

 

Total Strength 389
1.       British India Governors Province

2.       Chief Commissioners Province

3.       Princely States

292

4

93

 

WORKING OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY
  • First meeting held on Dec 9, 1946 (Muslim League boycotted)
  • Temporary President of the Assembly à Sachidanand Sinha, the oldest member, was elected as following the French practice.
  • Rajendra Prasad was elected President of C.A. later.
  • Vice – Presidents (Two) à Both H.C. Mukherjee and V.T. Krishnamachari.

 

OBJECTIVES RESOLUTION
  • Jawaharlal Nehru moved this historic resolution in Dec 13, 1946 in the Assembly.
  • It contained the fundamentals & philosophy of Constitutional structure.
  • This resolution was adopted on Jan 22, 1947 by Assembly.
  • Preamble is modified version of Objective Resolution.

 

CHANGES BY THE INDEPENDENCE ACT 1948
  • Members of Princely states & Muslim League (from Indian Dominion) gradually began to join after acceptance of Mountbatten plan of June 3, 1947. (This Plan provided for Partition).
  • Indian Independence Act, 1947 made three changes in C.A. position: –
  1. Assembly was made a fully sovereign body, free to abrogate or alter any law.
  2. Two separate functions were assigned to the Assembly (performed on separate days) – legislative body (Chaired by G V Mavalankar) and Constituent body (chaired by Dr. Rajendra Prasad); first Parliament of free India (Dominion Legislature).; These two functions continued till November 26, 1949.
  3. After withdrawal of Muslim League members, total strength came down to 299 as against 389 under the Cabinet Mission Plan.

 

FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY C.A.
  • Ratified India’s membership of Commonwealth in May, 1949.
  • Adopted National Flag on July 22, 1947.
  • Adopted National Song & National Anthem on Jan 24, 1950.
  • Elected Rajendra Prasad as first President of India on Jan 24, 1950.
  • Final session of C.A. on Jan 24, 1950. However, it continued as provisional Parliament of India from Jan 26, 1950 till formation of new Parliament (May, 1952).
  • Total sessions = 11; Total time = 2 years, 11 months, 18 days

 

MAJOR COMMITTEES
  1. Union Powers Committee / Union Constitution Committee / States Committee à Jawaharlal Nehru
  2. Rules of Procedure Committee / Steering Committee à Rajendra Prasad
  3. Provincial Constitution Committee à Sardar Patel
  4. Drafting Committee à B.R. Ambedkar
  5. Advisory Committee on FRs, Minorities & Tribal & Excluded Areas à Sardar Patel

 

Of all the Committees of C.A. Drafting Committee was most important set up on Aug 29, 1947. It consisted of 7 members.

 

ENACTMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
  • After general & clause by clause reading of draft Constitution. It was adopted on Nov 26, 1949. At that time, it contained Preamble, 395 Articles, & 8 Schedules.
  • The Preamble was enacted after the entire Constitution was already enacted to align with philosophy of constitution.

 

ENFORCEMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
  • Some provisions of Constitution came into force on Nov 26, 1949 itself, viz. Citizenship, Elections, provisional parliament, temporary and transitional provisions, and short title contained in Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 came into force on November 26, 1949, itself.
  • Major part came into force on Jan 26, 1950 (commencement day). (Jan 26, 1930 – Purna Swaraj Day was celebrated)
  • Indian Independence Act, 1947 & GoI Act, 1935 with all its enactments were repealed. However, The Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act (1949) continued.

 

OTHER IMPORTANT FACTS
  • Elephant adopted as C.A. symbol.
  • Sir B.N. Rau was Constitutional Adviser to C.A.
  • V.R. Iyengar was Secretary to C.A.
  • N. Mukherjee was chief draftsman of constitution in C.A.
  • Prem Behari Raizada was the calligrapher of the Constitution.
  • Nand Lal Bose & B.R. Sinha decorated & beautified the Constitution.
  • Hindi version calligraphy done by Vasant Krishan Vaidya & illuminated by Nand Lal Bose.

 

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