Polity Study Material: Constitutional Making

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Making of the Constitution

The Constituent Assembly which had been elected for undivided India and held its first sitting on 9th Dec. 1946, re-assembled un the 14th August 1947, as The Sovereign Constituent Assembly for the dominion of India. In regard to its composition the members were elected by indirect election by the members of The Provisional Legislative Assemblies (lower house only) . According to the schemes recommended by the Cabinet, the essentials of the Schemes were as follows:

  1. Each Province and each Indian State or group of States were allotted the total no. Of eats proportional to their re spective population, roughly in the ratio of 1: 1000000. As a result, The Provinces were to elect 292 members while the Indian States were allotted a minimum of93 seats.
  2. The seats in each Province were distributed among the three main communities, Muslims, Sikh and general, in proportion to their respective populations.
  3. Members of each community in the Provisional Legislative Assembly elected their own representatives by the method of proportional representations with single transferable vote.
  4. The method of selection in the case of representatives of Indian States was to be determined by consultation.

Unfortunately as a result of a partition under the plan of June3,1947, the territories, which fell under Pakistan and those members who were part of the constituent Assembly, ceased to be members of the Constituent Assembly, which re assembled on the 31st Oct. 1947. The members of the house was reduced to 299 of these 284 was actually present on the 26th Nov. 1949 and appended their signature to the Constitution as finally passed. Constitutional Background: The constitution was passed by the Constituent Assembly on 26 Nov 1949 and is fully applicable since 26 Jan 1950. Thanks to the help of Prof. K. B. Agrawal, the ICL-Edition of the Constitution now incorporates all amendments until and including 78th amendment (1995) 30 Aug 1995; there are no newer amendments until Dec 1996. Amendments after Dec 1996 have not yet been included. India is a federal democratic republic of 25 states and seven Union Territories. Each state is administered by a Governor appointed by the President while each Union Territory is administered by the President through a Minister. The bicameral parliament is composed of the Council of States, Rajya Sabha, and the House of the People, Lok Sabha. The Council of States will consist of250 members out of which the President of India will nominate 12 persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of literature, art, science and social service. The remaining 238 seats are to be filled in by the persons to be elected by the legislative assemblies of their respective states in staggered re-elections of one-third every second year. The House of People is composed of 550 members, Le. 530 members from the States and 20 members from the Union Territories. The states of Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh have bicameral legislates while the other 23 states have unicameral legislatures. Upper houses (Legislative Councils) are re-elected to one-third of their members every two years. Legislative Assemblies are chosen by direct election. There are some extraordinary features of the Indian system of government. For example, the Constitution encourages the states to introduce the prohibition. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, and Haryana have already banned the production, possession. And consumption of alcohol. Commencement: The provisions relating to Citizenship, elections, provisional Parliament, temporary and transitional positions were given immediate effect on The 26th Nov. 1949. While the rest of the Constitution came into force on the 26th Jan. 1950. And this date is referred to in the Constitution as The Date of its Commencement.