FRAMING OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION
It was under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946 that the Constituent Assembly was constituted to frame a Constitution for India. The Constituent Assembly, which had been elected for undivided India and held its first sitting on Dec. 9, 1946, reassembled on Aug. 14, 1947, as the sovereign Constituent Assembly for the Dominion of India. As a result of the partition under the Plan of June 3, 1947, a separate Constituent Assembly was set up for Pakistan. The representatives of Bengal, Punjab, Sind, North-Western Frontier Province, Baluchistan and the Sylhet district of Assam (which had joined Pakistan by a referendum) ceased to be members of the Constituent Assembly of India, and there was a fresh election in the new Provinces of West Bengal and East Punjab. (Hence, when the Constituent Assembly reassembled on Oct. 31,1947) the membership of the House was reduced to 299. Of these 284 were actually present on Nov. 26, 1949, and appended their signatures to the Constitution that was finally passed. President of the Constitution Assembly was Dr. Rajandra Prasad.
MEMBERS OF THEDRAFTING COMMITTEE
- Dr. B.R.Ambedkar (Chairman)
- N. Gopalaswamy Ayyanagar
- Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar
- K.M. Munshi
- Mohd. Saadullah,
- B.L. Mitter (later replaced by N. Madhava Rao)
- Dr. D.P.Khaitan (replaced on death by T.T. Krishnamachari)
HOW THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA WAS CONSTITUTED?
The Constituent Assembly of India was elected through indirect election by the members of the Provincial Legislative Assembly (Lower House only), according to the scheme recommended by the Cabinet Delegation.
The essentials of this scheme were as follows:
(i) The Provinces elected 292 members; while the Indian States were allotted a maximum of 93 seats.
(ii) The seats in each province were distributed among the three main committees Muslim, Sikh, and General, in proportion to their respective population.
(iii) Members of each community in the Provincial Legislative Assembly elected their own representatives
by the method of proportional representation with single transferable vote.
(iv) The method of selection in the case of representatives of Indian States was to be determined by nomination
Acceptance of the Constitution: On Aug. 29, 1947, the Constituent Assembly appointed a Drafting Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Ambedkar. This committee came out with a draft Constitution of India in Feb. 1948.
The Constituent Assembly next met in Nov. 1948 to consider the provisions of the Draft Committee, clause by clause. The second reading of the clauses was completed by Oct. 17, 1949, and the third reading on Nov. 26, 1949, when the Constitution received the signature of the President of the Assembly and was declared as passed. While certain provisions of the constitution – those relating to citizenship, elections, provisional Parliament, etc. were given immediate effect, the rest of the Constitution came into force on Jan. 26, 1950 because the Congress had been celebrating Independence Day on January 26 every year since 1930. The Constituent Assembly itself became the first provisional parliament. The first elections to parliament were held in 1952.