The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Ten of the Clock, Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H. C. Mookherjee) in the Chair.
*New Article 147-A
Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H. C. Mookherjee): We shall take up discussion of article 148. But I am informed that article 147-A comes under the same chapter and so with the permission of the House we can take up article 147-A.
The motion before the House is:
"That article 147-A form part of the Constitution."
This is in the name of Prof. K. T. Shah.
Prof K.T. Shah (Bihar: General): Mr. Vice-President,Sir,.........
Mr. Vice-President: I understand that a similar amendment in the case of the Centre was rejected by the House.
Prof. K. T. Shah: Yes, Sir. But I may point out respectfully that in that case the proposal was to separate all powers; but here it is only the legislature that is sought to be separated.
Mr. Vice-President: All right; you may move your amendment.
Prof. K. T. Shah: Sir, I move:
"That before article 148, the following new article147-A be added:--
"The Legislature of every State shall be wholly separate from and independent of the Executive or the Judiciary in the State'."
Sir, while it is no doubt part of my thought on this subject that the powers of the organized government, in a State calling itself federal and democratic, should be separate, one from the other, I have deliberately worded my amendment in such a way that even though the other structure may remain what it is, the local legislature may be separate from the executive and the judiciary. The separation of the two is intended to secure the independence of the legislature and also freedom from any influence of the legislature over the judiciary. I would rather emphasise on this occasion and in this connection the separation of the judiciary, the independence of the judiciary, than of the legislature, as such. When we consider the judiciary, I would place similar amendments with definite reference to the judiciary. In this case, I would like to point out that whereas the law-making body makes laws after due consultation and contacts with the juristic advisers that they may have, or the technical draftsmen who may assist them, nevertheless, they should not have any contact with the judiciary as such, lest the knowledge of what took place in the legislature, the knowledge of the debates,discussions, promises or assurances given, or even obter-dicta that may be-thrown out on the floor of the Legislature by either side, may influence judgment. It is an accepted principle--and I think quite a right one--that the judiciary in their interpretation of a written Constitution should not be influenced by anything that took place in the debates on a given piece of legislation. In a federal constitution, it is inevitable that questions may crop up time and again, not only of the interpretation of ordinary legislation, but also of the very constitutional aspect of a given legislation, or acts of theExecutive under the Constitution. It is but right and proper that the legislature should be completely free from the influence or any chance of being influenced by the two other organs of the State. Further, the Judges themselves having pre-conceptions--so to say, of the nature or intention of the law--are likely to give an interpretation not necessarily in consonance with the true doctrine of interpretation, but rather, because of their pre-knowledge,so to say, of the intention, even if the meaning is not properly given in the wording as finally decided upon.
For these reasons, Sir and for securing the purity,both of the Legislature and of the Judiciary, I commend this motion to the House, that the two should be completely separate.
Dr. Ambedkar will reply to theamendment.
The Honourable Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (Bombay: General):Sir, I oppose the amendment, and all that I need say is this, that the basic principles of the amendment is so fundamentally opposed to the basic principles on which the Draft Constitution is based, that I think it is almost impossible, now to accept any such proposal.
Mr. Vice-President: I am now going to put the amendment to vote.
The question is:
"That before article 148, the following new article147-A be added:--
'147-A. The Legislature of every State shall be wholly separate from and independent of the Executive or the Judiciary in the State'."
The amendment was negatived.
Mr. Vice-President: Now we come to article 148.
The motion before the House is:
"That article 148 form part of the Constitution."
Amendments Nos. 2222, 2223,2224, and 2225, and amendment No. 2227 are of similar import. No. 2225 standing in the name of Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena may be moved.
(Amendments Nos. 2222 and 2225 were not moved.)
Amendment No. 2223 and No. 2224 may be moved; both are in the name of Shri Brajeshwar Prasad.
Shri Brajeshwar Prasad (Bihar: General): I am not moving them.
Mr. Vice-President: Then No. 2227, standing in the name of Shri Nand Lal may be moved.
Master Nand Lal (East Punjab: General): I am not moving it.
Mr. Vice-President: Then, in List II of Sixth Week,there is an amendment to amendment No. 2222. As it is not moved, Prof. Shah may move amendment No. 2226.
Prof. K. T. Shah: Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I beg to move--
"That for the existing clause (1) of article 148, the following be substituted:--
`(1) For every State there shall be a Legislature which shall consist of such number of Houses,not exceeding two, as ParlI ament shalldetermine by law in each case.; provided that it shall be open to the Legislature of any State to request the ParlI ament of the Union to change a bicameral into unicameral Legislature, and such request being duly made and received, ParlI ament shall pass the necessary legislation'."
Sir, the original clause as it stands reads:
"For every State there shall be a Legislature which shall consist of Governor; and
(a) in the States of ........., two Houses,
(b) in other States, one House."
I wish to put the States on a par and suggest that the legislature of every State should be eventually determined by an Act of ParlI ament, and subsequently altered, if so desired, at the request of the State concerned.
Sir, I do not believe in a bicameral Legislature atleast for the States. I think a Second Chamber is not only not representative of the people as such; but even if and where it is representative of the people, even if and where it has been made in such a way as to represent some aspect of the country other that the pure popular vote, even then it is there more as a dilatory engine rather than a help in reflecting popular opinion on crucial questions of legislation.
Apart from the classic example of the House of Lords,which is a hereditary reactionary and non-elected body, even where the Second Chambers are elected, they deflect the legislative machinery, for one thing; they involve considerable outlay from the public exchequer on account of the salaries and allowances of Members and incidental charges. They only aid party bosses to distribute more patronage, and only help in obstructing or delaying the necessary legislation which the people have given their votes for.
Those who like to defend the Second Chamber are, more often than not, champions of vested interests, which find a place in these bodies and as such find an occasion rather to defend their own special, sectarian or class interests than to help the popular cause.
On the question of Second Chambers, therefore, Sir, I think it is a clear division of political opinion, whether
or not it is the will of the people alone which should prevail or some separate interest or special interests be also allowed a say. It must also be admitted that in the course of centuries in the course of history, wherever there have been two chambers, means have been devised to make the popular will eventually prevail. The only result of theSecond Chamber, therefore, is that wherever democracy is in working order as an effective machinery of Government the only use of the Second Chamber is to delay, or to obstruct legislation rather than to make it utterly impossible for the popular will eventually to prevail. In England, in America and elsewhere, the Second Chamber is ultimately made infective. If that is the experience of the world, I do not see why that experience should be neglected and in the States we should repeat a machinery of legislation which is bound to be only expensive and dilatory rather than useful.
The case of the Centre is different. It is so because the interests to be represented are more particularly those of the Units than of the country which is represented in the Lower House. Though a Second Chamber may therefore quite properly be provided for the Central Legislature, the arguments that may be advanced in defence of such arrangements at the Centre would not apply in my opinion to the Units. Accordingly I suggest that the place of the Second Chamber may be left entirely to the Units themselves.In the first instance ParlI ament may determine according to the size, the population, the area and perhaps also the presence of special interests, if any, and lay down a legislative composition as in its judgment the Central ParlI ament thinks proper. But eventually the Unit itself and the Legislature of the Unit must have the right to say what is most suited for its requirements; and if such a request is made it should be entitled to demand a revision of the original Act as a matter of course and provide for whatever single chamber form of legislation it desires, is necessary and proper for its case.
I have therefore suggested in my amendment that thought in the first instance ParlI ament may lay down for each particular State a form of legislature that it thinks is suitable for given areas, in the ultimate analysis the people in the Units must be able to say whether they want a Second Chamber in their case. This is not therefore summarily a rejection of the Second Chamber here and now.This is not to say that by Constitution we shall make it impossible for local opinion to prevail in the matter. All that I am asking is that in the event of the people of any Unit so desiring, they should be at liberty and entitled to demand of the Central ParlI ament that, in their case at any rate, a Second Chamber is needless and therefore should be done away with, where as for others there may be a Second Chamber if the people of that unit so desire. I therefore recommend the motion to the House.
Mr. Vice-President: The next amendments Nos. 2228 and2229 standing in the name of Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad are disallowed as being merely verbal.
Mr. L. N. Sahu may move amendment No. 2230.
Shri Lakshmi Narayan Sahu (Orissa : General): *[Mr.Vice-President, the amendment that I am moving before the House is:
"That in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 148 after the words 'States of' the word Orissa' be inserted."
It implies that Orissa should have two Houses instead of one and that one of these two should be the Upper Chamber. My Friend Shri K. T. Shah observed a little while ago that a Second Chamber is not very essential and that it may only be constituted where the popular will demands it.There does not appear to be anything objectionable in this proposition. But the constitution, as now being framed,makes provision for a Second Chamber. What I demand is that this provision should continue for the future as
well.Second Chambers are functioning even now in Assam, Madras and Bihar. It was not felt necessary to have Second Chambers for the other provinces. I think that a Second Chamber isnot needed in Assam at present. But in my opinion it would not be proper for us to decide that a Second Chamber is not necessary for Orissa merely on the ground that the Members from Orissa do not desire to have one. My submission is that there should be the at least this provision, that there can be a Second Chamber if it is demanded by the will of the people. It would then be possible for us to decide whether we need a second Chamber or not. We have adopted the American Constitution as a model in drafting our Constitution. Under the American Constitution, however, bicameral legislatures exist in all the States. Besides, we want a bicameral legislature at the Centre in order that Provinces may be represented there in. Recently twenty-five States have been merged in Orissa. So far they were separate from Orissa. Recently they have been merged in Orissa. A Second Chamber, therefore, is very necessary there.
An objection raised by a few people is that dilatory tactics are adopted in the Second Chamber and therefore it is unnecessary. As for dilatory tactics, the
*  Translation of Hindustani Speech.
can be adopted even where there is only a single Chamber.For instance the Hindu Code Bill is under consideration for the last four or five years. Many people fear that if Chamber is constituted well-to-do-persons and big capitalists would be able to secure its membership quite easily. But this is what I would like to happen. Now that our country is free and until we establish a socialist State here, we should give every opportunity to men of outstanding ability and wealth to take their due share in the governance of the country. There is absolutely no justification for denying them this share. I may add that there cannot be any harm done if a few rich men are able easily to secure election to the Second Chamber. Besides, we exclude one important fact from our consideration when we criticize the proposal for a Second Chamber. It is that most probably elections are not going to be on the basis of proportional representation in the Provinces. It is, therefore, quite probable that minorities would fail to secure their due representation in the legislatures. Political parties are not yet properly formed in our country. So long as parties are not properly organised, it is possible for people of all shades of opinion to secure election only through the system of proportional representation. But there being no proportional representation, a Second Chamber appears to be essential, till parties come to be organised on a proper basis, for, then those Sections which fail to get representation in the Lower House would have a chance of getting representation in the Second Chamber.
We see that many people do not very much like a Second Chamber. But as I said a little before, Orissa has been newly formed. Twenty-five States have been merged in it recently. Therefore a Second Chamber should certainly be provided for Orissa. Besides, changes are taking place fast in our country as in the world. The creeds of Socialism,Communism and so many other isms are appearing, and are making big advances. In order to delay theres changes to ponder over them and to control them, it is absolutely necessary to have a Second Chamber. Prof. Shah observed that the House of Lords in England is tradition-ridden. But this need not frighten us, for the Second Chamber we are going to constitute would not be of the type of the House of Lords.It will be altogether of a different kind. I may add that even the English people feel the necessity of a Second Chamber, for even there is a move to make it strong and effective.
Further, ours is not a unitary type of government. It is federal, even though many powers of the Units have been taken over by the Central Government. I,therefore, submit that two Houses are absolutely necessary,for there is very great need of careful thought being given to all the problems that may arise. I may add that when the Centre would be so very powerful it is necessary that there should be two Chambers in the provinces. In any case a second Chamber must be provided for Orissa in the new Constitution that we are framing. I would like to add that this question of a Second Chamber may be left over to be decided by the will of the people of Orissa, and till the people take a decision in the matter we should take no decision but keep this question open.]
Shri L. Krishnawami Bharathi (Madras: General): Sir, I move:
"That in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 148,after the words 'in the States of the word 'Madras' beinserted."
Honourable Members will see that article 148(1) reads:
"For every State there shall be a Legislature which shall consist of the Governor; and
(a) in the States of ..............."
(here there is a blank to be filled in later on.)
My amendment, if accepted, will fill up the blank tosome extent, in the States of Madras : that is to say, in the States of Madras there shall be two House--one the legislative Assembly and the other the Legislative Council.
Sir, it was understood that Members representing thedifferent provinces should meet together and come to adecision as to whether they would like to have a Second Chamber for their province. Accordingly, Members belongingto the different provinces met separately, and therepresentatives of Madras also met similarly under thepresidency of Rashtrapati Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, andafter sufficient discussion it was decided that Madras shallhave two Chambers. Recently this decision was come to, butlast year......
Shri Mahavir Tyagi (United Provinces: General): On apoint of order, may I know if it is necessary thathonourable Members from all the provinces that have decidedto have two Chambers should come here and move separateamendments for their provinces: Cannot the decisions reachedby those Members be included in one full list?
Mr. Vice-President: If the honourable Member will havepatience for a few minutes longer, he will find the answerto this query given by the Chairman of the DraftingCommittee.
Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi: I was saying that theMembers representing Madras met together and decided sometime last year, when a similar decision was come to, and toregularise it we met recently and decided accordingly.
There is some opposition to this idea of a Second Chamber. I am inclined to think that it is born more out ofprejudice of the present Second Chambers and the generalview is, and I also agree with that view, that the idea of a second Chamber is to prevent or check hasty legislation.Experience has shown that so far as the proceedings of thisAssembly are concerned, last year we decided many matters.In similar matters we have come to decisions and it was onlysubmitted to the Drafting Committee to put them in order.But we find that we are revising many articles: even article150, where we fixed a limit is undergoing constant changes.That shows that there is always need for some time toelapse.
In this connection, I might invite the attention of the House to an interesting incident reported in the life ofGeorge Washington. It appears that Thomas Jefferson wasprotesting very strongly against the idea of a Second Chamber, to Washington. Mr. Farrand reports this incidentvery interestingly: they were taking coffee at breakfasttime. Suddenly George Washington asked: "Why, Mr. Jefferson,why are you pouring the coffee into your saucer?" Jeffersonreplied: "To cool it" Even so, we want to cool legislationby
putting it into the saucer of the senatorial Chamber.That is a forceful way of expressing the idea and as we aregoing to be constituted, it is to check or prevent hastylegislation and not at all to impede progressivelegislation. There shall be no mistake about it; the idea isnot to check progressive legislation but to have some timeso that cool, calm and deliberate conclusions may be arrivedat.
Therefore, there is absolute need for a Second Chamberfor some time, and as I understood Prof. K. T. Shah, I thinkhe wanted that there must be some provision so that if wedid not want a second Chamber later on, we must be able todo away with it, not necessarily by amending the Constitution, which is not an easy affair, but provisionmust be made in the Constitution itself. That is how Iunderstood him.
If the Prof turns to article 304, sub-clause (2), aprovision therefor is therein made. That provision enablesthe Units or the Legislative Assemblies of the differentStates or Provinces, as the case may be, to initiateproceedings in a particular assembly with a view not to havethe Second Chamber. That is a broad clause which enables aProvincial Legislative Assembly to decide upon the number of Houses if they so desire. Withyour kind permission, I may be allowed to read that portionof article 304 (2)....
Shri S. Nagappa (Madras: General): Not necessary
Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi: Why? It is not for Mr.Nagappa alone: I am reading it for the enlightenment of the House. I suppose, Sir, I have your permission. If Mr.Nagappa knows it, that does not mean that others need not beenlightened.
Article 304(2) reads:
"Notwithstanding anything in the last preceding clause,an amendment of the Constitution seeking to make any changein the provisions of this Constitution relating to themethod of choosing a Governor or the number of Houses of the legislature in any State for the time being specified inPart I of the First Schedule may be initiated by theintroduction of a Bill for the purpose in the LegislativeAssembly of the State or, where the State has a LegislativeCouncil, in either House of the Legislature of the State,and when the Bill is passed by the Legislative Assembly or,where the State has a Legislative Council, by both Houses of the Legislature of the State, by a majority of the totalmembership of the Assembly or each House, as the case maybe, it shall be submitted to ParlI ament for ratification,and when it is ratified by each House of ParlI ament by amajority of the total membership of that House it shall bepresented to the President for assent and upon such assentbeing given to the Bill, the Constitution shall standamended in accordance with the terms of the Bill."
So, provision has been made. As I was speaking, somehonourable Members wanted to know whether there was apossibility of the Provincial Assembly scrapping it. Ilooked it up and I thought it my duty to invite theattention of the House to the provision made in thisConstitution. I therefore hope that this amendment will beaccepted.
Sir, I move:
Mr. Vice-President: There is an amendment to thisamendment--No. 46 of List II, standing in the name of Dr.Ambedkar. Is the honourable Member going to move it?
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, I move:
"That for amendment No. 2231 of the List of Amendments,the following be substituted:-
'That in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article148, after the words 'in the States of' thewords 'Madras, Bombay, West Bengal, theUnited Provinces, Bihar and East Punjab' beinserted'."
Sir, I should like to state to the House that thequestion of whether to have a second Chamber in theprovinces or not was discussed by the ProvincialConstitution Committee, which was appointed by this House.The decision of that Committee was that this was a matterwhich should be left to the decision of each
provinceconcerned. If any particular province decided to have a second Chamber it should be allowed to have a Second Chamber, a second Chamber should not be imposed upon it. Inorder to carry out this recommendation of the ProvincialConstitution Committee it was decided that the Members in the Constituent Assembly, representing the differentprovinces should meet and come to a decision on this issue.The Members of the different provinces represented in thisAssembly therefore met in groups of their own to decide thisquestion and as a result of the deliberations carried on bythe Members it was reported to the office that the provinceswhich are mentioned in my amendment agree to have a Second Chamber for their provinces. The only provinces whichdecided not to have a second Chamber are the C.P. & Berar,Assam and Orissa. My amendment gives effect to the resultsof the deliberations of the representatives of the differentprovinces in accordance with the recommendation of theProvincial Constitution Committee.
Sir, I move.
Mr. Vice-President: Then we come to amendment No. 2232standing in the name of Shri Mohanlal Gautam. Amendment No.2233 also is in his name. The honourable Member is not in the House, so these two amendments go out.
The article is open for general discussion.
Shri Kuladhar Chaliha (Assam: General): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, one of the most vexed questions of politicalscience is the problem of a Second Chamber. In the 19thcentury in Europe, Second Chambers were necessary in orderto check hasty legislation, but in modern days even if a second Chamber is allowed to exist we must restrict itspowers so that it may not be a clog on our progressiveideas.
Almost all the important States had Second Chambers inolden days, but Turkey and Bulgaria have dispensed with them. The Second Chambers are regarded as an essentialelement of feudal constitutions. They are the exceptions to the rule of the Constituent units not to have any Second Chambers anywhere. In the U.S.S.R. and in the Union of SouthAfrica the Constituent units are all unicameral. In theDominion of Canada we find that out of eight Provinces onlytwo have Second Chambers. In the case of Switzerland out of18 Cantons, except two, all the other 16 are unicameral. InWeimar Germany half the States were unicameral.
The Second Chambers seem to have been created by forceof tradition. It seems that the vested interests--men ofdignity and nobility--want that they should adorn thebenches where they can find some defence against the attackon their rights. It is said that wherever there are vestedinterests which require defence, the Second Chamber willalways be claimed. In India we find that where there areZamindars they want the Second Chamber. We find from theclaims made by the different Provinces that are now claimingthe Second Chamber, there are the vested interests, thereare the Zamindars, and they want to be protected against themajority. But then in these progressive days legislationwill be held up if we have a Second Chamber, and thereforewe should not allow these Second Chambers to exist. Yet, wefind that there is a certain amount of desire on the part ofsome of the Provinces. Assam has rightly said that they are not in want of it; Orissa has also said that they are not inwant of it and C.P. has also said that. It is in the fitnessof things that they have done so.
A Second Chamber is nothing but a clog in the way ofprogressive legislation. In our old Central Legislature, bydelaying tactics, we have held up the Hindu code for aboutfour or five years. It is very easy to obstruct progressivelegislation as we have done in the case of the Hindu Code.But if we have another Second Chamber I think it will onlybe adding further trouble in the way of passing progressivelegislation. It is really surprising that some of ourProvinces are claiming that there should be Second Chamberseven today. They
should think that this is rather a burdento them than adding to their progress; the Second Chamber in the past has clogged some very good pieces of legislation inEurope and other countries. I think as a modern people weshould get rid of these ideas and we should march forward.Therefore, we should not have Second Chambers in ourcountry.
Secondly, there is another thing. We do not find asufficient number of leaders in our Provinces to man theSecond Chamber. In the smaller and backward Provinces wefeel the difficulty and we have rightly voted against theSecond Chambers. Even in the bigger Provinces I think we have not been able to produce a sufficient number of leaderswho can man it very well.
An Honourable Member: That may be the case in yourProvince
Shri Kuladhar Chaliha: I see. There may be an exceptionbut then it does not prove the case--it rather proves theother way.
You will only be clogging the progress of the countryby having second Chambers in Bombay, Madras and otherProvinces, so that there may not be any advance. That is howthings will be done. These four Provinces will be a clog tous and they will be a drag on our progress. Therefore, thesooner they get rid of this idea and the sooner Dr. Ambedkarwithdraws that amendment, the better it will be for thecountry. Before accepting the amendment, I trust the Housewill consider it properly and see whether they would liketheir progress to be clogged, as they want to do.
Shri K. Hanumanthaiya (Mysore): Mr. Vice-President,Sir, the Draft Constitution makes provision for eitherunicameral or bicameral legislature, as the case may be; itleaves the choice to the States concerned and some Stateshave chosen to have unicameral legislatures. We are veryfamiliar with the arguments for and against a bicamerallegislature. I merely want to draw the attention of the House to the practical aspect of the matter. The people whoadvocate a bicameral legislature usually say that it is adevice against hasty legislation My Friend Mr. Bharathi gavea very picturesque illustration.
I want my friends who are in favour of a bicamerallegislature to remember that we are framing a Constitutionfor a responsible system of Government. That presupposesparty system. Party system of Government works in a peculiarway and not in the way of unicameral or bicamerallegislature as such. Every major decision is taken in theparty meeting and not in the Upper House or in the LowerHouse. So that real legislature from the point of view ofpractical politics seems to me, Sir, to be the partymeeting. Once the question is decided in the party meeting,it does not matter whether the question is brought up beforethe Lower House or the Upper House, or even if there are tenHouses; there is no question of preventing hastylegislation, once the party decision is taken on thesubject. Hence when...
Shri O. V. Alagesan (Madras: General): Will not themembers of the Upper House be the members of the party also?
Shri K. Hanumanthaiya: That is exactly what I was goingto say. You are arguing for me. The party in power willcertainly have under the Constitution we are framing amajority both in the Upper House and the Lower House,because it happens to be an elected legislature. Once thejoint meeting of the Party Members of both the Upper Houseand the Lower House takes a decision, that decision goesthrough irrespective of the opposition or the arguments to the contrary. Such being the case, it is a costly formalityto have two Chambers. My Honourable Friend Bharathi gave anillustration of a cup and saucer to show the utility of thesecond Chamber. Whether it is the cup or the saucer into thewhich the coffee is poured, it is the pot that determinesthe temperature of the coffee. The pot here is the partymeeting; it determines the way we have to vote. Therefore, Ireally do not see how the Second Chamber under the
existingcircumstances will be able to show us a better way or asober way.
I have got another point, Sir. In a federation the legislative field is to a very great extent restricted sofar as the legislatures of the unit are concerned. Much of the legislative field and administrative field is takenunder the present Constitution by the Centre and whatremains is very restricted. For that restricted field, tohave two House, I fear, is really a very costly andunnecessary affair. Apart from the point of view oflegislation, there is also the point of view ofadministration from which we have to examine this problem.The Ministers who are popular leaders have to devote much of their time to visitors. It is the experience of everyMinister in India that much of his time is taken away byvisitors and by people who come to see them for all sorts ofpurposes and very little time is left to them. If we havegot two Houses, probably the Lower House will have to sitseveral months in the year and in addition to it The Ministers would have to spend necessarily much of theirtime in the Upper House also. I think practically they haveto do talking all the time administrative work suffers inconsequence. In fact, If I may claim to know a little of theworking of the Ministeries in India in the units and the States, they are usually charged with inefficiency. Thespeed with which administrative work used to be done in theolden days is not done now. That is the specific chargelevelled against the various ministries in the units. I donot know how it is in the Centre. But the real reason isthey have no time; they have to be talking all the time. it is better in the interests of efficiency and speed of theadministration to do away with the Second Chamber.
Mr. Vice-President: Many speakers would like to speakon this subject.
Mr. K. Hanumathaiya: Very well, Sir. I have done.
Shrimati Renuka Ray (West Bengal: General): Mr. Vice-President, I am one of those who hold the opinion that thebicameral legislature in the present context of things isunnecessary, if not retrograde. Sir, in India, particularlyat the present moment, when we need to go through a gooddeal of legislation in the economic and social field, whichhas been long overdue during the years of foreign rule, I dofeel that the Second Chamber, particularly in the provinceswill be very dilatory. The only reason advanced for having a second Chamber is that we can thus prevent hasty or carelesslegislation. But, Sir, when there is a Governor, in theProvince and a President at the Centre, who is empowered tosend back to the legislature any Bills which may have beenenacted carelessly, for revision, I do not think that thisexcuse obtains. However, Sir, the majority of provinces havedecided to have a second chamber and therefore, in thepresent Constitution, we shall be embodying it. I want topoint out only this, that even if we at the present momentdo have to agree to have second chambers in the provinces,there should be some provision in the Constitution that thesecond chambers can be got rid of as speedily as possible,not at the initiative or the votes of both Houses ofLegislature in the provinces, but according to the desire of the Lower House alone. I do not think that it is right thatwhether a chamber shall continue to exist or not, should beleft to the chamber to decide in any way. Although there isan article in the Draft Constitution regarding the manner inwhich the provinces may decide later not to have Second Chambers, if they do not wish to, that article prescribesthat this can be done by both Houses of the Legislature. Ihope, Sir, that when the time comes, at least the House andDr. Ambedkar will agree that it should be the Lower Housealone which shall decide whether the Second Chamber shouldcontinue or not. As I said before, I do not think thatbringing in the Second Chamber is going to be helpful at thepresent moment. I
do understand that the composition of theSecond Chamber is going to be fundamentally different fromthe composition of the Upper Houses of the past. But all thesame in the present context of things, as I have said, itwill be very much better if we had just one Chamber. As we have seen during the past year or so, while this ConstituentAssembly has been functioning as a Dominion Legislature andwith an unicameral Chamber, even so the procedure by whichlegislation is enacted is slower than we desire. I do notsee why it is necessary, particularly in the Provinces, thatwe should go in for a second Chamber, and if we do so, atleast let us provide that the Lower Houses in the Provincesare in a position to rid themselves of this encumberance assoon as possible.
Shri O. V. Alagesan: Mr. Vice-President, Sir, thePrinciple of a second Chamber directly comes before us onlytoday. It was considered by the House when the Report of theProvincial Constitution Committee was submitted to the Housenot in a direct manner, but in a sort of a backdoor way, Ishould say.
Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi: How?
Shri O. V. Alagesan: Because, the Honourable SardarVallabhai Patel, who moved the Provincial ConstitutionCommittee report for the consideration of the House saidthat the Committee generally agreed that there should beonly one House of legislature; but, then, he went on todescribe the procedure that the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar justnow told the House. The choice was left to the Members of the Constituent Assembly from the various provinces; theywere asked to decide whether they should have a Second Chamber or not for their province. This liberty was good ina sense; but that very same liberty prevented the House fromgoing into the question in a deeper way and examining it onits merits. When the Honourable Sardar Patel moved theparticular clause dealing with this matter, he expressed thehope that the small provinces may not elect to have a Second Chamber. But, actually it turned out that the six provincesenumerated by Dr. Ambedkar have elected to have a Second Chamber. They did not do it, I submit, on merits. What hasbeen originally conceived as an exception has come to stayas a rule.
Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi: May I point out, Sir,that the honourable Member was not present on that occasionand that therefore he is not entitled to say this?
Shri O. V. Alagesan: That was because I was not well.That does not take away my right to express my opinion.
Mr. Vice-President: Please try to address the Chair; donot try to reply to Mr. L. Krishnaswami Bharathi.
Shri O. V. Alagesan: Yes, Sir. That particularprocedure made the Members of the various provinces think,"Let us have this ornament of a second Chamber." On theother hand, if the question had been placed before the Housein a direct and straightforward way, I think the House mighthave decided against a second Chamber. That was mysubmission. Since this is the first occasion when we aredealing with this question on merits, this House has gotevery right to say that we shall not have a second Chambernow.
Then, it was said that these six provinces happen to bebig ones now. In some future date they may get split up.Then, what is the provision? They cannot easily get rid ofthis second Chamber. Already there is an objection to theformation of linguistic provinces on the ground of theirfinancial instability. This will be an additional reason forthat, because, the cost of the second Chamber will be anunnecessary burden on the small provinces when they areformed.
Several speakers before me showed how a second Chamberis an unnecessary anachronism. I will say that this is asort of an old age pension device for the politicians. Whenwe deal with the composition of the second Chamber, I thinkI shall be able to explain how it will be a demoralisinginfluence and not a helpful influence in the politics of theState. My Friend, Mr. Krishnaswami
Bharathi, gave us the cupand saucer example given by Washington. I beg to submit thatwe have far advanced several centuries from the days ofWashington and enlightened constitutional opinion in Americatoday is against a second Chamber. Several experts haveprepared a model constitution for the United States ofAmerica. They have omitted this bicameral system and haverecommended only a unicameral legislature for the States.Though, up till now, only one State has elected to have aunicameral system. I shall quote an American authority on this specific matter and it will be clear how this Second Chamber acts as a reactionary Chamber. The argument oftenadvanced in favour of the second Chamber is that it will bea check on hasty legislation by the lower Chamber. He shows how it isonly a myth. The learned author says:
"While this idea might seem reasonable and logical, thepractice of the bicameral system has contributed little orno evidence in support of this theory. On the contrary,large numbers of instances indicate that politicians haveplayed one House against the other to defeat proposals forwhich there was a wide public demand, and that they have inthis way succeeded in avoiding personal responsibility for their action."
In such unexceptionable words the bicameral system hasbeen condemned by this author. So, I would like first of allthat this principle of a second Chamber for the Provincesshould be outright rejected by this House and if that is notpossible, if the House does not propose to do that, I wouldrequest that there should be at least a provision by whichthe lower Chamber in any province will be able to do awaywith the second Chamber by a simple resolution. As it is,sub-clause (2) of article 304 was quoted. Even there, theprocedure is rather complicated. When the majority in thelower House is rather precarious, the Upper House, becauseit will naturally stand for its preservation, may defeat thepurpose. Again, it has to be approved by ParlI ament to comeinto force. So, that provision should be altered so as topermit the lower Chamber to do away with the upper Chamberby a simple resolution passed by a majority of the lowerHouse.
Sir, I have done.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari (Madras: General): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I have listened with the attention that adiscussion on a matter like this deserves, to the speakersthat spoke before me. Speaking for myself, I am in sympathywith many of those who opposed the idea of the introductionof a second Chamber in the provinces. It is a matter thathas been debated all over the world ever since the idea ofconstitutions came into being, whether second Chambers arenecessary or not, and it admits of a wide room fordifference of opinion. I am not, Sir, today concerned withexamining whether it is right to have a second Chamber for the provinces or not. What I wish to point out to thishonourable House is that this House on a former occasion hasaccepted certain fundamental principles which were intendedto serve as a guide for the Drafting Committee to frame the Constitution. The question is whether these principles couldbe given the go by means of the negation of an article,without the whole thing being overhauled or upset in theproper way, namely by a proper number of people wanting acomplete change in a decision made by this honourable Houseon a previous occasion according to the rules made for thatpurpose.
Sir, it may be open to question what is a fundamentalprinciple and what is not. For instance, if we had said thata President is not necessary for this Constitution, thatwould be going against a fundamental decision made by thisHouse on the report of the Union Constitution Committee.Similarly, if we say that a Governor is not necessary for aState, that would, again, be going against a fundamentalprinciple. It would not be, Sir, going against a fundamentalprinciple based on a decision of the House if we say that the
Governor is to be elected in such and such a manner orbe nominated in such and such a manner or that the Presidentis to be elected in such and such a manner. On the 18th ofJuly 1947, this House accepted the broad outlines of theProvincial Constitution Committee's report, particularly inregard to Rule 19 which bears some relation to the articlethat is being discussed by the House.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhhai Patel moved--
"There shall for every province be a ProvincialLegislature which will consist of the Governor and the legislative Assembly; in the following provinces, thereshall, in addition, be a Legislative Council."
Actually, the provision was fairly carefully framed so as togive the maximum amount of latitude to each province todecide whether or not to have a second Chamber. Some of myhonourable Friends have referred to the manner in which thisdecision was arrived at. Sir, after the particular rule waspassed by this House, at the appropriate time theSecretariat of the Constituent Assembly sent summons forMembers representing each particular province to meet on aparticular day and arrive at a decision whether or not tohave a second Chamber. Sir, I think it is not disclosing anyconfidence or making any breach of confidence if I say thatI was one of those who stoutly opposed the introduction ofsecond Chamber so far as Madras province was concerned in the meeting of the representatives of that province and Iwas outvoted, but I do not think that merely because thedecision of a large number of Members who represented myprovince ran counter to my own views that I could takeadvantage of the discussion on this clause to go against notmerely the decision of the legislators of my province butalso against the decision arrived at by this honourableHouse on the 18th July 1947. Sir, the proper courseundoubtedly would be, for such of the Members as feel that this is not the proper thing to do, to take advantage ofRule 32 of the Rules of procedure of the House and have thewhole question mooted once again by getting the requisitenumber of Members to sign a requisition for reopening thisparticular question. That is the proper way to go about thisbusiness and I do feel that, though the House can ordinarilyreject this particular article 148 either in its entirety ora portion of it,--there is nothing to prevent a sovereignHouse from doing a thing which it wants to do,--I think inall decency we cannot go against a principle which has beenaccepted on the 18th July 1947, a principle which wasfurther supported by meetings of the representatives of thevarious provinces meeting separately and deciding whether ornot a particular province will have an Upper House. It is adifferent matter completely if this House should decide that the constitution of the Upper House should be different fromwhat it was decided on the 18th July 1947, or what ismentioned in this Draft Constitution as drafted by theDrafting Committee. I shall have something to say about thatat the appropriate time. But we are perfectly entitled tosay that the Upper House shall be elected in entirety by theLower House, that the Upper House should be nominated in itsentirety by the Governor, that the Upper House should beelected from all kinds of mushroom constituencies, that theUpper House should only represent labour and not vestedinterests or conversely that the Upper House should onlyrepresent vested interests and not labour, or that thereshould be equal representation of both, and it may or maynot have representatives of functional interests in theprovince--all these things are matters in which the Househas got perfect liberty morally to go into and makeappropriate changes if it so feels disposed. But I do feelthat in view of the commitments that we have already enteredinto on 18th July 1947 and a further reinforcement of thatcommitment agreed to by the fact that representatives
ofprovinces have to second Chambers in those particularprovinces which have been enumerated by the amendment movedby my honourable Friend Dr. Ambedkar, I think it is notright for the House to go further into the original questionas to whether or not a particular province should have anUpper House and the matter should therefore be left at thatand the article should be accepted in the form in which ithas been presented to the House.
Shri Biswanath Das (Orissa: General): I do not like toinflict on this House a review of the working of the UpperChambers in various States in the world. That is a functionbeyond the possibility of the limitations in which I amhere. Sir, enough to say that the sort of second Chamberthat is called upon to be constituted in the provinces is inmany ways different from the ones that you find in very manyStates today functioning in the World Enough we have got a second Chamber at the Centre. Thesecond Chamber in the Centre is also shorn of the usualprestige and responsibility which is attached to it inadvanced States like U.S.A. Nowadays it need hardly bestated that the Chamber which has an indirect election, andmuch less a Chamber having a nomination, has the leastprestige and influence in the country and much less toarrest the progress of any legislation, be it hasty orrevolutionary. Under these circumstances, the system that isbeing devised and kept ready to be utilized for the Second Chamber in the provinces is not very helpful. We have in ita conglomeration of various things. You have in it anindirect election, you have in it a nomination, you have init an admixture of election and panel again leaving to thewill of the Ministries. Under these circumstances, thesystem that is devised for the second Chamber is not usefuland I must say that is not going to be helpful. Therefore itcannot influence the decision of the Lower House of which itwill be merely a reflection-a sad reflection. Sir, secondly,it cannot check hasty legislation if the Lower House isgoing to make any hasty legislation because of thelimitation under which it is to work. Sir, under thesecircumstances the second Chamber that is devised for theprovinces is not helpful and, need I say, will be a costlyshow. So far as our province is concerned, I must thank thehonourable Members of this House and more especially thosewho are responsible for the decision of leaving this to theprovinces. It is in the fitness of things that the delegatesfrom the provinces are called upon to decide this question.I do not see how much could be said or stated against thepoint as was mentioned by Mr. Krishnamachari. True it isthat it was left to the provinces. My friend says theprovinces have decided. I do not know when they decided. Icome from the Province of Orissa. We delegates from Orissawere never called upon to discuss this question except onceand that decision was against the constitution of the Second Chamber.
Sir, I have thanked, and I again thank the Committee asalso the honourable Members of this House, for leaving thisquestion entirely to the Provinces. Speaking for ourselves,we have taken extraordinary precautions in coming to theconclusion that we did. We intimated the Ministers, and alsothe Premier of Orissa who happens to be a Member of thishonourable House, though he was absent. We also had theviews of the Ministry, and we had before us the views of thePremier, and also those of the Member delegates. And to makeourselves doubly sure, we also invited the representativesof all the States who had merged into Orissa and also thoseof the States who intended to merge into Orissa; all thesewere invited and they were allowed to take part in thedeliberations. Therefore, as a result of the combineddeliberation of all these persons, unanimously we came to the conclusion, with the single exception of one Member, Mr.Sahu. We came to the majority conclusion that we shall nothave
a second Chamber. Sir, second Chambers are onlyornamental. But if they were merely ornamental, that wouldhave been something, because ornaments have their value,they make even things attractive. But here it is so veryexpensive, it entails such a heavy burden on the provincialexchequer, with no useful purpose, that it makes me feelthat it is absolutely unnecessary and that it is anappendage which it is better if it is thrown out.
Mr. Vice-President: Dr. Ambedkar.
Shri H. V. Kamath (C.P. & Berar: General): Mr. Vice-President,......
Mr. Vice-President: Mr. Kamath comes from the C. P.which has no upper Chamber. (Laughter.)
Shri H. V. Kamath: That is exactly, Sir, why I wouldlike to speak.
Mr. Vice-President: I thing the point has beensufficiently discussed. Some four more honourable Memberswould probably like to speak, but we have already spent oneand a half hours, and we have to make a definite progressevery day. I offer my apologies to those gentlemen who havebeen disappointed; that is all I can offer in the presentcircumstances. Dr. Ambedkar.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Mr. Vice-President,Sir, I regret I cannot accept any of the amendments thathave been moved to this particular article. I find from thespeeches that have been made that there is not the sameamount of unanimity in favour of the principle of having a second Chamber in the different provinces. I am notsurprised at the views that have been expressed in thisHouse against second Chambers. Ever since the FrenchConstituent Assembly met, there has been consistently a viewwhich is opposed to second Chambers. I do not think the viewof those who are opposed to second Chambers can be betterput than in the words of Abbe Seiyes. His criticism was two-fold. He said that if the upper House agreed with the lowerone, then it was superfluous. If it did not agree with thelower House, it was a mischievous body and we ought not toentertain it. (Laughter). The first part of the criticism ofAbbe Seiyes is undoubtedly valid, because it is so obvious.But nobody has so far agreed with the second part of thecriticism of Abbe Seiyes. Even the French nation has notaccepted that view; they too have consistently maintainedthe principle of having a second Chamber.
Now, speaking for myself, I cannot say that I am verystrongly prepossessed in favour of a second Chamber. To me,it is like the Curate's egg--good only in parts. (Laughter.)All that we are doing by this Constitution is to introducethe second Chamber purely as an experimental measure. We have not, by the Draft Constitution, given the Second Chamber a permanent place, we have not made it a permanentpart of our Constitution. It is a purely experimentalmeasure, as I said, and there is sufficient provision in thepresent article 304 for getting rid of the second Chamber.If, when we come to discuss the merits of article 304 whichdeals with the abolition of the second Chamber, honourableMembers think that some of the provisions contained inarticle 304 ought to be further relaxed so that the processof getting rid of the second Chamber may be facilitated,speaking for myself, I should raise no difficulty (hear,hear), and I therefore suggest to the House, as a sort ofcompromise, that this article may be allowed to be retainedin the Constitution.
Mr. Vice-President: I am now going to put theamendments to vote, one by one.
The question is--
"That for the existing clause (1) of article 148, thefollowing be substituted:--
`(1) For every State there shall be a Legislaturewhich shall consist of such number of Houses,not exceeding two, as ParlI ament shalldetermine by law in each case; provided that it shall be open to the Legislature of anyState to request the ParlI ament of the Unionto change a bicameral into unicameralLegislature and such request being duly madeand received, ParlI ament shall pass the
The amendment was negatived.
Mr. Vice-President: The question is--
"That in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 148after the words `States of' the word `Orissa' be inserted."
The amendment was negatived.
Mr. Vice-President: The question is--
"That for amendment No. 2231 of the List of Amendments,the following be substituted:--
`That in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article148, after the words `in the States of' thewords `Madras, Bombay, West Bengal, theUnited Provinces, Bihar and East Punjab' beinserted'."
The amendment was adopted.
Mr. Vice-President: No. 2231, standing in the name ofShri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi need not be put to vote.
Now, the question before the House is:
"That article 148, as amended, stand part of the Constitution."
The motion was adopted.
Article 148, as amended, was added to the Constitution.
Mr. Vice-President: Then we come to article 149.
The motion before the House is:
"That article 149 form part of the Constitution."
Coming to the amendments, I find that amendment No.2234, and the first part of amendment No. 2235 areidentical. No. 2234 may be moved.
(Amendment No. 2234 was not moved.)
Amendment No. 2235 may be moved, standing in the nameof Mr. Lari.
(Amendment No. 2235 was not moved.)
Amendment No. 2240. The Member who has given notice ofit is not moving it.
Amendment No. 2236 of Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad isdisallowed as being verbal.
Amendments Nos. 2237 and 2238 are of similar import.The latter being the more comprehensive one may be moved.The Member concerned, is not moving it. Therefore amendmentNo. 2237 may be moved. This is also not moved.
Then we come to amendment No. 2239 standing in the nameof Shri Damodar Swarup Seth. It may be moved. I understandthat the Member is not in the House. It is not thereforemoved.
Amendments Nos. 2241 and 2242 are indentical. AmendmentNo. 2241 may be moved. It stands in the name of Dr.Ambedkar.
An Honourable Member: It is not being moved. (Voices:`Member not in the House') (Laughter.)
Mr. Vice-President: (Seeing the Honourable Dr. Ambedkarcoming into the Chamber) Honourable Members are at perfectliberty to go out to take a cup of coffee or have a smoke.They will kindly realise the difficulties of those who areaccustomed to both these types of relaxation. HonourableMembers will agree that Dr. Ambedkar is entitled torelaxation of that sort. The Chair has nothing to do but tolisten to the debates, but Dr. Ambedkar has to listen to thedebates and reply. (Laughter.)
I understand that Shri Lokanath Misra and Shri Nand Lalare not moving amendment No. 2242.
Amendment No. 2243 is disallowed as it is verbal.
Amendment No. 2244 and the first part of amendment No.2245 are identical. The latter may be moved. As the moverProf. Shibban Lal Saksena is not in the House, it is notmoved. Therefore amendment No. 2244 may be moved. Themembers concerned are not moving it. The second part ofamendment No. 2245 is also not moved for the reason that theMember is not in the House. The next amendment, viz., 2246,standing in the names of Mr. Mohd. Tahir and Saiyid JafarImam, also is not moved, the Members concerned being absent.
Now, Prof. Shah may move amendment No. 2247, as alsoamendment No. 2248 immediately following.
Prof. K. T. Shah: Mr. Vice-President, as suggested byyou, I shall move both the amendments now. I beg to move:
"That the following new clauses be added after clause(2):--