CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA - VOLUME VII


Saturday the 8th January, 1949

Mr. Vice-President: May I suggest that the Resolutionwill bear not the time, but the date?

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: That is good, so that evening mayalso be included in the morning.

Well, Sir, as I said, this is merely an expression ofour desire that we are anxious to issue instructions to theProvincial Governments so that they may be ready withwhatever preliminary work needs to be done in connectionwith the preparation of the electoral rolls. The electoralrolls will not be ready and cannot be prepared by anauthorisation of the kind which the Resolution seeks to do.The orders of Government are necessary for that. ThisResolution is therefore an innocent one. It only gives theprovincial governments and the Central Government theauthority of the Constituent Assembly to go ahead with thepreliminary work necessary for the preparation of theelectoral rolls. Hence, without going into details, if welimit the scope of the Resolution to the necessities of thecase, we require only the first two paragraphs of it. Onlywhen we attempt to go into details, difficulties arise. Forinstance, as my friend stated, the citizenship clause hasnot been adopted. Even if we sit till midnight, it cannot bedone. Under this Resolution, the authorities can preparevillage or mohalla electoral rolls without naming as of thisor that constituency. The constituencies can be delimitedonly later on. The electoral lists now prepared will helpalso the delimitation of the constituencies later on. Therolls thus prepared will be preliminary to the real workthat lies ahead. The spirit of the Resolution cannot befound fault with. It only informs the country that we areanxious to start the elections. Let us not go into detailsat this stage. To depend on these incomplete and ineffectivedetails will be something like "driving a peg in the sky andhanging our hopes on it". (Interruption.) Sir, I am inclinedto yield to this interruption.

Shri H. J. Khandekar: May I ask for information whatvalue will this Resolution have when we have not passedarticle 292 which deals with the minority question,reservation for the minorities, and so on?

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: The question of minorities does notarise at all. This Resolution will only enable theGovernments concerned to prepare the list of adultseverywhere.

Shri H. J. Khandekar: The seats are reserved for theminorities on populalation basis and if the voters lists arecomplete without census how can you distribute the seats forminorities on population basis?

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: This difficulty will not arise atthis stage. I know there has been no delimitation ofconstituencies. Only the work of collecting the names of alladults in the villages and towns is meant by thisresolution. These registers of electors will be attached tovarious constituencies as soon as they are described anddelimited.

Shri H. J. Khandekar: Sir, the Honourable Shri Tyagihas not followed me.

Mr. Vice-President: I am afraid I cannot permit thisdiscussion. Mr. Khandekar may read out those points in thecourse of his speech.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: I am submitting, Sir, that thepreparation of the 1st of adults does not come either in theway of reservation or delimitation of constituencies. ThisResolution only enables the Government to prepare report ofgeneral list of all adults resident in different localities.Therefore it is a very innocent Resolution and may beadopted as amended by my amendment. With these few words Isupport the proposition, subject to my amendment.

Mr. Vice-President: Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena may nowmove me amendment. I can allow him only five minutes.

Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena (United provinces: General):Mr. Vice-President, I beg to move.

"That (1) for `1st January 1949', the words `1stJanuary 1950' be substituted;

(2) for `constituency'

wherever it occurs in thisResolution, the word `area' be substituted .

(3) for `file a declaration of', substitute`signifies';

(4) the word `permanently' be deleted."

I should like to say, Sir.......

Mr. Vice-President: I should like to suggest that youleave out the word 'Permanently as it has been dealt with byanother Member.

Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena: Sir, we have fixed January1st 1949 as the date with reference to which the age of theelectors is to be determined. We have stated that theelections shall be held in 1950. They may be held as late asDecember 1950. Therefore if we adopt the date proposed for the age, we will be excluding all those men who would becomequalified to vote on 1st January 1950. I feel that we shouldnot disenfranchise a large number of persons in this way.About a crore of persons who will be 20 Years of age on 1stJanuary 1949 will become 21 Years of age on 1st January1950, and we should not disenfranchise these people for thefirst election.

Then, I agree with Mr. Tyagi that this Resolution isnot a direction to the Governments. We cannot override theprovisions of the Constitution which we have passed. We havenot passed as yet the provisions relating to delimitation ofConstituencies. So at present we should say `areas'. We canprepare the rolls for areas and afterwards, when we havepassed the Constitution, we can group these areas togetherinto constituencies. At present we should use the word`area' instead of `constituency'. That will be much morehelpful and also accurate. When the `constituencies' are notthere you cannot frame the rolls for them. But you can enrolvoters in each area. The difficulty is greater for theminorities. Seats may be reserved for them and if they donot know what the constituencies are in which such seats have beenreserved for them, it will not be very helpful to them. Bymerely passing a Resolution of this kind we cannot formconstituencies. I therefore think that the word area shouldbe substituted for constituency.

Then I come to the filing of declarations. Many of ourrefugee friends are not literate and may have to seek theaid of petition writers to make and file applications. Thatmeans money and expense to them. I think that the man whoseeks to vote in any area should simply say: I want toreside in this area. That should be enough to qualify himfor the vote.

There should not be any filing of applications. Merelysignifying the intention to beside should be enough. I donot think there should be any difficult procedure for thispurpose. If you ask a villager who is not a literate personto file an application like this, other people will exploithim and make money. That is why I say that mere signifyingone's intention to reside in the constituency should beenough for his enrolment.

Then, Sir, the word `already' is there. We have notpassed article 149, and so the word `already' is notstrictly opposite. Therefore it should be removed.

There is another point which Mr. Tyagi raised that thisResolution of ours cannot have any legal force. I thinkthere is much to be said about that. What we have passed inarticle 67, clause (6), is that "The election to the Houseof the People shall be on the basis of adult suffrage; thatis to say, every citizen who is not less than twenty-oneyears of age and is not otherwise disqualified under thisConstitution or under any Act of ParlI ament on the ground ofnon-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt orillegal practice shall be entitled to be registered as avoter at such election." Now, Sir, we are not constituted asthe ParlI ament and therefore the Resolution has no right tosay that only such and such men will be included in therolls and not others. I think this resolution is only a sortof direction. As such, it will have no legal effect, unlessan Act is passed that men who are of unsound mind or whohave committed crime shall not be voters. I think

thisshould be properly studied by Dr. Ambedkar, so that we maynot be faced with any difficulty over this.

With these words, I commend this amendment to the House.

Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava: Mr. Vice-President, Sir it is very unfortunate that a Resolution of this kind should bedebated so hastily in this House. I got a copy of theresolution only at about eight in the morning today and whenI came here, I tabled amendments on which I want to speak.But I have now found many more difficult problems in thisResolution and I would beg of you kindly to permit me tospeak when the resolution is being discussed or permit menow to give in detail all my objections on this subject. Ifyou permit me to speak on the whole Resolution now, I willfinish my speech now.

Mr. Vice-President: You can use you discretion.

Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava: My submission is that thesubject matter of this Resolution is one which as a matterof fact should have ben contained in an Act of the legislature. In the first place, Sir, as has been pointedout by Mr. Tyagi, I doubt very much whether a resolution ofthis character will have any legal force in the sense thatan Act will have. We have already passed article 67, clause(6). In clause (6) we have laid down that thedisqualifications for electors must be either under thisConstitution or under an Act of ParlI ament on the ground ofnon-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt orillegal practice. So far as the question of disqualificationon the basis of non-residence is concerned, I am afraid thatparagraph (3) and (4) of this resolution trespass on sacredground which ought to be covered only by an Act ofParlI ament. We cannot by a resolution say that a personshould declare his intention to live in a constituency to be included in the electoral roll of that constituency. That has no bindingforce.

Similarly in regard to persons of unsound mind. I findthat if this Resolution is given effect to, those persons ofunsound mind who have already been so declared by acompetent court will not be included, but those persons ofunsound mind who have not been declared will have to beincluded. The Act of ParlI ament contemplated in article 67,clause (6), may be passed in 1950 or 1949. We areanticipating that Act. How can you fix by a mere resolutionthe date 1st January 1949 or say "unless he has resided inthat constituency for a period of not less than 180 days in the year ending on the 31st March 1948"? My submission isthat only an Act of ParlI ament can fix such dates. Aresolution cannot fix those dates.

Similarly, the present law about naturalisaiton andcitizenship is in force. We cannot by a resolution do awaywith those laws. Those Acts, have got the force of laws anda mere resolution cannot do away with them. My sub-missionis that this Resolution is against the present law and theprinciples contained in article 67, clause (6).

Apart from this, Sir, unless you pass the citizenshipclause, you cannot have an electoral roll of citizens. Whenthe constituencies have not been delimited, I doubt verymuch if the words "resided in that contituency" have got naymeaning. After all, till the constituencies are delimited,we cannot know whether a person will reside in thisconsitutiency or that constitutency. Now the populationbasis is seventy-five thousand and it will be very difficultto find out, when the electoral rolls are being prepared,whether a person lives in constituency A or constituency B.My submission is that everything in this Resolution seems toput the cart before the horse, because the constituencieshave not been defined so far, the citizenship clause has notbeen passed. It may be said that by way of preparation somekind of register may be prepared, but the word used is'electoral roll'. Then, if it is to be prepared, it does notrequire any resolution. I understand that since the lasteight months this

preparation is going on. Are the electoralrolls already prepared illegal? If they are not illegal,this Resolution is unnecessary, and if they are illegal,they cannot be made legal by passing this Resolution. Mysubmission is that it would have been better if we had notbrought forward this Resolution which has got no bindingforce as compared with the law in the form of an Act ofParlI ament.

Now, Sir, with regard to the particular amendments thatI have submitted for you consideration, the words in sub-clause (4) are: "file a declaration of his intention". We have just been told by the Honourable the Prime Ministerthat when the enumerator--by that I take it we mean theperson who is in charge of the preparation of the electoralroll--goes to a village, he should obtain a declaration fromthose refugees. Now, Sir, I want this Resolution to make twothings clear. Number one is that no stamp will be chargedfrom them. Number two is this. The person in charge of thepreparation of electoral rolls should go to the villages andget the declarations there. Now a mere declaration byhowsoever a prominent or high authority will not be enough.After all, it will be the provincial governments who willhave to do this job. They may not be able to send patwarisor enumerators who are in charges of these rolls to eachvillage and it may be that these refugees may have to spendRs. 2 each and come to the headquarters and get thedeclaration made. They are illiterate people. They will beput to all sorts of untold sufferings. Many of the membersof this House are fully aware that if such kind ofdeclaration is to be filed, it may be that many people mayextort some sort of illegal gratification from these peopleand only allow them to put the declarations and becomevoters if those persons are paid something. Thesedifficulties have to be encounterd. My submission is, if you want to have arule of this kind, you must see that all kinds of faciliteisare extended to the refugees either by executive order or byembodying them in this Resolution, so that there will be nodifficulty in regard to these refugees. These refugees are asort of special charge of the Government of India and allkinds of facilites must be given to them.

Now, Sir, I have given notice of another amendmentalso, relating to the date, 31st March, 1948. My humblesubmission is that this Resolution is not competent to fixthis date, but if any date is to be fixed, I would humbly,suggest that the date may be the same as in clause (2). IstJanuary 1949 or 31st March, 1949 may be the date so that theright of a citizen who is a citizen up till today, up till31st March, 1949 or up till 1st January 1949 may not betaken away. There is no reason why, so far as he isconcerned, the question of residence should come in his way.My submission is that this date may be the same, or it mayprobably be 31st March 1949 because I do not think thatbefore March 1949 the orders or the subject matter of thisResolution will be put into effect, and until this iseffected, we should put the date as late as possible. Thereis no sense in putting this date 31st March 1948 so as toexclude many people or to put obstacles in the way of manypeople. My submission in regard to both these amendments isthat they may be accepted by the House.

Mr. Vice-President: There is an amendment in the nameof Mr. Nagappa. In view of the explanation already offeredby Pandit Nehru, does he still insist on moving hisamendment?

Shri S. Nagappa: Yes, Sir. I beg to move the amendmentthat stands in my name, namely:

"That in paragraph (4) the following words occurringafter the word 'constituency' in the last but one line,namely,

`if he files a declaration of his intention to residepermanently in that constituency be deleted."

My reasons are these. We know that in our country only10 or 12 per cent are literates. Now, "filing a declaration"means what? If it is

"making" a declaration, it is adifferent thing. Supposing an officer goes to a person, ifhe records the declaration made by the person, I canunderstand it. But filing a declaration means, it must be adeclaration in writing. Now, I am glad that the honourablethe Mover made it clear that one need not affix any stamp,but that does not take away the burden of filing adeclaration in writing--writing it, getting it signed andfiling it before the officer concerned. So my point is, ifyou want to delete, delete the whole clause. Otherwise,there is my alternative amendment. I would like to move italso with your kind permission, namely, to say "if he filesor makes a declaration". If we put it that way both theliterate and the illiterate people may have the chance ofgetting themselves enrolled as voters.

Mr. Vice-President: May I point out to the honourableMember that this has been already accepted by Dr. Ambedkar?

Shri S. Nagappa: If it is accepted, well and good. Inthat case, where is the necessity for me to move it, if yousay are accepting it?

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: I have heard thehonourable Member and I have heard others also. I haveunderstood all their arguments and I think a repetition of their arguments, so far as I am concerned, is quiteunnecessary. I have understood them already.

Mr. Vice-President. The Resolution is now open forgeneral discussion.

Seth Govind Das: *[Mr. Vice-president, Sir, I am not alawyer not do I intend splitting hairs. I would like only tosay something regarding the objects and motives that liebehind the Motion which has been placed before us.

There are two kinds of Members in this House. One classconsists of those who are also connected with the publiclife outside this Constituent Assembly and the other, I maybe excused for saying so, consists of those who areconnected only with this Assembly. I am prepared to acceptthat the electoral rolls of he present and prospectivevoters are being prepared. I concede that even without thisMotion there would have been no hindrance in that work. Butat the same time I would like to say that, in spite of thepreparation of the electoral rolls, the slow progress ofthis Constituent Assembly in the completion of its work and the delay occurring in the framing of our Constitution aresuch as have given birth to different kinds ofmisconceptions about us in the minds of the people. I havegot some connection with the public life outside this Houseand I therefore know what is being said outside. Some peoplesay that those who are Members of this Constitutent Assemblyor of the Legislative Assembly as also those who are ourMinisters in the Centre or in the provinces, are determinedto stick to their places and to delay the elections as longas possible. Some people say that if we intend giving theright of vote to every citizen who is 21 years of age,elections cannot be held until the census of 1951 and anumber of other preliminaries have been completed. Othershold that it would not be possible successfully to holdelections if these are to be held after the principle ofadult franchise has been adopted. I would like to emphasisthe fact that all such misconceptions and sentiments whichare prevailing in the whole of the country would be totallyremoved by this Motion. By adopting this Motion we would beproving that we are not anxious to delay the elections. Wealso make it clear to the people that the elections arepossible on the basis of adult franchise. I do not know whyit is said that such an election cannot possible be held. it is no doubt true that the country has a huge population, asalso a very large area. But even though I accept that thecountry is large and that every person of 21 years will havethe right of vote, I am not ready to accept the propositionthat elections on that basis can not be held here. The mainargument advanced by some people in support

of thisproposition is that the number of voters would be so large,polling booths would be so many and the numbers of personsrequired to control these booths would be so huge that it would simply be impossible to hold the electionssuccessfully. I consider such fears to be entirelyridiculous. Even though all the citizens of this country are not literate, we can have able persons who can maintainorderly voting at these polling booths. If assessors can besummoned to sit in the law courts, such educated persons asare not government employees can be summoned to workeducated at the polling booths. We should concentrate ourview on the object and moves behind this Motion. We shouldnot be splitting hairs. It is not desirable for us to givetoo much attention to the question of syntax--of theappropriateness of the colons, semi-colons and commons. Thisis a Motion and not a Bill or a draft legislation. TheGovernment expresses only its intentions by means of suchmotions, and it is usually made in order to give someassurance to the people. The Objects of this Motion is togive a message to the governed and the public, or rather togive an assurance to the people that though we are here, yetwe are not anxious to remain here for ever. Through thisMotion we wish to make it clear that we believe in truedemocracy; we wish to express that even after grantingfranchise to all such countrymen of ours as are twenty-oneyears of age, we are determined to hold elections in 1950.ThisMotion has been brought before the House with theseobjects and sentiments and I support this Motion because Ientirely agree with those objects and entertain the same sentiment. ------------------------------------------------------ * [] Translation of Hindustani speech.

I support the original Motion. After this Motion hasbeen adopted all the apprehensions prevailing in the mindsof the people of this country would be totally removed and anew hope would begin to fill their hearts. I would like toremind you of the days when the Constituent Assembly startedfunctioning. The country appeared to be full of a new life,and people took great interest in the porcedings of theconstituent Assembly. But the work of the Assembly hasgradually become so prolonged that people have begun formingfunny ideas about it and have not much interest in the dailyproceedings of the Assembly. By adopting this Motion it would be proved that we wish to hold elections in 1950, andwe also make it clear that we want to frame the Constitutionas early as possible and in this way we remove theapprehensions of the people. If we look therefore to theobjects of the Motion and consider the motives lying behindit, we will have to agree that the acceptance of this Motionis quite necessary, if not for legal purposes, for therealisation of these objects and satisfaction of thesesentiments. I support the motion.]

The Honourable Shri K. Santhanam (Madras: General):Sir, I do not want to take up the time of the House to anyconsiderable extent. The exact effect of this Resolutionshould be realized. I do not think it will have the samevalidity as the clauses of our Constitution. I think theeffect will be something like a declaration on a provisionalbasis for preparation of electoral rolls. As soon as aConstitution has been formally brought into force, theelectoral rolls prepared under these provisions will have tobe duly ratified by the rules and the authorities under thenew Constitution. All that it means is that the authoritieswhich will have to do it will take note of the fact that this was passed by the Assembly and they will try to seethat no changes are made, or only the most necessary changesare made in the electoral rolls prepared under theseprovisions.

Sir, I think the difference in the dates betweenclauses (2) and (3) are not only unnecessary butembarrassing. The Prime Minister

explained that the date of31st March 1948 in clause (3) is intended to conserve theelectoral rolls that have already been prepared under thedirections of the Government of India. That is a legitimatepurpose, otherwise the whole electoral roll will have to bechanged.

In clause (2), all people who attain the age of 21years up to 1st January 1949 will have to be included. Ishall just give an indication of the numbers involved. I think every year 10 million people attain, the age of 21years from the age of 20. The average age in India is 30.Therefore, in every age group, especially in the middle agegroups, there will be 10 million people involved. Therefore,by putting 1st January 1949, in clause (2), we include atleast 75 per cent, of those 10 millions: that is, 7 1/2million new voters will have to be brought into theregisters already prepared. That means a complete overhaulof the electoral registers. Therefore, if we wantpreparation of new electoral rolls, we should adopt thesuggestion of Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava. Let us take 31stMarch 1949--that will have the merit of giving the franchiseto people qualifying up-do-date. Otherwise if we want themaintenance of the old registers let us have 31st March 1948in clause (2) also. We need not then add to the registers inany large numbers. Therefore, there should be somecoordination between these two clauses.

In clasue (4), there has been much argument about theword "permanently".

The intention was that the refugees should declare theirintention to reside in India permanently, while they couldreside in a particular constituency for some time. That isthe intention. Even a citizen is not expected or required toreside in any constituency permanently. A citizen isrequired to reside only for a period of six months before aparticular date. Therefore, I do not think that in the caseof refugees some new and onerous condition is being putforward. All that is meant is that he should declare his intention toreside in the constituency; but he should also declare hisintention to reside in India permanently.

One more point, Sir, Is--I think it is even moreimportant than the preparation of electoral rolls--that theDelimitation Commission should be appointed as early aspossible. It may be argued that the preparation of electoralrolls will have to precede the delimitation. I do not thinkit is correct because on the basis of adult franchise,delimitation has to be based on the population and not somuch on the electoral rolls. Therefore, the two processescan proceed simultaneously and I do suggest to theGovernment of India that they should immediately appoint--ifnecessary from instructions from the President of theConstituent Assembly--a Delimitation Commission, so that theentire work of constituencies will be over by the end ofthis year, so that the final preparation of the electoralrolls and the appointment of other agencies for theelections can be proceeded with expeditiously.

There is also another consideration which requires theappointment of the Delimitation Commission as soon aspossible. Even in the preparation of electoral rolls, thefinal printing and other matters will have to be taken uponly constituency by constituency. Now, according to theprovisions we have already adopted, every constituency musthave approximately the same number of people. Therefore,unless the constituencies are delimited, we will not knowthe area for which the electoral rolls will have to beprepared. That means that the final preparation will have towait for the delimitation of the constituencies. This shouldbe proceeded with as soon as possible. Sir, I hope that these points will be considered by those who have to giveeffect to this Resolution. As I pointed out at thebeginning, this Resolution is in the nature of provisionaldirections to the Government of India on behalf of

theConstituent Assembly to prepare the spade work. The finaldirections will have to be given by the President or suchauthority as will come into existence after August 15thnext, if fortunately we are able to put the Constitutioninto force by that date.

Mr. Mohamed Ismail Sahib (Madras: Muslim): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, it is true that preparations for electionsand carrying on of the elections have been delayed. Much aswe may regret this delay, I do not think that a resolutionof this sort will in any way be a proper compensation forthis delay. As I see this Resolution, I find manydifficulties crop up. From the very wording of thisresolution, I find that this delay cannot be cut short, asthe matter stands. First of all, the resolution says in itsfirst clause "that no person shall be included in theelectoral roll of nay constituency" and then (a) and (b) andso on. But we are not told who is to be included; it putsthe matter in a negative way. How those who prepared theelectoral rolls are to proceed is not said here positively.Then, Sir, the only positive clause here is No. (4). Thereit says: "That, subject to the law of the appropriatelegislature, a person who has migrated into a province orAcceding State on account of disturbances" and so on "shallbe entitled.....". That is the only positive clause here.And we are not told who are he persons who are to beincluded in the electoral rolls otherwise. It has to be madeclear. Then again, the dates given in clauses (2) and (3)are such that they will disenfranchise the vast number ofpeople who would otherwise be entitled to vote when theelections actually take place. Sir, it is said in defence of these dates that if we adopt any further dates, thepreliminary electoral rolls that have already been preparedwould be disturbed and upset. On that account I urge thatmillions of people ought not to be disenfranchised. Theauthorities may adopt in the place of these dates otherdates, whatever may be the inconvenience in the preparationof the electoral rolls, because the franchise of the peopleis surely more important than the inconvenience that may becaused to the authorities concerned, who are engaged in thepreparation of electoral rolls.

Here, Sir, for determining the age, the date 1st January1949 is given. It will not at all be difficult fordetermining the age if, say, a date such as the 1st January1950 or even the 31st March 1950 is taken as the basis. Thatmust be done, though it may cause some inconvenience in thematter of correcting the electoral rolls that have alreadybeen prepared.

Then again, Sir, for residence the date is fixed as the31st March 1948. That can very conveniently be fixed as 31stMarch 1949, because in this case, those who prepare theelectoral rolls must know where a person has actuallyresided in a particular place or constituency up to aparticular period. Therefore, I think we cannot adopt thesame date as we adopt as the basis for determining the age.However, this date can be changed into 31st March 1949.

Then again, in clause (4) I spoke of the difficultieswhich are confronted in the matter of this resolution. Thereis one phrase, in this clause (4). It says: "That, subjectto the law of the appropriate legislature...". Here thehonour able the Mover of the Resolution evidently has inmind the procedure that is to be adopted in this matter. Butthe phrase, as it stands, means that the appropriatelegislature may even change the meaning of this clause, andmay even change the phraseology. There is nothing here inthis Resolution to say that the appropriate legislatureshall not do anything to affect the franchise of the peopleconcerned here in clause (4). Therefore, that has to be madeclear. What is contemplated here must be made clear bymaking the phraseology of this clause clearer; that is, we have to make it clear that it is only the procedure that isintended, not

the law itself, and the meaning of thisResolution shall not be tampered with or shall not beaffected by any legislation that may be resorted tohereafter.

Then again, there is a lot of force in what some of themovers of the amendments said, with reference to certainwords and phrases in this Resolution. It was pointed outthat the word "already" refers only to the provisions thatare passed before this Resolution is passed. If this word isretained here, that would really lead to a lot of contentionand controversy. Therefore, there is no harm.......

Mr. Vice-President: May I say that the deletion of word"already" has been accepted?

Mr. Mohammed Ismail Sahib: So far so good.

Then, I do not know what the honourable Mover or hisrepresentative is going to do in the matter of thiscitizenship. There must be some instruction as to who shouldbe included. Here you have said who should not be includedin the electoral rolls. There must be some positiveinstruction as to who should be included.

Then again, I think there is a great deal of force in the contention that the Resolution cannot have legal force.The Honourable Mr. Santhanam explained that this is notmeant to have any legal force or authority at all and that it is only for the purpose of facilitating the preliminarywork of the preparation of electoral rolls and preliminarywork of preparing for the general elections. It may be so.But, in course of these preparations, certain things mightcrop up. Certain people may go to a court of law, forexample, for example, for including their names or forsetting aside the exclusion of their names. What force willthis Resolution have and what will be the position of thosecontestants and what will be the position of thisResolution? That has also to be seriously considered. Thatis why I said that the delay which we want to compensate forcannot in any way be abrogated by such a Resolution as this.We would have done very well to expedite the passing of the Constitution and then taken up this question of conductingelections.

The Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha (Bihar:General): Sir, the question may now be put.

Mr. Mohamed Ismail Saheb: Then, again, Sir, thequestion was raised with regard to the minorities.

An Honourable Member: There are no minorities.

Mr. Mohamed Ismail Saheb: It may be said that thisquestion can be gone into after the preparation of electoralrolls, and that the electoral rolls can be so arranged, orcan be so changed as to suit the provisions that may yet bepassed by this honourable House. But, that would also leadto a lot of difficulties and inconvenience, and thereby weare not saving any time at all. That is what I wanted tosay. Now, the whole point in bringing forward thisResolution is to avoid any great delay. My question is, arewe really doing that?

The Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha: Sir, I againmove that the question be now put.

Some Honourable Members: No, No.

Mr. Vice-President: I would like to know the view of the House with regard to the closure motion just moved.

The Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha: You may put itto vote, Sir.

Mr. Vice-President: I am putting to vote the closuremotion.

The question is:

"That the question be now put."

The motion was adopted.

Mr. Vice-President: Dr. Ambedkar.

May I suggest that you read the resolution in theaccepted form before you reply?

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Yes; I will indicatethe changes that I am going to accept.

Shri Deshbandhu Gupta: May I know, Sir, before Dr.Ambedkar proceeds to reply whether you have given any rulingon the point of order raised by me. I had raised a point oforder that, unless the word "already" goes, this Resolutionwill be of no use because article 149...

Mr. Vice-President: I think the word "already" hasalready been omitted.

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Mr. Vice-President,Sir, with your

permission, I propose to reply to the debateon behalf of the mover of this resolution.

Before I proceed to deal with the detailed amendments,I should like to propose myself certain amendments in theResolution as was moved by the Mover.

The first amendment that I propose is, to delete theword "already" from paragraph 2.

My second amendment is to delete clause (a) from sub-clause (1), and delete also the letter and brackets "(b)" in the beginning of the second sub-clause, so that sub-clause(1) will read thus:

"That no person shall be included in the electoral rollof any constituency if he is of unsound mind and stands sodeclared by a competent court."

Then, in paragraph (4), I propose to make the followingamendments. For the words "subject to the law of theappropriate legislature" in line of that paragraph, myamendment would be "notwithstanding anything in paragraph(3) above". In line 5 of that paragraph, for the words "aconstituency", substitute the words "an area".

In the same line of the same paragraph, after the word"files", add the words, "or makes".

For the word "constituency" in the last line of thesame paragraph, substitute the word "area".

These are my amendments. I shall briefly explain myamendments. The amendment which I have moved to drop theword "already" meets the point of order that was raised byShri Deshbandhu Gupta.

Shri H. V. Kamath: On a point of order, Sir, has Dr.Ambedkar moved fresh amendments? In that case, there shouldbe a discussion on those amendments. I want your ruling,Sir.

Mr. Vice-President: There is a Latin proverb which Ilearnt years ago.

"Summum justice summum injuris."

The letter of the law killeth but the spirit giveth thelife.

Shri. H. V. Kamath: In this Assembly, Sir, we have toobserve as far as possible, the letter as well as the spiritof the law.

Mr. Vice-President: I am going by the spirit of thelaw. I do not care what rule I break.

Shri. H. V. Kamath: May I say, Sir,.......

Mr. Vice-President: Will the honourable Member kindlyresume his seat?

Shri H. V. Kamath: This is a desperate procedure, Sir,That is all I can say.

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, as I said, it is quite true that the word "already" raises thecomplications which Mr. Deshbandhu Gupta mentioned and it isonly right that his objection should be removed by thedeletion of the word "already".

With regard to the second amendment dropping clause(1), it seems to be quite unnecessary, because, the purportof that clause is embodied in paragraphs (3) and (4).

With regard to my next amendment to substitute thewords "notwithstanding anything in paragraph (3) above" for the words "subject to the law of the appropriatelegislature", my submission is that the original words werereally unnecessary and inappropriate in a clause of thatsort. Sub-clause (4) is really an exception to clause (3).That matter has been cleared by my amendment.

With regard to the word "constituency" I havesubstituted the word "area" in order to meet the criticismthat at the stage when the rolls are prepared there are noconstituencies and all that a man can indicate is an area,not a constituency, because, constituencies are not supposedto be in existence then.

My amendment for the addition of the words "or makes"meets the criticism that has been made that there are manypeople who are illiterate, who may not be in a position tosign an application and file it before a particular officer.The addition of the words "or makes" permits an oraldeclaration to be made either before a District Magistrateor before an officer who is preparing the electoral rolls. I think that objection is fairly met.

I will now take into consideration the other amendmentswhich have been moved to this Resolution.

Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi: May I suggest oneamendment to the Mover that his reason for amending`constituency' in para. (4)...

Mr.

Vice-President: You cannot tell it to the House.You can tell it to Dr. Ambedkar.

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: I am prepared tomake the necessary consequential changes. As I said, I willturn to the other amendments and I take the amendment of myFriend Mr. Tyagi. If I understood him correctly, he had no objection to the Resolution in its general terms.What he wanted was that the details should be deleted. Itseems to me that the position taken by my Friend Mr. Tyagiindicates that he has confusion in his mind about what theobjective or the aim of the Resolution is. The aim of theResolution is merely to make a declaration that it is theintention of this Assembly that as far as possible, electionmay be held sometime in 1950 but the object of theResolution is to convey some positive directions to theauthorities in charge of preparing the electoral rolls whichis the basis of all elections. It would be futile andpurposeless merely to make a declaration that thisConstituent Assembly desires that the election should takeplace in the year 1950 without giving the directions to theauthorities concerned in the matter of preparing theelectoral roll. Because unless the electoral rolls areprepared in time sufficiently before the date of theelection, no election can take place at all. The second partof the Resolution contains directions to the variousauthorities and unless the directions are embodied in theResolution, the Resolution is merely a pious declarationwhich means nothing. It is setting out an objective withoutsetting out the methods and the instruments by which thatobjective can be carried out and I think my friend Mr. Tyagiwill understand that really speaking the part of theResolution which he wants to omit is more important than thepart of the Resolution which he wants to retain. Now I cometo the amendment of my friend Mr. Hanumanthaiya.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: What is your view about the word`already'?

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: I have already saidthat I would delete it. Coming to the amendment of Mr.Hanumanthaiya, he wants to omit the words `in the year1950'. His argument has a good deal of sense behind it,because according to him if this Constituent Assembly wereto make this declaration by this Resolution fixing 1950 as atarget and if for some reason, either connected with thepreparation of electoral rolls or some other circumstances,it becomes impossible to have elections in 1950, theAssembly would be placed in a somewhat difficult position.The Assembly might be accused of treating this as a triflingmatter when as a matter of fact it is of great substance.But at the same time in view of what the Mover of theResolution said that there is a certain amount of feeling in the country that we are not going as fast as we ought to in the passing of this Constitution, that our procedure is moreleisurely, more dilatory and that is due to our not beingvery serious in having an early election, it is to removethat sort of feeling in the country that it is necessary tofix some target date and it is from that point of view that the retention of the words `in the year 1950' becomesnecessary. Of course, if reasons justified the postponementof the date, it would but be necessary for the Assembly topostpone the date of elections; and I am sure about it thatif the Assembly is in a position to place before the countrygrounds which are substantial and which are not mereexcuses, the country will no doubt understand the change and the postponement of the date.

Now my friend Mr. Saksena wants that instead of the 1stJan. 1949 the date 1st Jan. 1950 be substituted. Mr.Bhargava wants that for 31st March 1948, the date 31st March1949 be substituted. Now having regard to what has alreadybeen done, it is not possible to accept either of theseamendments. Mr. Saksena's amendment, if I understood himcorrectly, has the object that there

ought not to be aconsiderable time lag between the date on which theelectoral roll is prepared and the date on which election isheld. In other words, the electoral roll must not be verystale and out-of-date. Now it seems to me that if ourelection is going to take place in 1950, the electoral rollwhich is prepared on the basis of the voter's qualificationas his being an adult on 1st January 1949 cannot, by anystretch of imagination, be deemed to be a stale roll. My Friend Mr. Saksena must be aware of the fact that allelectoral rolls generally lag behind the date of election byone year.

Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena: It will become two yearsold

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Therefore if personswho are entitled to be voters in the electoral rolls on thebasis of their single solitary qualification which we have,viz., his being a man of 21 years of age on the 1st January1949 and if the election takes place in the year 1950 onsome date not possible to prescribe, I think it cannot besaid that the electoral roll will be a stale roll.

Now I am coming to the amendment of Pandit Bhargava. Hewants that the date of 31st of March 1949 be substituted. it is not possible to accept that amendment because in theexpectation of the election taking place in the year 1950,instructions were already issued to the various ProvincialGovernments on the 1st March 1948 to proceed to prepare theelectoral rolls on the basis of adult suffrage. It seems tome that if we accept the amendment of Pandit Bhargava, weshall have to waste all the work that has already been doneby Provincial Governments on that basis. I do not thinkthere will be any waste of work already done, because allthose who on the 1st January, 1948 would be adults, would beadded on to the roll that has already been prepared.

The Honourable Shri K Santhanam: Is it not necessaryalso to change the date 1st January 1949 to 31st March 1948,in sub-para. (2)?

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: No, I do not thinkso.

Now, I come to the amendment of my friend Mr.Chaudhari. It seems to me that he is asking for somethingwhich is quite impossible, if not ridiculous. He says thatevery person who is of unsound mind should be deprived ofhis vote. We all agree that unsound persons should not beincluded in the voters' list. But the question remains as towho is to determine whether a person is of unsound mind ornot. It seems to me that unless the qualification which isintroduced in this motion says that a person can be excludedfrom the electoral roll only when he has been adjudged to beof unsound mind by some impartial judicial authority, seemsto be the soundest proposition. Otherwise, to give theauthority to a village Patwari not to enter a certain personin the electoral roll because he thinks that he is ofunsound mind is really to elevate a cabin boy to theposition of the captain of a ship, and I think it is notpossible to accept such an amendment.

My friend Mr. Kamath raised some question with regardto a clause that was passed the other day, in which inaddition to unsoundness of mind, certain otherdisqualifications were mentioned, particularly thoserelating to crime.

Shri Deshbandhu Gupta: Will all the inmates of lunaticasylums be included in the electoral rolls, in the firstinstance?

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: I do not know thecase of other provinces, but so far as Bombay is concerned,unless the Chief Presidency Magistrate declares a person tobe of unsound mind no lunatic asylum would admit him.

Mr. Vice-President: Yes, that is the case in Bengal.

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: And it seems to bethe case in Bengal also. It is there in the Lunacy Act.

Now, with regard to the question of crime all that Ineed say is this that the Drafting Committee, in using theword `crime' in that particular article, was merelyreproducing the provision contained in the Sixth Schedule of the

Government of India Act, and I do not think that theDrafting Committee had anything more in mind than what isstated in that article. According to that article, thecommission of a crime is not by itself any disqualification. The disqualification is only when a person is punished anddetained in imprisonment. It is during the period ofimprisonment that he loses the right to vote. That point canbe further accommodated when we come to the additionaldisqualifications mentioned in the article to which Mr.Kamath referred.

Shri H. V. Kamath. Am I to understand that grounds ofcrimes, corrupt or illegal practices etc. of which a personmay be convicted in the past will not act as adisqualification or bar to his registration as a voter?

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Yes, and those willbe prescribed by ParlI ament.

Mr. Vice-President: I am going to put to vote theamendments which have been moved in this House, one by one.The first one is that standing in the name of Shri RohiniKumar Chaudhari. And he has two amendments. I am puttingthem to vote, one by one. The question is:

"That in sub section (b) of the Resolution the words`and stands so declared by a competent Court' be deleted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. Vice-President: Then I put the second part. Thequestion is:

"That in sub-paragraph (4) the word `permanently'occurring in line 6 be deleted.

(Interruption.)

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. Vice-President: I know that schoolboys on the eveof the vacation behave not always wisely.

The next amendment is that of Pandit Thakur DassBhargava. The question is:

"That for the words `files a declaration' substitutethe words `expresses the intention'."

But this is covered by what Dr. Ambedkar has accepted.

Then his other amendment is that is that in paragraph3, for the words "31st March 1948", substitute the words"31st March 1949".

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. Vice-President: Then we come to the amendment ofMr. Hanumanthaiya.

Shri K. Hanumanthaiya: Sir, I seek permission of the House to withdraw my amendment.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

Mr. Vice-President: Then we come to the amendment ofMr. Nagappa. But that is covered by Dr. Ambedkar's amendmentand so it will not be put to vote.

Then there is the amendment of Mr. Tyagi.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: Sir, I request leave of the Houseto withdraw my amendment.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

Mr. Vice-President: Then comes the amendment of Prof.Saksena seeking to substitute 1st January 1950, for thewords 1st January 1949.

The question is:

"That the words `1st January 1949' in sub-paragraph (2)be substituted by `1st January 1950'."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. Vice-President: The second part has been acceptedby Dr. Ambedkar and therefore need not be voted on. Then wecome to the third part. But that is also covered by Dr.Ambedkar's amendment.

But he has a further amendment to the effect.

The question is:

"That the word `permanently' in the last line of sub-para. (4) be deleted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. Vice-President: Now, I put the Resolution, asamended by Dr. Ambedkar's amendments, to vote. Does the House want me to read it out?

Honourable Members: No, no.

Mr. Vice-President: So the question is:

"That the *Resolution, as amended, be accepted."

The motion, as amended, was adopted.

Mr. Vice-President: Now we come to article 149. I thinkthere has been sufficient discussion on this article and Dr.Ambedkar will now reply.

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Mr. Vice-President,Sir, in reply to the debate on article 149, I wish, first ofall, to make clear my position with regard to my ownamendment which was No. 2255. I want the permission of the House to withdraw this amendment; and in lieu of that Iaccept amendment No. 2249, as amended by amendment No. 48 ofList II by Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad.

I also accept amendments Nos. 62 and 66 of List IV bySri T. T. Krishnamachari, amendment No. 2252 as modified bythe amendment No. 67 of Shri Shibban Lal Saksena.

Now, Sir, so far as the general debate on the articleis concerned, it seems to me that there are only two pointsthat call for reply. The first point is with regard to thecensus figures to be adopted for the purpose of the newelections. A great deal of argument was concentrated by manyspeakers on the fact that the census in certain provinces isnot accurate and does not represent the true state ofaffairs so far as the relative proportions of the

------------------------------------------------------------ * Resolved that instructions be issued forthwith to the authorities concerned for the preparation of electoralrolls and for taking all necessary steps so that electionsto the Legislatures under the new Constitution may be heldas early as possible in the year 1950.

Resolved further that the State electoral rolls beprepared on the basis of the provisions of the newConstitution agreed to by this Assembly and in accordancewith the principles hereinafter mentioned, namely-

(1) That no person shall be included in the electoralroll of any area if he is of unsound mind andstands so declared by a competent court.

(2) That 1st January 1949 shall be the date withreference to which the age of the electors is tobe determined.

(3) That a person shall not be qualified to be includedin the electoral roll for any area unless he hasresided in that area for a period of not less than180 days in the year ending on the 31st March1948. For the purposes of this paragraph, a personshall be deemed to be resident in any area if heordinarily resides in that area or has a permanentplace of residence therein.

(4) That, notwithstanding anything in paragraph (3)above a person who has migrated into a Province orAcceding State on account of disturbances or fearof disturbances in his former place of residenceshall be entitled to be included in the electoralroll of an area if he files or makes a declarationof his intention reside permanently in that area different communities are concerned. I think there is agreat deal of force in such arguments and, if I may say so, there is enough testimony which one can collect from theCensus Commissioners' Reports themselves to justify thatcriticism. I had intended to refer to the statements made bythe Census Commissioners on this issue. But, as there is notime, I think I had better not refer to them. Further, thelarge majority of the members who have spoken on thissubject know the facts better than I do. I only want to addone thing and that is that if any people have suffered mostin the matter of these manipulations of census calculationsby reason of political factors, they are the ScheduledCastes (Hear, hear). In Punjab for instance, the othercommunities are trying to eat up the Scheduled Castes inorder to augment their strength and to acquire largerrepresentation in the legislature for themselves. These poorpeople who have been living mostly as landless labourers invillages scattered here and there, with no economicindependence, with no support from the authorities,--thepolice or the magistracy,--have been, by certain powerfulcommunities, either compelled to return themselves asmembers of that particular community or not to enumeratethemselves at the elections at all. The same thing hashappened to a large extent, I know, in Bengal. For somereason which I have not been able to understand, a largemajority of the Scheduled Castes there refused to returnthemselves as Scheduled Castes. That fact has been noted bythe Census Commissioners themselves. I therefore completelyappreciate the points that have been made by various memberswho spoke on the subject that it would not be fair to takethe figures of that census.

An Honourable Member: What about Assam?

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: It may be true ofAssam also. I am not very well acquainted with it. As I saidI fully appreciate the point that to take those censusfigures and to delimit constituencies or allocate seatsbetween the different constituencies and between themajority and minority communities would not be fair.Something will have to be done in order to see that the nextelection is a proper election, related properly to thepopulation figures of the provinces as well as of thecommunities. All that I can do at this stage is to give anassurance that I shall communicate these sentiments to thosewho will be in charge of this matter and I have not theleast doubt about it that the matter will be properlyattended to.

Sir, if the Members who are interested in it are notsatisfied with the assurance that I am giving now, they canat some stage--it is not possible to do it now--move anamendment to article 149 permitting the President to have aninterim census, if he deems it necessary, taken, for thepurpose of removing the grievances to which they havereferred. In fact, I have with me a draft which might beconsidered at a later date. Some such draft like this may beconsidered: "Provided further that the initialrepresentation of the several territorial constituencies of the legislative assembly of any State may be determined insuch other manner as the President may by order direct."That would be general enough and would deal with thedifficulty which has been pointed out.

An Honourable Member: Why do you not move it now?

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: There is no time forit now. If Members are not prepared to rely upon theassurance given by me some such motion may be moved at theappropriate stage.

With regard to the point raised by my honourable FriendProf. Saksena in amendment No. 64, I may say that Iwholeheartedly support it. I think the proviso he has soughtto introduce is a very necessary one. The House will remember that it deals with weightage inrepresentation. We have, in this Constitution, eliminatedall sorts of weightages. Weightage to all minorities we haveeliminated. Weightage to territories in the representationin the Central Legislature we have eliminated. Weightagebetween representatives in British India and representativesof Indian States we have eliminated. I think therefore that it is only right that the same principle should apply torepresentation in legislatures. I therefore accept thatamendment.

Sir, I do not think there is any other point worthy ofconsideration or calling for reply. I therefore recommend to the House the acceptance of article 149, as amended.

Mr. Vice-President: I am now going to put theamendments to vote one by one.

The question is:

"That the following new clauses be added after clause(2):--

`(2-a) No person shall be entitled to be a candidate oroffer himself for election to either House of a StateLegislature, if Bicameral, or to the Legislative Assembly of the State, who is duly certified to be of unsound mind, orsuffering from any other physical or mental incapacity, dulycertified, or is less than 25 years of age at the time ofoffering himself for election, or has been proved guilty ofany offence against the safety, security or integrity of theUnion, or of bribery and corruption, or of any malpracticeat election, or is illiterate.

`No one who is unable to read or write or speak theprincipal language spoken in the State for a seat in whoseLegislature he offers himself for election, or after aperiod of ten years from the date of the coming intooperation of this Constitution, is unable to read or writeor speak the National Language of India, shall be entitledto be a candidate for or offer himself to be elected to a seat in the State Legislature, or either House thereof.’

‘(2-b) The election shall be on the basis of proportional representation with a Single Transferable Preference Vote. For the purpose of lection, every State shall be deemed to be a single constituency, and every member shall be deemed to have been elected in the order of Preference as recorded by the electors; and this arrangement shall not hold good in the case of a General Election, as well as at a by-election, if and when one become necessary:

Provided that where there is a second chamber in any State, the voters may be grouped, for electing members to the Legislative Council, on the basis of Trade, profession, occupation or interest recognized for the purpose by an Act of the State Legislature, each trade, profession, occupation or interest voting as a single constituency for the entire State’."

The amendment was negatived

Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 2248. The question is:

"That clause (3) of article 149, be deleted and the following be substituted:-

"The representation in the State Legislature shall be on the basis of one representative for every lakh of population:

Provided that the total number of members in the Legislative Assembly of a State shall in no case be less than sixty’."

The Amendment was negatived.

 

Mr. Vice-President: There is a short notice amendment to amendment No. 2249 by Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava.

Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava: I would like to withdraw it, Sir.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

 

Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 48 of List II. The question is:

"That for amendment No. 2249 of the List of Amendments, the following be substituted:-

"That in clause (3) of article 149, for the words "last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published" be substituted’."

The amendment was adopted.

 

Mr. Vice-President : Amendment No. 62 of List IV. The question is:

"That with reference to amendments Nos. 2249 and 2250 of the List of Amendments in clause (3) of article 149, for the words ‘every lakh’ the words ‘every seventy-five thousand’ be substituted."

 

The amendment was adopted.

 

Mr. Vice-President: Then we come to amendment No. 2252 as amended by a short notice amendment of Mr. Bordoloi which reads:

"With reference to amendment No. 2252 of the List of Amendments, after the words ‘autonomous districts of Assam’ the words ‘and the constituency comprising the cantonment and municipality of Shillong’ be added."

The amendment was adopted.

 

Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 66 of List IV. The question is:

"That with reference to amendments Nos. 2256, 2257 and 2258 of the List of Amendments, in the proviso to clause (3) of article 149, for the words ‘three hundred’ the words ‘five hundred’ be substituted."

The amendment was adopted.

Mr. Vice-President: Dr. Ambedkar wanted the leave of the Houseto withdraw his amendment No. 2255. Is that permission given?

Honourable Members: Yes.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

 

Mr. Vice-President: Amendment no. 49 of List II. It is blocked.

Then we come to amendment No. 2256. The question is:

"That in the proviso to clause (3) of article 149, for the words ‘three hundred’ the words ‘four hundred and fifty’ be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

 

Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 35 of list I.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

 

Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 67 of List IV. The question is:

"That after clause (3) of article 149, the following newq clause be inserted:-

‘(3-a) The ratio between the number of members to be allotted to each territorial constituency in a State and the population of that constituency as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published shall, so far as practicable, be the same throughout the State’."

The amendment was adopted.

Mr. Vice-President: There is an amendment to amendment No. 67 but it is blocked.

Prof. Shibban Lal, do you want me to put your amendment No. 2263 to the vote? It has been amended by No. 67.

Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena: It is not necessary to put it to vote now.

Mr. Vice-President: I shall now put the article in its present form to vote. The question is:

"That article 149, as amended, was added to the Constitution.

The amendment was adopted.

Article 149, as amended, was added to the Constitution.

Mr. Vice-President: There is one announcement which has got to be made. I have received definite information and instructions from our President that he would like to have the next session of the Constituent Assembly on Monday, the 16th May. Under rule 19 of the Rules of Procedure, the President enjoys the power of fixing the date but he cannot adjourn the House for more than three days. I therefore seek the permission of the House to make this announcement formally.

Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra: But why does he want to fix the date before hand?

Mr. Vice-President: I am sorry. I cannot give you the reason.

The Honourable Shri K. Santhanam: The date may be fixed by a motion put before the House and carried.

The Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha: Sir, I move that the House do adjourn to the 16th May next.

The motion was adopted.

Mr. Vice-President: The House stands adjourned to Monday, the 16th May.

The Assembly then adjourned till Monday, the 16th May 1949.