CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA - Volume VIII


Thursday, the 16th June 1949

Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena : Mr. President, Sir, these two articles 297 and 298, one of which we have already passed, give certain concessions to the Anglo-Indian community. I may say at the very outset that I am not opposed to any concession which these people may want. I may also say that I would wish them to make the best use of the concessions. But, I would like to utter a word or warning. I feel that these concessions are based on a principle which has not been followed anywhere else in the constitutions. We have given separate representation to people who are backward. But, in this case the position is different. The Anglo-Indian community has up till now lived a different kind of life from the rest of the people. They probably feel some difficulty in accommodating themselves to the new change and therefore they want these concessions. I only want the representatives of the community who are present here who are very distinguished members and who are my very good friends, to consider coolly whether these concessions will really benefit the community. My feeling is that during the last so many years, this community has been kept aloof from the rest of the population and the British people who kept us under subjection tried to make them also completely isolated. They gave them a different kind of education, different habits etc. I am only surprised that they still want to keep to their old methods of education. I only hope that although these concessions are given, the boys of that community will try to take advantage of the common education given to all Indian boys, and that they shall not continue any further their separation which was imposed by the British people for their own purposes. I have known these friends through my contacts with labour on railways and in the posts and telegraphs and in other places. They are very active people; they form a virile element in the nation and I know they do not need any crutches. Like the Parsis, they will get more than their due even in the general electorate and in the normal course of general competition. I therefore think that these two articles are based on the apprehension that they may not get their legitimate share in the circumstances. I wish to give this friendly advice, if it is of any worth. I do wish this community to become one with the rest of the people and to remove all those barriers of separation which the British Rulers had raised between this community and the rest of the people, so that when the time comes, at least after ten years, there is no need for them to demand all these concessions,-I hope they will realise that it is better that they merge themselves in the general population. We all wish to feel that they are one with us. I also know that they realise that the British had made up pawns in their game. I hope that they will very soon give up those old habits and traditions. I hope that these articles which we all approve unanimously will not be supposed to be something intended to perpetuate the old separation, but intended to help them to assimilate themselves with the rest of the population.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi : (United Provinces: General) : Mr. President, Sir, I rise to oppose the article as it is. I know I will incur the displeasure of my very great Friend Mr. Anthony. He is so charming that nobody in the House would like to annoy him: but then, I want to give him an advice.

He has seen many minorities claiming special rights in India; he has also seen their fate. Suppose we agree to this article. I do not know whether Mr. Anthony agrees to it. If he is a party to this article, I am afraid he is doing a disservice to his community. As it is mentioned in this article, we cannot give more grants than we are giving them today. I do not know how we can agree to this. After all, it is a progressive community; it is a privileged community. It has the affection of both India and England. They are a bright community; wherever they are, they fare very well; they

are the least communal. They are a very intelligent and bright people. In India they need have no fear; they have to thrive. I ask why should they not deserve more grants or more help from the State if they really deserve it. The article says during the first three years after the commencement of this Constitution, the same grants if any, shall be made by the Union and by each State. I ask, why not more grants? If their students deserve more grants, why should we make the same grants? I do not know whether you call it sympathy; it is a wrong-placed sympathy. I do not know how my honourable and intelligent Friend Mr. Anthony would agree to the same grants. The prices may go on rising, but the boys in the school will get the same grants. Why not more? This is neither help nor any protection. I do not want to waste the time of the House by reading the article further which says that every third year there will be a reduction of ten per cent. Why should we envisage a reduction at all? My view is this. Such a small community if you go on identifying it as a community, as a minority, I assure you that community will ultimately lose. Let them merge their identity into the whole nation and belong to the nation without any distinction whatsoever. Their distinction of beauty and colour is enough to distinguish them from us; that is a good distinction. Let them stand on their own colour and on their beauty and on their intelligence. Why should they take to the adjective 'minorities' and all that. That is a slur on that community. That is a community which can stand on its own legs and stand boldly. From the friendly manner in which the members of this community are behaving, I think it is an insult to their attitude to say that these people at all need any protection.

They need nothing. Their attitude is their own protection. I think it is better we leave them to their natural protection God has given them. Then again when we have one decided that we do not encourage any minorities or communities, then, in the face of that, should only one small community be recognised? Well, they will become the target of jealousy from all the rest of the communities. It is only a little money that is being guaranteed, but for this little privilege why should they become the target of hatred, jealousy and envy of all other small communities? I think they will not fare well if they get this too small a privilege, the losses entailed with it being much greater. And if communities are to be considered I would suggest consideration of that community which is only newly created-it is the community of displaced persons. Why do you not protect these refugees who are homeless? Let us guarantee that for 10 years they will get such and such privileges and they are the real minority community deserving the help. In the provinces today nobody has ever thought of giving them special privileges or help because they are Hindus but inspite of their being Hindus or belonging to a religious majority community, they are a deplorable small minority today in India. It is pity that it is now a year gone and little has been done for them; and now the time has come when their protection should have been our first thought and we should have protected their rights of education, their accommodation and other things. If communities are to be considered here in this Constitution, the most miserable community that should be considered first is that of the refugees, but the refugees are not considered even as a community. And why should we always take communities be religious distinctions or by distinctions of their blood? Communities are a group of people being affected in one common manner either adversely or in better circumstances. Whatever the conditions, those who are affected together similarly in similar circumstance become a community; and as such,if there is any community which requires safeguards and protection, it is that of the refugees. But they have never come forward for any special grant before us.I would suggest that we do not allow this article to remain

in this Constitution. It will contain the germs of communalism. Why not purge the whole Constitution of this disease altogether and why keep germ? They might develop and again we might have to face another big problem of communalism and the same old history of the Muslim League days might repeat itself. I would suggest with emphasis that either the consideration of this article be also postponed or, if the House or you are not pleased to postpone it for further consideration, I would appeal to the House to reject the article here and now, and not care for your private decisions of groups. Let us take liberty of our groups and say that it being a dangerous article, if we allow it to remain, we shall allow this body politic to remain diseased for ever. With these words I oppose the article.

Shri K. M. Munshi : Mr. President, Sir, I am sure that on a matter of this importance we should appreciate all that happened in the past and not reopen the discussion which has passed through several stages. The two sections which are under discussion are the result of very long discussions and suggested by a Special Committee appointed for this purpose, accepted by the Advisory Committee and ultimately accepted by the House. Now after all that has been said and done, it serves no useful purpose to repeat the arguments that were advanced by certain sections of the House at different stages. The House has always accepted that the Minorities Commissions decisions as more or less conclusive. We must realise the importance of the two points dealt with by my Friend Mr. Tyagi. When this decision was arrived at by the House, the one point which it had to consider was that this small community had been under the protecting wings of the old Government in such a manner that it was impossible for it to stand on its legs unless it were spoon few by some kind of concession for a small period of time. Over 60 per cent. of its adults are in certain services. We need not go into the various causes of this situation, but a sudden change would throw this community immediately on the streets. The second point was that certain special grants were given to their educational institutions. Those educational institutions as now being attested to by our own educational authorities in various provinces have attained a high standard of educational school and now that the schools take students from other, communities the policy of some provincial Governments is that that standard should be maintained for all schools. In Bombay, for instance in the Anglo-Indian schools,70 per cent. of the students are not Anglo-Indians but members belonging to other communities. Therefore these articles have been considered from every point of view. They are only for a limited period of time. My appeal therefore to the House is that a decision which has been come to after considerable deliberation should not be disturbed, apart from a vote, even by a discussion, which may not create a right impression in the country. I hope Members will realise that any discussion or criticism would perhaps take away from the generous gesture which the majority community made to this small minority community.

Shri Krishna Chandra Sharma (United Provinces: General): Mr. President, I very much appreciate the spirit of compromise and reconciliation and would not grudge any help to any section of the people whatsoever, but my only trouble is that article 9 in the Fundamental Rights says that the States Shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste or sex, etc. Now the State Funds are meant for education for all citizens. Because A belongs to Muslim Community, B belongs to Hindu community and C belongs to Parsee or Anglo-Indian community, therefore per capita they will have different sums of money for their education and training, one differing from the other simply because their religion or community differs, I beg to submit, is against the spirit of this article. My second point is that the grant is meant to be given tot he institution. This money can be

given on th ground that the institution has a better standard of education, it is more expensive or situated at a place where ordinary grants would not suffice, etc. That may be the basis for greater grants to an institution like the Muslim University at Aligarh or an Anglo-Indian institution at Naini Tal. I do not grudge the grant but there should be a rational basis.

A further objection is that these are minute details which should be left to the Education Department and the University, and not laid down by Parliament in the Constitution. I do not find this in any other constitution in the world and I do not think it would be advisable to do it here.

Honourable Members : The question may now be put.

Mr. President: I may point out that these article have been brought in pursuance of decisions arrived at by the Advisory Committee on Minorities and by some sort of agreement between the parties. So I do not think there is any occasion to reopen what was then decided. It was also placed before a previous session of the Assembly and accepted. So I do not think the question need be reopened.

The question is:

"That the question be now put."

The motion was adopted.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That article 298 stand part of the Constitution."

The motion was adopted.

Article 298 was added to the Constitution.

Mr. President: Article 299 is held over.

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Article 300

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, I move:

"That with reference to amendment No. 3186 of the List of Amendments in clause (1) of article 300 after the word figure 'Part I' the words and figures 'and Part III' be inserted."

Shri A. V. Thakkar (Saurashtra) : Sir, I am very glad that this amendment extends the benefits of welfare work for the tribal people of all the States where they live at present. These tribal people come into the picture for the first time now in this Constitution. It would have been a half measure if it had been confined to tribal people in provinces only but not extended to those in Indian States. But as now amended it is in the interest of all backward tribal people. The same benefit to all backward people applies to article 301 and therefore there is greater reason that the same extension is given in article 300.

Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena : Sir, I support this article whole-heartedly. I shall draw attention to the problem confronting us in the tribal areas. They are some of the most backward people in the country. The British Government tried to keep them secluded and attempts were sometimes made by missionaries to convert them. I have visited many of these people and can say that they live a kind of sub-human and miserable existence. This article is intended to devise ways and means for bringing them to the normal level. But we should not rest on our oars by merely passing this provision but should do our utmost to bring them up to the normal level. The consciousness about them came first in 1931 when the British Government tried to give them separate representation. Reforming bodies and people like our revered Shri Thakkar Bapa have worked among them but much still remains to be done and we should see that these people are made to take their rightful place in society.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi : Sir, this article is very halting from the point of view of helping the scheduled areas. It only says that a Commission may be appointed from time to time or whenever the President so likes to enquire into and report on the conditions of these areas, and "the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of directions to such a State as to the drawing up and execution of schemes specified in the direction to be essential for the welfare of the scheduled tribes in the State". I wonder whether there is anything constitutional about it. Why should we encumber a Constitution with the mention of scheduled areas? They are backward and not much of improvement has been effected in those areas. Half of my constituency is partially excluded area, known as the Jaunsar Bawer. I know the

conditions that obtain in that area. Years ago when Committees had been appointed they looked into the conditions. But looking into the conditions is not much of a job. Real job is to improve the conditions. This article does not go far in improving their conditions. It does not even give a ray of hope as to what will be done. To know what the conditions are a Commission will be appointed. That is not enough. It would be better if the article had been taken away from the Constitution because it does not help the scheduled areas at all. There is nothing positive about the article. Commissions can be appointed even without the Union being authorised to appoint the Commissions. What is there to prevent it from appointing Commissions or Committees or from making enquiries? So I think the article is not at all positive. If there be anything important or if any hope is hidden within these words or lines, I would like the Chairman of the Drafting Committee to expose it to air so that the people residing in those areas might also know what good future lies for them in between these lines. I do not see any hope for them. It is with this view, just to provoke Dr. Ambedkar or anyone on his behalf to give us an idea as to what is the meaning of bringing in the scheduled areas here and what hope it offers, that I have raised this point. If there is nothing and if only their mention is meant, then I would rather prefer that the article is taken away.

Mr. President: Dr. Ambedkar, do you wish to say anything?

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: No, Sir.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That with reference to amendment No. 3186 of the List of Amendments, in clause (1) of article 300, after the word and figure 'Part I' the words and figures 'and Part III' be inserted."

The amendment was adopted.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That article 300, as amended, stand part of the Constitution."

The motion was adopted.

Article 300, as amended, was added to the Constitution.

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Article 301

(Amendments Nos. 3189 and 3190 were not moved.)

Shri H. V. Kamath: Mr. President, Sir, I move amendments Nos. 3191, 3195, 3196, 3197, 3198 and 3200 standing in my name.

I move:

"That in clause (1) of article 301, the words 'consisting of such persons as he thinks fit be deleted."

In my judgment these words are wholly superfluous. I may even go to the length of saying that they cast a reflection upon the wisdom of the President. The President when he appoints certain persons, certainly appoints such persons as he thinks fit for the job with the commission of which those persons are charged. It is absolutely pointless and purposeless to say here that he may "appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit." It may stop after "appoint a Commission". This adequately and sufficiently conveys the meaning intended in this portion of the article.

Then I move:

"That in clause (1) of article 301, for the word 'difficulties' the word 'disabilities' be substituted."

Bearing in mind what we have already adopted in this House I think the word "disabilities" conveys the idea far better than the word "difficulties". If we turn to the Chapter on Fundamental Rights we find that the second part of article 9 refers to "any disability, liability, restriction, condition" etc. The word "difficulty" nowhere occurs in that very important article which seeks to abolish discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex. We have passed that article. The word "difficulty" is to my mind hardly a constitutional term. I have read several constitutions of the world, but I find that it finds no place in constitutional terminology or parlance. The word 'disability' is a far more appropriate word than the word "difficulty". I am sure Dr. Ambedkar, steeped as he is in constitutional lore and constitutional learning will have no difficulty in accepting this amendment.

I move my next amendment.

"That in clause (1) of article 301, for the words 'grants should be given' the words 'grants should be made' be

substituted."

This is purely verbal amendment. I do not wish to press it home, but I leave it to the collective wisdom of the Drafting Committee which I am sure will come into play at the appropriate time.

Then I move:

"That in clause (1) of article 301, for the word 'and' (in line 10) the words 'as well as' be substituted."

That portion of the article reads thus as it has been moved before the House:

"The President may by order appoint a Commission ..... to remove such difficulties and to improve their condition and as to the grants that should be given for the purpose by the Union or any State and the conditions subject to which such grants should be given..."

I think the meaning would be more exactly expressed by the phrase "as well as" than by the single word 'and' here. That also I leave to the wisdom of the team of wisemen which this House has appointed to draft the Constitution.

I next move amendment No. 3198-

"That in clause (2) of article 301, for the words 'a report setting out the facts as found by them and' the words 'a report thereon' be substituted."

The clause as it stands reads thus :

"A Commission so appointed shall investigate the matters referred to them and present to the President a report setting out the facts as found by them and making such recommendations as they think proper."

If my amendment is accepted by the House the clause will read as follows :

"A Commission so appointed shall investigate the matters referred to them and present to the President a report thereon making such recommendations as they think proper."

This is only with a view to avoid cumbersome language and style and secure brevity and precision, but not at the sacrifice of any substantial meaning.

Lastly, I move my amendment No. 3200 which runs thus :

"That in clause (3) of article 301, the words 'together with a memorandum explaining the action taken thereon' be deleted and the following words be added at the end:-

'for such further action as may be necessary.'

"This clause of the article as it now stands runs thus:

"The President shall cause a copy of the report so presented together with a memorandum explaining the action taken thereon to be laid before Parliament."

My amendment seeks to modify it in this regard and if it is accepted by the House, the clause will read as follows :

"The President shall cause a copy of the report so presented to be laid before Parliament for such further action as may be necessary."

This is a drafting amendment, plus an amendment of substance. There are two parts to it. The first relates to the manner in which the President shall cause a copy of this report to be laid before both the Houses of Parliament. The clause, as it is now, makes it incumbent upon the President to affix a memorandum to the copy of the report to be laid before Parliament. It does not seem to be wise to lay down the manner in which the report should be presented to Parliament by the President. If the President deems it necessary to submit a memorandum along with the report he will certainly do so. The President will be a wise man. I am sure we will not have as President a man who is not wise or who is incompetent to do this duties in the interests of the nation. If the President thinks it necessary to affix a memorandum to the report he will do so. Why should we lay down in the Constitution things in such minute detail? It is just a tremendous trifle to say that he must add a memorandum to the report. That is the first aspect of my amendment.

The second part of my amendment relates to the sequel to the submission to Parliament by the President of this report by the Commission. I think, Sir, that the House is agreed on this point that Parliament, our sovereign Parliament of Free India, shall have a definite say, a substantial voice in whatever policy is going to be adopted or action taken with regard to the welfare of the socially and educationally backward classes in our country. This article has relation to the conditions of socially and educationally backward

classes in the Indian Union. Parliament, I am sure, will be entitled to ask that any action taken with regard to the welfare of its backward people must be in conformity with the policy that will be formulated by it. Therefore I am anxious that with a view to having this implemented, when the report comes before Parliament, further action should be taken by Parliament and not by the President. The President will if need be, communicate to Parliament his own reactions to the report, but should not be the final authority to take action thereon. Parliament must have the last word on the action to be taken on that report. Therefore, this last amendment of mine seeks to make that quite clear, absolutely fool-proof and knave-proof, as Dr. Ambedkar might say, and make it impossible for the President to divest Parliament of this inherent right to take action on the report of the Commission submitted by the President to Parliament. Therefore I have suggested the addition of the words "for such further action as may be necessary". It may be that within the next ten years there may be no socially or educationally backward classes in our country. I look forward to that day even before the expiry of ten years. We have the example of Soviet Russia before us. Russia abolished illiteracy and brought even the lowest state of the population to a fairly decent level in ten or fifteen years. Can we not, with our ancient heritage and our background of cultural and spiritual genius aspire to something better and to bring all these backward classes within less than ten years to a socially and educationally higher level? I hope, Sir, that within ten years we will have advanced a good deal towards redeeming these fallen and so-called backward people and we shall have no occasion to appoint a Commission for the submission of a report. I shall be very happy if that day comes in less than ten years. But, as it is, the Constitution provides for the appointment of a Commission. Then let Parliament consider and deliberate on the report submitted by the Commission to the President and let Parliament take such action as it deems fit or necessary in this matter, so that within the ten-year period, when a Commission has been appointed and its report comes before Parliament, Parliament may chalk but a programme for the uplift and redemption of these educationally backward classes, and carry it out. I trust that after the first ten-year period has expired, there will be no need for the President again to appoint a Commission of this nature to enquire into the conditions of the backward classes in our country. Sir, I move these various amendments and commend them for the acceptance of the House.

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, I move:

"That in clause (3) of article 301, for the word 'Parliament' the words 'each House of Parliament' be substituted."

Mr. President: There are two amendments of which notice has been given by Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava, Nos. 180 and 181 of the First List.

Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava : I do not wish to move the amendments but I wish to speak on the article.

(Amendments Nos. 3192, 3193, 3194, 3199 and No. 181 of the First List were not moved.)

Mr. President: The article and the amendments are now open to discussion.

Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava : Sir, I consider that article 301 is one of the most important articles of this Constitution. Left to myself, I would call it the soul of the Constitution. So far as the Depressed Classes are concerned, we have only reserved some seats for them. The rest we have not done, and this article 301 seeks to complete the process of bringing them up to normal standards. This article places upon the entire nation the obligation of seeing that all the disabilities and difficulties of the Depressed Classes are removed and therefore it is really a charter of the liberties of the backward classes and in a sense this is an oath taken by the House, an oath to see that within the coming years we will provide all the facilities which can be provided by the nation for expiating our

past sins. Now, Sir, in this country there are backward classes some of whom have had reservation given to them so far as representation is concerned, but the other classes have not been given such reservations but they are equally backward. I would therefore have liked a register to be made of all the backward classes including the present Depressed Classes, and after the Commission had found out what providing facilities to every member of these backward classes. If a particular class was economically very backward, provision could be made that with regard to their houses in the villages, they were given not only the residential rights but rights of disposal of their properties. If we chalk out a programme after the Commission has investigated their disabilities, we will be taking a great step towards the removal of those disabilities. There are many disabilities pertaining to them which the House fully knows and I need not go into them at this stage. What I want to say is that so far as these classes are concerned, we should see to it that these classes do not continue in the category of backward classes after they have come up to normal standards so that their backwardness is not crystallized or perpetuated. After they have reached normal standards, they should be taken away from this category. If any community continues in backwardness, socially, culturally or educationally, then it should not be a question of ten years or fifteen years but up to the time they are brought up to normal standards, facilities should be given and continued for them.

My next submission is that the article says "The President may be order appoint, etc." I have given notice of an amendment in this regard for substituting the word 'shall' for 'may' and even if the word 'may' is used in the article, I think it should be the obligation of the President to appoint such a Commission. Even though the word 'may' has been used, it must be construed as 'shall'. Therefore I have no doubt that the President shall appoint such a Commission and the Commission after making investigation into the conditions of these classes, shall have to suggest in what particular manner the steps suggested should be implemented. The article here simply says that he shall cause a copy of the Report to be placed before Parliament. The obligations of the Parliament are not given in article 301. I understand there is provision for them in 299 which has been held over. I do not want to speak now on that article, but what I want to submit is this: Now the safeguards for minorities have been taken away, for instance for the Muslims and the Sikhs. The only responsibility of the Parliament are the Scheduled Castes and the backward classes. In regard to these classes, special officers are to be appointed to see whether the fundamental rights which have been given to them under this Constitution and the special facilities which are sought to be provided for them after the investigation of the Commission are enjoyed by these people or not. These classes are not only the responsibility of the Central Parliament but of the State Legislature as well. But I submit they are the special obligation of the Central Legislature. This article 301 is only the material form of the Objectives Resolution. This article only gives the mechanism by which the Objectives Resolution is carried out. We should provide in this article that it shall apply not only to the communities for whom reservation has been made but also to those for whom no reservation has been made but who are all the same backward.

Sir, I feel great happiness in supporting article 301.

Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena : Mr. President, Sir, I whole-heartedly support this article. I only wish to point out two things in this regard. The first thing is according to the scheme of the Constitution, this Commission will be appointed at the very outset of the commencement of the Constitution. That means that as soon as our Constitution comes into existence, the President shall appoint the Commission to investigate into the conditions of

the socially, educationally and culturally backward classes and then make its report on how to remove their backwardness. We are using the expression 'the backward classes' in several places in the Constitution, but we have not defined them anywhere in the whole Constitution. I hope this Commission which will specially investigate the conditions of the backward classes all over the country will be able to tell us what is meant by the term "backward classes". When the Commission reports to the Parliament, I hope they will define the terms "backward classes" and "depressed classes" in their report.

I also support the amendment of Mr. Kamath for the addition of the words "for such further action as may be necessary". That means that when the report is made, the House must consider the ways and means of removing the backwardness of these people. I think therefore that this amendment is necessary.

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

Mr. President: The question is:

"That the question be now put."

The motion was adopted.

Mr. President: I have to put the various amendments to vote now.

The Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha : If there is no other work then the House should be adjourned.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in clause (1) of article 301, the words 'consisting of such persons as he thinks fit be deleted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in clause (1) of article 301, for the word 'difficulties' the word 'disabilities' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: Amendments Nos. 3196 and 3197, I think, are of a drafting nature. We had better leave them. The question is:

"That in clause (2) of article 301, for the words 'a report setting out the facts as found by them and' the words 'a report thereon' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in clause (3) of article 301, the words 'together with a memorandum explaining the action taken thereon' be deleted and the following words be added at the end:-

'for such further action as may be necessary.'"

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in clause (3) of article 301, for the word 'Parliament' the words 'each House of Parliament' be substituted."

The amendment was adopted.

Mr. President: The question is :

"That article 301, as amended, stand part of the Constitution."

The motion was adopted.

Article 301, as amended, was added to the Constitution.

Mr. President: This brings us to the end of these articles which we have set down for consideration today. One article which we passed over, article 289, remains to be considered. There were certain amendments and certain Members said that they were taken by surprise and that they would like to have time to consider it. If the House so desires, we might have an afternoon session, so that we may not have to sit tomorrow.

An Honourable Member : We are prepared to discuss it now.

Mr. President: At 6 o'clock.

Shri K. M. Munshi : The sittings should not be fixed for tomorrows as many Members, I know, have booked their accommodation.

Mr. President: It is therefore why I am suggesting six o'clock.

The Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha : Either we can hold it over or you have a meeting in the evening and finish it.

Mr. President: I think some Members feel that they would like to have time to consider the amendments and therefore it is much better to give them time, and if you all agree, I would like to have an afternoon session in the evening, say at six o'clock.

Honourable Members: 6 p.m.

Mr. President: So the House stands adjourned till six o'clock this evening.

The Assembly then adjourned till Six of the Clock in the afternoon.

The Constituent Assembly re-assembled at Six of the Clock in the afternoon, Mr. President (The Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad) in the Chair.

DRAFT CONSTITUTION -(Contd.)

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Article 289-(Contd.)

Mr. President: We shall

take up the amendment moved by Dr. Ambedkar in the morning. I think that is the only amendment now to the original article which was moved by Dr. Ambedkar.

I have just received notice of amendments from two Members, Shri Mahavir Tyagi and Mr. Jaspat Roy Kapoor. I do not know how these amendments come in at this stage. They cannot be amendments to amendments; they can only be amendments to amendments to amendment. I am not inclined to allow any amendments to amendments to amendments.

Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor (United Provinces: General) : May I then be permitted, Sir, to put forth my view-point as contained in this amendment, of course during general discussion?

Mr. President: The article and the amendment will be open to discussion. Any Member may say whatever he likes. It is for him to vote according to what he says or otherwise.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi : May I submit, Sir, if at any stage some serious discrepancy is found and it is pointed out, I hope it must be taken notice of.

Mr. President: I do not think your amendment comes under that. In your case, the amendment of which you have given notice does not deal with the matter which has just been discovered.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi : I could not follow, Sir.

Mr. President: Your amendment is this: that in clause (1) of the proposed article 289, the words "and Vice-President" be deleted. That is to say, you want to keep the election of the Vice-President out of the purview of the Election Commission.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi : Yes, Sir.

Mr. President: It is not a case in which something has been discovered as a result of discussion which creates difficulty and this amendment becomes necessary. This should have been foreseen and if you wanted to give notice of an amendment, you should have given it before. I cannot allow this now.

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

Mr. President: I have given a ruling on Mr. Tyagi's amendment. I am now dealing with the other amendment.

Shri H. V. Kamath : For the future at least, may I know Sir, what is the position with regard to amendment to amendments to amendments?

Mr. President: I am not going to make any promise about the future. I will deal with every case as it comes up.

Shri H. V. Kamath : I want to know what is the rule, Sir.

Mr. President: The Member may rest assured, I will follow the rules.

Shri H.V. Kamath : I am not questioning that. As the rules are silent on the point, I want to know what the position is with regard to amendments to amendments to amendments.

Mr. President: As I have said, I shall decide each case as it comes up.

As regards the amendment of Mr. Jaspat Roy Kapoor, he may speak on it. The article and the amendment are open to discussion.

Shri R. K. Sidhva (C.P. & Berar: General): May I know, Sir, whether the discussion will be only on the amendment or on the article also?

Mr. President: The whole thing.

Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor : Mr. President, Sir, if I rise to speak on amendment No. 99 relating to article 289, it is not because I am fond of speaking too often. While coming to the rostrum, Sir, it was suggested to me by my honourable

Friend Dr. Ambedkar that the galleries today were empty and that I need not be very particular about speaking on this article. I may assure my honourable Friend Dr. Ambedkar that I never speak to the galleries or with the object of finding any prominent place in the Press. I speak only when I feel it is absolutely necessary to speak and on this occasion, Sir, such is my feeling and hence I have come before you to address on article 289.

I must confess, Sir, that on the last day of this session, article 289 has proved to be rather an inconvenient one. It has been debated at length yesterday and today and I find that the more it is being debated the more defective it appears to be and I find that the more we scrutinise it the more defects of it come to light. On a closer scrutiny of this article I find that it is necessary to recast it altogether. A few amendments here and there, a few alterations or changes

here and there in this article would not do: it needs being recast altogether. I do not suggest that it needs being recast in order to meet the view-point of those who question the propriety of the Centre being invested with the authority to conduct all elections. I take it that everyone of us, or at least the overwhelming majority of us, is inclined to the view, is definitely of the view that elections must be run under the control, direction and supervision of an authority appointed by the Central Government, the President I mean of course, subject to any law which may be enacted by the Parliament. But, Sir, I think it is necessary to recast this in order to make the procedure laid down in this article 289 as a really effective and workable one so that there may be no conflict between the authority which is to be appointed by the President-I mean the Election Commission-and the other bodies in the Centre or in the provinces. As it is, however, I think that article 289 if allowed to remain in its present form would lead to conflict between the Election Commission and the presiding officers of the various legislatures. Let us see how it stands.

"The superintendence direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature etc. by the President."

Now these are the various functions that are going to be entrusted to this Election Commission. Superintendence, direction and control of what things, firstly, of the preparation of the electoral rolls for all elections to Parliament to State Legislatures and for all elections to the offices of President and the Vice-President. The electoral rolls for these elections are to be under the supervision, direction and control of this Election Commission. Secondly, its function is the conduct of all these elections. These are the two functions that are going to be entrusted to the Election Commission. Now let us see how the election of the President is going to be, how the election of the Vice-President is going to be, how the election of members of the Council of States is going to be and lastly how the election of members to the Legislative Councils of the States is going to be. Under article 43 which we have already passed the President will be elected by the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and by the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the various States. Now the question is what will be the electoral roll of all these members? Is it the intention of Dr. Ambedkar that the question as to who are to be the electors who will form these electoral colleges is to be decided by this Commission? Now the electors will be members who will have been already duly elected to the House of the People, Council of States and the various Legislative Assemblies. They will be already duly elected members. So the question of preparing an electoral roll of these members simply does not arise at all. It should not be open-I think it will be readily admitted-to the Election Commission to decide as to which of those particular members are unqualified. A person once having been duly elected can of course become disqualified from remaining as a member; and so far as the Legislative Assembly of the various States are concerned, we have only the other day enacted article 167-A which lays down that if any such question arises, it will be decided by the Governor and the order or decision of the Governor shall be final. Now that decision and order or the Governor being final what function remains for the Election Commission to perform in the matter of determining the question as to which particular members are entitled or not entitled to participate in the election of the President? So far as the preparation of electoral roll is concerned, the Election Commission has not function to perform. The second is the stage of conducting the election itself. Now the question arises that the members of the House of the People will be called upon to elect by President and also members of the Council of States,

and so also elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the various States. These person will cast their votes as members of the various Legislatures and as such they must perform that function of casting their votes under the supervision, direction and control of the presiding officers of the respective legislatures. Is it the intention to divest the presiding officers of these various legislatures of their ordinary and inherent right of conducting these elections? I suppose not. So that so far as the election of the President is concerned, both in the matter of the preparation of the electoral roll as also in the matter of the conduct of election, the Election Commission shall have absolutely no function to perform or it has, obviously it will come in conflict with the presiding officers of these various legislative bodies. Now let us come to the question of the election of the Vice-President. There the matter is more complicated still. The election of a Vice-President it was pointed out to us-the credit of which must go to my honourable Friend Mr. Tyagi-it was pointed out by him outside the House that under article 55 we have it "That the Vice-President shall be elected by members of both House of Parliament assembled at a joint meeting in accordance with the system etc." Here also we find that the question as to who shall vote for the election of Vice-President is already definitely determined by article 55, and the Election Commission will have nothing to do about this. The manner of conducting the election is also laid down in article 55. All the members will sit together in a joint meeting which will be presided over, as has been provided, by the Speaker of the House of the People. Where does the Election Commission come in as regards the election of Vice-President? Thirdly comes the question of election of members of the Council of States. Under article 67 they are to be elected by the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the various States. There too the members who will participate in the election are well-known; there is no question of preparation of electoral roll there. Then as to the conduct of elections and casting of votes, that will be done, as in the past, under the direction and control of the Speakers of the various legislatures; and interference by the Election Commission will lead to conflict with the Speakers. The same objection will apply in the case of elections of these members to the legislative Councils of the States who are to be elected by the members of the legislative assemblies in the various States. Therefore, while the underlying intention of article 289 is a laudable one and while we must provide for elections to be conducted under the supervision and control of a central authority appointed by the Central Government, we must so frame the article as to obviate any chances of conflict between the Election Commissions and the presiding officers of the various States, by taking away those things which may give rise to such conflicts. We should also take note of article 55 in which we have provided for the election of Vice-President. Therefore I submit that it is necessary to recast this article so as to make it applicable to direct elections only to House of People and legislative assemblies. Today we can commit ourselves definitely to the principle that all elections shall be conducted under the supervision, direction and control of a central authority, subject of course to such variations as appear obviously necessary in the light of article 55 and in the light of what I have already submitted. That is what I have to submit and the amendment of which I had given notice was only in regard to these points that I have raised. If the difficulties and apprehensions that I have are in any way removable by some interpretation of article 289 that Dr. Ambedkar may give, that is another thing.

Mr. President: I may point out that no explanation need be given. You are assuming that in all these elections members will give votes while sitting in Parliament. But they will not be

sitting in Parliament; they will vote as voters of that particular constituency.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: What will happen as regards disputes, and the filing of nomination papers before the Speaker?

Mr. President: It will be for the Election Commission to decide who the returning officer for this election will be. The whole argument is based on the assumption that when members of the legislatures who are entitled to vote for the election of the President sit, they sit in a session of the Assembly. They are not going to do that. They will be members of an electoral college and they will vote in that capacity.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: In the case of the election to Vice-President, the names are to be proposed in the House by honourable Members, then it will be seconded and nomination papers are to be filed, etc.

Mr. President: You are again assuming that it will be a session of the House.

Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor: My submissions were based on that assumption surely, but I do not know if there can be any other assumption. We find everywhere that members shall be electing the President, Vice-President and members of the Council of States as members of the legislature and in no other capacity. For instance, we find in article 55 that the Vice-President will be elected by members of both Houses of Parliament in a meeting.

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: The wording is "at a joins meeting" and not "sitting".

Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor: It will be all right if that point is authoritatively stated on the Floor of the House so as to avoid the possibility of this article being interpreted differently, for in articles 80(3) and 164(3) the word 'meeting' has obviously been used in the sense of a sitting of the legislature and not in the sense of merely a congregation of the members. The same word cannot be interpreted differently in different article unless definitely specified therein. There is all I have to submit.

Sardar Hukam Singh (East Punjab: Sikh): Sir, article 289 as has been lately amended is surely a very important provision for the safeguarding of-as the Mover said, cultural, racial or linguistic minorities. It is conceived with the very laudable idea that it will give protection to them against any provincial prejudices or whims of officials. But there is one thing that I am afraid of. Whereas sufficient protection has been given against injustice to racial, cultural of linguistic minorities so far as provincial prejudices are concerned, it has been assumed that the Centre will not be liable to corruption at any time. We are perhaps obsessed with the feeling that our present leaders, who are noble and responsible people and are at the helm of affairs now, will continue for ever or that their successors will be as responsible as they are. My fear is that in future that may not be so and with a little prejudice or unsympathetic attitude at that time the minorities may be in great danger. I am certainly against centralisation of powers and I feel that in this Constitution we are reducing the provincial Governments to the position of District Boards by centralising all power here. But I am not opposing the present amendment because we have been assured that it is to safeguard the interest of these minorities. I rather welcome it. But I want to make one observation about that and that is that this Commission will have very important to perform and one of them would be delimitation of constituencies. Of course this business would be the soul of all elections. If delimitation of constituencies is made with full sympathy to the minorities it might restore their confidence and they might never feel sorry for what they have done-I mean this voluntary giving up of all safeguards of reservation of seats. So far as the majority is concerned it has nothing to fear. So far as the Scheduled Castes are concerned they are quite safe because they have got that reservation of seats. So far as the Anglo-Indians are concerned they will be nominated if they are not adequately represented. But for other minorities such as Muslims and

Sikhs I feel that if they are not properly represented they might lose confidence in that majority. This Commission shall have a very responsible task to perform in that respect when it is carving out those constituencies. If the Commission, as our object is, feels that responsibility and does its job with full responsibility then I am sure the minorities shall have nothing to fear. But with a little apathy and some ill-adjustment in the delimitation this Commission can certainly work much havoc and those minorities may not even get what they ordinarily would have got according to their population. So my object in making this observation is that in the beginning at least the Government should take care that this Commission is so constituted that every interest is represented on that Commission, and this the Government can do very easily. By this they would restore all confidence in the minorities. This would go a long way in achieving the object which we have in view, namely, that we should have one nation, all people welded together. If the Government were simply to give an assurance that it would give sympathetic consideration to this request of mine, that for the beginning at least this Commission shall be representing all interests, my object would be achieved and the minorities also would not feel apprehensive of their future fate. With these remarks I welcome this article as now proposed in this House.

Shrimati Annie Mascarene (Travancore State): Mr. President, Sir, after hearing Dr. Ambedkar's explanation two days back I thought I would abide by this article. But after listening to Mr. Munshi's speech this morning I am provoked to speak again on the subject and resume my old position. Sir, I am a believer in the right of the people of the province to elect their representatives independent of any control, supervision and direction of any power on earth. I believe that to be democracy. If the Centre is to think that expediency demands that they should supervise and control the election, as one sitting in the Provincial Legislature I can see in the Centre as many delinquencies as they see in us. From this article it looks as if the Centre is assuming to be the custodian of justice. Well, justice is not in the custody of anybody but of those who are lovers of truth. Mr. Munshi this morning spoke that article 289 is calculated to defend the rights of the people in the provinces in view of expediency and reality. May I remind him of the expediency and reality of nations in days long gone by-of the Parliament of Rome, of the Long Parliament of England? Cromwell thought that it was expedient to run the administration by a unicameral legislature. The Napoleonic heroes thought that it was expedient to run the administration by a unicameral legislature. But time has proved the effect of those expediencies. What is reality and expediency today is not reality and expediency tomorrow. We are here laying down principles-rudimentary principles-of democracy, not for the coming election but for days to come, for generations, for the nation. Therefore principles of ethics are more suitable to be considered now than principles of expediency. I am a believer in politics as nothing but ethics writ large. I am not a believer in politics as a computative principle of addition, subtraction and multiplication. If this section is to be accepted we are to believe that thereafter the provincial election will be under the perpetual tutelage of the Centre. That means, Sir, that the integrity of the provincial people is questioned. I wish to turn the tables on the Centre itself. Sir, should we, at this psychological moment when the people of India are demanding their rudimentary right of electing their representatives without being interfered with by any authority on earth, impose any restriction? If democratic principles are to be accepted, this article should be deleter from the Constitution.

Then I come to the latest amendment, giving the legality of Parliament to a section which was hitherto blooming as autocratic. Well, Sir, Whatever

may be the amendment added on to it, it cannot lose its old shade or colour and it stands there as the ancient Roman tutelage under the patriarchal system. If the provincial or the States people are to be guided, let them be guided by experience. If we have erred, we will err only for a time or a period. They say that this is a deviation from the democratic principle. Well, I ask where is the necessity to deviate from the experience of nations and ags? Have you any prima facie case to show that we have erred in our democratic principles? In that case I am willing to accept this clause. But, as it is, we have not tried the experiment. We are only in the making of it. If in the experimental stage we fail, well, there is provision in the Constitution to amend it when time and circumstances demand. But let us not sully the fair name of the nation by believing in the first instance that the provincial people will not be guided by principles of truth and justice and will not keep up the democratic principles of fairness by electing by fair means. Centralisation of power is good enough for stable administration, but centralisation of power should be a development at later stages and not from the very inception of democracy. At the very inception of democracy, centralisation would look more autocratic than democratic. We are living in an age when democratic experiments are being tried by many a nation. Dr. Ambedkar quoted from the Canadian Act of 1920. How is it that he did not travel down to the United States from Canada? Why would he not look at the Australian Commonwealth? If Canada has adopted a measure, is it necessary that India, with twenty-five times the population of Canada and half the size of Europe, should adopt those very principles in her Constitution and take it as a salutary example for experiment in democracy? If democracy could succeed in the United States, if it can succeed in England, why should it not succeed in India without this clause? Well, Sir, I hope this House will give consideration to this article and be guided by principles of democracy rather than by principles of expediency.

Shri H. V. Kamath: Mr. President, article 289 of our Draft Constitution dealing as it does with elections and electoral matters has naturally evoked intense interest in this House and I am sure it has evoked or is bound to evoke equally keen interest outside the House as well. If we compare article 289 as it was originally drafted by the Drafting Committee and the article as it has come before the House today, we cannot fail to notice some salient differences, the main difference being that the superintendence, direction and control of all elections to State legislatures have been radically modified in the draft article as it was moved by Dr. Ambedkar yesterday and amended by him today. The footnote to this article on page 138 of the Draft Constitution reads thus:

"The Committee is of opinion that the Election Commission to superintend, direct and control elections to the Legislature of a State in Part I of the First Schedule should be appointed by the Governor of the State."

This was apparently the Drafting Committee's original view. But later on the view underwent some transformation and, in so far as the Election Commission for a State a concerned, the Governor has disappeared from the picture. I fail to see why the Governor, now that he is going to be nominated by the President, should not have any voice in the matter of the Election Commission to superintend, direct and control the elections to the State legislature. If honourable Members will turn to article 193(1) they will find that even where appointments of High Court Judges in a State are concerned, the Governor of that particular State has been invested with some authority in the matter. That relevant clause reads as follows:

"Every judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President by a warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State..."

I cannot understand why the Governor of

the State should have no voice whatsoever in the appointment of the Regional Election Commissioner or the Election Commissioners of that State. The article as it has been modified by Dr. Ambedkar confers power on the Governor of the State in so far as supplies are concerned, such as staff, furniture and I do not know what else. As far as these are concerned, the Ruler of the State or the Governor of the State shall, when requested, by the Election Commissioner, such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the Election Commission by clause (1) of this article. That, Sir, to my mind is a sort of anti-climax to the whole scheme of the article. That, Sir, to my mind is a sort of anti-climax to the whole scheme of the article. In my humble judgment there is no valid reason whatsoever why the Governor should be deprived of the right of even exercising his voice or giving the benefit of his opinion in so far as the appointment of Election Commissioners for the State is concerned. The executive head of the Union is the President and the executive head of the State is the Governor. May I ask the House why, if we seek to invest the President who is the constitutional head of the Union with such vast powers in the appointment of Election Commissioners for the whole of India, we should not give the Governor the right to give his opinion, his judgment in the appointment of Election Commissioners for his State? I fail to see any reason whatsoever for not giving the Governors any powers exception in so far as providing the staff is concerned, how many clerks, how many superintendents and how many assistants are required for the Election Commissioners. A sort of Bada Babu the Governor has become so far as the Election Commission is concerned. You are making him nothing more. I submit that this is utterly derogatory to the dignity of the Governor of a State. I cannot understand why the Governor is being asked to supply the staff when he has no voice in the appointment of the Election Commissioner. I strongly object to this denudation of the Governor's authority, so far as the office of the Election Commission is concerned. Again, I personally feel that clause (5) is absolutely unnecessary. We are burdening the Constitution with redundant details, with purposeless and meaningless details. Certainly every office will have to have necessary staff. But why put it down in the Constitution? The President of the Indian Union and the Governors of the States will certainly require staff for their offices, but we have not mentioned that in the Constitution. Why mention then that the Election Commissioners at the Centre of the Regional Commissioners in the provinces shall be provided with necessary staff. What I ask is this. Is it conducive to the dignity of our Constitution if we burden it with such unnecessary details, such minutiae?

Next I pass on to the amendment which has been moved by Dr. Ambedkar today after listening to the debate in the House yesterday and today. I feel that the amendment which has been placed before the House today is a sort of half-hearted concession to the viewpoints that have been put forward in this House. We are dealing with elections and electoral matters. Parliament is the supreme elected body in the Indian Union and so Parliament must have greater voice in the matter of superintendence, direction and control of elections. With a view to serving this purpose, my Friend Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena moved certain amendments yesterday. The amendment that has been moved by Dr. Ambedkar today meets of those amendments, some of those viewpoints half way. I personally think-I may be wrong in the assertion-but I believe that Dr. Ambedkar individually is inclined to go the whole hog. I shall not venture to make a statement on that point, and I have to take the amendment as it has been placed before the House. Clause (4) of the article moved by Dr. Ambedkar yesterday says that the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be

such as the President may by rule determine. Today the amendment placed before the House says, "subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine." There are two things, the Parliament's law and the President's rule. Why, may I ask, in fairness to this House and the future Parliament of the Indian Union, should we not say that the conditions of service and tenure of office shall be such as Parliament may by law determine? Why also say "as the President may by rule determine"? The President in the executive head of the Union, while Parliament is the supreme elected body. Why then leave it to the President to frame rules in this regard?

The next point is, why the Chief Election Commissioner's conditions of service and tenure of office are made so very secure he is almost irremovable-except on a vote of two-thirds majority of both the House of Parliament. Why has he been made almost irremovable, while his colleagues at Election Commissioners are, according to this article, removable at the sweet will and pleasure of the Chief Election Commissioner? Is this the way that this House is going to treat the colleagues of the Chief Election Commissioner? Even a clerk in a District office or in the Secretariat has got far better conditions of service and security of tenure that what is envisaged for the Election Commissioners in this article. I feel, Sir, that with the article left as it is, most of the time of the Election Commissioners will be utilised in doing what I may call khushamat, to keep the Chief Election Commissioner in good humour, because it will be only natural, human nature being what it is, lest the Chief Election Commissioner should give a bad chit. So this is what we are trying to provide by means of this article. I personally know that a superior officer often gives a bad chit, not because his subordinate is bad at his work but because he is of independent views, if of strong mind or does not humour his boss. This sort of thing should not be encouraged, but I am afraid that is what this article might do.

Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra (West Bengal: General): How can Members be sacked by the Election Commissioner, I cannot understand.

Shri H. V. Kamath: Not members but Election Commissioners. You are not listening properly. I think you honourable Friend is in a hurry to go home.

Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra: I am listening to you, but I am getting more and more confused as you proceed.

Shri H.V. Kamath: The second proviso to clause (4) to this article moved yesterday by Dr. Ambedkar is to the effect that "provided further that any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner." Is it clear now? I want the Election Commissioners to be placed on a par with the Chief Election Commissioner. We have adopted the article with regard to the removal of Supreme Court Judges and High Court Judges, placing them on a par with one another. There is no distinction between the Chief Justice and his colleagues. I ask, therefore, Sir, why this distinction between the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners?

Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra: That has been provided in the case of the Chief Commissioner. They would be done on the recommendation of the Chief Commissioner.

Shri H. V. Kamath: Perhaps the language of the article is not clear. If of course, the article means that the Chief Commissioner and his colleagues the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners, all these can be removed only in a like manner and on like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court, then it is all right. The removal, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners have been made so tenuous that with these conditions before them, men of real merit, men of ability and competence may not

like to serve on the Election Commission (Interruption). There is the President to pull me up if necessary. I hope there is only one President in the House. I will bow to his ruling and to none other's. The President's command I will obey.

Then, Sir, there are one or two more points which I would like to stress before the House. I feel that so far as the Regional Commissioners are concerned, that is, the Commissioners for a particular State are concerned, I have already stated that the Governor of the State should be consulted by the President before he appoints Election Commissioners for that State. As it is, we are watering down provincial autonomy to a considerable extent in this Constitution, but certainly there is no harm if in appointing the Election Commissioners for the particular State the Governor of the State is consulted. After all the Governor is not going to be elected now. He is going to be nominated by the President; he is the President's nominee and more or less a creature of the President. The President will have full confidence in the Governor of the State; he is not going to be an elected Governor at all but a nominated Governor. If the President cannot trust even his own nominee. I do not know whom else he can trust. So, I suppose some sort of a suitable alteration will be made in this regard providing for consultation with the Governor by the President, especially in view of the fact that even as regards the appointment of a High Court Judge in a State, we have provided that the President shall consult the Governor of the State. I fail to see why the Governor should not be invested with a similar power in regard to the appointment of Regional Commissioner.

Next, so far as the removal of Regional Commissioners is concerned, it should not be left so very delightfully easy as it is now in this article. I feel that there must be more secure conditions of tenure and of service. It Parliament can have no voice-Parliament at the Centre and the Legislature in the State can have no voice-in the removal of Regional Commissioners I at least feel that they should be removed only by the whole Election Commission and not simply by the Chief Election Commissioner and his colleagues. The one-man show must cease. It is all a one-man show at present. Now, of course we are going to adopt an amendment to the effect that "subject to any law made by Parliament", but so far as the removal is concerned, according to the article it is a one-man show,-the removal of the Election Commissioners or Regional Commissioners. This should not be. The removal must be made more difficult: otherwise, I warm the House that no men of proved merit, ability or competence will come to serve on the Election Commission when the conditions of service are so very insecure.

Then, Sir, there is one point made by my honourable Friend, Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena and that the Regional Commissioners must be appointed by the President not merely in consultation with, but in concurrence with the Election Commission. I think that is a safe rule to adopt, that the President should not have the only word, but he must be guided by the opinion of the Chief Commissioner with whom he must concur in the matter of appointment of his colleagues. After all when the President has appointed then Chief Commissioner, I see no reason why the President cannot get suitable men about whom both are in agreement. Certainly India is a vast country, and she can produce men for every place and for every office that the future may have in store; and I am sure for this job of Election Commissioner there will certainly be men available about whom the President and the Election Commission can agree, and both in agreement with each other can appoint the Regional Commissioners. These are the lacunae and pitfalls in the article and the amendments that have been moved by the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar before the House. I have serious misgivings about the working of this article. I have doubts about the way in which it will work, unless it is further amended suitably. Unless it is

so amended, I am sure the Election Commission at the Centre and in the State will not function as well as we all want it should, and it is, I dare say, the unanimous desire of the whole House that with elections looming on the horizon, the first general elections should be conducted in an able, impartial, efficient manner. There can be no two opinions on that point. I, however, fear that that object may not be achieved by this article. This is a possibility which I for one do not like to envisage. I desire that a suitable method should be devised to have more competent, more impartial and more efficient Election Commissions in the States as well as at the Centre to conduct elections. What I fear is that this article moved by Dr. Ambedkar may not serve that purpose. I hope that Dr. Ambedkar and his wise men of the Drafting Committee will take into consideration this matter, if not now, at a later stage perhaps, and try to make further suitable amendments in this article. The House, I am sure, will consider this matter more carefully because it is not a matter to be lightly treated, for members to laugh at and smile. They might live to weep another day. If we are in a hurry to go home, I wish that this article may be held over. It is not a laughable matter at all and if Members are tempted to laugh, I wish them joy of it. Sir, I trust that the article will be suitably modified in the light of my observations.

Some Honourable Members: The question be now put.

Mr. President: Closure has been moved. The question is:

"That the question be now put."

The motion was adopted.

Mr. President: I will first put the amendment which Ambedkar has moved last.

The question is:

"That in amendment No. 99 of List I in the proposed article 289-

(i) in clause (1) the words 'to be appointed by the President' occurring at the end be deleted.

(ii) for the clause (2), the following clauses be substituted:-

'(2) The Election Commission shall consist to the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, be made by the President.'

'(2a) When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Commission.'

(iii) in clause (4), before the words 'The conditions of service' the words 'subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament' be inserted."

The amendment was adopted.

Mr. President: I will put Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena's amendment. I think there will be a little change because of the new arrangement.

The question is:

"That at the end of clause (1) the following words be added:-

'Subject to confirmation by two-thirds majority in a joint session of both the Houses of Parliament'."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That after the word 'appoint' in clause (2) the following be inserted:-

'Subject to confirmation by two-thirds majority in a joint session of both the Houses of Parliament.'"

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in clause (3) for the words 'after consultation with', the words 'in concurrence with' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in clause (4) for the words 'President may by rule determine', the words 'Parliament may by law determine' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

That in proviso (1) to clause (4) for the words 'Chief Election Commissioner' the words 'Election Commissioners' be substituted, in both places."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in proviso (2) to clause (4), the words 'any other Election Commissioner or' be omitted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That for article 289, the following article be

substituted:-

289. Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission. (1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of election to the offices of President and Vice-President held under this Constitution, including the appointment of election tribunals for the decision of doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with election of Parliament and to the Legislatures of States shall be vested in a Commission (referred to in this Constitution as the Election Commission).

(2) The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provision of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, be made by the President.

(2a) When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Commission.

(3) Before each general election to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of each State and before the first general election and thereafter before each biennial election to the Legislative council of each State having such Council, the President shall also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission such Regional Commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the Election Commission in the performance of the functions conferred on it by clause (1) of this article.

(4) Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine:

Provided that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court and the conditions of service of the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment:

Provided further that any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.

(5) The President or the Governor or Ruler of a State shall, when so requested by the Election Commission, make available to the Election Commission or to a Regional Commissioner such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the Election Commission by clause (1) of this article."

The amendment was adopted.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That article 289, as amended stand part of the Constitution."

The motion was adopted.

Article 289, as amended, was added to the Constitution.

ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE

The Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha: Mr. President, Sir, in the rules of procedure of this House, rule 19, there is a proviso that the House cannot be adjourned for more than three days by the President unless the House authorises him to do so. Therefore I move this formal motion:

"Resolved that the House do adjourn until such date in July 1949 as the President may fix."

No date is specified; the President will fix the date.

An Honourable Member: Why put down the month?

The Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha: The month is fixed; the President shall fix the date.

The Honourable Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta: (C.P. & Berar: General): That means that the President shall have no choice in regard to the month.

Shri Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha: The motion is simply that the House to adjourn until such date in July 1949 as the President may fix. He cannot alter the month; he can fix a date.

Mr. President: Before I put this motion to the House, I desire to explain the situation and the programme as I envisage it. May own idea is that we should be able to finish the second reading by the 15th of August. There after,

we shall have to adjourn for some time to enable the Drafting Committee to prepare the Constitution in its final form for the third reading. That might take some weeks. Therefore, we shall have to meet from time in September. That should also be subject to this that we are able to pass the third reading by the second of October. That is my wish. If the House generally agrees to this tentative programme, I shall fix the dates in consultation with the Drafting Committee and perhaps with the members of Government who are principally concerned in this.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: Could you also give an idea as to how long you may require us to sit in the month of July?

Mr. President: I could give you an idea. The Assembly cannot meet before the 15th of July, because, as I said the other day, the adjournment has been necessitated by the fact that there are certain provisions which have to be considered consultation with the Provincial Ministers and the Finance Minister has also to be present at these consultations. The Finance Minister is going to England in connection with the Sterling Balance negotiations, and he will be coming back some time early in July. We cannot expect that this Conference of Provincial Ministers may take place before the 15th of July. Therefore, the House cannot meet before the 15th of July. The question is as to on what exact date after the 15th of July we should be able to meet. I shall try to adjust that in consultation, as I have said, with the Drafting Committee and with the Government.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: I want to know the length of period for which we will have to sit.

Mr. President: As I have said, from the day we begin up to the 15th or August; that is as I envisage.

Shri Mahavir Tyagi: Fifteenth is the probable date on which you might summon the session. What I want to know is how long will that session last.

Mr. President: I have answered that question. I have said, the session will last from the day it commences up to the 15th of August, if my provisional programme stands.

The Honourable Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta: May I also remind you, Sir, that it will be difficult for us to say on what particular date we will finish. That will depend on the work and how much time we take.

Mr. President: As I have said, this is a provisional suggestion of mine. That is a good date and therefore I want to have it finish by the date. If the Members want to prolong it, they can do it, of course.

Shri R. K. Sidhva: My point is, we have held over a number of clauses and unless we meet a little earlier, viz., by the 20th, we will not be able to finish the subject matters held over as contentious by the 15th August 1949.

Mr. President: I shall bear that in mind.

The Honourable Shri Satyanarayan Sinha: Sir, let us adjourn now.

Mr. President: Do I take it that the House accepts the motion moved by Mr. Sinha?

Honourable Members: Yes.

Mr. President: The question is:

"Resolved that the House do adjourn until such date in July 1949 as the President may fix."

The motion was adopted.

The Assembly then adjourned until a Date in July 1949 to be fixed by the President.