- The present constitution was framed by the Constituent Assembly of India setup under Cabinet Mission Plan of May 16, 1946.
COMPOSITION OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY
- The Constituent Assembly consisted of 385 members, of which 292 were elected by the elected members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies while 93 members were nominated by the Princely States. To these were to be added a representative each from the four chief Commissioners Provinces of Delhi, Ajmer-Marwar, Coorg and British Baluchistan.
- Each Province and each Indian State or group of States were allotted the total number of seats proportional to their respective population roughly in the ratio of one to a million.
- B N Rao was appointed the Constitutional Advisor of the Assembly.
- The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly took place on Dec. 9, 1946 with Dr. Sachidanand Sinha as its interim President. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as its President on Dec 11, 1946.
- The Assembly had 13 committees for framing the Constitution.
- The all important Drafting Committee, which bore the responsibility of drafting the Constitutional document during the recess of the constituent Assembly, from July 1947 to Sept 1948, was formed on Aug 29, 1947. Its members were:
- B. R. Ambedkar – Chairman
- Gopalaswami Ayyangar
- Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar (a distinguished jurist)
- M. Munshi (a distinguish jurist)
- Syyed Mohd. Saadulla
- Madhav Rao (in place of B L Mitra)
- P. Khaitan (T Krishnamachari, after Khaitan’s death in 1948)
- It was finally passed and accepted on Nov 26, 1949. The last session of the Assembly was held on Jan 24, 1950, which unanimously elected Dr. Rajendra Prasad as the President of India. In all, 284 members of the Assembly signed the official copies of the Indian Constitution which came into effect on Jan 26, 1950, known and celebrated as the Republic Day of India.
- Although constitution was ready on Nov 26, 1949 but was delayed till Jan 26, 1950 because in 1929 on this day Indian National Congress demanded ‘Poorna Swaraj’ in Lahore session under J. L. Nehru. [some of the provisions as those related to citizenship, elections, provisional Parliament etc, were given immediate effect].
- Constituent Assembly took 2 years- 11 months- 18 days to complete the constitution.
- Originally it had 395 articles & 8 schedules (12 at present).
- Constituent Assembly adopted our National Flag on July 22, 1947. It was designed by Pingali Venkaiah on Andhra Pradesh.
- The idea to have Constitution was given by M. N. Roy (Political Philosopher).
PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION
- It is a preface or the introduction to the Constitution. It is not an integral part of Constitution. The interpretation of Constitution is based on the spirit of Preamble.
- The ‘Objective Resolution’, proposed by Pandit Nehru and passed by the Constituent Assembly, ultimate became the Preamble.
- Idea of Preamble borrowed from constitution of US.
- The words ‘SOCIALIST’, ‘SECULAR’ and ‘UNITY’ & ‘INTEGRITY’ were added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.
- Preamble is not justiciable.
BORROWED FEATURES OF THE CONSTITUTION
|From UK||· Nominal Head- President (like Queen).
· Cabinet system of ministers.
· Post of PM.
· Parliamentary type of Government.
· Bicameral Parliament.
· Lower House more powerful.
· Council of Ministers responsible to Lower House.
· Speaker in the Lok Sabha.
· Single Citizenship.
|From US||· Written Constitution.
· Executive head of state known as President and his being the Supreme commander of the Armed Forces.
· Vice – President as the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
· Fundamental Rights.
· Supreme Court.
· Provision of States.
· Independence of Judiciary and judicial review.
· Removal of Supreme Court and High Court judges.
|From USSR||· Fundamental Duties.
· Five year plan.
|From AUSTRALIA||· Concurrent List.
· Language of the Preamble.
· Provision regarding trade, commerce and intercourse.
|From JAPAN||· Law on which the Supreme Court functions.|
|From WEIMAR CONSTITUTION OF GERMANY||· Suspension of Fundamental Rights during the emergency|
|From SOUTH AFRICA||· Procedure of constitutional Amendments.|
|From CANADA||· Scheme of federation with a strong centre.
· Distribution of powers between Centre and the States and placing. Residuary Powers with the Centre.
|From IRELAND||· Concept of directive Principles of State Policy. (Ireland borrowed it from SPAIN).
· Method of election of the President.
· Nomination of members in the Rajya Sabha by the President.