Constitutional Development & Indian Constitution

Making of the constitution

  • 1934: Idea of constituent assembly put forward by M N Roy
  • 1935: INC officially demands constituent assembly
  • 1938: JL Nehru’s declaration on the constitution of India
  • 1940: Nehru’s demand accepted in the form of August Offer
  • August Offer
    • PM: Winston Churchill
    • While rejecting INCs demand for independence of India after the war on the ground that INC is not representative of the minorities, three offers were made
    • Expansion of Viceroy’s executive council with the inclusion of Indian representatives
    • An advisory body with the members from British India and Indian princely states which were supposed to meet at consequent intervals was established
    • Two practical steps were decided to be taken in which it was to come at an agreement with the Indians on the form which the post representatives body should take and the methods by which it should come to a conclusion.
    • It further planned to draw out the principles and outlines of the Constitution itself
    • Congress rejected the offer
  • 1942: Cripps Mission
    • PM: Winston Churchill Sec of State: Leo Amery                                Viceroy: Linlithgow
    • On the framing of an independent constitution to be adopted after the WW II
    • Cripps proposals rejected by the ML which wanted India to be divided into two autonomous states
  • 1946: Cabinet Mission
    • PM: Clement Attlee Viceroy: Lord Wavell
    • Members: Pethick Lawrence (sec of state for India), Stafford Cripps, A V Alexander
    • Simla Conference
    • May 16 plan
      • United dominion of india would be given independence
      • Muslim majority and Hindu majority provinces to be grouped
      • Central government to run foreign affairs, defence and communications while rest of the responsibility would belong to the provinces, coordinated by the two groups
    • Interim cabinet was formed. ML joined the cabinet but decided to boycott the constituent assembly
  • 1946, Nov: Constituent Assembly formed under the Cabinet Mission Plan
  • First meeting of CA on December 9, 1946. Sacchidanada Sinha was elected the temporary Presidetn
  • Dec 11, 1946: Rajendra Prasad and H C Mukharjee elected as the President and VP of the assembly respectively.
  • BN Rao was the constitutional advisor to the assembly
  • Dec 13, 1946: Objectives Resolution moved by JL Nehru
  • Jan 22, 1947: Objectives resolution adopted
  • June 3, 1947: Mountbatten plan. Partition of the country announced.
  • Jan 24, 1950: Final session of the CA. It however continued as a provisional body from Jan 26, 1950 till the formation of the new Parliament after the first general elections in 1951-52

Major Committees of CA

Committee Chairman
Union Powers Committee JL Nehru
Union Constitution Committee JL Nehru
Committee for Negotiating with States JL Nehru
Steering Committee Rajendra Prasad
Rules of Procedure Committee Rajendra Prasad
Provincial Constitution Committee Sardar Patel
Committee on Fundamental Rights and  Minorities.

Two sub committees ( FR , Minorities)

Sardar Patel

(J B Kriplani, H C Mukharjee)

Drafting Committee B R Ambedkar
  • Drafting Committee was setup on Aug 29, 1947. It had seven members
    • B R Ambedkar
    • Alladi Krisnaswamy Ayyer
    • N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar
    • K M Munshi
    • TT Krishnamchari
    • N Madhava Rau
    • Syed Mohammad Saadullah
  • Nov 26, 1949: Constitution was adopted
  • The Preamble was enacted after the entire Constitution was already enacted

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