Constituent Assembly of India and the Making of Indian Constitution

MN Roy in 1934 was the 1st to demand Constituent Assembly. Whereas, F for the first time officially demanded a Constituent Assembly in 1935.

Composition of Constituent Assembly

  • Official Seal:
    • Seats proportion to population
    • 389 seats
    • Seats allocated to each British province were to be divided among the three principal communities—Muslims, Sikhs and General
    • Elected(Provinces) by  Single Transferable Vote PR (STV PR) + Nominated (by Princely States)
    • Partly Elected and Partly Nominated, Indirect, limited franchise
    • Dr Sachchidanand Sinha (President), later Rajendra Prasad
    • Two vice-President: HC Mukherjee and V. T. Krishnamachari
    • 1946: Objective Resolution introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru
    • The Indian Independence Act of 1947: 3 changes
      • Constituent Assembly became fully sovereign
      • Constituent Assembly became legislative body
      • Muslim League member withdrew
    • Constituent body: chaired by Rajendra Prasad
    • Legislative body: chaired by G V Mavlankar
  • Constituent Assembly → National flag, National Anthem, National Song, First President
  • Constitution as adopted on Nov 26, 1949, contained a Preamble, 395 Articles and 8 Schedules.
  • With the commencement of the Constitution of India
    • Indian Independence Act of 1947 ✖
    • GoI Act of 1935 ✖
    • Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act (1949) continued
  • H.V.R. Iyengar was the Secretary to the Constituent Assembly
  • BN Rau: Legal advisor
  • Prem Behari Narain Raizada was the calligrapher of the Indian Constitution
  • The GOI Act of 1935 granted limited franchise on the basis of tax, property and education

Committees of the Constituent Assembly

Chairman Committees
Jawaharlal Nehru 1. Union Power,
2. Union Constitution,
3. States Committee
Sardar Patel 1. Provincial Constitution,
2. Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights,
3. Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas
J.B. KripalaniFundamental Rights
H.C. MukherjeeMinorities
Gopinath Bardoloi North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas
B.R. Ambedkar Drafting Committee
Dr Rajendra Prasad1. Rules of Procedure, Steering Committee
2. Finance and Staff Committee,
3. National Flag
B. Pattabhi SitaramayyaHouse Committee
S.K. DharLinguistic Provinces Commission
Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar Credentials Committee
Dr. K.M. MunshiOrder of Business Committee

Major Committees

  • Union Power, Union Constitution, States Committee ー Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Provincial Constitution, Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas ー Sardar Patel

Subcommittee

  • Fundamental Rights ー J.B. Kripalani
  • Minorities ー H.C. Mukherjee
  • North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas ー Gopinath Bardoloi
  • Drafting Committee ー B.R. Ambedkar (Chairman)
    • N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar, K.M. Munshi, Syed Mohammad Saadullah, N. Madhava Rau, T.T. Krishnamachari
    • (Nehru, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad ✖)
  • Rules of Procedure, Steering Committee – Dr. Rajendra Prasad

Minor Committees

  • Finance and Staff Committee, National Flag ー Rajendra Prasad
  • House Committee – B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya
  • Linguistic Provinces Commission ー S.K. Dhar
  • Credentials Committee ー Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar
  • Order of Business Committee ー Dr. K.M. Munshi

Experts Committee of the Congress

  • The INC formed a committee of experts in 1946, when the constituent assembly elections were still underway, with a view to preparing material for the Constituent Assembly. The members of this committee were:
    • Jawaharlal Nehru (Chairman) and other members
    • Later Krishna Kripalani was co-opted as a member and convener of the committee
    • The committee members, worked within the framework of the Cabinet Mission Scheme

Important Facts

  • Sir B.N. Rau: Constitutional advisor (Legal advisor) to the Constituent Assembly.
  • H.V.R. Iyengar: Secretary to the Constituent Assembly
  • S.N. Mukerjee: Chief draftsman of the constitution in the Constituent Assembly.
  • Calligrapher of the Indian Constitution – Prem Behari Narain Raizada.

States Reorganisation Act, 1956

  • It created 14 states and 6 union territories
  • States: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Bombay, J&K, Kerala, MP, Madras, Mysore, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP & WB
  • UTs: A&N Islands, Delhi, HP, Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands, Manipur and Tripura

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