The Constitution of India – Drafting and Composition

The present Constitution was framed by the Constituent Assembly of India setup under Cabinet Mission Plan of May 16, 1946.

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 for 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 Adviser of the Assembly.

The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly took place on December 9, 1946, with Dr. Sachidanand Sinha as its interim President. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as its President on December 11, 1946.

The Assembly has 13 committees for framing the Constitution.

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The all-important Drafting Committee, which bore the responsibility of drafting the Constituent Assembly, from July 1947 to September 1948, was formed on August 29, 1947. Its members were:

  1. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar – Chairman
  2. N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar
  3. Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar (a distinguished jurist)
  4. K. M. Munshi (a distinguished jurist)
  5. Syyed Mohd. Saadulla
  6. N. Madhav Rao (in place of B L Mitra)
  7. D. P. Khaitan (T Krishnamachari , after Khaitan’s death in 1948)

It was finally passed and accepted on November 26, 1949. The last session of the Assembly was held on January 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 November 26, 1949, but was delayed until 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, and 8 schedules (12 at present).

Constituent Assembly adopted our National Flag on July 22, 1947. It was designed by Pingali Venkaiah of Andhra Pradesh.

The idea to have Constitution was given by M N Roy. He was a Political Philosopher.

The Preamble of the Constitution is a preface or the introduction to the constitution. It is not an integral part of Constitution. The interpretation of the Constitution is based on the spirit of Preamble.

The ‘Objective Resolution‘, proposed by Pandit Nehru and passed by the Constituent Assembly, ultimately became the Preamble of the constitution.

The Idea of Preamble borrowed from the Constitution of United States.

The words ‘Socialist’, ‘Secular’ and ‘Unity & Integrity’ were added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.

The Preamble of the Constitution is not Justiciable.

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