Constitutent Assembly Of India - Volume VII
Dated: January 05, 1949
The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Ten of the Clock, Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H.C. Mookherjee) in the Chair.
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H.C. Mookherjee): Before we start the business of the House, I would like to read a letter which I received last evening from our President.This reads:
Then he says:
With the permission of the House, I would like to reply to this letter to the effect that we hope that he will not only recover but fully recover and will conduct the proceedings of the House in May next when we meet once again.
We now come to item No. 2, motion to be moved by the Honourable Sardar Patel.
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT (AMENDMENT) BILL
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel (Bombay:General): Sir, I beg to move:
The measure before the House is a composite one, and infact it covers a variety of fields of administration. By experience we have found that some changes in these directions are necessary, and in respect of one field, viz.,the States, it is found necessary statutorily to recognise the changes that have taken place in the States during the period of last year and also to regularise them. Now, the House is aware--at least many Members who attended the last session of the Assembly must be knowing--that the working of the Trade Disputes Act has created certain anomalies and difficulties. Under the Trade Disputes Act the provinces have set up Industrial Tribunals for the purposed of disposing of disputes. In the working of these Tribunals, decisions have been given by various Tribunals which are not uniform, at least as regards the principles underlying the decisions. This has created complications and there is a general desire that it would be desirable to have uniformity with regard to the principles governing these decisions.Therefore, the suggestion has been made to the Government that a Central Tribunal or Appellate Authority should be established so that the decisions of this Tribunal may setup a sort of Case Law which would be a guidance for the Provincial Tribunals as well as bring about uniformity in the main principles governing their decisions. Now, that is one thing.
The other thing is that we had consulted the Provincial Governments and they have all agreed more or less in the necessity of a Central Board of Censors for films. In this respect also, the Central Government should have powers and for that purpose also we propose to introduce a sort of amendment in this Act. Both the Provincial Governments and the film industry have welcomed the Central Board of this kind which will lay down principles for uniform treatment offilms and ensure that those principles are implemented in actual practice. Also we are experiencing constitutional difficulties in pursuing certain statistical enquiries. For all these reasons, it has become necessary to secure in the executive sphere power in respect of these matters.
We felt that the Dominion Legislature should have the power to confer such executive functions on the Dominion agency by law of the Dominion, and consequently an amendment was also considered necessary under Section 126-A of the Government of India Act, but after further consultation with Provincial Premiers who are naturally jealous of the powers of their legislatures and rightly sensitive to any encroachment on those powers, we propose to introduce with their advice and with their consent, an amendment of are stricted nature which confines itself to certain specific matters.
Again, the industrial policy of the Government of India makes it necessary that the Central Legislature should have powers in respect of a number of other industries. Firstly,these powers can be derived under Section 34 of List I of the Seventh Schedule, but as that gives Government power to legislate only on development, it is doubtful whether inrelation to production, supply or distribution similar powers would be available to the Centre. The House will appreciate that, without such power, control on development will be unreal and ineffective. It is therefore proposed in the Bill to make some additions to the Federal legislative list, but subsequently after discussions with the Provincial Premiers to which i have already referred, it was decided to make an alteration in the arrangements contemplated in the Bill and to secure the object which we have in view by including certain matters in the scope of clause 2 as would be amended on the lines mentioned, in the Concurrent List.This would give the Dominion Legislature power to legislatein respect of these industries and also to confer executive power in respect of them.
I now come to clause 3 of the Bill. This amendment is considered necessary on account of the provisions of sub-section (3) of Section 61 of the Government of India Act, according to which the legislative Councils of the provinces of Madras, Bombay, United Provinces and Bihar are permanent bodies subject to the condition that, as near as may be,one-third of the members of the Councils should retire every third year. The retirement under these provisions was due in United provinces in September last and the elections have already taken place there, but in Madras, Bombay and Biharthy are to take place in March or April. It is considered by those Governments that in view of the likelihood of the new Constitution coming into force in the near future elections for the Upper Chamber which would become necessary by retirement should be avoided. In these circumstances, we have considered it necessary to take powers to extent the terms of office of members of the Councils who may be due to retire under sub-section (3) of Section 61 of the Government of India Act.
Now, I come to Clause 6 of the Bill. The House knows that as a result of merger agreements which have been signed by rulers, full jurisdiction in regard to administration of twenty five States in Orissa, fifteen States in Central provinces, three States in Madras, thirty five full-powered States and one hundred and forty semi-jurisdictional States in Bombay, and three States in East Punjab has been handed over to the Government of India who have delegated their powers to the Provincial Governments concerned under the Extra-Provincial Jurisdiction Act which was passed by the Central legislature. In addition to this, certain States have been taken over by the Central Government and entrusted to officers of the Central Government who have been appointed as Chief Commissioners and these are known as Chief Commissioners' provinces. These are, firstly, the East Punjab Hill States. They are about fifteen to twenty in number,--very small States--which have all been lumped together; and in view of their special condition we have taken them over and formed a Chief Commissioner's province.Other States taken over in this manner are: Cutch, Bilaspurand Mayurbhanj which has subsequently been handed over to Orissa. These have been formed as Chief Commissioners provinces. In the case of Cutch it has been done on accountof its special position, namely, that it has a big, longborder line with Pakistan and is an undeveloped areaneglected for a very long time, with hardly any railway, nomodern conveyance, no roads etc., and if you want to see athousand-year old mediaeval State, Cutch is the only one inIndia. This State, however, has a first-class major port tobe developed and the Government of India propose to spend alarge amount of money on it. Then a railway from Cutch-metregauge-is to be laid connecting it to Deesa. There is also aproposal to have another railway-board gauge-right up toViramgam. In these circumstances and because of the longborder between the two Dominions, it was considered necessary to take over the State's administration and form a separate Chief commissioner's province.
The legal position in regard to the administration of these provinces is that laws are made by notification issued in the name of the Chief Commissioner under Section 4 of theExtra-provincial jurisdiction Act which was passed by the Central Assembly in 1947. The administration is carried on under the provisions of this Act either by the Central Government or the Provincial Governments. It is clear that the process of administrative integration which these agreements were designed to bring about has thus been partially achieved. The laws of the Central Legislature and the appropriate Provincial legislatures do not apply as such to the States which have been merged or which are being administered by these Chief Commissioners. The Finances of these States do not form part of the finances of the Dominion or the province concerned, but have to be kept separately for the time being. So we naturally considered how best we could bring about complete administrative integration, which was the aim and purpose of the merger agreements which have been signed by the rulers and accepted by the Government of India. It was all first thought that this can be done by an order under Section 290 of the Government of India Act by increasing the areas and altering the boundaries of the provinces, but Section 290 makes no mention of the acceding State and it is therefore extremely doubtful whether the Government General is competent by an order under that Section to direct the integration of the territories of acceding States to the provinces. it is for a variety of reasons that these merger agreements were entered into and the integration of these States should not longer be delayed. It is therefore considered necessary to make in the Government of India Act of 1935 a provision enabling the governance of an acceding State or States, whose rulers have entrusted jurisdiction and power to the Dominion Government,either as part of a Governor's province or a a Chief Commissioner's province. Such a provision is necessary for political, constitutional and administrative reasons.politically, it will hasten the process of integration and will provide a means for all these areas being represented in the legislatures of the provinces in which they have been merged. At present, although the States have been merged,there is no arrangement by which they could be represented in any manner in the provinces concerned. Constitutionally, the provision will enable the Dominion and the Provincial legislatures to have a legal basis for enacting legislation for these areas, and administrative convenience of complete merger is undoubtedly very great. There is also a provisionin the Bill for adjustment of territories between a province and a neighbouring acceding State. if such adjustment is considered expedient or necessary for reasons of administration, it cannot be done at present. I might illustrate this by an example. There are about 12 1/2 villages which form the chief Commissioners province known as Panth Piploda, of which the House may know. These villages are not at one place and are situated at different places and are in such a position that their administration is practically neglected. The area cannot be governed properly and to have such a small unit of villages situated at different places is, constitutionally speaking, a problem which requires immediate solution. Now, these States, on account of their geographical position and other reasons,can only be properly merged or administered along with Madhya bharat. they are all situated in the midst of this area.
I hope, Sir, that
I have given the House sufficient justification for the measure which I have placed before the House. There are a large number of amendments proposed,particularly to clause 6. The list of amendments for which notice has been given is too long, but I hope I have given sufficient explanation for the justification for the Bill and honourable Members will reconsider them and it will not be necessary for many of them to be moved in the House.
Sir, I move that the Bill be taken into consideration.
Shri Yudhishthir Misra (Orissa States): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I want to take part in the general discussion on the motion before the House and make some observations about the provisions of the Bill for the administration of certain States whose rulers have cededfull and exclusive power and authority to the Government of India. According to the provisions of the Bill, some States such as the States which now comprise the Himachal Pradesh will be constituted into a Chief Commissioner's province and other such as the Orissa and Chattisgarh States, Deccan States and Pudukottah State will be administered as parts of the neighbouring provinces. The integration of the Orissa and Chattisgarh States took place in January 1948 and since then these States have been under the administration of the provinces of Orissa and Central Provinces. The integration was the result of agreements between the rulers on the one hand and the Government of India on the other. The people of these States or their representatives never came into the picture. They were neither consulted about the process of integration nor was their opinion taken about the actual administration of the States to Which they belonged. The right of self-determination has been denied to them as a result of which there is great discontent in these States.The popular opinion in the Orissa States as reflected through the Regional council affiliated to the All-India States peoples Conference, was not for unconditional merger.The Orissa States being educationally, politically and economically backward, they apprehended domination and exploitation by the province in services, legislature and in developmental schemes. Hence, their acceptance of the idea of one administration between the States and the province was conditional upon certain terms and conditions which should have been entered into between the people of the States and the province. The idea could not materialise as the people of the States were not taken into confidence and the agreement was purely the affair of the Government of India, the provincial Government and the rulers of the States. The unconditional integration of the States has to a certain extent, reduced the people of the States to subjection and justified the apprehensions which they had entertained. to all intents and purposes they are treated as conquered people and instead of the Ruler's Raj there is in the States the Raj of the administrators. There is, no doubt, in each state an advisory Committee, but the advice and suggestions of these advisory committees are never taken seriously. There are two Executive Councillors, as far as the orissa States are concerned, but they are, I submit with all humility, mere show-boys and they are never consulted in important and vital matters.
Sir, in this connection, I beg to bring to the notice of the house that when the question of the personal property of the rulers was considered by the Government of orissa and an agreement was entered into by the Government of Orissa with the rulers of those states, these executive Councillors were never consulted and the wishes of the people of the states with respect to the property were never taken into consideration.
No doubt, Sir, certain measures have been taken by the Provincial "Government to meet the demands of the States people, but they pale into in significance in the face of the States people, but they pale into insignificance in the faceof the mal administration in certain cases that has taken place in the wake of integration.
Sir, Corruption has increased and there is more exploitation than before. Every village has been converted into a liquor shop and the evils of drinking have increased.The medical grants for the purpose of medicine etc., for the State hospitals have been reduced. The substantial pay of some of the employees of the States, especially the low-paid employees, has been reduced and the primary schools which were managed by the respective State Governments have been converted into stipendiary schools as a result of which the teachers of these primary schools will not get any dearness allowance and the benefit of provident Fund. in some of the States the road development programmes have been held up.
Now, Sir, it is proposed that besides the privy purse which has been granted the rulers, the relatives of the rulers will be given some allowances. This idea of granting more allowances to the rulers will be given some allowances.This idea of granting more allowances to the rulers of the States or their relatives is quite against the wishes of the people and there is no reason why these rulers should be granted more money than has been granted to them under the agreement. But, Sir, even against the wishes of the people,the provincial government is prepared to consider their cases. i do not know what has happened to that proposal.Now, Sir, before the integration of the States and after the integration, the provincial government had held out certain assurances to the people, saying that the provincial government will not reduce the pay, especially of the law-paid employees of the States and that the education and other amenities which the people were enjoying will not suffer in the hands of the Provincial Government, but in many cases these assurances have been falsified and theprovincial Government have not kept the promises which they held out to the People before integration.
Now, Sir, I submit that it is the duty of the Central Government to see that the States area should be given certain priorities in the developmental works by the provincial Government and that the people of the States donot lose the little amenities of life which they were then enjoying. therefore, I the States to the provincial Government, as is contemplated in the Bill, the Government of India should have instituted an enquiry into the present administration of the States and should have as certained that nothing is done against the interests of any section of the people of the States.
Sir, in the amending Bill, a provision has been made to consult the Provincial Government for the purpose of passing orders by the Governor-General making the States parts of the province, but no provision has been made to ascertain the views of the people. When the fate of the people of the States is going to be decided, it is meet and proper that the people of the States should also be consulted. If it is not possible for the Government of India to accept this suggestion, at least the popular organisations of these States should be consulted, before the orders are passed, about the manner in which the States will form a part of the province.
Now, Sir, I think that for the interim period, before the new Constitution is adopted and passed, the representatives from the States should be consulted on all the problems which are special to them and that the administration should be carried on according to the advice of those representatives.
Sir, if no constitutional guarantees can be given to the people of the States, as I have suggested, I submit,that before making the order under the proposed Section 290-A, the Governor-General should give some directions to the province to act according to the advice of the representatives of the States on certain special problems.
Shri Ram Chandra Upadhyaya (Matsya Union): *[Mr. Vice-President, as a representative of the people of the State, Iwelcome this amending Bill. In particular I support theamendment now being proposed in Section 6. I believe that it would be in the interest of the people. I, therefore, desireto make some observations in order to refute the remarksmade in this connection by shri Yudhishthir Misra. I maystate that in my opinion this amendment is very much in ourminor individual or group interests. Not many days ago theproblem of the States was considered to be so difficult ofsolution that on the departure of the foreign rulers from this country the people of other lands seriously apprehended that India would be crushed out of existence under the heavy load of these States. It is a matter of deep congratulation,however, for the Government of India that it has felt thenecessity of adding a new section, i.e., Section 290-a, to the Government of India Act. It shows what great progress we have been able to make during this period of one year. It ismy belief that we would soon be able to settle even the few matters that remain. I may in this connection drew yourattention to what I consider to be a special feature of this Act, and it is the following:-
I believe that the shortest path that the people of the States need follow for securing a complete and finalsolution of the problem of the states is to induce thePrinces of their States to transfer all their powers to theGovernment of India. A number of States, as Sardar Patel hasalready informed us, have agreed to adopt this course, butthere are also quite a number of States who have not agreedto do so. I think, that after what has happened inHyderabad, no Prince would dare raise objections to theadoption of this course of action. I have, however,apprehensions about the attitude of the new class of rules--the class consisting of Popular Leaders--that is nowemerging in the Indian States. What we have read aboutBhopal is a matter of regret to us today as it was evenbefore. Many of the political workers and popular leaders of the Indian States believe that they would be able tomaintain their leading position only if the small States arepermitted to maintain their separate existence. But in myopinion it is a grave mistake on their
* [ ] Translation of Hindustani speech.
part to entertain such a belief, and they are thus hamperingthe unification of India. It is a matter of great amazementthat such people should hold the belief that a petty Statelike Bhopal can maintain its separate existence. Still moreamazing is that traitors like Chaturnarayan Malaviya shouldhold the idea that they can maintain their leadership thoughthe separate existence of such a small State as Bhopal. I have also come across a similar statement about the leadersof Tehri Garhwa. But if we desire to make India great andglorious it is our duty to disabuse the minds of ourpolitical workers of such notions. It has already been amade clear by Sardar Patel and it is also plain to all of usthat the Princes can no more stand in the way of theprogress of India. At such a time it would be a matter ofdeep regret if anyone of us put new obstacles in the path ofIndia's progress. It is for this reason that I would like toemphasise again that it is our duty to define our objectivesclearly and precisely.
Another feature of this section to which I would liketo draw your attention is the provision for thetransformation of some States into Chief CommissionersProvinces. I think that this is also a correct course tofollow. I believe that we shall have to merge the States toform Chief Commissioners or Governors' Provinces before wecan merge them with the Indian Union. There are some peoplewho claim that popular opinion should be ascertained beforethe adoption of this course. But in my opinion, if this wasto be done the progress of the country would be considerablydelayed. I am afraid that plebescite or referendum for thispurpose would not be very useful, because the people of the States are so backward at the present time that they wouldnot be able correctly to appreciate the issues involved andwould not consequently favour the right course of action.India is taking big strides in the direction of progress.But her march towards progress would be retarded if we thepeople of the State begin to hold a referendum. I,therefore, urge that we should not insist on these claims.In my opinion it would be quite sufficient if the views of the Congress Party in each State are ascertained and actedupon in the matter of the merger of the States with oneanother. Any attempt to consult a wider section of opinionis likely to create serious complications.
Shri Yudhishthir Misra has remarked that in view of theunsatisfactory way in which the administrations of many of the State are working now-a-days one begins to entertain theopinion that the people were much better of before than whatthey are or would be when the proposals now being made for their welfare have been carried out. It cannot be doubtedthat previously when their were small States the people hadsome conveniences arising from the fact that the High Courtsand the administrative headquarters were, on account of their proximity to the people, easily accessible to them.They could run to them and speedily secure the redress of their grievances. But this facility would no more beavailable to the people on the merger of a State with a bigprovince. People, no doubt, attach quite a great importanceto this facility. But it appears to me that we should notgive any importance to our petty gains or losses of thiskind in order that India, our country may proper andprogress.
We should rather think of the advantages we would havesix months hence. It is only in our taking a long and not ashort view of our interests that the good of India Lies.]
Mr. Vice-President: You are not obeying the Bell.
Shri Ram Chandra Upadhyaya: *[It is quite possible thatwe may have difficulties for some time as a result of themerger of a State with any province.
For instance, if Dholpur or Bharatpur merge with theUnited provinces, their people will have to travel a greatdistance in order to reach Lucknow or Allahabad. But weshould remember that the other people of that province havealso to travel great distances for the same purpose. I,therefore, submit that ignoring these minor inconveniences,we should concentrate our attention only on the ways and means which would enable us to make ourfuture glorious and bright and which would prove the mostfruitful for us. I believe, in view of the aboveconsiderations, that Section 6, in the form it is dratted,is quite appropriate. We should, ignoring for the time beingour petty difficulties, adopt it without any amendment.]
Shri B. H. Khardekar (Kolhapur): Mr. Vice-President,Sir, I welcome this Bill. Actually it was overdue. This Billwill put an end to the anomalous position that has beencreated in the case of certain merged States, Of course,there are a few defects in the Bill. I will point them outlater on.
First, Sir, I will make a few general observations and then discuss particulars. You know, sir, the Englishmen leftIndia ........
Mr. Vice-President: I suggest that the honourableMember refer to these clauses merely and that he could takepart in the general discussion on the several clauses,especially clause 6 which is concerned directly with the States. In that way, we shall save the time of the House.
Shri B. H. Khardekar: Yes, Sir. I come to particulars.Sir, it is, now about eleven months since some of the Stateshave merged; and because there was no such enactment, theycould not be absorbed into the provinces. This Bill rightsthe wrong which has been there for a long time. In a shorttime, I will describe the nature of the wrong that wasthere. For these ten or eleven months, in most of the States, there has been what might be called theAdministrator's autocratic rule. The disadvantages, some of them, of the provincial Governments crept in whereas theadvantages could not be had. I shall give one notableinstance, that of education. Particularly in one State, asalso perhaps in several others, education in the last regimewas entirely free, right from the primary up to M. A. and M.Sc. After the merger, fees have been imposed. As againstthat the teachers' salaries have unfortunately remained thesame. Let me in a minute or two describe the nature of theAdministrator's rule in general. These Administrators, mostof them in all the important places, have been members of the old I.C.S. In our school we interpreted the I.C.S. asone who is neither Indian, nor civil nor a servant. Today,of course, he is mostly Indian, but the other descriptionfits him. In most of the States, Political life of whatevernature it was came to an end suddenly. In place of the oldautocrat,--the old autocratic Rulers had ceased to beautocratic because some sort of constitutional rule wasintroduced--this new official autocrat came in. Sir, I willdescribe briefly the state of affairs in one State. Section144 of the Criminal Procedure Code prevails permanently and there also partiality was to be found and a certain groupallowed certain facilities. There have been arrests,detentions, detentions without limit, for eight or ninemonths. That is why. Sir, most of the members here, who lovepersonal liberty were very anxious that the expression`without due process of law' should be included in article15. A number of papers which even indirectly criticised orattempted of criticise the Administrator have been banned.The language of the civil servant is anything but civil. Heuses such expressions as, I will shoot you; I will imprisonyou; I will extern you, your family and your children". Suchuncivilised bullies, unfortunately, bring discredit to the Government they represent. A certain high official was notonly dismissed without powers, but he was actually servedwith a notice of externment. The Position of that highofficial is very high indeed. He is a former minister of aprovincial Government; he was a member of the ConstituentAssembly and so on and so forth. If I am to useparlI amentary language and yet use the strongest expression,I would say, Sir that this regime is the opposite of heaven.I would request the States Ministry to enquire into theconduct of such officials. I know that such officials, insome cases, came in, had to come in, as a result of certain pagal" ministries; but representatives of Government shouldnot try to surpass the "pagal" ministry itself.
A defect in this particular Bill is that the provincesare to be consulted as regards the absorption of certainStates; but the people of the States are not to beconsulted. Self-determination is the very essence ofdemocracy. If you are going to deprive the people ofchoosing their own province or Chief Commissioner'sProvince, you are really denying democracy itself. And thatis why I would, when the time comes, support Pandit ThakurDass's amendment. Now, Sir, I have a few words to say aboutthe policy the Government of India have followed as regardsmerger. To Sardar Patel the Nation owes a great debt ofgratitude for having made the map of India better, clearerand cleaner; but there has been certain misunderstanding asalso certain defects in the policy of merger. The declaredpolicy of the Government of India is that a State shouldmerge only when the Ruler and the people so desire. First, I have my theoretical objection to this policy because we havedeclared the people to be the sovereign. Now suppose thereis an obstinate Ruler who does not want to give away hisrights as a Ruler and the people desire merger--as in mostcases it might be so--what are we going to do? Then by someunderhand methods we may have to persuade him. That is notproper. Then the other position is, most of the Rulers havesuddenly become very patriotic and because they look more to their monetary financial interests they have decided to beloyal to the Indian Union; these persons who were enemies of the country and the people formerly, persons to whom thename of Gandhiji was something that infuriated them, personsfor whom the very sight of Gandhi cap gave severe headache,such persons have become patriotic all of a sudden and haveagreed to merge. I am not grudging this epithet which hasbeen used by Sardar Patel to these people. After all inconducting State administration, some statesmanship isnecessary and where a goat is to be sacrificed, it must befed previously; so, where the States are to be wiped out,they may be flattered for a time. In this case what of thepeople? I want a very clear declaration on the point.Ultimately all States must go. I do not want relics ofbarbarism and feudalism to remain anywhere in this country.But the process of merger should be such that when the States are swallowed, no bitterness is left in the mouth and the merger should be for the happiness and for the good ofall. So my recipe or my humble suggestion to Sardar Patel inthis important matter--I know he is a very great man and heis a very practical politician--but as a youngster lookingup to an elder with deep reverence and respect, I wish tothrow a few humble suggestions. Sir, for the States--viablestates which have not yet merged, a date should be fixed for the plebiscite. The people must be consulted; that is what I think; and three months previously the Ruler of the Stateconcerned should be humbly advised to leave the State and goto some foreign country--Europe or America; let him enjoyhimself. Then after a short time Sardar Patel should pay aflying visit to the State, discuss matters in a friendlymanner with the leaders of public opinion. That would behalf the battle won. India, I think has got a magic weaponin the moral and spiritual armoury of the country and thatmagic weapon or mantra is Pandit Nehru. Just before theplebiscite Pandit Nehru should be persuaded to pay a flyingvisit and deliver a short lecture. I dare say there is not asingle Indian heart that can possibly resist Pandit Nehru;by such means, by proper means--after all those of us whobelieve in Gandhism, we should not only have laudable andproper ends but our means also must be proper. So even whenwe are trying to do away with relics of feudalism, let ourmeans be worthy of the Father of the Nation.
Shri Rohini Kumar Chaudhari (Assam: General): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, in my opinion the question which is to beconsidered by the House is not so much the merits of the provisions of this Bill, but thequestion is one of principle as to how far will you allowthe Dominion Government to interfere in the provincialaffairs. I quite admit, Sir that in cases of emergency, it is expedient and not only expedient but desirable that theDominion Government should have the right of interferenceand we have to consider how far these provisions of thisBill have kept within its limits, reasonable limits ofinterference or whether at any time the powers which havebeen sought to be exercised by virtue of this Bill areliable to be abused and cause discontent in theadministration of provinces. Sir, there have been a numberof amendments will not be moved and much less carried,excepting perhaps in the case of my honourable Friend thePremier of U.P. whose weight, I believe, will enable him tocarry some of his amendments. I find a curious coincidenceso far as the amendments to this Bill are concerned. I findmost of the clauses are not wanted by some member or theother. For instance, clause 1 is not wanted and there is anamendment for deletion of this clause by no less a personthan my Friends Mr. Krishnamachari and Mr. Bharathi.Deletion of clause 2 is wanted by the Honourable Pandit Pantand deletion of clause 3 is wanted by my honourable FriendsMr. Chaliha and Mr. Lakshminarayan Sahu. Deletion of clause4 is wanted by Rai Bahadur Lala Raj Kanwar. Deletion ofclause 5 is wanted by the honourable Pandit Kunzru. Deletionof clause 6 is wanted by Rai Bahadur Lal Raj Kanwar.Deletion of sub clauses (b) and (c) of clause 7 is wanted byMr. T.T. Krishnamachari. There for, Sir, if you are goingto allow all these movers of amendments to have their way,very little will be left of the Bill itself. (Laughter). Itseems to me, Sir that the only clause which is wanted by theMembers of this House is sub-clause (a) of clause.......
Mr. Vice-President: How do you infer that all theMembers will want to have even that?
Shri Rohini Kumar Chaudhari: I find all the otherclauses are not wanted by one Member or the other clausesare not wanted by one Member or the other and so
Mr. Vice-President: Then all that you can logicallyinfer is that ten persons do not want seven clauses. As Iwas taught in my school days, this is what one would callthe dangerous inductive leap.
Shri Rohini Kumar Chaudhari: That is quite correct,Sir. This is a Bill of seven clauses, six of which are notwanted by some one or the other and so the only clause whichthe House unanimously desires to consider is sub-clause (a)of clause 7, in respect of which there has been no amendmentfor deletion.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari (Madras: General): Notcorrect.
Shri Rohini Kumar Chaudhari: And therefore, Sir, ...
Mr. Vice-President: An honourable Member says that eventhat statement is not correct.
Shri Rohini Kumar Chaudhari: May be so but in any casethat is the most important provision of this Bill, and I would warmly support the proposal of the provision containedin this Bill to the effect that the development ofindustries should be left, in deserving cases, in the handsof the Dominion Government. I have watched with closeinterest the process of development of industries in thevarious provinces, and I have to say it with regret that ifthis matter had been left entirely in the hands of theDominion Government, we could have seen greater developmentof our industries even within the short time in which the National Government has beenfunctioning. Therefore, I have not the least hesitation tosupport that clause, I mean that portion of the clause,where development of industries has been sought to be takenentirely by the Government of India. But I do not agree to the latter portion of this clause, namely, that trade andcommerce within a province, and production and supply ofgoods, should at any time be left entirely under the controlof the Government of India. I am of the opinion that as faras the production supply of particular commodities areconcerned, no restrictions should be imposed upon theirsupply to a province, if they do not want it or if theywould like to have it substituted by some other article, Itmay seem as if I am anticipating matters, but all the same,I humbly submit that the proposal which has been mentionedin the amendment proposed to be moved by my honourableFriend Pandit Pant should receive the support of the entireHouse, and the Provinces should be left free to exercisetheir own discretion in the matter of trade and commerce ina province in which the industry exists.
With these words, I wish to close my remarks.
Mr. Vice-President: Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad (West Bengal: Muslim): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I am in general agreement with theprinciples of the Bill, except as to a single point, andthat is in regard to a portion of clause 6.
Mr. Vice-President: If that is so, may I appeal to younot to take more than five minutes?
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: Sir, five minutes will be morethan amply sufficient for me.
Sir, with regard to this clause, all that I object tois as to the provision for incorporating certain accedingStates as part of a Governor's Province, or of a Chief Commissioner's Province. Sir, it is not on politicalconsiderations that I raise this point, but purely on legalconsiderations,. It should be noted that the HonourableMover of the Bill whin be introduced it, he was simpleSardar Patel, but today I am happy to feel that he isalready a Doctor of Law, a degree which he richly deserves,and I believe the legal considerations which I shall submitbefore him will receive his personal consideration.
Some of the States have acceded and have transferredtheir right of management or `administration' of theseStates to the Dominion Government to be `administered' inany manner they please, and through any agency they please.My point is and I shall develop it later on at theappropriate stage, that this concession on the Part of theRulers of those States, to allow the administration of the States, does not include the power to convert these States,to allow the administration of the States, does not incliudethe power to convert there States into so many Provinces andincorpotate them as parts of a Province so as to absolutelylose their identity or their integrity. That is a king ofpower which has nopt been given by the agreement.
Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar (Madras:General) It isonly as if such area formed part of......
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: I have noted the words "as if"But even then, it assumes powers which as I shall submitlater on, cannot be justified by constitutionalconsideration.
Sir, these States were absolutely free when the Britishleft. The only relation between these States and Indianwould be dependent upon an agreement or the Instrument ofAccession or Supplementary Instrument of Accession. Therehas already been an Instrument of Accession and later on, afresh agreement delivering the right of management of theseStates to the Government of India. But in conceding powerof administration of these States, the power to incorporate them into a Province and toput them together in a manner which will make it impossiblefor anyone to separate them later on, I submit, has not beengiven and would be beyond to separate them later on Isubmit, has not been given and would be beyond the scope of the agreement. The whole situation, as I shall submit lateron, is a question of construction of the second agreement.
Sir, at this stage, I do not desire to take up the timeof the House and elaborate the point,. With these few words,I support the general principles of the Bill all through,except that portion of it to which I have referred.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani (United Provinces: Muslim): Sir,I think that if my honourable Friend, Sardar Patel, isdetermined to put the cart before the horse and you aredetermined to support him in this view, I am afraid there isno occasion to discuss this Bill now, considering theObjectives Resolution of this Assembly which definitelystated--
Sir, I submit that the whole of the Government of IndiaAct of 1935 is based upon a foolish theory of the dominion-hood of India. Every word of that Act is based upon that theory, and if we have to carry out our determination andachieve the objects set out in Objectives Resolution, I think there is no occasion, and it will be simply a waste oftime and energy-to discuss this wretched thing, theGovernment of India Act, 1935. Where is the use of it ? Ofcourse, if we have got some secret understanding that youhave resolved that in spite of you declaring yourselves aRepublic, you will remain within the British Commonwealth,and id you are going to coin some new phrase as I said sometime ago, if you say that you will be a republic dominion,as Holland is, proposing to do with Indonesia, and if thatRepublic will remain in the arms of the Commonwealth, we bemaking fools of ourselves. If we accept this Bill, we maybecome a Republic, but ours will be a republic dominion. Wewill still be staying within the 'British Commonwealth. Sir,even if the word 'British ' is dropped from the 'BritishCommonwealth', the position will be no better, because, ifwe remain in the Commonwealth it will mean that we will beno have to co-operate with Holland and Belgium and with therest of the Western Bloc which has been formed with theexpress purpose Soviet Russia. If a war breaks out in futurebetween the Anglo-American Bloc and the other side, we willhave to co-operate with the Western Bloc. It will man thatwe say good-bye to our determination to remain neutral inany future world war. It will mean that we give upeverything for which we any future world war. It will meanthat we give up everything for which we have stood fore. Ifwe say at this stage that we are going to leave the BritishCommonwealth and if we say that we will become a republic,there will remain no link of the British Crown. If there isno link of the British Crown, then what will be the basis ofour remaining within the British Commonwealth ? People sayit will be on the basis of common citizenship and the firstwill citizen will be the British King. sir, to this I saythat when we see the attitude of south Africa, New Zealandand Canada, it is absolutely futile to accept any commoncitizenship- Therefore I say that we will have nothing to dowith any citizenship common citizenship or firstcitizenship. We will have no longer anything to do with thistom-foolery. Therefore if we are determined to establish aRepublic in India, by all means attempt to introduce it andreject the 1935 Act and every-thing connected with thedominion-hood of India. Everything else is futile andabsolutely irregular. I say it is immoral to do any otherthing at this stage.
Sir, I wanted to say this in the beginning when myFriend the Honourable Sadar Patel introduced this Bill. Iwanted to oppose him in the beginning.But unfortunately you, Sir, did not catch my meaning, ruledme out of order and put my opposition to the vote withoutgiving me any chance to express myself. For the reasonsgiven above, I request my honourable Friend Sardar Patel notto waste time and energy on such a wretched thing as theGovernment of India act, 1935.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari: Sir, I move that thequestion be now put.
Mr. Vice-President: I think we have devoted sufficienttime to the general discussion. altogether seven honourableMembers belonging to different parts of India, includingthe States people who I understand are vitally concernedwith the Bill, have spoken. I shall now put the question.
Does Sardar Patel wish to give any kind of reply?
The closure is of course, accepted.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel: Sir, therehave been a few speeches on this measure, but all of themwere restricted to the provisions which relate to the States. In other respects there has been no discussion atall, and I take it there will be hardly any time spent onthose clause.
Sir, so far as clause 6, which affects the States, isconcerned, I find from the general tenor of the speechesthat those who spoke supported more or less in every way,the general principles of the Bill. Some of the criticismswere, to my mind, irrelevant in the sense that some of themquestioned the manner in which the merger has taken place,and some related to the question of changes in theadministration adversely affecting the area which has beenmerged. For instance, an honourable Member from Orissa whofirst spoke, white supporting the measure, complained aboutsome changes that have been brought about by the merger in the area of the State administration. He pointed out thatsome of the facilities they were getting when the area wasadministered by the ruler were bot being given, after themerger. by the Orissa Government. It is quite possible andconceivable that a benevolent ruler might have spent somemore money for the good of the people in that area and that the Orissa government might not have found it possible to doso in that particular are in that particular form. I may saythat the whole idea of merger, as conceived, is not to keepsmall bits of territories separately for the purpose ofadministration. When a merger has taken place it is possiblethat they may lose some smaller or minor advantages. But thewhole idea is to look at it from a broader point of view andto have a better administration on the whole and to bringbackward areas to the level of the provincialadministration. Now, when you want a larger good to beobtained, it is quite conceivable that you may have to makesmaller sacrifices. But when it is proposed to merge theseareas, the smaller sacrifices should not be consideredworthy of complaint. Otherwise merger would be impossible.
Now, the honourable Member from Alwar talked aboutBhopal.
Shri Biswanath Das (Orissa : General); I am not risingto a point of order. On a point of information may I ask the Honourable Minister for States whether it is not a fact that the Government of Orissa have in this year's budget allottedfifty lakhs of rupees for the benefit of this very stateover and above the income derived therefrom ? May I knowwhether this information is correct ?
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbai J. Patel: That isreally supporting what I have already stated that they maysmaller sacrifices but get larger good. If the OrissaGovernment has provided large sums of money in their budgetfor these areas, there is nothing very surprising in it.Indeed they are expected to do so, and if the OrissaGovernment takes care that the interests of these smallareas are looked after properly which I have no doubt theywill do, this complaint which is based on an apprehensionwill soon disappear. Therefore the honourable Member whofirst spoke on this question will take note of the fact that the Orissa Government is anxious to give all facilities and perhaps more than theywere getting when the administration worked as a smallerunit.
Now, referring to the question which was raised by thehonourable Member from Alwar about Bhopal, I do not wish tosay anything about questions which are not yet settled andwhich are under discussion as any discussion of the all thatif the people of any State want merger or want to join theUnion, there will hardly be any strong objection from anyrules because I do not conceive the possibility of theexistence of smaller units against the wishes of the people.So, if the people of Bhopal want union or merger with anyadjoining area, I have no doubt that the Ruler or the Nawabof Bhopal will not come in the way, because after all inthis age no Ruler can safely defy the wishes of his people.That is really the idea of democracy; and when we are nowbeginning a democratic from of Government all over India,smaller units cannot stand if there is such a severeconflict between the Ruler and the ruled. The fault lies notwith the Ruler but with the people themselves. You know thatwherever ministries are formed even in the smaller units,ministries create a sort of vested interest and theministers are not willing to merge and the stronger in theirwill to remain separate than the Ruler himself. So a generaldiscussion about the question of merger of the States thatremain now is not very advisable. It is better to work amongthe people of the States than to raise the question here,but can trust us to do all that is possible to bring aboutuniformity all over India with the consent of the Rulers aswell as the ruled. There will be no obstacle if all peopleconsider the interests of the people concerned instead of their own personal short-sighted interests of office orvested interests.
Now the honourable Member from Kolhapur raised severalcontroversial issues so far as the administration ofKolhapur is concerned. I do not think it would so far as theadministrative routine and the difficulties of thatadministration at this stage. Perhaps the House is aware of the Committee of Enquiry which was appointed by theGovernment of India to go into the administration of thisstate, presided over by a Judge of the High Court of Bombay.The Report of Justice Coyajee has already been published andI would request those honourable Members who come from the States and who are interested in this affair to read thatreport. It is a very sad state of things which has beendescribed in that report. After the unfortunate incident of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, a group of people took it into their heads to harass and molest people called Brahmins inthat area, because a Brahmin young man was supposed to beresponsible for that murder. A whole family bearing thatname was burnt alive. Several houses of the Brahmins wereburnt, property looted and tremendous persecution torturewas practised on a large scale. There was a popular Ministryat the time. There was no administrator at the time. Ourfriend from Kolhapur said that the administration of theadministrator who was a Civil servant was the opposite ofheaven in parlI amentary language. You ask those people whosuffered during the days of persecution whether what hedescribed as a popular government was really haven or hellof the worst type. I do not thing we would be justified inbeing proud of our democracy if popular administrationsbehave in this manner. It is a very sad thing. We appointedan administrator with the consent of the Prince. the Princeasked fore a administrator. That report condemns theMinisters. I do not wish to proceed further in the matter.What he says is that a time should be fixed by which aplebiscite can be taken of the people of Kolhapur for themerger. Evidently from his speech I gather that he isagainst merger. Well, we are not forcing on the people ofany area or any State if the people do not want merger. Ifthe people stand for merger at one time and at another timefor keeping the States separate, if they want merger if there is no ministry and are against merger ifthey are in the ministry, it is not easy to take aplebiscite, there is a danger of terrorising people andpractising criminal acts of violence on a very large scale.I can assure the House that no State has been merged againstthe wishes of the people and there have been no complaintsin the case of any merger up till now. In future also therewill be no complaints from any quarter except those whostand out against the general wishes of the people of thatarea for personal reasons. Whatever we have done up till nowhas been done with the will and the free will of the Princesas well as of the people of that area. I can say this also,that some of the Princes, smaller Princes, who first signedthe merger agreement, long time afterwards on second thoughtcomplained, perhaps on some advice given to them by somelawyers, and wanted to question the merger agreement incourt. I advised them not to waste money over lawyers andcourts and that if they wanted to go back on the mergeragreement, I would tear up the merger papers and allow themto go but that they should not return and come to me forsafety or security. When I accepted their merger, it was ata time when I had to give them protection because theadministration that they were carrying on in those areas wasso unpleasant that the people in some cases took possessionof the palaces. Therefore, the question of a merger now isnot very important because most of the States have eitherformed unions or have merged and there are those that haveremained out. There are Princes who, if they are convincedthat it is in the interest of the country as a whole that they should make further sacrifices, will be prepared to doso. If there is any Prince who takes a recalcitrantattitude, then it will not be for me to do anything in thematter. It will be between him and the people to settleaccounts.
Therefore, to the honourable Member who has come fromKolhapur, I give this warning: that I do believe that alarge majority of the people of Kolhapur wants a merger, andif I can convince the Prince or the Ruler for a merger, thenthose who stand out against the merger will have no mercylater on. When the world is progressing rapidly, people whoput obstacles will have to find out other venues than this.
We want to finish this process of removing theseadministrative ulcers in the country in small bits, onaccount of which we have so many difficulties. I appeal toall those who come from those areas to be more reasonableand more sensible and not to talk of what was being done in the past. Here my friend quotes examples of hisadministration of the education department in his time whenthere was no administration in Kolhapur. A little efficiencyin education in his time is nothing when we see the miseriesthrough which the people have had to pass recently. Butafter all, what is going to happen after the merger? As itis, it is going to be merged in the Bombay Province. At anyrate Kolhapur will have to admit that merger with theprovince of Bombay is not going to bring about inferiorityor inefficiency of administration.
Now there is our Friend, Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad, who isafraid of the administrative entity being destroyed or the State's entity being destroyed. I do not know whether his isa legal objection or just qualms of conscience. But I wouldsay that with regard to the States that have merged, theRulers and the people have voluntarily ceded all theiradministrative jurisdictions. Except for the privy purse andcertain other rights about their prestige and position whichhave been secured to them, the rest has been ceded to us and there is no illegality involved in them. If he says that thepeople have not been consulted, I will ask him to point outone place where this is so. If people do not complain, it isbecause we have ascertained the wishes in the form in whichwishes can be ascertained in this area. You will admit that there are no electoral rolls. There is nothing in that formto ascertain the wishes, except keeping your fingers on thepulse of the people and it is for this that there is nocomplaint from there.
Now, there is our Friend, Mr. Rohini Kumar Chaudhari,who in his analysis of the amendments has negatived thewhole Bill. I need not say anything about that. But he hasreferred to only one question--that of the Industrial Billand he supports it. So it requires no answer.
I do not know whether I can say anything about MaulanaHasrat Mohani. Now that he finds that this House is notsupporting him and is not exercising its own sovereigntywhich he claims, it will be against his conscience to sit in the House. He had better not take part in its proceedingswhich do not conform with his principles.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani: I will not allow you to haveyour way. I am here for that purpose.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J Patel: That is allI have to say. I am glad that the House has supported theBill generally and we may now proceed to discuss theamendments.
Mr. Vice-President: The question is:
The motion was adopted.
Mr. Vice-President: I find that there is an amendment,No. 4, in the name of Shri T. T. Krishnamachari and Shri L.Krishnaswami Bharathi and also that there are two amendmentsto this amendment.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari: With your permission and the permission of the House I would like to move amendment No. 1in the supplementary list instead of No. 4 in the originallist. Sir, I move:
"That after clause 1, the following clause be inserted:
This is more or less a formal amendment in that itprovides for the interpretation of this Act. The Act that isreferred to here happens to be the Interpretation Act of1889 of Great Britain. Originally as the Government of IndiaAct stood, because it was enacted by the British Houses ofParlI ament, this Interpretation Act applied. But in thepresent setting this Act will not apply unless specialmention is made in the body of the Bill to that effect. Itherefore hope that the House will accept the amendment.
Mr. Vice-President: The next amendment is in the nameof Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: Sir, with your permission and theleave of the House, I would like to move my amendment in amodified form, which is consequential upon a change in theoriginal motion. I desire to move an amendment to the motionput to the House by Shri T. T. Krishnamachari namely, thatClause 1-A be inserted in the form in which it appears in the supplementary list No. 1. I shall not move for thedeletion of the whole clause but only the latter half. Sir,I move:
In deleting these words I fully support the principlethat the Interpretation Act of 1889 should apply to theinterpretation of this Act. In fact this amendment reallyremoves an anomaly. To all parlI amentary Acts theInterpretation Act of 1889 applies and therefore it applies to theGovernment of India Act also. But the present Bill saysnothing to indicate in the Bill as to what InterpretationAct would apply,--the British Act or the Indian GeneralClauses Act. It is doubtful if the latter Act applies to theBill. This amendment really removes this doubt. The wordswhich I desire to delete are merely arguments in support of the operative part of the clause. The clause with theamendment would read:
I submit that this is quite enough. The last part "asit applies for the interpretation of an Act of ParlI ament"merely supplies an argument or a descriptive clause. As noargument or descriptive clause of this nature is permissiblein a legislative enactment these words should be deleted,not that the argument or the explanation is invalid,--theargument or the explanation is quite proper--but this shouldbe removed from the effective part of the clause. I hopethat the House would consider this point.
The Honourable Shri B. G. Kher (Bombay: General): Sir,the honourable Mover of the amendment has not given thereason in his amendment but has indicated the manner inwhich the Interpretation Act applies. "As" means "in thesame manner as". The honourable Member, Mr. Naziruddin Ahmadhas understood the word "as" in the sense of "because", asif the mover of the original motion had intended to give anargument.
Mr. Vice-President: The question is:
The motion was adopted.
Mr. Vice-President: Since the House has adopted thefirst amendment it means that the House negatives the secondone in the name of Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad. I shall now putclause 1-A to the House:
The question is:
The motion was adopted.
Clause 1-A was added to the Bill.
The Honourable Dr. Syama Prasad Mukerjee (West Bengal:General): Sir, I beg to move:-
Sir, when clause 2 was inserted as drafted, the idea of the Government was that in respect of the entire ConcurrentList it should be open to the Dominion Legislature to passlaws for the purpose of exercising executive function. Atpresent so far as the Concurrent List is concerned theDominion Legislature may pass laws which will supersede anylaws passed by the provinces; but so far as executiveauthority goes, it can be discharged only by the provincialgovernments. In the new constitution, under article 60 whichhas already been adopted, it has been laid down that evenwith regard to the Concurrent List it will be open to theDominion ParlI ament to pass laws for the purpose ofexercising executive action. The question arose whether anysuch powers should be taken over by the Dominion ParlI amentduring the interim period. At present under the Governmentof India Act, the Dominion ParlI ament and the DominionGovernment can exercise authority in respect of matterswhich normally fall in the Concurrent List in three ways.
We have the Essential Supplies Commodities Act which relates tocertain specific commodities such as foodstuffs and certainother commodities in respect of which the DominionParlI ament and the Dominion Government have completelegislative and executive powers. This power will lapse in1951. Secondly, we have a provision which lays down thatdevelopment of industries which, in the opinion of theDominion ParlI ament, is of all-India importance, can betaken up by the Dominion ParlI ament. But that relates onlyto the development of any industry which may be so describedby the Dominion ParlI ament. It has been felt that in respectof industrial development it is not sufficient that theDominion ParlI ament or the Dominion Government should havepower only for the purpose of developing industries whichare deemed to be of an all-India importance. Development hasbeen interpreted to exclude regulation and control of suchindustries and also trade and commerce in such industries,control of production and distribution of the products ofsuch industries. For that purpose it was first thoughtexpedient that wide powers might be taken by the DominionParlI ament even during the interim period by a suitableamendment of the Government of India Act. Apart fromindustrial development there were certain other matters likestatistics, censoring of films and also industrial disputes,in respect of which it was thought desirable that theCentral Government should take adequate powers.