Constituent Assembly Of India -Volume X
Dated: October 15, 1949
The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Ten of the Clock, Mr. President (The Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad) in the Chair.
An honourable Member: May I know when .his session is expected to break ?
Mr. President: I think there is at least work for one day more and so we shall have to sit on Monday or Sunday. We shall at the end of the day decide on which day the House should sit. All that I can now say is that we shall have to sit for one day more, It may be tomorrow or the day after just as the House likes.
Seth Govind Das (C.P. & Berar: General): I propose that we sit tomorrow and not on Monday.
Mr. President: I shall ascertain the wishes of the Members.
Shrimati Annie Mascarene (United State of Travancore & Cochin): We Christians desire to have Sunday free.
Mr. President- There is objection on the part of Christian Members to sitting on Sunday.
Honourable Members.- We did sit on a Sunday once.
Mr. President: But that does not take away the right of Christian members to object to sitting on Sundays. I shall consult the wishes of the House at the end of the day in this matter.
Shri K. M. Munshi (Bombay: General): Sir, with regard to the First Schedule may I submit.
Mr. President: First we shall dispose of the motion for the substitution of' rule 38-R standing in the name of Shrimati G. Durgabai.
CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY RULES (AMENDMENT)
New Rules 38-R and 38-RR.
Shrimati G. Durgabai (Madras: General). Mr. President, Sir, I move:
Sir, with your permission, I will move 38-RR also.
"38-RR. Passing of the Constitution.
Mr. President, Sir, honourable Members are aware that we have happily come to a stage when we have very nearly completed the Second Reading of this Draft Constitution. Now, we will be soon passing to the stage when we have got to take up the Draft Constitution for the Third Reading, and it will be in all probability in the coming month. Therefore the necessity arises for laying down a procedure for completing the Third Reading of the Draft Constitution and passing the Constitution.
Sir, the main features of these rules, I expect Members would have noted, arc that the procedure laid down in these rules enables the drafting Committee to make formal or consequential or necessary amendments to the draft at the time of the Third Reading . Another main feature of these rules is that it would enable the Members of the House to make only formal or consequential amendment to the amendments proposed by the Drafting Committee at the Third Reading stage. Sir, it also gives powers to the President to allow any amendment at his discretion and also to fix a time limit for speeches and some such other powers,
Sir, I have seen a number of amendments, about fifteen to twenty, given notice of by honourable Members of this House. Sir, some of those amendments, when they will be moved, I would deal with them, but the object of those amendments is for the deletion of the clause which would enable the President to fix a time limit for speeches and also to waive the notice of two days and to substitute instead seven days or five days' notice. Sir, we are all aware that we have taken two full years and ten months to make this Constitution. We All know that it has been a great strain on the financial resources of this India and therefore we should not allow any more time to be taken in either making speeches ,or delaying the passing of this Constitution. With this object of expediting the passing of the Constitution, these rules have enabled the President to take certain powers.
Therefore, Sir. I would appeal to the Members to withdraw their amendments or not to press them, and allow the smooth working of our passing this Constitution. With these observations, I would commend my motion for the acceptance of this House. Sir, I move.
Mr. President: There are several amendments to this. Mr. Naziruddin Ahmed
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad (West Bengal: Muslim): Mr. President, Sir, I have unfortunately some amendments to propose to these rules. I tried much to reduce the number of my amendments, but I failed to find any way of doing it. Sir, I bed to move :
This is merely formal. I also move:-
"That in sub-rule (1) of the proposed rule 38R,-
"That after sub-rule (1) of the proposed rule 38R, the following new sub-rule be inserted:-
Sir, I would like to explain the object of my amendments. The first amendment, as I have already submitted, is merely formal. I think it should be accepted on drafting grounds.
With regard to the other amendments, the difficulty is that the official amendments were given to us yesterday. and our amendments had to be handed over to the Office before 5 o'clock yesterday and they have been printed and circulated only this morning. I do not therefore think that either the members of the Drafting Committee or the honourable the Lady Member who has proposed these Rules had any real time to go through these amendments and see the object of them. However, I shall do my best to draw their attention to certain aspects of my amendments.
With regard to amendment No. 2, the purpose of the first part of it is to insert the words "and disposed of" after the word "considered". The passage, with my amendment, will read thus:-
In fact, we are concerned in sub-rule (1) with a stage when the amendments during the Second Reading have not only been considered but actually disposed of. Only after they are disposed of, the draft Constitution goes back to the Drafting Committee. So, this amendment is necessary.
The next amendment is to the effect that after the word "amended" the words "by the Assembly" be inserted. There are two authorities here between which there may be a confusion. The amendments made by the House and the amendments suggested by the Drafting Committee afterwards should be distinguished and that is the object of inserting these words so as to make the text
in order to distinguish it from the amendments suggested by the Drafting Committee.
A little later on we are going to authorise the Drafting Committee to renumber the "clauses".
I submit that the word "clauses," although it appears in the old Rule, would be inapplicable to this Constitution. We have not been describing our articles as clauses but we have been describing them as articles. The expression "clauses", so far as we have been using it, means clauses to the articles. But here the word "clauses" apparently refers to the articles. So I have suggested this amendment so as to make the text read:
That would be grammatical and legally more accurate.
The next amendment-the fourth part of the second amendment- is to insert the words "to submit a report recommending," instead of the words "to recommended". This amendments is very necessary because we have used the word "report" at two places in sub-rule (2). That report is the final report to be, made by the Drafting Committee but we have not provision in sub-rule (1) for the submission of any report. We have merely said:
I want to re-word it so as to read:
In fact the word "report" must occur here in order to give the full import of the word "report" in two places in sub- rule (2).
Then, Sir, my next amendment is for the insertion of another sub-rule 1(a). to the effect that:
This seems to be very necessary. We are after all to consider the draft Constitution as revised by the Drafting Committee and then to Suggest our own amendments. In order to make up our minds as to what amendments are to be made, we should really know what amendments have actually been suggested by the Drafting Committee. We are familiar with the practice of the Drafting Committee in this House that instead of indicating the actual amendments to the draft Constitution they have been giving us entirely re-written text,-, of article,-, and it has been extremely difficult for Members to follow what exact changes are introduced. That involves the Members individually into an unnecessarily laborious and meticulous comparison of the articles proposed in the House with the articles in the draft Constitution. Therefore, it seems to me that the draft Constitution as prepared finally by the Drafting Committee should indicate the exact changes so as to enable the Members to reivet their attention on those changes and to suggest consequential or formal amendments, if any, thereto. It would make their task easier. It would be very easy to arrange it, namely the changes to be shown by' italics or by underlining-side-lining may not be helpful. An omission may be shown by asterisks. These things, will be very simple and will be very useful to Members who may easily see the changes and then submit amendments.
With regard to clause (2), the opening words seem to be absolutely unnecessary and also to a certain extent misleading. It says
An important step is omitted here-after the Constitution has been referred to the Drafting Committee there is a report of the Drafting Committee. So we should make it clear that after the report of the Drafting Committee is received the report of the Committee should be presented to the Assembly. Therefore I have suggested the omission of the opening words. Then sub-rule (2)would read like this:
and so forth. I have already suggested that the word 'report' should be incorporated in sub-rule (1) in my amendment No.2 Part(iv)
Then, Sir, I come to the proviso.Here I have a serious complaint to make that the proviso attempts to provide that the Draft constitution as revised by the Drafting committee will be made available to the Members within three clear Sir, I feel that it will be utterly impracticable for any honourable Member to read the revised Draft Constitution and submit amendments within the extremely short time available. You will be pleased to consider, Sir, that only three clear days have been given within which the Draft Constitution will be made available to the Members, while sub-rule (5) provides that two clear days notice should be given for our amendments.
Supposing we begin the consideration, of the Constitution on the 14th of November. The Draft Constitution must be made available on the 10th of November with three clear days notice and we have to submit submit our amendments on the 11th of November, giving a margin of two clear days. It will thus be clear that we will have only one clear day to read the report prepare amendments and send the same same to the Notice Office in course of a single day. This will lead to so many practical absurdities that I submit that this rule in this form cannot be accepted. You will be pleased to consider that for us to attend the Assembly on the 14th, we have to leave our places on the 10th of November and on the 10th of November it is proposed to circulate the Draft Constitution as redrafted by the Drafting Committee. On the 10th of November we will all be on our journey by rail, road or air towards New Delhi fail to see how on the 10th of- November the copy of the Draft Constitution as revised, will reach us. If they are sent to our home address, we would have left our home by that time and the Members and the revised Draft Constitution will cross each other. If it is to be delivered at our Delhi address on the 10th or 11th , it will be too late for us to prepare amendments and hand them over to the Notice Office with two clear days' notice to office to consider them.
While I sympathise with the Drafting Committee for the high pressure at which they are working, I must at the same time point out that there is a feeling in this House that the Committee is behind time table-hopelessly behind time table from beginning to end. All this congestion of work is due to frequent changes of mind by the Drafting Committee who may certainly have their own reasons to justify the delay. But I wish so submit that the victim of an these unfortunate circumstances should not be the Members. How, I ask the House and particularly you, Sir, is a member to receive copy of the finalised draft on the 10th and to submit their amendments on the 11th ? I therefore suggest that seven days' time be given to us to study the revised Constitution and submit amendments. May I further suggest that along with the final draft of the constitution, we may beforehand be given a comparative list of amendments proposed to each article so that we can study them and get ready to consider them.
I also suggest that before the Draft Constitution is sent to the press, a cyclostyled copy may be prepared and sent to those Members who are anxious to have it. I believe there would be only half a dozen Members who would be interested in it. But I do not mean to say that the privilege need be confined only to those members only. The cyclostyled copies may be sent to all those Members who ask for it. If that is done, I think we can work according to schedule. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult for Members to get ready and submit amendments within time. In fact, it seems to me absolutely impracticable to do all this within the scheduled time. The main question would be the place and time of delivery of the finalised Constitution, in order to enable Members to play their part in time. I submit that these things should be taken into consideration while accepting these rules.
A further difficulty has been placed by the Drafting Committee on the Members in that they have selected a lady Member to propose all these difficult rules..
Shri H. V. Kamath (C. P. & Berar: General): How is it relevant, Sir?
Mr. President: She was not particularly selected; she her self wanted to movethem.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad:The difficulty is that we cannot he hard upon her. Afterall some kind of gracefulness is necessary in dealing with a lady Member. The fact is that the Drafting Committee have put forward a lady to fight their cause.
Shrimati G. Durgabai: The honourable Member should note that I have moved the motion on my own accord.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad:I am not prepared to enter into a controversy with the honourable Mover. The amendments are for the benefit of the Drafting Committee. The method followed by the Drafting Committee is like that of the Communists who fight with ladies at the front, so as to make it impossible for the other party to strike.
Shri H. V. Kamath: Mr. President, Sir, I am at one with my honourable Friend Shrimati Durgabai that the passage of this Constitution should be expedited. But I would like to join issue with her on one point and that is this
She stated that this constitution-making has been a huge drain upon our financial resources. I know we have spent some money. The House will remember that the Legislative Assembly in 1946 or early in 1947 budgeted one crore of rupees for the Constituent Assembly. Some time during the last session it was suggested in this House or outside that over two crores of rupees had been spent. After I heard this statement, I worked out the figures myself and came to the conclusion that only about sixty to seventy lakhs had been spent so far by this Assembly in constitution-making. I am not referring to the legislative work at all. If you include the sessions of the Legislative Assembly as well then perhaps we have spent more; but that is not part of the budgeted amount for constitution-making; and it is wrong in my humble judgement to lay the blame at the door of the Members of this House, even if a large amount has been spent.
The House will recollect that during the two years from January 1947 to October 1948 this House met only for 35 or 40 days at the most. For some reason or other the Drafting Committee was not ready, and we could not meet at all for more than 40 days in 22 months; if we had worked longer and met at more frequent intervals, we could have seen the Constitution through much earlier. Any way, even today the way expedite the Constitution is not to apply the axe ruthlessly to debates in the House, but to apply it reasonably. The way is to work longer hours, if necessary. We have realised this only too late in the day. Had we worked longer hours in 1947 or 1948, we would by now have seen this Constitution through. I have always favoured a night session; if we work morning, noon and night, I am sure we can finish it in another week or so. It is too late to make this suggestion at the fag-end of the Constitution, when a few more days remain for the Third Reading. I wanted to suggest to my honourable Friend Shrimati Durgabai it was wrong on her part to suggest that this House has been guilty of a huge drain upon our financial resources. This House has not been guilty of it: there are various reasons and ,circumstances which conspired to bring about this financial expenditure. I would not call it a huge drain at all; we have not exceeded the budgeted amount for Constitution- making Sir, now I come to the amendments that stand in my name. I have, Sir, six amendments to my credit. Sir, I move
If this amendment were accepted by the House, it would read as fellows:
The point in this amendment is this, that according to the scheme which has been presented to the House by Shrimati Durgabai, the Drafting Committee will take care of the Constitution after the Second Reading and will come before the House for the Third Reading. whenever it may be. I suppose three days is the minimum period so far as the interval between the time when the Draft Constitution would reach the Members and this motion here for the Third Reading is concerned. The Drafting Committee, I freely admit are a team of wise men, experts in their own field and very knowledgeable experts at that. but certainly the House will agree that they are not infallible., and even they either due to want of time or pressure of other work, even they might overlook certain matters or certain clauses or articles in the Constitution. Therefore certain omissions may remain to be filled, and certain lacunae may remain to be made good; and if Members who concentrate on a particular chapter of the Constitution, if they after a very careful reading of the particular chapter or sub-chapter have discovered some defect, some lacuna, some omission, is it not fair to give an opportunity to them to suggest or modify an amendment, whatever it may be, in the House?
It may be argued by my honourable Friend Shrimati Durgabai that those Members are at liberty to contact the Drafting Committee before the latter brings up those amendments in the House for the Third Reading, but suppose they are not able, to, suppose they arrive the previous day or in the morning of the day when the Constitution comes up in the Assembly for the Third Reading and they have no time to contact the Drafting Committee and to explain their point of view; it is no use sending it by post because one cannot always explain one's point of view on paper, unless one discusses the matter with the Drafting Committee personally. Supposing they were not able to do so, is their case to go by default ? That is why, Sir, I have moved this amendment before the House so as to afford an opportunity to Members who may have discovered, after a careful study, any errors or omissions in any part of the Constitution; and they must be at liberty to move their amendments in the House. You are always here, Sir, to disallow any vexatious or unneces sary amendment, and the House has got the fullest confidence in your judgment and if any Member tries to move an amendment which is not necessary, which is irrelevant, vexatious or frivolous, the Member win as the House knows, always abide by your ruling. There is no point in encroaching upon your rights, your prerogatives, your privileges or your powers. You. Sir, can always disallow any amendment in your discretion and in your judgment. Therefore, there is no need, no necessity for this sub-rule (4) to Rule 38R.
The next amendment of mine is 8 in this list : I move:
This arises directly out of the amendment I have just now moved. The subrule, as moved by Shrimati Durgabai, provides that all the amendments moved by the Drafting Committee can be put before the House en bloc all together to the vote. Now, Sir, if as I have suggested in my first amendment Members are given the right to move their amendments and in the light of that amendment the House decides that a particular amendment recommended by the Drafting Committee must be modified, then a difficulty will arise: all the amendments, if they are not amended by the House, can be put en bloc., or en masse to the vote of the House. But suppose, certain amendments have been modified by the House. How is it possible, then, not to put them separately ? Some of the amendments might have been modified in the light of amendments moved by honourable Members and accepted by the House.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari (Madras : General): May I explain the procedure to my honourable Friend ? The procedure will be like this: in the same way its a Select Consititution report is taken into consideration by the House. The report of the Select Committee will be kept intact and treated as a whole. If Members move an amendment that amendment is carried,then that amendment will be incorporated. Otherwise, the Select Committee's report goes through intact. The procedure envisaged here is the same.
Shri H. V. Kamath: I fear this sub-rule does not provide for that contingency. If I have understood the sub-rule a right, it does not provide for that contingency which might arise out of Honourable Members' amendments being accepted by the House and in the light of that, the Drafting Committee's amendments being modified. Sub-rule (6) says that an the amendments recommended by the Drafting Committee shall be deemed to have been moved,and it shall not be necessary for the President to put each of those amendments separately to vote. I do not know if my honourable Friend was in the House when I moved my first amendment and explained my point of view before the House. I therein suggested that every Members must be given the right to move amendments of whatever nature, consequential or formal or otherwise necessary to any of the recommendations of the Drafting Committee and if the Drafting Committee's amendments are modified in the light of the acceptance of honourable Members' amendments, then it will be impossible to put the Drafting Committee's amendments en masse or en bloc to vote. They will have to be taken up group by group, and certain amendments will have to be put separately to the vote those which have been modified by the House. That is the purport of amendment No. 8.
Coming to amendment No. 9. it reads as follows:
If this amendment were accepted by the House, this sub-rule will read as follows:
I fear, Sir, I feel rather, that this sub-rule, the first part of it imposing a time limit for consideration by the Assembly of all amendments, is an undue, unwarranted encroachment upon your powers. I am wholeheartedly in favour of cutting short unnecessary discussion and debate arid expediting the passage of the Constitution, as I have already stated. But, is it not part of your inherent powers, Sir, and is the House or any part of the House going to usurp your power in this field ? It is your undisputed power to fix any time limit for any debate. Why then make a specific mention in this rule that the President shall allot not more than two days-by the way, 'may' would have been more graceful and dignified ? Is. not the President supreme so far as the conduct of the business of the House is concerned ? It is lip to him to regulate and conduct the business of the House. Why fetter his judgment by saying that he shall not allot more than two days or three days? Leave it to his discretion. He call certainly allot, if he thinks necessary, more than three or four days. During the First Reading of' the Constitution in November 1948, you will remember Sir, before you fell ;If, that you original intended to allot only two days for the First Reading of the Constitution, for the discussion of the motion by Dr. Ambedkar. Later on, you found that the House was keen on considering it further, and so you were good enough to allot another two days for the consideration of that motion. It may be quite probable, the sense of the House might be to ask for some more time. Here you are, Sir, with all powers vested in you to regulate the business. Why make this rule. here and fetter your discretion and judgment and abrogate or at least reduce the powers inherent in the President ? That is so far as the third amendment is concerned. I want to leave the matter to The President as to how many days should be alloted for the consideration and disposal of the amendments. We need not curtail the powers of the President so far as this matter is concerned.
I come to amendment No. 10 which reads as follows
That sub-rule relates to the time limit for speeches during the debate on a motion made under sub-rule (1), of Rule 38RR. I would invite the attention Of Mrs. Durgabai and the House to rule 34 of the Rules already adopted by the House. Rule 34 of the Rules of the Assembly reads as follows:
I ask, is this not adequate for our purposes ? Is it necessary to frame or pass another rule, sub-rule (2) here ? This rule 34 of our Rules of the Assembly vests sufficient power in the President to regulate the conduct of the business of the House in whatever way he may choose, and his decision in the matter is always final. Why bring in this minutiae in the rules, that he shall fix a time limit ? This is his inherent power. Why bring in this trifle ? It is mere piffle. That is part of the manner in which he conducts the business of the House. You, Sir, have done it on many occasions, and you will do it again in the interests of expeditious disposal of business. There is no need at all for this sub- rule (2). It has appeared, I fear, by force of habit of some Members of the Drafting Committee or others who want to introduce all sorts of minute details, who want to cumber our rules and our Constitution with all sorts of unnecessary details. I therefore feel that this sub-rule should be deleted.
Coming to amendment No. 11, it reads as follows
This amendment has got two aspects. The first aspect I have already touched. This sub-rule, the House will see, reads as follows:
This is a laughable, and a most unnecessary rule. I have already stated, Sir, that you have got inherent powers to conduct the business of the House, and you can certainly regulate this matter as well. The second aspect is this. We seek to provide for various matters, and then suddenly at the end we come to the last provision and say that notwithstanding any of these rules anything may happen. We have provided for various matters in 38 and 38RR and at the very end we say that the President may relax or suspend any of these. Why frame these rules and then say the President may relax these ? Can the President not exercise his discretion ? It is absolutely unnecessary and should be deleted.
My amendment No. 12 is partly consequential upon the amendments I have just now moved-Nos. 10 and 11. I move :
Sub-rule (1) of 38RR refers to the Third Reading of the Constitution and Provides that any Member may move that the Constitution as settled by the Assembly be passed, and to a motion so made no further amendment shall be allowed to be moved. That is a formal provision and I do not think there is any necessity for embodying it in a new rule 38RR. It flows from the rules that have been embodied in rule 38R and it does not merit or deserve a separate place or separate entity as rule 38RR. All these rules relate to the final passing of the Constitution, and one set of rules to cover all these matters is sufficient. There is no need for two sets of rules.
In the end I shall only say that nobody will dispute the assertion of Shrimati Durgabai that the Constitution must be expedited; but it is wholly wrong to foist the blame for the delay upon the Members of this House. The Members of this House have always been willing and very eager to work for the expeditions disposal of this Constitution. At no time have the members grudged extra hours that they may have been called upon to put in for the discussion of the Constitution. If there be any blame, if there be any guilt, it lies elsewhere and not upon the Members of this House. I do not want to say who the guilty men are but certainly it is erroneous and unjustified to say that any members of this House have been guilty of any inordinate delay in the passage of the Constitution so as to result in a heavy drain upon our financial resources. We have all co-operated to the best of our ability for the speedy passage of this Constitution, and we shall all be happy when shortly we come to the end of our labours.
Mr. President: All the amendments have been moved.
Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena (United Provinces: General): I have given notice of an amendment.
Mr. President: I have not got any notice.
Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena: I gave it this morning.
Sir, I beg to move:
"In the proposed new Rule 38R, in clause (1) the following words be added at the end:-
In the first rule we have said
Sir, we are still leaving many things in Appendix I which might be completely changed by the time we meet in the Third Reading. It is quite possible that many of the provinces might become two or three provinces. Madras might become Andhra and Tamil Nadu and there might also be Karnatak and other provinces and, if that is done, then it will be necessary for the Drafting Committee to move further amendments and Members also should have an opportunity to discuss them. Therefore, it is necessary that the President should have the power to allow any other amendments to be moved in his discretion. We have full confidence in you, Sir, that you will allow only those amendments which are considered necessary because of the changes made between now and the next session. I, therefore, consider that this is a very important amendment and unless it is there, it will not be possible for the President to allow Members even to discuss the redistribution of provinces which may be effected by that time. I, therefore, think that my sister Shrimati Durgabai will accept this amendment and let Members have a right to discuss the new provinces which will be created.
My second amendment is:
My Friend Mr. Naziruddin suggested seven clear days. Three days seems to be almost absurd. You have said that at least two clear days notice should be given for any amendment. Now if we get the new Constitution only three days before the session, then there is only one day during which we have to go through it and table amendments. That is impossible. There must be at least three clear days. It would be much better if we have seven days, but I know the difficulty about time and so I do not want to press for seven days but I do want that at least five days should be given.
You have said, Sir, that the final draft Constitution will go for print by the end of the this month and will be ready in five or six days, so that by the 5th or 6th November the printed copies will be ready and these should be able to reach Members in two or three days time. Probably if they are sent to our Delhi addresses they may come the same day but those who want it at their homeaddress will get in three days. At least they will get three or four clear days. I therefore, think that five days should be mentioned here instead of three days.
I then move:
The present provision is most unfair. When the Drafting Committee move any amendment the Members should have a right to have a say in the matter. We have given the President the power to allow Members in his discretion to have their say. If there is some amendment of substance suggested by a member it should be permissible for the President to allow it to be moved. I hope Shrimati Durgabai will accept this amendment.
Then my next amendment is:
In sub-rule (b) of the proposed rule 38R, the words 'and it shall not be necessary for the president to put each of those amendments separately to vote' be deleted."
This has already been moved. I only wish to support it.
It is only proper that we should do so. It will not take much time.
And then I beg to move:
As proposed, sub-rule (4) says:
"After the motion referred to in sub-rule (2) have been carried, any member may move an amendment which is either formal or consequential upon an amendment recommended in any provision of the Constitution by the Drafting Committee after the Constitution was referred to them under sub-rule (1) but shall not be allowed to move any other
And I suggest the addition of the words-"except by the President according to his discretion." This will allow amendments of substance also, but according to the President's discretion. The amendments may be not only consequential and formal, but there may be amendments of substance also, and therefore the President should be given the power to admit them also. I am riot giving the Members any right, but only arming the President with the power to exercise his discretion. I hope this amendment will not be objected to.
And then to the proposed rule 38RR. I have two amendments. It is proposed insub-rule(2)-
"The President may fix a time-limit for speeches during the debate on a motion made under sub-rule (1)". That means when all the amendments are disposed of , then when the Third Reading comes a time limit will be imposed. I would very much have liked that no time limit is fixed, but that is not possible. Therefore I have in my amendment suggested:
Sit, I only want that members who want to participate in the debate should be able to have an opportunity to do so. They should be permitted to give their names 36 hours before the motion. You may then, Sir, know the names of the Members who want to participate, and I suggest a minimum time of 40 minutes should be given to each speaker, because he has to make remarks on the whole Constitution. You may, according to your discretion, increase this duration or decrease it, if you find that a particular Member is making an important point or is wasting the time of the House, but everyone who wants to participate in the debate, must be given an opportunity to do so, and if the suggestion that I have made is adopted, then nobody will have any grievance. You will know the number of speakers and you will allot time accordingly and we will have a fairly good debate.
And then I also say in clause (2a):
Now, we are sitting only for three hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, because we have our party meetings and' other meetings, but they will all be over by the time we come to the final Third Reading, and there is no reason why we should not sit for longer hours. The House of Commons, as we all know, Sir, sits for nine to ten hours and if we want to finish our Constitution in the time prescribed, then we should extend our sittings, if necessary to eight or even ten hours so that everyone who wants to speak may have an opportunity to do-so. I want to arm you with this power to extend the duration of sittings. You will have the number of speakers and then you will be able to calculate the time required, and you may extend the sittings accordingly. I would have wished that the Legislative Assembly Session was held on the 14th and the final reading of the Constitution came up later so that we might have had more time to go through it carefully and seen to omissions and punctuations and other formalities But I hope the Drafting Committee will get busy and do the work for a) of us.
Sir, I was not happy at the argument given by Shrimati Durgabai, that we have already wasted a lot of money on this. I think this Constitution is one of the biggest achievements of ours during the last three years. We have solved so many knotty problems, and tile amount of time and money spent I think, is not disproportionate to the achievement. Mr. Kamath told us that we have spent about Rs. 60 to 70 lakhs over this Constitution, and that is not a big amount in three years. It is for the first time in the history of cur country that we are giving a free democratic Constitution to ourselves and have integrated all the different parts of the country into one single whole. Therefore, I think the time and money spent on it is not time and money wasted. It is not as if all the work has been done in these sittings. A lot of work has been done in this committee sittings, behind, the scenes, by the Drafting Committee. And I do not want that at the fag-end, we should bustle anything and be open to the charge by people who are opposed to us that we have bustled the Constitution through. So my amendments are necessary and I hope Shrimati Durgabai will accept them.
Dr. B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya (Madras : General): Mr. President Sir, we have come to the last stage of our journey. When the railway train goes along the well-laid track, its journey is well regulated. It goes at the maximum speed and then comes to a stop. When coming to the railway station, it is confronted with zig-zag lines, with lines on either side of the alignment, and every junction has to be carefully mapped out in the Station Superintendent's room so that he may be able to regulate the train from the cabin. It is thus that we have to pay particular attention to changes in the rules which may appear superfluous or unnecessary or formal, but at the same time deserve the attention of every Member of the House towards the last stage
I this view, I have examined the wording, and coming to paragraph (1), that there is a little change necessary.
The presence of both the words "other" and "necessary" gives me a little difficulty. The word "necessary" is deliberately put there. If it is meant to have a plenary meaning, then the word "other" attenuates that meaning. Therefore, I would suggest that if you mean "or necessary amendments", then that necessity must be defined, because it may be ample or it may be circumscribed. If it is suggested that the necessity comprises all those conditions which might have come into existence since the reference of the Draft to the Drafting Committee, then, of course, it will have a plenary and ample meaning, and in that view, it is not merely formal or consequential; but the word "other" comes in the way of our giving this amplified meaning to the word "necessary". Therefore, Sir, I would like the President or some Member with authority to explain to us what the word "necessary" means, and if the meaning that I have attached to it is the meaning, well and good; and if that is not the meaning that word is unnecessary; but if that is the meaning, then the word "other" may kindly be dropped.
Of course, I have not given notice of any formal amendment, but this being of a verbal nature, though it has got much significance, I trust that the good lady who has moved the rules will accept it.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari: Mr. President, Sir, in supporting the motion made by my honourable Friend Shrimati Durgabai, I would like to answer one or two criticisms made by my honourable Friend. Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad, who I see is not in the House.
Sir, the idea of the Steering Committee in introducing this amendment to the rule is that the work of this House, in so far as the Third Reading stage is concerned, should be facilitated and expedited, without at the same time putting any unnecessary restriction on the freedom of the debate. Sir, time is a very important factor in the Third Reading stage. As we expect that you will ultimately decide, perhaps, that we meet again on 14th November, we have necessarily to finish by 26th November the third reading of the Constitution, because this House will have to meet elsewhere on 28th November. All these factors have been taken into consideration in trying to fix a programme for the Third Reading stage. The days therefore that are allowed for preliminary work in the nature of approving of formal amendments made by the Drafting Committee, which will be entrusted with the work of revising the Constitution and of making a fair copy of the same, have necessarily to be limited. That is the limitation that is sought to be imposed by the amendment to rule 38R.
I am afraid, in a matter like this, ultimately the decision must remain with you, even though we put it in the rules that only so many days should be allowed, and you have the final discretion in the matter, that discretion is only reinforced by the addition of rule 38RR and it is for you to decide whether the period will be limited to the extent mentioned in the rule or to extend it. There is no question of fettering your discretion. But I think we must work to a programme and a plan. The plan that at the moment suggests itself to us is that we should limit the number of days for discussion of the preliminary stage of changes suggested by the Drafting Committee in making a fair copy of the Constitution, and then proceed to what is perhaps very important in the opinion of many Members of the House, namely, the Third Reading speeches.
I have no doubt that this House will be fully represented in the Third Reading stage when this work, which is perhaps the work which I hope will remain permanent for many generations to come, and on which those honourable Members who have been fortunate enough to be associated would like to say something, will be praised. No doubt we have ourselves bad in the course of our discussions pointed out the difficulties and have as it were blazed the trail for those who would work the Constitution in the future. Therefore it is very important that as many days as could possibly be provided for will have to be left for discussion at the Third Reading stage. If the number of days allotted for the preliminary stage is extended, it will to that extent impinge on the freedom of discussion at the Third Reading stage in which honourable Members would like to participate. So, my honourable Friends Mr. Kamath and Prof. Shibban Lal should remember this point when they want to extend the number of days for discussion of the preliminary stage.
One point made by Mr. Kamath, in spite of the fact- that with your permission I intervened and explained when he was speaking, I am still unable to comprehend. As I told him, what we contemplate here is that, if you are good enough to commit the whole thing to the Drafting Committee to make a fair copy and make the necessary consequential amendments and also the other necessary amendments, we expect to bring out in book form the Constitution and the amendments and append to it a report which will seek to give an explanation, either in the body of the report or in the appendix, of all the changes made, minor or otherwise, so that the House could straightaway put its finger on the amendments made. If they feel that these amendments are such that they cannot accept them or some of them, they can move amendments, provided however that you feel that they are necessary, that they are not merely of a drafting nature or of an alternative nature, where the amendments suggested by the Drafting Committee would be enough for the purpose. It will be for you to allow the amendments to be moved.
But the procedure that we have envisaged is that the whole thing will be taken up together as a whole as the Draft Constitution has been taken up, and Members will be perfectly entitled to move amendments subject to the exercise of your discretion. Then if those amendments are accepted or rejected, the consequences will follow. If no amendments are moved, the suggestion of the Drafting Committee will go through without any amendment. In such a case, if Members of this House consider that particular changes suggested by the Drafting Committee and incorporated in the fair copy of the ,Constitution should be accepted and do not move any amendment to the contrary, naturally there is no use multiplying the procedure by making every change made by the Drafting Committee the subject-matter of a vote and a decision by the House.
Sir, in regard to the matter mentioned by our respected leader Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya I must apologise to the House, as a Member who took part in the ,drafting of this particular amendment, that we have not fully examined the consequences of the word 'other'. I must say that I feel that the Doctor's interpretation is a correct interpretation. The idea that we had in mind in putting in the words 'necessary amendments' was to enable you to permit 'necessary amendments' should you consider them necessary in the fair copy that the Drafting Committee will be presenting to the House. I would earnestly suggest to you and to the House to accept the proposal made by my honourable Friend Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya and omit the word 'other' before the words 'necessary amendments' in clause (1) of Rule 38R.
So far as the other amendments moved are concerned, I do not propose to enter into their merits. I think hey will be dealt with by my honourable Friend Shrimati Durgabai. But I may say that excepting so far as perhaps amendment No. 2 of Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad is concerned where my Friend has amplified the word 'clause' to mean articles, clauses and sub-clauses, nothing else need be accepted. This amendment does improve the wording. The other amendment suggested by Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya may also be accepted. Them does not seem to be need for accepting the other amendments suggested by Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad, by Mr. Kamath and by Professor Saksena. But it is for the mover to accept or reject the suggestion I have made. I do feel that the House will recognise the necessity for providing a blue- print for getting through with our Third Reading stage in which we will have to provide for the maximum freedom possible for Members to suggest amendments necessary and also to make their own contribution to the debate in this House at the final stage so that the largest possible number of members could participate The whole scheme of this rule has been framed with that view.
Now the would like to say a word in regard to certain implied powers which the President has and which we have categorically stated, particularly in rule 38RR. My honourable Friend Mr. Kamath objected to clauses (2) and (3) on the ground that the powers are implied and Deed not be categorically stated. If that is so, there is nothing wrong in stating them categorically. And the mere fact that the powers have been categorically stated would perhaps help us over the difficulties that arose on previous occasions, particularly during the last session. We had a little difficulty` because of the inflexibility of the rules and the president did not want to take advantage of the very wide powers that are normally vested in him without any express sanction for that purpose. I feel, Sir that at the Third Reading stage it will be necessary to arm the President with specific and categorical powers of that nature.
Shri H. V. Kamath: What exactly is the confusion arising out of the word "other" which my honourable Friend, Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya asks lo delete ?
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari: The conclusion will be what was originally intended that there will be formal and consequential amendments. If any amendment of a different category becomes necessary in regard to what has happened between now and the 14th November perhaps, and the President considers they an necessary modifications-honourable Members should bear in mind that the authority to consider what is a necessary amendment happens to be the President they will go through.
Shri H. V. Kamath: What about the word 'other'?
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari: Our revered Leader Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya felt that the word "other" qualifies the necessary amendments unduly and that it refers more to the words occurring prior to that word "formal or consequential" rather than to the word "necessary", and I agree with the interpretation of Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya. If the President agrees, he might put it to the House to decide on the matter.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: The President has got full powers with regard to unnecessary and useless amendments.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari: It has always been borne in mind. This Constituent Assembly, being a sovereign Body, the President, has got absolute powers and that is not affected by mere rules. Nevertheless, we felt that it would be much better to precisely state why and how he would exercise those powers within the limits which is possible for us to envisage in our rules.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmed: Supposing the Drafting Committee commits an obvious mistake indulges in a palpable error .....
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari : We depend upon Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad to fill up any lacuna.
Shri Kala Venkata Rao (Madras : General): I would like to have this point answered. There is the question of linguistic provinces which have not been settled, and roughly the proposal seems to be to amend the Schedule if need be at the Third Reading stage. How will these rules affect that? How can we form new linguistic provinces through an amendment at the Third Reading stage and what is the provision in this blueprint of procedure which Shrimati Durgabai has presented before the House and which Mr Krisbnamachari has clarified ? I want satisfaction on this point, Sir, whether it would be ,possible to move an amendment for the addition of certain States in Schedule. I and make consequential amendments in the whole Act I would like that some provision should be clearly made under these rules to make that possible That is my request.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari : I do not want to anticipate the statement that the Honourable the President is likely to make with regard to Schedule 1, but I would say that that and other factors that might arise would undoubtedly be covered by the words "necessary amendments". It would be made clear if the House adopts the amendment suggested by Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya. Thereafter the amendments moved may be consequential or they may be necessary.
Shri R. K. Sidhva (C. P. & Berar : General) : Does my honourable Friend know that under the rules of the Legislative Assembly there is no time limit for speeches on the First Reading and Third Reading stages ? If that is so, why should we deny to any Member the privilege of speaking at the Third Reading for any length of time?
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari : My Friend is ignorant on this point. The present rules of the Legislative Assembly do fix a time-limit even for a Bill like the Finance Bill.
Shri R. K. Sidhva. I do not know whether any fresh rules have been made by-the Speaker, but those rules have not been placed before the House. So far as I know, there is no time
limit. No doubt the inherent right of the Speaker is always there for checking a member if he is going out of the way or repeating arguments or unnecessarily taking tip the time of the House.
Mr. President: May I just say a few words before I put this to the vote. As has been explained by Mr. Krishnamachari the whole situation has to be taken into consideration before we launch upon the Third Reading stage. We, have two limits which it is not possible for us to cross. One is on this side and the other is on the other side. That is to say, it is not possible to begin before the 14th November and we cannot prolong our discussion beyond the 25th or the 26th at the latest, because the Constituent Assembly (Legislative) will meet from the 28th.
Shri R. K. Sidhva: We can have night sittings even after that.
Mr. President: Within those 12 days if we sit on Saturdays also-or if you like to sit on Sundays 13 days-we shall have to complete the whole of the Third Reading stage. This is the time table envisaged by this amendment of the rules and these are the limitations which we have to observe. If we have more time on this side in connection with the amendments, we shall proportionately get less time for general discussion. If we allow more time to one speaker, ,we shall have proportionately to cut down the number of speakers. I was just ,considering bow the thing will work in actual practice. If we give three days for the disposal of the amendments-two days are suggested but if one day more is given in view of the importance of the amendments that will be coming up-then we shall have nine days left. The last day I want to keep for other formalities So, we shall have eight days. At the rate of forty minutes we can give a chance to sixty, speakers.
Shri H. V. Kamath: How many hours daily'?
Mr. President: Five hours.
Shri R. K. Sidhva: We can sit for ten hours.
Mr. President: Ten hours; that means 120 speakers.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : We do not mind sitting for ten hours.
Mr. President: It will depend upon you. You may sit as long as you like I shall not object.
Shri H. V. Kamath: We may sit for eight hours.
Mr. President: At that time, we will see. I am not fixing the number of hours now. I am only making certain arithmetical calculations. It will be for the House to say for how many hours it will sit. I shall not stand in the way. That I will promise. There will of course be the question of quorum, (Laughter) and it will not be in my power to compel Members to attend.
Shri Mahavir Tyagi (United Provinces : General): I just want a ruling from you on a particular point, either your ruling or a reply from the honourable the I power of the motion. There are amendments coming for changing the name of U. P. I want to know if you will permit them to be considered in the 3rd leading?
Mr. President: I can say this, that if there is general agreement about the change of name, I shall not stand in the way. If it involves discussion and if there are different suggestions made, then I shall stick to the name which is given here.
Shri Mahavir Tyagi: If the House leaves it to the U.P. Members ?
Mr. President: I do not mind, but I would not like to interfere with the name of U.P.
Shri R. K. Sidhva: The question of altering the name is very important and I would suggest it is not proper to leave it to the Members of this House It should be left open both to the Government of that Province and to the Legislature of that Province. We cannot change the name of a Province by discussing it here. This matter should not be treated lightly.
Mr. President: I think you are right. I said if there is general agreement by all parties concerned then I will not oppose its discussion.
Shri Mahavir Tyagi The word of the Premier of the Province should be considered enough.
Mr. President But at this stage I do not think we should insist on any commitments from me or from any Member. We should take things as they arise and we shall decide them when the question arises.
Now, it was mentioned by Mr.
Naziruddin Ahmad and I believe by some other Members also, that the time that is allowed for giving notice of amendments is very short. It is now only three days. I would suggest it would be good if Mr. Shibban Lal Saksena's amendment could be accepted extending it to five days. But it all depends upon the resources of the Press. So fax As it is possible we shall try our best,but if you like and if the office thinks we could give five days, I personally would not object to five days being given.
Shri H. V. Kamath: Sir, you were telling the House, when Mr. Tyagi cut you short, about the length of 'sittings, and I think there is something left unsaid.
Mr. President: It will depend upon the House as to how many hours it wishes to sit but we could not go beyond the 26th in any case; that is fixed.
Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena: Would you not accept my suggestion that all. Members who want to participate should give their names beforehand ?
Mr. President: It is not necessary to introduce it in the Rules. Supposing a Member fails to send his name I do not know if you would like we to disallow him. Shrimati Durgabai will reply now.
Shrimati G. Durgabai: Mr. President, Sir, before dealing with the amendments moved by my honourable Friends, I would clear up two points made by some of the Movers of the amendments. I will be very brief in my reply and not take much of the time of this House.
I have heard one honourable Member making this charge against the Drafting Committee that they have set up some lady to move these Rules. I may straightaway tell the House that it is not the business of the Drafting Committee. These Rules came up before the Steering Committee, and 'were approved by them and I have now moved them in this House. Another Member has made a suggestion that a lady has been put up to defend the action of the Drafting Committee. Sir, I am very sorry to find some of the honourable Members of the House-male Members-still conscious of this sex business though the women Members have completely forgotten it. I very much wish that There should be no longer any talk of this question of men and women.
As regards the amendments moved, honourable Members are aware that some were moved by Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad. I may straightaway tell the House that I have pleasure in accepting his amendment 2(iii) which reads thus:
Though it is strictly a matter for- the Drafting Committee. I will have no hesitation in accepting this amendment.
I would also be willing to accept amendment No. 2 of the list of amendments moved by Mr. Shibban Lal Saksena. The Honourable the President also has suggested that five clear days' notice would be required and therefore this amendment would be accepted.
With regard to all the other amendments particularly those of Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad, I would say that they are all matters for the draftsmen to set right because they are either verbal or grammatical or relating to punctuation. So they might be safely left to the Drafting Committee or the draftsmen. His amendment No. 6 about the three clear days' notice has already been covered by accepting Mr. Saksena's amendment about five clear days' notice being substituted for three days.
With regard to Mr. Kamath's amendments, Mr. Kamath wants to move substantial amendments by deleting the words "which is either formal or consequential upon". Our experience has shown that some thousands or substantial amendments have already been moved during the second stage of the consideration of the Draft Constitution. Now the Honourable the President has got the power to suggest any substantial amendment to be moved by the Drafting Committee. Therefore, it will not be necessary to enable Members to make substantial amendments and independent amendments at that stage.
Mr Kamath had also questioned the power of the President to fix a time limit to the speeches and also the power to relax or suspend the Rules.