Constituent Assembly Of India -Volume IX
Dated: August 23, 1949
The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Nine of the Clock, Mr. President (The Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad) in the Chair.
Mr. President: We shall now proceed with the consideration of article 286 and the subsequent articles.
Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedker: Sir, I move:
with your permission, move amendments Nos. 12, 16, 17 and 19 together? They all relate to the same subject. There may be a common debate and then you might put each amendment separately.
Mr. President: Yes, I agree.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, I move:
"That for article 286, the following article be substituted:-
286.Function of Public Service Commission.
The article are self-explanatory and I do not think that at this stage it is necessary for me to make any comments to brine out any of the points, because the points are all very plain. I would therefore reserve my remarks towards the ,end when after the debate probably it may be necessary for me to offer some "plantation of some of the points raised.
Sir, I move.
Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor (United Provinces: General): Mr. President, I beg to move :
Clause (2) of article 286 reads thus :
I desire its deletion because, whatever is provided herein is already covered by clause (3) of article 284 which we have already adopted yesterday. Clause (3) of article 284 reads thus
Obviously, Sir, whatever is provided in clause (2) of article 286 is provided for in clause (3) of article 284. Clause (3) of article 284 is apparently of much wider import than clause (2) of article 286. Hence, obviously this clause (2) is unnecessary and redundant. The deletion of this clause (2) of article 286 will not in any way affect the unusual length of article 286, for, even after its deletion, it will continue to be pretty long enough and the Drafting Committee need not have any apprehension that the habit which it has got into of drafting long articles and providing in the Constitution every little detail win be materially affected. Of course, we know that the Drafting Committee has an inexhaustible store of words and phrases; but they need not pour out the whole of it in this Constitution by providing every little detail and making it a very cumbrous one. I think, therefore, that in order to remove an unnecessary and redundant thing, it is necessary that this clause (2) should be deleted. That is all I have to submit in this connection. I do not wish to move amendment No. 18 with reference to article 288.
(Amendments 14, 15, 74 and 75 were not moved.)
Sardar Hukam Singh (East Punjab: Sikh) : Mr. President, I beg to move:
In my humble opinion, this proviso is not in consonance with the spirit of the other articles. We are prescribing a very vast field where the Public Service Commission has to be consulted, and we have included transfers, promotions, and other things as well. This is a very good ideal. If we are providing that the Public Service Commission should be consulted even in these matters, then, we should not leave this loophole, by which the majority party may find it easy to secure regulations from the President or the Governor that they need not consult the Public Service Commission. In my opinion, even though it is provided here that the Governor and the President shall have the power to frame regulations, they would be guided by the advice of their Ministers, and the Ministers would represent the majority party. These regulations will be changing from time to time and there is scope when, with the object of extending favouritism and nepotism, they might make such regulations as may suit their convenience. My objection is that because this is only a consultative body, it is not necessary that the advice of the Public Service Commission must be acted upon. There is a provision in article 288-A that the Public Service Commission shall present to the President annually a report and that the President shall cause a copy thereof together with a memo. explaining if in any cases the advice of the Commission was not accepted, the reasons for such non-acceptance, to be laid before Parliament. The reasons shall have to be given. Therefore that provided a good check and if this proviso is not there, we shall have very wholesome effect on the working of this article. In my opinion this proviso should be deleted.
Shri Lakshminarayan Sahu (Orissa: General) : Sir, I want to make a little change because the wording here is not properly done. I want to substitute the words 'having a scale with a maximum of 250 or more' for 'carrying a maximum of Rs. 250.
Mr. President: Yes.Shri Lakshminarayan Sahu: *[Mr. President, my amendment reads thus :- "That in amendment No. 12 of List I (Fifth Week) of Amendments to Amendments, for clause (3) of the proposed article 285, the following be substituted:-
(3) The Union Public Service Commission as respects the All-India Services and also as respects other Services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union, and the State Public Service Commission as respects the State services and also as respects other services and posts in connection with the affairs of the State, shall be responsible for all appointments, carrying a maximum of Rs. 250 (Two Hundred and fifty rupees)."
The idea that has led me to move the amendment is that we are providing for the formation of a Public Service Commission solely with a view to ensure the smooth and efficient running of our Republican Government. If that is not the view, there is no need for creating a Public Service Commission. We ourselves 'can manage everything. But when a democratic form of Government is established many political parties dominate the field and they adopt undesirable methods for appointments in the services. We are going to form the Public Service Commission solely with a view that political parties may not be in a position to adopt such methods. A body must be created to decide about the appointments in Services, so that no one may be able to suggest that the Services are working under the influence of any political party.
In view of all this, we find that the creation of a Public Service Commission is essential; and when it is essential to create such a Commission, Our Constitution should contain some provision that the Commission should have complete control over the appointments to services. It is the opinion of some person,-, that when we are going to establish a Republic here, we must trust the Government. They contend that a democratic Government cannot function unless the people trust it. But I have heard that even in England and in the Dominions, where a democratic form of Government is obtaining, the Public Service, Commission have a large measure of control over the appointment in services. 1, therefore, think that this amendment should be accepted.]
Dr. P. S. Deshmukh (C. P. & Berar: General): Mr. President, I rise to move amendment No. 82 of List III Fifth week of Amendments to Amendments : "That in clause (3) of the proposed article 286, for the word 'shall' the word 'may' be substituted." Yesterday when we were about to embark ,on the discussion of these articles dealing with the Public Service Commission. I had urged on the floor of the House that the provisions with regard to the Commissions may not be made as stringent as they were proposed to be and this amendment of mine is in the same line. I want that in this proposed article 286 where a very large number of things are going to be made obligatory and compulsory there should be a choice left with the Legislatures and the Parliament as to whether the Public Service Commission should be consulted compulsorily or should be left to deal exclusively with these matters or not.
Now the various matters mentioned in clause (3) are very important and if all these are made compulsory, there would be very little latitude left for the Governments of the various States as well as the Parliament to vary the terms and conditions of recruitment to Public Services or to alter them in any way as it may be necessary according to the circumstances that may arise. The first clause says :
This would mean that if the Public Service Commission say that mere passing University or other Examination is the final criterion of merit, that will have to remain there irrespective of the fact that the State Legislature or Parliament thinks otherwise. I have always contended that these University qualifications have been made a fetish by the British Government because they wanted to reduce the Indian Nation to a clerkdom. There is no other criterion still thought of by our present Government. This p. 601, para-1-3.
of education which they fear w�mountable obstacles in their progress. Why have we proposed reservations for the tribal people? That is also for the same reason. There are also, in the same manner as the tribal people and the Scheduled Castes, millions of people in our country whose handicaps and obstacles are in no way different from those of the tribal people and the Scheduled Castes; and I wish to leave room for such people to come in and inequalities resulting from the present systems rectified.
I say this because it is for the first time in the history of the country that the real representatives of the people are going to govern the country hereafter, and therefore their hands should not be fettered. It should be possible for the elected State legislatures and the elected Parliament-elected on the basis fixed by this very House, with its very limited franchise, for even here thee are not many people who represent all that the masses of India think and feel-let these future State legislatures and Parliament have the power to make changes in the conditions for the recruitment of the services. It is no use copying the phraseology or imitating the ideology of the British. These will not suit as here in India. India has not become England, and it is no use copying England. There the whole people has progressed together, similarly and simultaneously; not so in India. Even today more than 85 per cent of the people of India are without the facilities for education as they live in the villages, and we are asking these people to compete with people who have these facilities near by. This is quite impossible. It is like having a one-mile race between two persons one of whom had already gone ahead half-a-mile and another who had yet to start. That is quite unequal, unfair and unjust; and if you persist in this injustice and in this unfairness, then I am sure it is not going to be beneficial to us.
These are all important matters that are provided for in article 286. They relate, firstly, to methods of recruitment; secondly, to principles to be followed in making appointments as well as promotions and transfers; thirdly, to all disciplinary matters affecting a person and including memorials and petitions; fourthly, to any claim by or in respect of a person who is serving or has served under the Government or the Government of State or under the Crown in a civil capacity; and lastly, to claim to pensions etc. It is clear that the whole field of recruitment and allied issues are tobe determined by the Public Services Commission so as to preclude even if Parliament or the State legislatures want to change any of the above conditions in any way. I do not say that it should be left altogether vague, but I only say that the Legislatures or the Parliament should be in a position to alter these various tings whenever and wherever they want to do so.
It is apparent, Sir, that we want to clothe with every possible power the President of the Union. Here also in this proviso we find that the President is empowered to keep back any cases which in his discretion thinks need not go to the Commission. I wish rather that we gave this power to the Parliament and to the State Legislatures and not to an individual.
Sir, there is also another amendment which with your permission I wish to move, which is of course, more or less in the same strain and in furtherance of the same objective as the one I have already moved; but it proposes a particular and a specific provision in article 286.
Mr. President: No. 86?
Dr. P.S. Deshmukh: Yes, Sir, I move:
There is also an alternative amendment, i.e. No. 88 which I would like to move also :
These two amendments, Nos. 86 and 88, are as I said alternatives, and if one is accepted, I would not press the other, although I personally would urge that No. 86 which is more specific would be preferable.
The purpose of this amendment is to secure a just and fair representation of all classes in the public services of the Union and the States, and not leave it to bare competition and according to the sweet choice of the Public Services Commissions themselves. Now, if we examine the systems of recruitment to the public services, we know that as a matter of fact certain provinces, because the public of those provinces were more alive to their rights, agitated that they were not having any share in the administration of their province and as a result of their agitation, the Governments of those provinces had to yield. This has happened particularly in that enlightened and advanced province of Madras where the various communities were grouped in various groups and each group was given, according to the basis of its population, representation in the government services. This has worked very well, with the result that Madras has become one of the most advanced provinces in the whole of India. That is the reason why we find Delhi being crowded by Madrasis, because their standard of education has gone up due to the fact that all the communities have advanced equally with the others and not disproportionately as elsewhere. There you do not have the disproportionate advancement which you find in other provinces where the suppressed communities have always been content with their lot, where thy have not agitated to get more places in the government and where the advanced communities have never been charitable to consider their claims or to give them any help. This has happened particularly in the province of Central Provinces & Berar where we find that even today in the whole department of education there is hardly a person belonging to any other community except one particular community. There are departments after departments where ninety per cent and more of the incumbents come from a specific community.
Sir, if this is not communalism, what is communalism? And these people who now fill every place in the department see to it that anybody else, who wants to come in, is effectively prevented from doing so. Is this not communalism? A community which is only 3 to 5 per cent of the population, is it destined to govern the whole province so far as every department is concerned? Would it not be charitable to give at least a few places to the other people who have never been given what they have been asking for? Those Members of this House who are taken in by the sweet name of merit and efficiency, I can tell that it will be detrimental to the country. There might have been a slight falling-off of the standard, but that much we have always tolerated. When we were not able to compete with the British people we asked for places for Indians from the British. We wanted increased recruitment in the I.C.S. We struggled for it and we have passed resolutions to this effect even at the Sessions of the Indian National Congress. But when the same thing is done by other people we call it communalism. I submit there is ample room for doing justice to all. In Madras or Bombay where this principle has been practised, it has not led to any ruin of efficiency or to any very great danger or damage to the administration. If that is our experience, there is no reason why other provinces should not be wise also before the event and try and give sympathetic consideration to the other sections of the populations. The contention is on behalf of more than 85 per cent of the population and so it cannot be called communal. If you do not want to name the communities, or castes, there are other devices by which you can do it. But I submit, this demand ought to be considered more sympathetically, and since we have adopted the basis of population for representation, the basis of population should also be followed so far as recruitment is concerned.
I have urged what I wished to without specifying any community, without trying to go against any particular community. All that I want is that Parliament and the Legislatures should be free to see that there is a fair proportion of representation for all classes and communities in India. I had not specified that any single community should be given preference or priority - I want that there should be a fair distribution so that the unity and freedom of India will be real and genuine. It appears to me that the development in India has been lop-sided, one-sided. About 80 per cent of the people take no part so far as your cultural affairs are concerned., so far as they are concerned; an iron curtain between them and the rest; unless every community, especially the larger and more popular communities advance equally and the advanced communities afford them opportunities for development, the advancement of India will be impossible. All that I demand is fairness and justice for the millions of people who are not in a position to come forward and compete with you, and in saying so I do not introduce any communalism, I do not introduce any discrimination. These things have been tried, they worked well and there is no reason why they should not work well on a larger scale.
When any Friend Shri Lakshminarayan Sahu got up yesterday, there were evil forebodings in the shape of failure of electric lights. I think even Providence wants to give a warning against the passing of this article. The same thing happened when Dr. Ambedkar got up to speak. I hope that a little more care is taken, a little more wisdom expended on the final draft of these articles, and I hope my amendment-either No. 86 or 88 will be accepted. It will do no harm to the structure of the Public Services Commission as envisaged by the Drafting Committee. After all they had to say in clause 4:-
All that I wish to add is because the "Backward classes" are likely to be defined in a very limited and restricted manner, it is not the claim of only the Scheduled Castes that they are backward it is not the tribal people alone who should be considered backward; there are millions of others who are more backward than these and there is no rule nor any room so far as these classes are concerned. In those communities education is at a low ebb. In the whole of India there is 15 per cent of literacy. If you analyse it you will find about half a dozen communities have got literacy to the extent of 90 per cent and the others are illiterate to the extent of 98 per cent. There are communities whose populations may be millions but whose literacy standard may not go beyond 5 per cent.
There is no use trying to look at England or at America. I am surprised that my honourable Friend Shri Lakshminarayan Sahu, the great sponsor of the cause of the agriculturists, should come forward to propound a different view and not take these facts into consideration. (An honourable Member : "Better fight for the education of the illiterates"). The heavens are fighting for the education of illiterates. We know how precious little is being done so far as that is concerned. You cannot do that in a day. That method by itself would not do. You could have as well told that to the Scheduled Castes themselves that by and by they will be educated and by and by the advanced classes will come to their senses and untouchability will automatically disappear. So do not agitate do not demand anything. It will all come to you may be in a hundred years hence. "You need not ask for reservations." I am afraid that advice cannot satisfy any one. We should know that the same demand is there and will be there whether you like it or not, and the more you want to prevent or suppress it the more insistent and irresistible it will become.
Sardar Hukam Singh : Sir, I am not moving my amendment No. 83.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad (West Bengal : Muslim) : Sir, I beg to move
"That in amendment No. 12 of List I (Fifth Week) of Amendments to Amendments after the proviso to clause (3) of the proposed article 286, the following new proviso be added :-
I also move the next amendment No. 85.
My amendment tries to provide a limitation. The grant of unrestricted power by the first proviso to choose at the discretion-not of the President or the Governor or the Ruler, but at the discretion-of the Ministry for the time being in power, would be dangerous. The very object of a Public Service Commission is to provide the country with a competent and reliable machinery through examination and otherwise to select fit candidates without fear or favour. The very utility of the Public Service Commission is its independence, its aloofness from politics and its elevated status. It would be for the House to consider how far the President, Governor or Ruler should be allowed to exempt questions relating to particular services from being placed before the Public Services Commission.
There should, I submit, be some limitation. Had it merely been a question of the personal responsibility of the President or the Governor or the Ruler, things might have been different. A President or a governor or a Ruler, of a State will have no personal axe to grind and in that case things may have been left to his discretion. But the power which is attempted to be conferred upon these authorities by the existing proviso to leave no discretion in them but to allow the Ministry functioning to use their sacred name to serve their own personal ends. We already know and it is freely given out that there is considerable amount of jobbery in giving appointments from the highest to the lowest quarters. Sometimes, the Public Service Commission and then there is considerable amount of jobbery in giving appointments from the highest to the lowest quarters. Sometimes, the Public Service Commission is by-passed by giving anticipatory appointments-temporary appointments- and then there is an attempt to face the Service Commission with an accomplished fact saying that here was a candidate in an unhappy situation who had worked for some time and has obtained experience and so on and should on that account receive special consideration. There is a tendency-very natural tendency-on the part of Ministries both at the Centre and in the Provinces to by-pass even existing rules, and if we allow the Proviso to stand as it is, it will mean that a particular Ministry may think it necessary to exempt a particular class of Service from the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission. That is, I submit, a sufficient justification for introducing some kind of Limitation. The qualification I seek to introduce through the new proviso is that where a service carries a maximum pay of Rs. 500 in the case of Union Services and a Service caries a maximum pay of Rs. 250 in the case of State pp.605, para-4-5 to the President or the Governor or the Ruler to exempt some class of cases from the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission must be accepted on principle. The post of a peon or a petty clerk or a small post does not obviously require to be placed before the Public Service Commission.
So I have admitted two important principles-that there must be some cases where these authorities should have some discretion and that there must be some cases which must be taken out of the jurisdiction of these authorities from withholding them from the purview of the Public Service Commission. The principle which I want to establish by means of this new proviso would be that in certain classes of superior services, it would be compulsory on the part of these authorities to place these matters before the Public Service Commission. I invite a discussion as to the principle and then as to the actual pay or other limit to be laid down, that would be a matter for adjustment if the principle is accepted.
We hear of many scandals in the matter of appointments which show the need for extreme caution in this respect and for not allowing free scope to Ministries to restrict the scope of the Federal or State Public Service Commission. There has always been a tussle between the executive and the Public Service Commission. There has always been a desire to by-pass the Public Service Commission and the original proviso, if left untouched as it is, will increase the danger of the Public Service Commission being by-passed.
The next amendment which I have moved relates in clause (4) of article 286. This clause relates to appointments reserved for backward classes, in respect of which it says that the Public Service Commission need not be consulted. This again raises a very important question of principle. There is a doubt as to the exact import of clause (4). We are passing the Constitution in such a great hurry that it is impossible to give detailed and proper consideration, but I presume-as many honourable Members will do-that clause (4) seeks to take out of the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission matters relating to appointments of the backward classes. I concede that backward classes require special treatment. No one would grudge that. The very fact that they are backward requires that their case should be treated with some amount of sympathy and statesmanship. In fact, the backward classes are backward educationally, morally, financially and in other respects.
Dr. P.S. Deshmukh: Morally they are better.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: Yes I stand corrected. Dr. Deshmukh's suggestion that they are morally better is certainly right. It was an unconscious error of mine which led to the statement. So I am thankful for the correction. Educationally and in other respects they are really backward. In this respect, they require some amount of special treatment. The special treatment which I would suggest would be that with regard to those classes some minimum standard of efficiency should be laid down for a job, because we cannot demoralize the efficiency of the public services. Supposing there is a backward class candidate who has a minimum qualification needed for the job in hand and there is another class of candidate who has superior qualification, in that case the backward class candidate may be accepted because he has to be protected and has the necessary minimum qualification. In this way the backward classes will have some protection.
But there is no reason why they should be totally excluded from the purview, of the Public Services Commission. The Commission may be given the choice of selecting backward class candidates from those possessing minimum qualifications to the exclusion of candidates of other classes possessing superior qualifications. In this way we can serve the backward classes and the Commission can ensure proper efficiency of candidates. So I suggest that their cases should go to the Commission for their recommendation but directions should be given as to the sufficiency of certain qualifications for the service in question. So I see no justification for excluding these classes from the jurisdiction of the Commission.
Then, Sir, my honourable Friend Dr. Deshmukh's amendment seeking to replace "shall" by "may" will have serious consequences on the operation of article 286(3) . In the context the word "shall" is very much better. For instance, clause (a) relates to methods of recruitment. This raises a question of principle and it is better that the executive must consult the Commission in deciding the method of recruitment though the executive may not be bound to accept their views. In this respect I think "shall" is a much better word.
Then, clause (b) refers to the principle to be followed in making appointments. This also is a question of principle on which the Commission should be consulted. Clause (c) refers to disciplinary action. These cases, I submit, should be compulsorily placed before the Commission before taking any action. Sometimes clerks or officers incur the displeasure of higher officers and are sacked. These people will have their remedy in courts of law, for damages or reinstatement. But it is better that these cases should be compulsorily placed before the Commission, so that injustice may be redressed and it will also reduce the number of cases in court.
Sub-clause(d) relates to the case where an officer sues or defends a suit relating to an act done or purporting to have been done in his official capacity and incurs costs. In such cases also the opinion of the Public Service Commission should be taken compulsorily. Then cases about pensions and other claims should also be compulsorily placed before the Commission. I therefore submit that we should have the word "shall" instead of "may" as that will ensure justice in all cases.
The other amendment of Dr. Deshmukh requiring fair representation of the different classes is one which deserves acceptance. In fact although distinctions between classes and communities have been done away with, there may be some remnants here and there and the decision of the Commission with regard to fair representation of different classes would be welcome and it would be above criticism. So this amendment, I submit, should be accepted.
With regard to article 288-A, unlike other hasty interpolations in the Constitution, this is very good. This provides for a report by the Public Service Commission to the President or the Governor or the Ruler about cases where their recommendations are disregarded or appointments are made without reference to them. Parliament is unaware as to how things are shaping; too much into administrative details. Article 286-A provides an automatic check upon action taken by the Government and appointments made without consultation with the Public Service Commission or in disregard of their recommendations. The report would be placed before Parliament for necessary action. I think this is a healthy step. Members of Parliament, as well as the public at large should judge in what cases the recommendations of the Commission were disregarded justly and in what cases unjustly and want only. I therefore support this new clause. With regard to the other articles we have to accept them because the Members have not the time or the opportunity of moving as fast as the Drafting Committee is moving.
With these few words I suggest that my amendment be fairly considered and not brushed aside with a remark by the Chairman of the Drafting Committee that he does not feel it necessary to reply. In the opening remarks the Chairman sometimes says that the articles are self-explanatory and in the end he says that he does not consider that any reply is called for. In the midst of these remarks we do not know where we are. I ask the House to consider the amendments on their merits and reject those that was improper or unjust after full consideration.
With your permission, Sir, I shall move amendment No. 91 also, viz.,
Article 287 reads thus:
I submit that this article authorises a reference to a Public Service Commission of all maters of service relating to local authorities. It is a very necessary provision. The local authorities often appoint persons who are under-qualified, for party or personal reasons. Reference of such cases to the Public Service Commission for their opinion would be very proper.
But I have objection to the inclusion of "other body corporate". A body corporate is one like the Damodar Valley Corporation, or the Industrial Finance Corporation. They are semi-government authorities established by Government under the authorities of specific Acts. In such cases also, a reference to the Public Service Commission may be desirable. But there are other classes of body corporate such a public or private Limited Companies. They are private bodies though "bodies corporate", and their affairs concern the shareholders. But, for the protection of the interests of the shareholders and the public at large some Government control is provided. With regard to the appointments that such concerns make for carrying on their affairs I think it would be improper to introduce the system of reference to the Public Service Commission. In business, efficiency is the sole test. It may be that a man who is not very literate may have high professional experience. I know of experts who work in coal mines and in steel and iron factories and other such undertakings who, by mere look can tell the quality of coal or the percentage of iron or steel in a sample of iron ore. They are experts in their line and paid highly though not possessing the usual academic qualifications. If their cases are placed before the Public Service Commission they will be absolutely nowhere. They are not graduates of any university and, according to all accepted standards, they will be nowhere. In fact, the appointment of managers and managing agents or experts to look after the affairs of a business concern does not require any qualifications except experience and efficiency. They are known to their employees but cannot be ascertained or judged by the Public Service Commission. Reference of such cases to the Public Service Commission would create difficulties and deadlocks and lead to inefficiency and delay in the execution of the business of the company concerned. I should therefore think that 'companies' within the meaning of the Companies Act are corporate bodies, but I believe they are not intended to be governed by this article. I think their inclusion was not intended. But this will be the logical meaning of the words "r other body corporate" in the article. Public companies and banking companies would be certainly 'body corporate'. But obviously they are not fit subjects to be brought within the jurisdiction of Public Service Commission. Therefore this limitation on the Commission would be desirable. If we introduce which are needlessly comprehensive, without limiting their application, the result will be that in private business houses and concerns of that type State interference will be intolerable and would lead to inefficiency. I therefore submit that this exception should be clearly provided in the Constitution.
Shri R.K. Sidhva: (C.P. & Berar : General) : Mr. President, Sir, I beg to move :
Sir, my amendment is very simple. Under the article as moved by my Friend, Dr. Ambedkar, it is not incumbent upon the President to consult the Commission on all matters. In certain matters, he has the prerogative to do what he likes, and then it is just possible that his views might run counter to the views of the Public Service Commission.
Shri R.K. Sidhva: 288A simply says :
This simply say that where the Government does not accept the recommendations of the Commission, it should be laid before Parliament. My amendment is that, in the event of the Commission not accepting the Government's views, it should also be brought before Parliament, so that Parliament may have the view-points of both the Public Service Commission and the Government. What may happen is that sometimes the Government may feel that their views are correct and the Commission may not accept them. In other cases, the Commission might feel that the Government's views are not correct. So there may be conflict. So I would like that the House of Parliament should be acquainted with the views of both sides, so that they may be in a position to judge whether the Government was in the right or the Commission was in the right.
Shri Raj Bahadur (United State of Matsya) : Sir, the honourable Member is hardly intelligible to us, as he is literally facing the Chair.
Shri R.K. Sidhva: I was saying that in some cases the Government might feel that they are in the right and the Commission might feel that they are in the right, and so it is but fair that Parliament should be acquainted with the views of both sides, so that Parliament may be in a position to know whether the Commission was right or the Government was right. Therefore the amendment that I have moved is an improvement on the amendment that has been moved by my honourable Friend Dr. Ambedkar. We all certainly want the Commission to have a free hand in the matter of appointments and I would like to go further than what the article lays down. The proviso to clause (3) of article 286 says:
Thus under this clause the President or the Ruler or the Governor may not consult the Public Service Commission in any matter and may frame rules which may be in in conflict with the functions of the Public Service Commission while there is an article providing for that, it is very necessary that Parliament should know as to how the Public Service Commission is functioning, whether there has been any interference by the Government. At present, we hear of interference in the work of the Public Service Commission by the executive wherever they would like their favorites to be appointed. We know that now-a-days a member of the Ministry concerned sits with the Commission and some of the incumbents who are actually in service acting in their respective posts are being sent along with others who have applied through the public advertisement and are not selected. I do not say that they should not be preferred if they are competent and if they are better than those who have applied to the Public Service Commission through public advertisements. These are matters which we are experiencing today, and while I appreciate the improvement upon the present system brought about by these new articles. I do feel still that the Commission should not be fettered by any kind of administrative disability. The Commission should be free to decide what they think fit. But Parliament should be in a position to judge whether the Public Service Commission has decided matters independently, judiciously and impartially; and from that point of view there should not be any interference by the President the Ruler or the Governor which means the executive, since they have to act on advice tendered by their Ministries. Experience has shown that in this important matter of appointments, there has been favouritism in many cases. It is not anything new that I am saying. We must see to it that this favouritism does not continue and for that purpose we must see to it that rules are so framed that the least scope is allowed to the Commission to indulge in any kind of favouritism. That is why an improvement has been made in this article by the Drafting Committee, but I do feel that there is still some lacuna in this matter. Therefore my amendment seeks that, where the views of the Government and the Commission are at variance, the Parliament should hear both sides.
In view of the remarks made by me, I hope the Drafting Committee and particularly Dr. Ambedkar will consider my amendment favourably in the interests of the Parliament knowing both sides. I hope the Drafting Committee will accept my amendment.
Sardar Hukam Singh : Mr. President, Sir, I beg to move:
These words "backward classes" have been used in our Draft Constitution in the various articles that we have passed. Now, in clause (4) of this article 286, it is said that.
I wholeheartedly support this clause. This is a very wholesome provision, but my difficulty is that the term 'backward classes of citizens' is not defined anywhere in the whole Constitution. This phrase has been used in some places and, in my humble opinion, it does not convey any definite meaning. It is so loose and vague that it might be interpreted differently by different Governments or by different authorities. In article 10(3) it is stated:
The second phrase is found in article 37 and there the words used are different. It runs as follows:
The Scheduled Castes and the scheduled tribes have been defined in the interpretation clause under article 303, but there is no definitions of those backward classes. Here the words used are "weaker sections". I feel some difficulty whether these weaker sections mean the same thing as backward classes, or these would have a different meaning so far as article 37 is concerned.
Then I wish to bring to the notice of the House the following:
Then we have passed another section namely article 301. There it is provided that:
Here also the Commission that is to be appointed shall investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes. Here the word "economically" is absent. It is not provided as to who would decide who are the backward classes. I endorse the remarks of my honourable Friend, Dr. Deshmukh that there are regions in this vast country and there are classes of persons who are as backward as the Scheduled Castes and unless we provide for the development of their interests and bring them forward along with the other sections, when they could compete with other sections of the community, they would remain backward and the country would not grow harmoniously. Therefore, I submitted yesterday it is very essential that we should define here who would be the backward classes. This must be defined at some place at least. We can provide that the President shall have authority to appoint a Commission which would prepare a schedule, as there is one for the other Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, or a special tribunal should be appointed or some officer deputed to go into the conditions of these citizens and then decide; otherwise if that is not done, there would be difficulty and some persons might be suffering from certain difficulties in a certain region; they might not be looked after as backward classes while persons in similar conditions might be given advantages and their development might be looked after in another region. Therefore, I have by this explanation only tried to give some kind of definition. It is not conclusive and it is not exhaustive; it does not say who the backward classes are but it only indicates that backward classes must include classes backward economically and educationally.
I have not included the word "socially" purposely because I thought perhaps most of the classes who were backward socially might be included in Scheduled Castes and scheduled tribes and even though some are left out, the object an be achieved by amendment of that schedule. Therefore, my purpose here is that it should be made clear that backward classes should man and include all those persons and all those classes who are left behind and cannot keep pace with the other section of the community because they are economically and educationally backward in this respect. I request my honourable Friend, Dr. Ambedkar to remove this difficulty of mine whether a definition would be provided somewhere to define who would be the "backward classes" under this Constitution because this phrase has been used in so many places.
Shri Lakshminarayan Sahu : (Mr. President, Sir, I beg to move :
"That in amendment No. 14 of List I (Fifth Week ) of Amendments to Amendments for the proposed clause (3) of article 286, the following be substituted:-
I have moved this amendment because so long as we do not make the Public Service Commission a very strong body we cannot run the administration of the province or of the country in a proper way. I know of a Director of Public Instruction who earned the displeasure of the Cabinet and the Prime Minister for transferring some Inspectors of Schools and he was pressed to call back those people. The D.P.I. was openly called but he said that they should not interfere in the matter. The result of it all was that the D.P.I. resigned and left his job.
I know of another case wherein efforts were made to remove a Civil Service man who was working efficiently in the province. The people made their own efforts and sent a telegram to the Governor to this effect that it would not be proper to transfer him. The transfer was stayed for two months but after that period he was removed.
Therefore, in the circumstances, I can only plead for a very strong Public Service Commission so that such lapses may not occur. Dr. Deshmukh is a little displeased at this. He is in favour of such a provision as may not give great powers to the Public Service Commission. What more can be done? I want that things should not find a place in the Constitution which can be done advantageously by means of rules. Therefore, the real amendment should be moved. It includes the rules in an abridged form. I would like to say that so long as the Public Service Commission is not made a strong body there will always be something wrong, with the selection of candidates. We see what type of selection they have in the railways. Everywhere there is difficulty and everyone dislikes the system. I have nothing more to add in this connection. With these words I move this amendment.
(Amendment 18 and 76 were not moved)
Mr. President: I think these are all the amendments. The amendments and the articles are now open for discussion.
Shri H.V. Kamath (C.P. & Berar : General) : Mr. President, I have noted with considerable satisfaction some of the changes that have been introduced in these various articles as compared with the draft as it originally stood. I should particularly like to point out the change which has been incorporated in clause (5) of article 286 as well as the change embodied in article 288-A.
However, certain thoughts arise in my mind in connection with these changes which have been introduced. Article 286, as it originally stood, provided - I invite the attention of the House to clause (4) of the original article - "Nothing in this, article shall require a Public Service Commission to be consulted as respects the manner in which appointments and posts are to be allocated as between the various communities in the Union or a State." This has been suitably and wisely modified so as to refer only to the backward class of citizens and not to the various communities. In this view, I am sorry I am not able to agree with the proposition that has been adumbrated by my honorable Friend Dr. Deshmukh. Though it is difficult not to be in sympathy with the general view he has expressed, I feel, constitutionally there is a difficulty, in so far as the incorporation of that proposition in this article is concerned. The House will recollect, Dr. Deshmukh I am sure is well aware, that this Assembly long ago adopted article 10 in the Chapter on Fundamental Rights, which provides, firstly, that there shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters of employment under the State, secondly that no citizen shall on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth or any of them, be ineligible for any office under the State. The only exception to this provision, is what we have already adopted, "Nothing in this article shall prevent the State........
Dr. P.S. Deshmukh: What I have suggested would be the right fulfillment of these fundamental rights; it would be in no way contradictory.
Shri H.V. Kamath: I am sorry Dr. Deshmukh did not hear all I had to say and chose to interrupt before I concluded my say in the mater. I was pointing to clause (3) of article 10 which lays down that nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens, but not for any community. The class referred to explicitly in this Clause (3) of article 10 which is an exception to the general rule propounded , is any backward class of citizens. Now, if Dr. Deshmukh seeks to include not merely these backward classes of citizens- I for one hate this very term "backward class; it connotes a stigma which I hope we, in this country, will do away with at the earliest possible opportunity. I hope that are long no class of citizens will be called backward in our country.
Dr. P.S. Deshmukh: It is only descriptive.
Shri H.V. Kamath: I do hope that all citizens will be equally backward or equally forward and there would not be any particular class of citizens to be dubbed as backward.
Chaudhri Ranbir Singh (East Punjab : General) : This not so today.
Shri H.V. Kamath: I say in the future. I hope Chaudhri Ranbir Singh listens to me patiently and makes his remarks wen the time comes. I do not mind interruptions; but I hope he will hear me first and then make any interruption.
Now, Dr. Deshmukh suggests that we should incorporate in this article 286 his amendment No. 86 adding "or for the purpose of bringing about a just and fair representation of all classes in Public Services of the Union or a State," and his amendment No. 88, adding, "nothing in clause (3) of this article shall require a Public Service Commission to be consulted as respects the manner in which appointments are made and posts reserved for purpose of giving representation to various classes according to their numbers in the Union or a State. Unfortunately, this provision if accepted by the House, will militate against what the House has already adopted in article 10 providing for reservation only to backward classes. I wish article 10 had been adopted in a different manner, but article 10 having been adopted already in the form in which it was adopted, it is too late now, unless that is revised so to make a provision in this fashion, firstly to give representation to all classes as well as the second one; otherwise it will conflict with article 10 (1) (2) and (3) which we already adopted. I for one would not mind even weightage being given to those people who are really backward for the transitional period, but a constitutional provision of this nature in this article would militate against the article which we have already adopted. It can be safely left to be regulated by Parliament. I am sure the future Parliament in this country will deal fairly and squarely with all communities, and there should be no difficulty about leaving the matter of making provision in this regard to the future Parliament.
I should however like to say that the draft of the articles that have been brought before the House by Dr. Ambedkar seems to my mind to be far too ponderous, like the ponderous tomes of a law manual. A document dealing with a Constitution hardly uses so much padding and so much of verbiage. I have this morning received a copy of the Bonn Constitution, the latest Constitution, of Western Germany adopted in 1949 and this is a little pamphlet of 52 pages containing 146 articles. Compared to this our Constitution is three times as big-perhaps four times - and packed and crammed with matter good deal of which could have been easily left out. For instance, in 288 itself so much has been packed, God alone knows why. Could we not have said ' All recommendations or proposals made by the Public Services Commission shall be given effect to except for reasons stated by the President or Governor'? That one sentence would have been adequate to our purpose.
There is one other point viz. that clause (5) requires, - correctly too, - that all regulations made by the President or Governor under clause (3) should be laid before Parliament. In this connection I may remind the House what the Drafting Committee failed to do in another connection; that was with regard to article, 280 in which it was provided that the regulations, rules, decrees made by the President would be laid before Parliament but the vital part of this clause (5) that they shall be subject to such modification whether by way of repeal or amendment as Parliament would deem necessary - that was completely omitted in the Draft of that article which was passed. That was a vital matter compared to this, affecting as it did the lives and liberties of millions of men and women are a mere trifle compared to the rights of a few thousands of servants. That is the way in which this Constitution is being drafted. Regulations dealing with the Fundamental Rights of millions do not come before Parliament for repeal or alteration, but mere rules as regard public services do. I am sorry for this state of affairs.
Further, I feel that as for the subject matter in clause (4) of this article the Public Service Commission might be consulted as regards the reservation of appointments, and posts for backward citizens. When posts are reserved for a particular class, of course, I am not sure whether there would be weightage in the services for these classes - If there is, well and good-but if there is reservation on some basis either of population or some other, then the number is first fixed - so much for that etc.
Now, Sir, suppose the President takes it into his head that so many posts should be filled by nomination. There should be a certain proportion for nomination, as it used to be, for instance, in the case of the I.C.S. in the olden days, that so many posts will be filled by nomination and so many by open-cum-petition. Here also the President will have to decide what proportion will be recruited by nomination and what proportion by open competition. Unless this number is decided, it will be difficult for the President to finally fix the relation between domination and competition. Therefore, in that connection he will have to consult the Public Service Commission, and there is nothing wrong, or derogatory to the dignity of the President, if he thus consults the Commission as to the number of posts which have to be reserved. Considering the importance that we have attached to the Commissions in our Constitution, it would have been better that the Commission should be consulted about this matter also, besides the matters mentioned in clause (3) of article 286.
Then, finally a few words about the point set forth in article 288A. I hope, Sir, that this article before us, although the Constitution has not yet come into force - and I do not know when it will come into force-but I hope that this article, if it is passed by the House today, in future, even before the Constitution comes into force, even before the Constitution is enforced or given effect to in January or February next, that even during the interregnum also, I hope appointments will be made accordingly, that the recommendations of the Federal Services Commission here or the other Commission will be given that weight and that consideration by the Government which they deserve and that they will not be set at naught or disregarded or slighted without adequate reasons, being given. My Friend, Mr. Sidhva or Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad,-I think, has pointed out that on many occasions the recommendations, the proposals of the Federal Public Service Commission have been by-passed and disregarded. I am also aware, and even high-placed officials have told me, officials of the Government of India have also told me, that because of this indifference to the recommendations, because of this sort of callousness on the part of the Government towards the recommendations made by the Commissions, these Commissions themselves are falling into disrepute. That is not the testimony of any non-official or a man in the street, but that is what I have heard from some of the highest officials under the Government of India. The Commissions make recommendations, and the Ministers snap their fingers at them and make their own appointments. That is which they should. And another point is, because of this, there is ministerial nepotism and favouritism. Some of the Ministers have become rank nepots. This sort of thing must be put an end to. Otherwise this is bound to lead to demoralization in the services because the services will think. "Well, our ability and our integrity and our efficiency are of no avail. they do no matter, so long as we are not persona grata, so long we do not have the necessary pull with the Minister so long as we are not in the good books of the Ministers." Well, if that be the feeling, then woe betide this country when the services have this kind of mentality, when they are affected by this kind of mentality.
Finally, as I have said, the vision of the Drafting Committee has been clouded, and their judgment warped by mere legalistic considerations, but in spite of that, they have produced an article which though very wordy, I consider is sound. I hope that our government, and our State, will have regard for this article, not merely in the letter, but also in the spirit which is so very sadly lacking today.
Shri Phool Singh (United Provinces : General) : Mr. President, Sir, I rise to give my support, my whole-hearted support to the two amendments moved by Dr. Deshmukh. The other point of view expressed in this House is for giving greater powers to the Public Service Commission, and the opponents hold that efficiency and merit should be the only tests in recruitments. It is not a fight for a few loaves and fishes for those who are ultimately to be appointed to these posts. Self-Government, means government of the people, and if the legislatures are to be manned by the toiling masses, to make good laws, the proper execution of these good laws depends upon the services, and hence the importance of the services. Much has been made of merit in this case; but equal merit pre-supposes equal opportunity, and I think it goes without saying that the toiling masses are denied all those opportunities which a few literate people living in big cities enjoy. To ask the people from the villages to compete with those city people is asking a man on bicycle to compete with another on a motorcycle, which in itself is absurd. Then again, merit should also have some reference to the task to be discharged. Mr. Tyagi interrupted Dr. Deshmukh by saying that it is a fight for the illiterates. I think, however sarcastic that remark may be, he was probably right. Self-Government, means a government by the people, and if the people are illiterate, a few leaders have no right to usurp all the power to themselves. This cry, this bogey of merit and fair-play is being raised by those who are in a advantageous position and who stand to suffer if others also come into the picture.
Sir, I can quote numerous instances where a mess has been made by those who claim to be efficient enough. To give an example. The U.P. Government legislated that petty proprietors should not transfer their land without the permission of the court. Now it depended upon the court. If the Magistrate happened to be a man who came from a poor family, he was very conscientious and would not permit the transfer. But in the case of those who are either themselves money-lenders or big capitalists, or who had nothing to do with masses, it only meant the expenditure of a few more rupees to be given to the Peshkar. I can give another instance. In the U.P. as late as last year, one very big official got the canal stopped at the time when the harvest was about to ripen. This resulted in the loss of many lakhs maunds of good rice. This is what happens if you appoint people who can compete in examinations, but who have nothing to do with the task in hand, who know nothing about the task that is going to be allotted to them. Sir, efficiency, I say, should have something to do with the task that the man is called upon to discharge.
A few years back I complained that all the commodities that the grower had to sell are being controlled, whereas he is offered no facility whatsoever in the production of food grains. I quoted the example of cane-crushers. Cane crushers could be had at Rs. 20 before the war. During the war its hire went up to Rs. 250 though everything else was being controlled. My complaint went up to the Government and then to the Secretariat. It was, I may tell u, the month of October, and everybody in this House knows that the crushing season does not start before November. The Secretariat reported that all the cane-crushers had already been let out. There were no cane-crushers left to be hired. This will always happen when you man the services with people who do not know their jobs.