Constituent Assembly Of India -Volume IX
Dated: August 23, 1949
It is not a question of competition. If you want to ran the country, properly, if the administration is to be efficient as my friends want it to be, then you must have people in the job who know something about the job and who come from the masses. Otherwise the administration will lose touch with the masses. That is why in almost all the countries of the world fresh blood is being recruited to services constantly and a judge's son does not necessarily become a judge or the deputy collector's son does not necessarily become a deputy collector. 'Me practice should be that those, who have be in the services for a long time-should be asked to go and settle in the village while men from the villages should be called to run the administration because they alone know the difficulties of the masses they alone can feel for the masses and they alone can interpret their sentiments.
If I may be permitted to refer to the clauses moved by Dr. Ambedkar, they give all the powers to the Public Services Commission and make the Government defunct to that extent. I do not know what is the difference in those, few persons who have been appointed by the highest Government, officials as compared to those few persons who have been elected by the whole country and who have a record of service behind them. If the Prime Minister can make mistakes, I think the Public Services Commission can commit greater mistakes. I can quote numerous instances in which the Public Services Commission' has gone astray and in which the integrity of the Public Services Commission can be questioned. If the whole country cannot be trusted, if the whole record of service of a man is not enough to authorise him to make appointments, I am sure the appointments to the Public Services Commission of a few people will not serve the purpose. With these few words I support the amendments moved by Dr. Deshmukh. Kaka Bhagwant Roy (Patiala and East Punjab States, Union) : *[Mr. President, Sir, I am here. to support the amendment of my Friend Mr. Sahu, I fail to understand, when Public Service Commissions will operate in the States and Unions, why the vacancies to be filled should not be under their control. Often, it has been seen that the vacancies which are to be fined by nominations are not filled on the consideration of merit. I have had experience of' Indian States. The vacancies are filled there either by the relatives or friends or by those who flatter the government. Hence I am afraid lest the same may happen hereafter as well. Recently it has been heard, and I suppose it is a matter of two or three months, that some vacancies of I.A.S. were to be filled. enough a board was constituted for the same still some of the vacancies were filled by those who did not come under its jurisdiction. For this the reason given was that since the vacancies were filled in a hurry hence it was unavoidable. But later on it was revealed that they were either relatives or friends of the officers. therefore, I want to emphasise that, since you are appointing Commissions and entrusting them with powers, such things should not happen there. The things that are happening these days bring a bad name to the Government and to the Congress. High Officers and responsible people are recruiting undeserving candidates who are not fit enough, with the result that the prestige of the Congress is suffering tremendously in the country and abroad. It is right that you are giving powers to Public Service Commission to fill the vacancies by deserving hands, but it will be ruinous for you to give this authority to anybody other than this. It is better for recruiting capable people, but it will not be better if you would like to give this authority to any body else besides this body. I would ask you to accept Mr. Sahu's suggestion that the limit of two hundred and fifty or five hundred rupees be placed; you would be at liberty to increase or decrease the figure. By doing so their hands will be bound and they would not be able to do what they desire.
So far as Mr. Naziruddin's amendment is concerned in article 287, I support it. If the Public Service Commission will meddle in the affairs of private firms and companies, then their working will be set at naught. I think that perhaps the Public Service Commissions will not be able to understand the difficulties of their business and their daily routine. Their interference will hinder their business and difficulties will arise in the business. Therefore I would request that this amendment should be accepted].
Shri Brajeshwar Prasad (Bihar : General): Sir, I rise to support all the articles that have been moved by the Chairman of the Drafting Committee. while doing so. I would like to point out certain aspects of the provisions that are going to be incorporated with which I am not in full agreement.
The powers of the Public Services Commissions are going to be of an advisory character. They are going to be bodies which will recommend to the Ministries concerned, Ministries of the Government of India and of the Provincial Governments. Their recommendations may be accepted or may not be accepted. I want that the powers of the Public Service Commission s must be of a mandatory character. All matters relating to appointment, promotion and transfer must be solely and exclusively vested in the hands of the Public Service Commission s. The Ministries should have nothing to do with these things. I am referring here not only to Provincial Ministries but also to the Central Ministries. In England powers have been vested in the hands of the Whitley Councils. I would like honourable Members of this House to know that half of the Members of the Whitley Commission are appointed by the Services themselves. In Canada, Australia and South Africa, in all the Dominions, appointments, promotions and transfers lie exclusively in the hands of the Public Service Commissions. I want that the same procedure should be incorporated in our Constitution.
I am not going to repeat the argument that there has been corruption, inefficiency and nepotism in the Provincial Governments regarding appointments, promotions and transfers. There is another reason why I am very keen about it. I want that the basic foundations of our Civil Service must be laid on a sound basis. It is not only a question which affects the life of a handful of persons as has been made out by Mr. Kamath. It is the backbone of the administration. If your Civil Services are not efficient, if they are not independent, then every thing will go down. I am of opinion that the future of India lies not in the hands of parliamentary politicians but in the hands of the civil services. I am of opinion that with a view to secure the independence of the Public Service Commission, itself. But now those articles have been passed. Therefore, the only course left open to me is to suggest that a member of any political party should not be allowed to be recruited to the services.
Today the position is that the Public Service Commissions have got no control over the services after their appointment. They re not free or competent to protect them from political and other influences. I want that the future Public Service Commissions of India should be in a position to protect civil servants not only from the influence of Ministers but from all kinds of political influences. An eminent writer has compared the Indian Civil Service with Plato's Philosopher Kings. I also want our civil services to be above board and enlightened. I feel that not only regarding appointment, promotion and transfer, but also regarding all maters concerning discipline power should remain in the hands of the Public Service Commission. I fail to see why, this procedure which has not led to any conflict or confusion of authority in the Dominions and in England, should not be incorporated in our Constitution. When the ideal is easily within our grasp. I think it is not right or proper to choose the second best. The Drafting Committee ought to have laid before the House what they considered to be the right course on this question. It is for the House to make compromises. Political considerations ought not to have been allowed to enter into the drafting of these clauses.
With these observations, I support the articles.
Prof. Yashwant Rai ((East Punjab : General) : (Mr. President, Sir, I have come here to support the amendments moved by Dr. Deshmukh.
After two thousand years the Harijans of this country had begun to entertain the hope that they too would get the same rights as others did. In spite of the fact that twelve to seventeen per cent of posts have been reserved for us in the services, injustice is done even now.
It was as the result of Dr. Ambedkar's efforts that some students were sent to foreign countries and the Central Government spent a lot of money on them. Such examples, as I am going to state prove that injustice is being done even now. A Harijan young man who has come back after obtaining the degree of M.A., M.ED. was getting a salary of Rs. 180 per month before going abroad, but I regret to say that on his return no Public Service Commission selected him for any better job, and he is even now rotting on a salary of Rs. 220 per month only, although on this student alone the Central Government spent an amount of forty thousand rupees.
In the circumstances, I cannot believe that the Federal Public Service Commission or other Commissions will not do injustice in the case of Harijans. I believe that there will not do injustice in the case of Harijans. I believe that there will certainly be injustice in their case. We se that in the subordinate services the principle of providing friends and relatives alone is followed. Recommendations are made for relations. I have seen that even the Ministers speak to the Members on the phone in regard to their candidates and secure interviews for them. In the circumstances, I think that until some special interviews for them. In the circumstances, I think that until some special provision is made under this clause, there will always be injustice in the case of Harijans and backward communities. I want to impress that there should be some representatives of the Harijans on the Federal Public Service Commission and the commissions which are formed in the States and provinces so that they may watch over the interests of the candidates who apply for different posts and who may prevent any injustice being done to Harijans.
After thousands of years the Harijans for the first time under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and thanks to Swami Dayanand felt encouraged to take to education and they began to hope that untouchability would be eradicated from society and that they would enjoy equal rights with others. If we want to achieve these objects and to form a classless society, we should include a provision to that effect in the Constitution. Mr. Kamath has said that in article 10 of the Fundamental Rights it has been stated that there shall be equality of opportunity for all irrespective of caste, creed and colour. We see that untouchability has been abolished under the clause regarding untouchability. But this has had no effect in the rural areas. You can find for yourselves that in the rural areas 85 per cent. of the people, who will have to follow this Constitution, are uneducated.
Therefore, if you want to give equal status to those communities which are backward and depressed and on whom injustice has been perpetrated for thousands of years and if you want to establish Indian unity, so that the country may progress and so that many parties in the country may not mislead the poor, I would say that there should be a provision in the Constitution under which the educated Harijans may be provided with employment. I have examples of high-caste matriculates holding the same posts as Harijan M.A.'s. Therefore in the circumstances and for a special provision for them is not an unreasonable one.
Therefore, I support the amendments moved by Dr. Deshmukh.
Shri S. Nagappa (Madras : General) : Mr. President, I support article 286. In doing so, I just want to bring to the notice of the House certain points which are very important. Among the functions of the Public Service Commission there is also a clause:
When I think of these examinations, I wonder. The results railways topsy-turvy. For instance, if a First Class M.A. appears before a Service Commission, the First Class becomes Third Class and the Third Class man becomes First Class. At times the way in which people are examined - anything that can be said will not be an exaggeration. The questions are so silly that I think sometimes even the questioner does not know what the answer is. For instance, they may ask : "what is the distance between sun and the moon?" ; what is the number of stars in the sky?"; why is milk white" and such like questions. And another thing. Physical disqualifications. "Your nose seems to be very straight. Your fingers seem to be longer than what is expected." These are the grounds on which these people are disqualified. "Oh, you do not know how to tie a tie or wear a collar. You do not know how to put on boots". These are the things on which our candidates are examined. Sir, I would prefer to have a curriculum prescribed and textbooks laid down for these people. There should not only be an oral examination, but some sort of written examination also.
As regards the Scheduled Caste candidates, I cannot describe the miseries which they have to undergo at these examinations for selection. But after all these troubles and miseries do they get selected? No, because the intention is to by-pass them and give those places reserved for the Scheduled class people to the candidates belonging to the community next in the list. In order to favour their people they have their own methods, back-door or open door. The services form an essential pat of the machinery of administration. Therefore the services are the bones of contention between different classes of people in the country. Everyone should therefore have equal opportunity. It is no use merely defining or adopting any article in the Constitution. We have to see that every letter and every word in the Constitution is translated in action in the true spirit with which it has been drafted. Only then all that we do here will be justified and will be equitable.
Injustice of this kind done constantly and continuously to these poor, down-trodden people, it not because people have no sympathy for these people, but unfortunately, it is all lip-sympathy which they show to the fullest extent possible. It does not go the material side of it. So, Sir, all this injustice is done. The main reason is that there is not a single member of the Scheduled classes in any of the Provincial Public Service Commission s or in the Federal Public Service Commission. May I ask why this injustice has been done? I can give you dozens and dozens of persons possessing higher qualifications and having higher status than the present Members of these Commissions. What is the character and what is the conduct of the existing members? Ceaser's wife must be above suspicion, but I am sorry to say that the present Commissions are not above suspicion. They have their own backdoor methods. They have their own ways. Well, Sir, people holding Cabinet rank go to the extent of ringing up these Commission Members and, ascertaining who the candidates for a particular posts are, see that their own candidates are preferred, irrespective of whether the most suitable person is a Harijan or a non-Harijan. This is how things are taking place. Such things were going on when we had foreign masters. But now everyone should realize and should feel that he is a free country and that freedom is common to all, whether a Harijan or non-Harijan, whether he is rich man or a poor man. Only then will we deserve this independence.
Mr. President : I have heard many Members making complaints against the Ministers..........
Shri S. Nagappa : Now I will go the next point, Sir.
Mr. President : I have heard many members making complaints against Ministers, against members of the Public Service Commission s and against other authorities who are not present in this House to defend themselves. I would only point out that it is not fair to make sweeping charges against persons charged with public duties. I hope honourable Members will bear this in mind. The public will of course take such statements as one-sided statements made by individual Members.
Shri S. Nagappa : Thank you very much. I bow to your ruling. I will not touch them even with a pair of tongs.
I will now give a description of the backdoor methods employed. If the executive want to make to some thirty or forty appointments, they say that there is an emergency and cannot wait for selection by the Public Service Commission, and then make the appointments. After an year or so they ask the Service Commission to advertise for these very posts. Now, along with the raw graduates from the colleges, these people who have one year's office experience also apply and naturally they get selected. This is the sort of backdoor method going on in every province. I cannot say about other provinces. But this us what is going on in my own province of Madras. Hundreds of appointments are made in this way.
Mr. President: This is exactly the thing to which I objected. I would ask the honourable Member to ventilate his grievances in this respect in the proper place. Here he has to confine himself to the article under discussion which relates to the Public Service Commission and not to appointments which have been made or are likely to be made by any Ministry.
Shri S. Nagappa: Now, Sir, as regards its functions. I would request the House to make the Service commission more efficient. They interview the candidates today and inform them about the results months hence. They must be more efficient. They must move quickly. They can have more staff if they want.
I am very much thankful to the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar and the Drafting Committee for bringing in this particular provision, viz., "appointments and posts are to be reserved in favour of any backward class of citizens in the Union or a State". Now, as my Friend Mr. Kamath has pointed out, what is the basis of the reservation? Whether it is population or some other basis must be prescribed. I would prefer, in order to be just and equitable , that the reservation should be on population basis.
Another thing is that "backward classes" include so many classes. I would request Dr. Ambedkar to state clearly who all come under this category. I think he has in mind Scheduled Classes, Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes. If there are any others I would request him to explain now.
From this clause I see that certain categories of jobs are excluded. While it may be necessary from the point of view of the administration to so exclude them, the executive must bear in mind that in the clause there is reservation for the backward classes and that the spirit of this clause must be translated in action by the executive and a certain proportion of such posts also is given to the backward classes.
I am glad that there is another provision by which these things are to be brought before Parliament for scrutiny. But what is the good of it? These things will be coming before Parliament after the action has been taken. This is not a preventive method. Parliament will have an opportunity only to scrutinize what has taken place. I would request the Members of this House to support this clause as it is and I would request my honourable Friend, Dr. Ambedkar, to be good enough to explain as to what "backward classes" mean, who are the people who come under that category. I would request him to be good enough to explain this.
Shri Raj Bahadur : Mr. President, Sir, the discussion on this article has brought into the forefront certain vital question of principle as well as of national policy. It appears to me that clause (4) of article 286 is only a painful reminder to us of the cancer from which our body-politic has suffered for such a long time - I mean to refer to the curse of caste system. The amendments No. 86 and 87 moved by my Friends, Dr. Deshmukh and Sardar Hukam Singh, are also pointers in the same direction. It has to be recognised without any hesitation that there has been injustice and inequity in the distribution of jobs and services amongst the different classes and castes in our country. As I submitted the other day, there has been a certain amount of favouritism and nepotism on the part of those who happened to be in power. But apart from that certain psychological conditions and traditions that have prevailed throughout our history are also responsible for this alleged injustice.
Nevertheless I would submit, Sir, that we should rather go to the root of the evil. The remedy for the evil does not lie in providing a few jobs or posts in services of the State to persons living in rural areas or to persons living in urban areas. The remedy perhaps lies elsewhere. We can, however, trace the cause of these injustices or inequities to the evil of caste system, the evil that was responsible for our prolonged slavery, the evil that has resulted in our degeneration morally and politically, the evil that has resulted in creating so many watertight compartments, the evil that has created other evils like untouchability etc. It is only a symptom of that evil that all communities are not represented in the services in an equitable or just manner. To ask for representation, however, on class or caste basis in the services is to remedy that disease only superficially. But we have got to cure the disease from its very roots.
I would submit, Sir, that if we wan the best sort of government in our country, then we must have the best men possible to man our services, - the best men available, the most deserving and the most hones men that we can lay our hands upon. We cannot gamble with our freedom. We cannot afford to gamble with the peace, progress and tranquillity of our nation, by simply trying to provide jobs for a few persons belonging to certain classes either in the urban or in the rural areas.
My main objection to the amendment proposed by Dr. Deshmukh does not therefore, proceed from any lack of sympathy for the injustice-which I recognise-from which certain classes of people have been suffering from. My objection is based on the ground that the proposed amendments obviously seek to perpetuate the evil from which we have been suffering and which we want to eradicate. The amendments clearly recognise representation on the basis of castes and classes in the services of the State. It is high time that we do away with such representations. It is high time that we recognise that our safety, the safety of our freedom, the safety of our country lies in our unification, in making our nation a homogeneous whole. I would submit that if, for the sake of argument, we recognise the principle that appointments should be made on the basis of castes and classes, let us think where it would lead us. It is obvious that in that case we would shift the centre and focus of our loyalty and allegiance. It would shift from that to the nation as a whole, to loyalty and allegiance to the interests of a group or a class or caste. Our allegiance to the nation would become only secondary. Our primary allegiance would be to class or caste. This is an evil from which we have suffered so long, an evil that led to the partition of the country. This would also kill all incentive for progress. If you say that representation in the services should be on the basis of caste or class, then you remove all incentives to self-development. All incentive for efficiency will be lost.
Dr. P.S. Deshmukh : I did not say that representation should be on the basis of caste or class.
Shri Raj Bahadur : Your amendment says :
There you recognise the principle of representation in the services on the basis of class. If you do that, all incentive to progress, all incentive to efficiency, goes. When this incentive to progress and efficiency goes, the whole nation degenerates. In such a case we would also remain infected with the evil of separation and with the evil of group or class prejudices.
I would submit, Sir, that this evil would go even further than that and would permeate into all aspects of our national life. Elections would then be fought not on the basis of loyalty or service to the nation, not on the basis of the will and capacity for sacrifice for the cause of the nation, but on the basis of class loyalty. Can we afford to do that? I respectfully, submit that we cannot. We have had enough of it, and it is time that we try to remove all class or caste distinctions. My honourable Friend Shri Phool Singh, while supporting Dr. Deshmukh's amendment, quoted instances where people got into jobs for which they were not fit. I submit that in quoting those instances he went against his own viewpoint. That only shows that people have been appointed on considerations other than merit. To say that the people have been appointed on considerations other than merit. To say that the people of the urban areas alone are good or the people of the rural areas alone are good is not correct. We find good and bad people everywhere. We find efficient and inefficient people in all classes and in every walk of life. To brand one as entirely good and another as entirely bad is not wisdom. On the other hand it is sheer non-sense in my opinion. No man is entirely good or bad. One of our famous poets has said:
We are all mixtures of good and evil. We are all mixtures of efficiency and inefficiency, of perfection and imperfection. God alone is perfect. Hence we should better do away with all sorts of class prejudices and caste loyalties. That is the only way in which we can strengthen our nation.
We are responsible not only to the present generation but also to posterity, the coming generations. If we try to perpetuate class distinctions, the evil from which we have been suffering so long, I think we would not be acting faithfully to our posterity. As such I find myself in total disagreement with the principles underlying the amendments moved by my honourable Friend, Dr. Deshmukh.
I want to add one word more, Sir, about certain remarks that have fallen about the discriminations and handicaps which are being experienced by the rural communities and by the Scheduled Castes. I have already submitted, that we have got to recognize that these inequities do exist, but I submit that they are simply symptoms of the disease and if we want to do away with these inequities or injustices, we must not try or proceed to cure those symptoms of the disease, we must try to get to the disease itself, we must try to go to the root of the evil and kill the evil itself, instead of simply fumbling our way here or there for superficial remedies. I would submit that these jobs, services, posts and seats in the Legislature have always served as "apples of discord" for our nation. We must beware of that apple of discord. We must try to make this country into one compact and strong unified nation. We must try to see that fissiparous tendencies and all sorts of causes which are responsible for our disunity must be eliminated. I would, therefore, request Dr. Deshmukh and Sardar Hukam Singh to withdraw their amendments.
So far as Sardar Hukam Singh's amendment is concerned, I submit, Sir, that to me it appears that this amendment defeats the very purpose with which it has been moved. His amendment reads:
"Backward classes" may mean anything, backward educationally, economically, socially or otherwise. Why try to specify or restrict its meaning here? I think in its present form it is a much wider term and should be left as it is. I submit that it is time that we should try to eliminate all sorts of class distinctions and class prejudices. The real remedy to my mind is that we should try to strike at the very root and at the very foundation of this caste system. We should try to exterminate it as early as practicable, by an effective pieces of legislation so that no class distinctions, discriminations, or caste or communities are recognised any further in any form, and further make it compulsory that a person born in one particular so-called caste shall not marry himself or his sons or daughters in that particular caste. It should be made penal for him to marry in his own so-called caste. For the present this appears to me to be the only remedy. By enacting a piece of legislation alone we can do away with this evil of caste system. The evil cannot be eradicated by superficial remedies.
Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar (Madras : General) : Sir, a healthy, efficient and honest public service is the very backbone of a Government or its administration. Therefore, if we scan this clause a little carefully it will pay us very well.
I believe that whatever complaints have been placed before us regarding the administration of this service here and the manner in which Public Service Commissions have been acting, all those loop-holes are sought to be plugged by the various amendments that have been made in the present Section 266 of the Government of India Act. Mr. Nagappa said - I do not agree with him - that the President Public Service Commissions, whether at the Centre or in the Provinces, are so bad as he would like to depict. No Public Service Commission or State Commission can do ample justice or absolute justice to one or two applicants. Whosoevers' application is not accepted, certainly he turns against the Public Service Commission, forgetting that he is one of many and that he could have stood the test prescribed by them. There may be hardships, may be some cases where hardship has really occurred, which the persons who undergo that hardship might not deserve. Therefore, it is no good quarrelling with individuals. It is true that proper men should be selected even for these public services! provisions regarding the staff and other matters have already been made. We are now at this stage of laying down the functions, of seeing to it that those functions are discharged properly.
Now, as regards the qualifications and the manner of appointment, it has been left to the President in the one case and the Governor or the Ruler of a State in the other case; but in all these cases they will act only on the advice of their Ministers. Popular Governments will be there, but once they appoint, they will have nothing more to do in the regulation or in the conduct of the members of the Public Service Commissions. They are absolutely free and their freedom cannot be interfered with by the executive from time to time. That is the guarantee. Even for their removal, we have got other procedure and they could not be arbitrarily interfered with. This will no doubt be prescribed by the President or Parliament in the earlier clauses that we have passed, steps having been taken to ensure that great integrity and honesty prevails in the matter of administration of these Public Service Commissions.
Now, what are their functions? Some of the complaints that have been laid before us by Mr. Nagappa are due to certain provisions in Section 266 of the Government of Act. It is not as if every appointment that is to be made for public services under the present Government of India has to be done by the Public Service Commission. There are certain exceptions. Under the present Act, the Governor-General can lay down rules and regulations withdrawing certain clauses of appointments from the purview of the Public Service Commission. It is also carried over and a similar provision is found in the draft article 286. But a safeguard has been put here which is wanting in the present Government of India Act. The safeguard is that wherever a particular appointment, the Public Service Commission need not be consulted unlike the provision in the earlier clause. Clause (3) of clause 286 says : "The Union Public Service Commission or the State Public Service Commission, as the case may be, shall be consulted etc.", and then "Provided that the President as respects the All India Services and also as respects other services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union, and the Governor or Ruler, as the case may be, as respects other services and posts in connection with the affairs of a State, may make regulations specifying the matters in which either generally, or in any particular class of case or in any particular circumstances, it shall not be necessary for a Public Service Commission to be consulted". A similar provision exists in the Government of India Act today, but it might have led to a number of abuses, in the matter of selection by the Ministry without consulting the Public Service Commission. This is sought to be remedied in the provision in clause (5) which says:
There is that safeguard. It comes before the scrutiny of the legislature and amendments will be made from time to time.
The other objection that Mr. Nagappa raised was that appointments are made a year in advance and later on the appointments are advertised by the Public Service Commission and the departments try to push those people whom they have appointed without any examination on the score that they are experienced. Such things do occur. It is not exclusively the fault of the Minister concerned. I have heard the honourable Mr. Santhanam telling me that he wanted a selection to an appointment made by the Public Service Commission and they have not been able to find time to select and it has been there for nearly seven or eight months and he has to hold up the appointment for that purpose. There are certain cases where the Public Service Commission on account of want of staff of too many applications having been received, have not been able to find time. These are exceptional cases but these must in the very nature of things be exceptional. I hope in the years to come there will not be any ground for complaint of the nature that Mr. Nagappa made and the rules that we are now framing under clause (5) will avoid those inconveniences and with the best of intentions, I am sure, such things would not be repeated in the future.
Then, as regards the manner in which these Public Service Commissions are to work, the first requisite is that all appointments shall be made in the interests of public administration on merit and merit alone. But, having regard to the conditions of our country, there must be some provision in favour of those persons who are not even economically and socially advanced and may not be able to come up to the mark. There must be some limitation no doubt. With regard to appointments which require enormous skill and capacity, certainly, these rules cannot be relaxed, because public interests demand otherwise. Take, for instance, the case of an eminent surgeon; merely because he belongs to a particular community, he ought not to be taken for that job. There are other classes of jobs where such enormous technical skill and capacity may not be necessary, in which case there must be distribution. A hard and fast rule cannot be laid down in the Constitution. Therefore, some provision has been made in favour of the backward classes. There are some communities which have taken to trade; take, for instance, the Marwari community. They are rich; they have taken to trade. Is it open to them under the existing circumstances to say that they have not received proper representation in the services? In reality public service has no attraction for them. Two or three members of a family engage themselves in business and become millionaires. It is true not one of them is in the public service. To avoid giving representation to the richer classes, the term "backward classes" has been introduced instead of the word 'community'. Though the term "backward classes" has not been defined. I am sure a Commission appointed by the President will determine who are the backward classes. There are backward classes in every community. Therefore, greater attention has to be given to these backward classes. Whether or not a certain class of people are backward does not depend upon the caste, or community. There is one rich class; there is a poor class. Some classes have economic advantages; some classes have not. The term backward classes is sufficiently comprehensive. To find out who are the backward people, under article 301 a Commission will be appointed to go into this matter and I believe whosoever is found as such will come under this clause for whom special reservations are sought to be made. Under article 10 of the Fundamental Rights, it is said that no discrimination shall be made; but discrimination is allowed to afford special help in favour of the backward classes who will be hereafter found to be so or whose names will, after investigation by a Commission, be declared as such. I believe Dr. Deshmukh will be sufficiently enough to place the case of the various sub-communities and other classes before it so that justice may be done to all of them who are in need of special help.
There is another improvement made in this article on the existing state of things under Section 266 if the Government of India Act of 1935. If any addition to the subjects that have to be placed before the Public Service Commission for consultation is to be made, the Act of Parliament has first of all to get the sanction of the President or the Governor General before introduction of the Bill. Under the new article, the sanction of the President is not necessary to introduce a Bill to clothe the Public Service Commission whether at the Centre or in the provinces with additional powers or subjects. It is open to an official or a non-official member to introduce a Bill wherever necessary, after some experience is gathered of the working of the Constitution, straightaway, enlist the opinion of this House and carry it through. This is another improvement. After having experience of the working of the Government of India Act of 1935, all the defects that were noticed in practice have been sought to be removed by making special provision for the backward classes, by seeing that the rules and regulations exempting certain things from the scope and jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission have to be placed before Parliament for scrutiny from time to time, and by deleting the provision which required the sanction of the President for the introduction of a Bill to invest the Public Service Commission with more powers. In these respects, I submit to the House that these articles are an improvement. I hope with God's grace these provisions would work satisfactorily. If per chance, after working this Constitution, we find some more defects, there is inherent provision in article 286 by which we can amend these provisions. After all, the success of an institution depends not so much on the rules and regulations that are made though, of course, rules and regulations are necessary, but on the integrity, efficiency, honesty of purpose of those persons that work. Let us wish that all these defects will be removed in practice, that honest straightforward public-minded men will be in charge of the administration of the Public Service Commissions and the reproach that has been there, either of nepotism or favouritism, will wholly disappear.
Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru (United Provinces : General) : Mr. President, I think that the articles before us represent a great improvement on the provisions contained either in the Government of India Act, 1935; or in the Draft Constitution, with regard to Public Service Commission. My honourable Friend Mr. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar has pointed out one or two matters in which the new draft is better than the provisions contained in the Government of India Act, 1935 or in the Draft Constitution. I should like to point out more and more important features of the articles that we are considering which should be welcomed by anybody that understands the purpose of appointing Public Service Commissions.
Its object, as has been stated by several speakers is to secure for the State efficient public servants who will serve all people equally and will always watch over the interests of all communities and the State as a whole. But, the provisions that are at present in force, leave a number of loop-holes for Executive interference. The Government of India Act, 1935, empowers the Governor-General to specify by regulation any matter in respect of which the Federal Public Service Commission need not be consulted. The regulations may be unnecessarily wide, or they may be changed in such a way from time to time as to enable the executive to exercise a considerable amount of undesirable patronage. Article 286 as now drafted provides a check, and a very good check, on the vagaries of the executive. The President or Governor will have the power to specify the matters in regard to which it will not be necessary to take the advice of the Public Service Commission; but, at the same time, it will be his duty to see that the regulations made by him are laid before the legislature and the legislature will have the power not merely to criticise these regulations, but to amend them in any manner that it likes. We can, therefore, feel sure that no regulations will be made by the President or Governor that are not likely to secure public approval. If he is tempted to deviate from the right path, he will hesitate to give in to the temptation for he will know that his regulations will have to be laid before the legislature.
Another very welcome feature of the articles that have been laid before us is that the Public Services Commission have been required to submit annually reports of their work to the executive, drawing its attention to those cases in which their advice has not been accepted by the Executive. The Executive is further required to place the reports of the Public Service Commissions before the appropriate Legislatures. This is very valuable provision. Its importance cannot be exaggerated. We come to know from time to time of cases in which we feel that the Governments concerned have been guilty of irregularities but there is no method provided in the Constitution by which we may know definitely the cases where irregularities occur and the extent to which they occur. In the absence of facilities for obtaining accurate information on this point, members of the Legislature ask questions with regard to recruitment that sometimes do grave injustice either to the Ministers or to the Public Service Commissions. Article 288(a) will remove this danger and should the Executive be tempted unduly to disregard the advice of the Public Service Commissions, the representatives of the people will have an opportunity of criticising the action of the Executive and preventing it in future from disregarding the considered advice of the Commissions.
Sir, the point of view that I have placed before the House is not founded merely on theoretical considerations. The checks provided in the articles laid before us have been found to be necessary in practice at least in one case. The Calcutta High Court some time ago considered an application questioning the validity of an appointment made by the Local Government without consulting the Public Service Commission. The High Court expressed the opinion that the provisions contained in article 266 of the Government of India Act, 1935, with regard to matters in respect of which the Public Service Commission shall be consulted were not mandatory because it was not stated what would be the consequence of the disregard of those provisions. They were, therefore, held to be only directory. In other words, from the point of view of the public the obligation laid on the executive was not a fundamental right but only a directive principle. If such a case occurs in future, the Public Service Commission concerned will be able to mention this in the report which will have to be laid before the Legislature. There is a reasonable certainty therefore that the Executive will be disposed to act with caution and not exercise its powers in an arbitrary fashion and act as if the Public Service Commissions did not exist.
Sir, one other provision that I would like to draw the attention of the House to is article 287. In the draft as it stood before, the Commissions had to be consulted only in regard to the Union or State Services generally speaking, but now even appointments connected with corporations or other public institutions created by law shall be dealt with by the Commissions. This again is an important safeguard. It is not unlikely at all that in the near future a number of corporations dealing with important matters may be created. The number of posts with which they will deal may be quite large and many of these posts may carry high salaries. As the draft stood it would not have been within the purview of the Public Service Commissions to make recruitment to these posts. But the amended draft that has been laid before us requires that posts under a Corporation or Public Institution created by law should be dealt with in the same manner as posts under the Union or a State.
Taking all these things together, it is clear that the articles that have been placed before us deserve to be warmly welcomed. If the members of the Public Service Commissions are properly chosen and they act without fear or favour, than there is no doubt that recruitment to the public services will not merely be above reproach but also above suspicion. If, however, the personnel of the Commissions is not good or if the members do not discharge their duty properly, then we have no remedy. The Constitution cannot either create competent men or compel the Executive to chooses the officers required to discharge important functions with care and impartiality.
Sir, the articles that we are considering have been subjected to a certain amount of criticism. My honourable Friend Dr. Deshmukh finds that the articles do not protect the rights of all classes of the population. He is not satisfied with the provision in article 286 regarding the reservation of posts for any backward class of citizens without consultation with the Public Service Commissions. He wants that this principle should be extended and that it should apply to all classes. Indeed, he goes further than this and wants that the State should, without consulting the Public Service Commission, lay down that the various classes shall be represented in the Public Services according to their numbers in the Union or the State. This amendment has been dealt with so fully by a number of speakers that I do not think that I need dwell at length on it. But I should like to add my voice to that of those speakers who have opposed this amendment. We are all desirous that the public services should be recruited in such a manner as to give satisfaction to the public as a whole, but it would be ..........................
Dr. P.S. Deshmukh : That is all I want.
Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru : I am glad to know that this is all that my Friend Dr. Deshmukh wants. But his amendment has been drafted in such a way as to create a very serious danger. I mean, that if it is acted upon, the public interests will suffer seriously. Steps can be taken to see that the interests of no community are ignored; but it will be most undesirable to require the executive to lay down that every class shall be represented in the public services according to its numerical strength. We all know that education is not widely spread in this country. There is, therefore, a large majority of people who are uneducated. Can we, seriously speaking, ask in this state of things, that all the classes should be represented in accordance with their population? If it were a question of representation in the legislature, this argument would have force. But where important business of the State requiring knowledge and judgement has to be carried on from day to day, we should appoint people only on the ground of merit. We cannot appoint them merely on the ground that their appointment will give satisfaction to certain classes; for if that were done, the very classes that want an adequate share in the public services would be the first to suffer, for they have to gain more by the efficiency of the administration and the impartiality of the officers than the members of the more advanced classes. I am, therefore, compelled to oppose Dr. Deshmukh's amendment. I have hardly any doubt that the House will not accept it.
Shri T.T. Krishnamachari (Madras : General) : Sir, I move that the question be now put.
Mr. President : The question is:
The motion was adopted.
Mr. President: Dr. Ambedkar.
The Honourable Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: Mr. President, Sir, after the speeches that have been made by my Friend Mr. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar and my Friend Mr. Kunzru, there is very little that is left for me to say in reply to the various points that have been made. Mr. Jaspat Roy Kapoor said that clause (2) was unnecessary. I do not agree with him because clause (2) deals with a matter which is quite different from the one dealt with in the original article 284. I think it is necessary, therefore, to retain both the clauses.
The only point that remains for me to say anything about is the question that is raised about the Scheduled Castes and the Backward Classes. I think I might say that enough provision has been made, both in article 296 which we have to consider at a later stage and in article 10, for safeguarding the interests of what are called the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Backward Classes. I do not think that any purpose will be served by making a provision whereby it would be obligatory upon the president to appoint a member of what might be called either a Scheduled Caste, or Scheduled Tribe or a member belonging to the backward classes.
Shri A.V. Thakkar (Saurashtra) : Other backward classes.
The Honourable Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: The function of a member of the Public Service Commission is a general one. He cannot be there to protect the interests of any particular class. He shall have to apply his mind to the general question of finding out who is the best and the most efficient candidate for an appointment. The real protection, the real method of protection is one that has been adopted, namely, to permit the Legislature to fix a certain quota to be filled by these classes. I am also asked to define what are backward classes. Well, I think the words "backward classes" so far as this country is concerned is almost elementary. I do not think that I can use a simpler word than the word "Backward Classes". Everybody in the province knows who are the backward classes, and I think it is, therefore, better to leave the matter as has been done in this Constitution to the Commission which is to be appointed which will investigate into the conditions of the state of society, and to ascertain which are to be regarded as backward classes in this country.
Shri A.V. Thakkar : May I ask whether it will not take several years before that is done?
The Honourable Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: Yes, but in the meantime, there is no prohibition on any provincial government to make provisions for what are called the backward classes. They are left quite free, by article 10. Therefore, my submission is that there is no fear that the interests of the backward classes or the Scheduled castes will be overlooked in the recruitment to the services. As my Friend Pandit Kunzru has said, the articles I have presented to the House are certainly a very great improvement upon what the articles were before in the Draft Constitution. We have, if I may say so for myself, studied a great deal the provisions in the Canadian law and the provisions in the Australian law, and we have succeeded, if I may say so, in finding out a via media which I hope the House will not find any difficulty in accepting.
Mr. President : I will now put the various amendments to vote. The first amendment to article 286 was No. 13 moved by Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor. The question is :
The amendment was negatived.
Mr. President: The question is:
The amendment was negatived.
Mr. President: The question is:
The amendment was negatived.
Dr. P.S. Deshmukh : I beg leave to withdraw amendment No. 82 moved by me.
The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.
Mr. President : The next amendment is No. 84 moved by Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad. The question is:
The amendment was negatived.
Mr. President : The question is :
The amendment was negatived.
Dr. P.S. Deshmukh: Sir, I beg leave to withdraw amendment No. 86 moved by me.
The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.
Mr. President: Then amendment No. 87. The question is :
The amendment was negatived.
Dr. P.S. Deshmukh : I beg leave to withdraw amendment No. 88 moved by me.
The amendment was, by leave of the assembly, withdrawn.
Mr. President : Amendment No. 89 by Shri R.K. Sidhva. The question is:
The amendment was negatived.
Mr. President: The question is:
That in amendment No. 14 of List R (Fifth Week) of Amendments to Amendments, for the proposed clause (3) of article 286, following be substituted:-
The amendment was negatived.
Mr. President : I will now put article 286 as proposed by Dr. Ambedkar to vote.
The question is:
The motion was adopted.
Article 286 was added to the Constitution.
Mr. President : I will now take up article 287, as proposed by Dr. Ambedkar. There is one amendment to it by Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad. The question is :
The amendment was negatived.
Mr. President: The question is:
The motion was adopted.
Article 287 was added to the Constitution.
Mr. President: There is no amendment to article 288, so I will put it to vote. The question is:
The motion was adopted.
Article 288 was added to the Constitution.
Mr. President : The question is:
The motion was adopted.
Article 288A was added to the Constitution.
Mr. President: We shall now take up article 292.
Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava (East Punjab : General) : But there is a new article 291A proposed by me which may be taken up.
Mr. President: I think it is covered by another article.
Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava : But mine is more comprehensive.
Mr. President: You can move it as an amendment to 295A. It is not covered by 295A?
Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava : Yes Sir, but 295A does not deal with articles 293 and 295, which are covered by my amendment.
Shri T.T. Krishnamachari : The honourable Members' amendment is closely related to the proposed article 295A. Article is restricted in its scope. The amendment of the honourable Member of article 291A extends the scope of these articles. It would therefore be proper for the honourable Member to move his amendment as an amendment to article 295A. I think the suggestion made by the President is appropriate. The honourable Member may move it as an amendment to 295A.
Mr. President: That is what I was suggesting.
Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava : Just as you please, Sir.
The Honourable Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: I move that for article 292, the following be substituted:
Reservation of seats for
(a) the Scheduled Castes;
Scheduled Castes and
House of People (c) the scheduled tribes in the autonomous districts of Assam
(2) The number of seats reserved in any State for the Scheduled Castes or the scheduled tribes under clause (1) of this article shall, save in the case of the Scheduled Castes in to the total number of seats allotted to that State in the House of the People as the population of the Scheduled Castes in that State or of the Scheduled tribes in that State or part of that State as the case may be , in respect of which seats are so reserved bears to the total population of that State."
This article 292 is an exact reproduction of the decisions of the Advisory. Committee in this matter and I do not think any explanation is necessary.
Mr. President: This represents the decision which was taken at another session of this House when we considered the Advisory Committee's report. This puts in form the decision then taken. We have several amendments to this here. I will taken them now.
Prof. Nibaran Chandra Laskar (Assam : General): Mr. President, Sir, I shall move No. 24. I am not moving No. 23. I move.
If my amendment is accepted, then clause (2) of the article 292 will read thus:
I wholeheartedly support the proposed amendment of Dr. Ambedkar with a very slight modification as mentioned in my amendment. During the last session of the Constituent Assembly, the historic decision was made to abolish the reservation of seats for minorities except in the case of Scheduled Castes and scheduled tribes. I offer my heartfelt thanks to the Members of the Constituent Assembly who were good enough to support the report of the Minorities Sub-Committee and granted these privileges to the Scheduled Castes and scheduled tribes. I shall be railing in my duty if I do not say that the Scheduled Castes and scheduled tribes in the country will ever remain grateful of the Honourable Prime Minister and the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, the Chairman of the Minorities Sub-Committee, who really felt the demands and grievances f the Scheduled Castes and scheduled tribes and who had to face strong opposition for their cause. It is through their grace the Scheduled Castes and tribes are getting these political rights.
I believe that any reservation will go against the principle of democracy, but the circumstances such as political unconsciousness, backwardness in education and the very poor economic condition of the Scheduled Castes compel them to demand for these privileges. If Dr. Ambedkar's amendment is accepted, then he Scheduled Castes or scheduled tribes will get reservation of seats. But it has been stated as a fundamental concept of the Constitution that the representation for the House of the People would be on the basis of one seat to at least 5 lakhs of people, and it will be considered according to the preceding census just before the election. Therefore, i have great doubts in my mind whether the Scheduled Castes in Assam will get the benefit of this privilege. Unfortunately, the district of Sylhet which was a part of Assam has been annexed to Pakistan by referendum, and thereby about three lakhs of Scheduled Castes people went over to Pakistan and the population of the Scheduled Castes which was 6,76,566 before partition, has come down after partition to 3,77,025 according to 1941 census, although I question the authenticity of the census figures of 1941. Now, I shall try to prove it. On the figure as given in 1941 census, the Schedule Castes cannot claim as of right any seat in the House of the People. Therefore, by my amendment I want to have an exception to be made to give scope to the Scheduled Castes to approach before the Election Commission or whatever that authority may be to place their legitimate demands. First of all, I shall show to the House that the figures of the 1941 census are incorrect, inaccurate and fallacious. In the whole of Assam the total population is only about one crore. I shall take only the major communities. In Vol. IX of the Census Report of 1941 the following figures are given about the variation of communities from 1931-41:- Among Hindus there is a decrease of 12 per cent and among Muslims there is an increase of 24 per cent. The Tribes have increase by 184 per cent. In the Brahmaputra Valley there has been an increase in the Tribals of 477 per cent, and in the Surma valley 2266 per cent. From these figures the House can see the inaccuracy of the census figures of 1941 : While there is a general increase of 18 per cent, in the province of Assam, among the Tribals there is an increase of 184 per cent and among the Hindus there is a decrease of 12 per cent.
In the Minorities Sub-Committee Report, some 9 lakhs of garden labourers, considered as Tribals in the 1941 Census, have been shown as general population. If the Census figure is correct, then there is no justification for taking out 9 lakhs of garden labourers from the fold of the Tribals and showing them as general. By this the strength of the Scheduled Castes has been reduced. I shall prove that their number is more than 10 lakhs now. Leaving aside the gradual decrease-of the number of the Scheduled Castes from 1911 to 1931, if we take the garden labourers numbering 9 lakhs who are included in general population, then we can easily get the number of Scheduled Castes. Then what Communities do the garden labourers belong to? I can prove from records that 80 per cent of them are Hindus and 80 per cent of these Hindus belong to Scheduled Castes.
Shri A.V. Thakkar: We are unable to follow the speaker.
Prof. Nibaran Chandra Laskar: There has been a tendency from 1911 onwards amongst the Scheduled Castes to change their communities, because they were very much afraid that the caste-name generally prohibited them from getting into any Government services. Therefore the community began to decrease gradually. In 1911 the strength of the Scheduled Castes was 13 lakhs, in 1921 it was 14 lakhs and in 1931 it came to about 6 lakhs and in 1941 it came to 4 lakhs. As for instance, the strength of the Scheduled Patni community in 1911 it was 1,11,000, but in 1921 the strength came down to 45,000. With regard to this Community the Census Superintendent in his report of 1921 Vol. III Part I page 154 says. "It was suggested by one of the Leaders (himself a Brahmin) that a caste which was looked down upon could not hope to improve its status without a better name." This shows that Scheduled Castes were made to decrease by the leaders not belonging to their own communities.
Mr. President: Are you likely to take a long time?
Prof. Nibaran Chandra Laskar: I will take sometime more.
Mr. President: Then we shall go on with this tomorrow. The House stands adjourned till nine of the clock on Wednesday.
The Assembly then adjourned till Nine of the Clock on Wednesday, the 24th August, 1949.
*[ ] Translation of Hindustani speech.