Between 15th November 1948 and 17th October 1949, the Constituent Assembly debated and discussed provisions of the Draft Constitution along with a staggering number of amendments moved by Assembly members. During this period, the Assembly took a number of decisions: some of these were major – the dropping of Articles and clauses, adoption and deletion of amendments, and others were relatively minor – corrections and changes to grammar and punctuation, re-numbering of articles, deletions of words, etc.
The Assembly’s decisions had to be given effect to the Draft Constitution. This onerous task fell to the Drafting Committee; on 3rd November 1949, it presented the ‘revised’ Draft Constitution to the President of the Assembly along with fresh amendments.
After three weeks since it last met, the Assembly re-convened on 14th November 1949 to consider the revised Draft Constitution. However, as the President of the Assembly began the proceedings – a conflict emerged between some members of the Assembly and the Drafting Committee
The Assembly had before it two types of amendments: those proposed by the Drafting Committee and those proposed by members of the Assembly.
Thakur Das Bhargava argued that the Drafting had ‘gone beyond its powers’ by moving amendments that went against the Assembly decisions. He urged the President of the Assembly to not take these amendments up for debate. This view was endorsed by other members as well like H.V. Kamath.
Ambedkar responded to these arguments by saying that the Drafting Committee mostly made changes that gave effect to the Assembly’s decisions. However, it had to make some substantial changes, and these were explicitly flagged in the document and sufficient explanations were given in the Drafting Committee’s report to the Assembly.
The Assembly seemed convinced and proceeded to take up the amendments for debates. These debates over the revised constitution marked the last phase of constitution making culminating in the Assembly adopting the Constitution on 26th November 1949.