First Report of the Order of Business Committee27 April 1947
FIRST REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE
April 27th, 1947
We, the undersigned, members of the committee appointed by the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly dated the 25th January 1947, to recommend the order of the further business of the Assembly have the honour to submit this our report.
We met on the 5th March, and on the 21st, 23rd and 27th Aprii 1947. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was, by special invitation, present at all the meetings of the committee except the one held on the 23rd. The statement of His Majesty’s Government made in Parliament on the 20th February 1947, has imported an element of urgency into the work and proceedings of the Assembly and, in our opinion, it is essential that the constitution should be prepared well before the end of this year. The task of arranging the order of business and of framing a timetable is, however, by no means easy. The political situation is developing with great rapidity, and the changes that are taking place inevitably affect the work of the Assembly. We are not, therefore, in a position at this stage to make final recommendations except in regard to the immediate future; and we request that we be permitted to submit a further report at a subsequent stage.
We understand that when the Assembly meets on the 28th April, it will have before it the reports of the following committees :
(1) The States Committee appointed by the Constituent Assembly on 21st December 1946.
(2) The Union Powers Committee appointed by the Constituent Assembly on 25th January 1947.
(3) The Advisory Committee appointed by the Constituent Assembly on 24th January 1947, but only on the subject of Fundamental Rights.
After the business connected with these reports has been disposed of by the Assembly, we recommend that two separate committees be appointed, one to report on the main principles of the Union constitution and the other to report on the principles of a model Provincial constitution. We consider that there are many advantages in having two committees, perhaps with an element of common membership, working side by side and considering the interrelated principles of the Union and the Provincial constitutions. The work of the committees will be of an exploratory nature to facilitate and expedite the work of the Union Assembly or the Sections thereof, as the case may be. After the committees have been set up, we recommend that the meeting be adjourned to a date to be fixed by the President at his discretion. We suggest this flexible arrangement partly in order that the Assembly may avoid difficulties likely to arise from the fixation of a date in advance and partly because experience has shown that committees are not always able to work up to a rigid timetable.
The Constituent Assembly should complete its work by the end of October this year. A meeting will be necessary at the end of June or the beginning of July to consider the reports of the various committees and thereafter the matter of going into Sections. A meeting of the Assembly to finalise the constitution should be held in September.
K. M. Munshi