Second Report of the Order of Business Committee9 July, 1947
Second Report of the Committee
July 9, 1947
From The Chairman,
Order of Business Committee.
Constituent Assembly of India.
During the last session of the Assembly, we submitted a report which was necessarily tentative because of the fluid political circumstances then obtaining. Since then, momentous changes have occurred and the position has become crystallised. His Majesty’s Government have issued a fresh statement on June the 3rd which has been accepted by all the principal political parties; and as a result of the decisions taken in pursuance of that statement, certain parts of the country will secede from India. These changes have revolutionised both the procedural and the substantive parts of the scheme on the basis of which we have been working hitherto. So far as the procedural aspect is concerned, it is no longer necessary for the Assembly to split into Sections and to consider the question of groups, and the double majority provisions in regard to matters of major communal importance are no longer operative.
1. It is against this background that we held a meeting on the 3rd of July. Pandit Nehru was present at the meeting at our request, and we are grateful to him for the help he gave us.
2. We understand that during the next session, the Assembly will have before it three reports for consideration—those of the Union Constitution Committee, the Union Powers Committee and the Provincial Constitution Committee. Between them these reports will deal with a large majority of questions that would have to be decided by the Assembly. We recommend that the Assembly take decisions on the reports in the July session, and direct that the work be taken up at once of drafting the Constitution Bill. We recommend also that the Assembly appoint a committee of members to scrutinise the draft before it is submitted to the Assembly and its subsequent session.
3. The matters that will remain outstanding at the end of July session will be the reports of the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and the administration of the Tribal and Excluded Areas. We suggest that the Advisory Committee complete its work in August and the recommendations made by them incorporated by the Draftsman in his Bill notwithstanding that no decisions will by then have been taken on them by the Assembly. Any changes which are subsequently considered necessary could be incorporated in the draft Bill by suitable amendments.
4. In our last report we had suggested that the Assembly should complete its work by the end of October this year. We reiterate this recommendation; and, having regard to the progress made by the committees, we think this is quite practicable. We propose accordingly that the Assembly authorise the President to summon a session sometime in October, preferably in the early part of the month, for the purpose of considering the draft of the constitution.
5. We do not think it necessary in the altered circumstances for decisions taken in the July session to be circulated in accordance with rule 63 of the Constituent Assembly.
6. Our recommendations will involve an amendment to the Rules which we request the Steering Committee to take into consideration.
I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient servant,
K. M’. Munshi,
(on behalf of the Committee).