On 10 December 1946, the Constituent Assembly adopted a resolution appointing the Committee on the Rules of Procedure upon a motion by J.B. Kripalani. The committee was responsible for framing all the rules of the Constituent Assembly, including those for admission and resignation of members, conduct of business in the Assembly and its various committees, and fixing salaries and allowances of all persons involved in the Assembly’s functioning. Importantly, the Assembly resolved that the committee would be responsible for framing rules for other sections and committees of the Assembly to establish that the Assembly was “one and indivisible” and that other committees or sections could not function independently of the Constituent Assembly rules.
According to Granville Austin, the power and authority of the Constituent Assembly was embodied in these rules set by the Committee. The rules clearly stated that “The Assembly shall not be dissolved except by a resolution assented to by at least two-thirds of the whole number of members of the Assembly.” This meant that the British had no authority to dissolve the Assembly except by the use of force.
After the appointment of the committee on 10 December 1946, it remains unclear how many meetings were held to deliberate and prepare its report. The elections for the committee were conducted on 11 December 1946, with only 15 members submitting their nominations. Therefore, the Constituent Assembly considered ballot elections unnecessary and declared all 15 members elected to the committee.
On 20 December 1946, Rajendra Prasad, the Chairman of the Committee, presented the report to the Assembly. Although the rules drafted by the Committee were adopted by the Assembly following a two-day discussion, they were periodically revised by the Assembly until June 1949.
- The Framing of India’s Constitution 1966, Vol. 1 by Shiva Rao
- Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation by Granville Austin