(1) A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament —

 

(a) if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder;

 

(b) if he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;

 

(c) if he is an undischarged insolvent;

 

(d) if he is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State, or is under any acknowledgment of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State;

 

(e) if he is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament.

 

Explanation.— For the purposes of this clause] a person shall not be deemed to hold an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State by reason only that he is a Minister either for the Union or for such State.

 

(2) A person shall be disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule.

Debate Summary

Article 83, Draft Constitution 1948

(1) A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament-

(a) If he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder;

(b) If he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;

(c) If he is an un-discharged insolvent;

(d) If he is under any acknowledgment of allegiance or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power; and

(e) If he is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament.

(2) For the purposes of this article a person shall not be deemed to hold an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State by reason only that-

(a) He is a minister either for India or for any State for the time being specified in Part I of the First Schedule; or

(b) He is a minister for any State for the time being specified in Part III of the First Schedule, if he is responsible to the Legislature of the State, or where there are two Houses of the Legislature of the State, to the Lower House of such Legislature and if not less than three-fourths of the members of such Legislature or House, as the case may be, are elected.

 

Draft Article 83 was debated on 19 May 1949 and 13 October 1949. It laid down grounds for disqualification of the members of the Parliament.

 

A member moved an amendment to delete sub-clause (e) of clause 1. He argued that this Draft Article laid down comprehensive grounds of disqualification of the members of parliament, empowering the future parliaments to expand on these grounds would be ‘dangerous’. Political parties might use this to disqualify their opponents. Another member echoed a similar view – he strongly urged for not giving the future Parliaments power to add to the list of disqualifications. Further, he proposed a set of additional grounds that included conviction based on offences relating elections, moral turpitude. In rebuttal to this, a member believed that the future legislature would not abuse its lawmaking power under this provision. He argued that a legitimate Parliament which represented the will of the people should have the liberty to legislate on this matter.

 

A member was concerned with the phrasing of sub-clause (b) of clause 1 and favoured deletion of ‘declared by a competent court’. He noted that less than ten per cent of persons institutionalised for unsound mind had a declaration from a court. Only people with property and financial backing would be in a position to obtain a court decree.

 

None of these proposals was successful. The Constituent Assembly accepted the Draft Article 19 May 1949 and adopted a minor amendment on 13 October 1949.