Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part, the provisions of this Constitution relating to —
(a) the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States; and
(b) the representation of the Anglo-Indian community in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States by nomination,
shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of eighty years in respect of clause (a) and seventy years in respect of clause (b) from the commencement of this Constitution:
Provided that nothing in this article shall affect any representation in the House of the People or in the Legislative Assembly of a State until the dissolution of the then existing House or Assembly, as the case may be.
Draft Article 295A (Article 334 of Constitution of India 1950) was absent in the Draft Constitution 1948. The Drafting Committee Chairman introduced this provision on 24 August 1949. The Draft Article stated that reservations for SC/ST in Union and State legislatures would be valid for a period of 10 years after the Constitution comes into effect.
A group of Members were not comfortable with the time limit on reservations. They were uncertain if 10 years was sufficient to bring SC/ST communities to the level of other classes. One Member wanted the Draft Article to make it explicitly clear that the time limit shouldn't apply if the SC/ST community wasn’t adequately uplifted. Another Member wanted the removal of the time limit altogether. Yet another Member wanted to give Parliament the power to alter the time limit as it deemed fit.
The Drafting Committee Chairman confessed that he preferred a longer time limit. Although, he suggested that the Assembly should accept 10 years for now. He argued that if the SC/ST community was not empowered in 10 years, then the community would invent novel ways to ensure that their reservation benefits continue. The Chairman further stated that Parliament should not be given the power to change the time limit: such a change must be done through a constitutional amendment.
The Chairman’s interventions appeared to convince the Assembly and all the above proposals were rejected or withdrawn.
However, the Assembly accepted two amendments. The first stated that the time limit would not affect the composition of the existing legislative assemblies and the second brought Anglo-Indian reservations under the ambit of this Draft Article.
The Assembly adopted the Draft Article with these amendments on 25 August 1949.
Article 334 was subsequently amended by way of the Constitution in 2019 to extend the time limit.