(1) The Government of India may sue or be sued by the name of the Union of India and the Government of a State may sue or be sued by the name of the State and may, subject to any provisions which may be made by Act of Parliament or of the Legislature of such State enacted by virtue of powers conferred by this Constitution, sue or be sued in relation to their respective affairs in the like cases as the Dominion of India and the corresponding Provinces or the corresponding Indian States might have sued or been sued if this Constitution had not been enacted. 

 

(2) If at the commencement of this Constitution —

 

(a) any legal proceedings are pending to which the Dominion of India is a party, the Union of India shall be deemed to be substituted for the Dominion in those proceedings; and (

 

b) any legal proceedings are pending to which a Province or an Indian State is a party, the corresponding State shall be deemed to be substituted for the Province or the Indian State in those proceedings.

Debate Summary

 

Draft Article 274, Draft Constitution of India (1948) 

(1) The Government of India may sue or be sued by the name of the Government of India and the Government of a State for the time being specified in Part I of the First Schedule may sue or be sued by the name of the State and may, subject to any provisions which may be made by Act of Parliament or by the Legislature of such State, enacted by virtue of powers conferred by this Constitution, sue or be sued in relation to their respective affairs in the like cases as the Dominion of India and the corresponding Provinces might have sued or been sued if this Constitution had not been enacted.

(2) If at the date of commencement of this Constitution-

(a) Any legal proceedings are pending to which the Dominion of India is a party, the Government of India shall be deemed to be substituted for the

Dominion in those proceedings; and

(b) Any legal proceedings are pending to which a Province is a Party, the corresponding State shall be deemed to be substituted for the Province in those proceedings.

 

Draft Article 274 (Article 300, Constitution of India 1950) was debated on 15 June 1949. The Draft Article stated that the Government of India and the Government of States can sue and can be sued by the name of Government of India or the name of the State respectively. It also stated that any legal proceedings pending from prior to the commencement of the Constitution against the Dominion of India or a Province would be substituted by the Government of India or the corresponding State respectively. 

 

The Drafting Committee Chairman moved a few amendments to change the language of the Draft Article while retaining its substance.

 

Certain members were concerned that the Draft Article was too obscure. The Drafting Committee Chairman did not directly engage with the concern of obscurity but stated that the Draft Article merely prescribed the way in which suits and proceedings should be initiated and had no other significance. 

 

The amendments and the Draft Article were adopted on the same day with no further discussion or debate.