A person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the Legislature of a State unless he —

 

(a) is a citizen of India, and makes and subscribes before some person authorised in that behalf by the Election Commission an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule; 

 

(b) is, in the case of a seat in the Legislative Assembly, not less than twenty-five years of age and, in the case of a seat in the Legislative Council, not less than thirty years of age; and

 

(c) possesses such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by Parliament.

Debate Summary

Article 152, Draft Constitution, 1948

A person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the Legislature of a State unless he is, in the case of a seat in a Legislative Assembly, not less than twenty-five years of age, and in the case of a seat in a Legislative Council, not less than thirty-five years of age.

 

Draft Article 152 (Article 173) was debated on 2nd June 1949. It set out the qualifications to become a member of a State Legislature.

 

The Chairman of the Drafting Committee moved an amendment to wholly replace the Draft Article with the following:

'152. Qualification for membership of the State Legislature--A person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the legislature of a State unless he-

(a) is a citizen of India;

(b) is, in the case of a seat in a Legislative Assembly, not less than twenty-five years of age and, in the case of a seat in the Legislative Council, not less than thirty-five years of age, and

(c) possesses such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by the Legislature of the State.'


This expanded the list of qualifications necessary to become a member of the State Legislature. The debates in the Assembly were based on this amendment.

 

One member wanted to reduce the minimum age to become a member of a Legislative Council, from thirty-five to thirty. She pointed out that would conform with the age requirement for members of the Upper House in the Parliament. This was accepted by the Assembly.

 

Another member moved an amendment to further expand the list of qualifications to require candidates to be literate, and qualified to vote in the constituency from they seek election. He argued that illiteracy and ignorance were related, and so it would be dangerous for illiterate candidates to be elected to the Legislature. This was rejected by the Assembly.

 

Some members raised objections to clause (c) which allowed the State Legislature to prescribe additional qualifications. One member argued that only the Constitution should exhaustively list the qualifications, and if Parliament or State Legislatures could amend this, then ‘qualifications of candidates will be made a plaything of party politics.’ The Chairman of the Drafting Committee responded that this clause (c) could be revisited after the Assembly discussed the Draft Articles pertaining to electoral matters.

 

The amendment proposed by the Chairman of the Drafting Committee was accepted with one amendment. The amended Draft Article was adopted by the Assembly on 2nd June 1949.