(1) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Chapter, the House of the People shall have power —

 

(a) to make any grant in advance in respect of the estimated expenditure for a part of any financial year pending the completion of the procedure prescribed in article 113 for the voting of such grant and the passing of the law in accordance with the provisions of article 114 in relation to that expenditure;

 

(b) to make a grant for meeting an unexpected demand upon the resources of India when on account of the magnitude or the indefinite character of the service the demand cannot be stated with the details ordinarily given in an annual financial statement;

 

(c) to make an exceptional grant which forms no part of the current service of any financial year;

 

and Parliament shall have power to authorise by law the withdrawal of moneys from the Consolidated Fund of India for the purposes for which the said grants are made.

 

(2) The provisions of articles 113 and 114 shall have effect in relation to the making of any grant under clause (1) and to any law to be made under that clause as they have effect in relation to the making of a grant with regard to any expenditure mentioned in the annual financial statement and the law to be made for the authorisation of appropriation of moneys out of the Consolidated Fund of India to meet such expenditure.

Debate Summary

Article 96, Draft Constitution, 1948

If in any financial year expenditure from the revenues of India has been incurred on any service for which the vote of the House of the People is necessary in excess of the amount granted for that service and for that year, a demand for the excess shall be presented to the House of the People and the provisions of articles 93 and 94 of this Constitution shall have effect in relation to such demand as they have effect in relation to a demand for a grant.

 

Draft Article 96 (Article 116) was debated on 10th June 1949. It set out the procedure for making a demand for an excess grant requiring a vote of the House of the People.

 

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

'Votes on account, votes on credit and exceptional grants.

96. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this Chapter, the House of the People shall have power--

(a)  to make any grant in advance in respect of the estimated expenditure for a part of any financial year pending the completion of the procedure prescribed in article 93 of this Constitution for the voting of such grant and the passing of the law in accordance with the provisions of article 94 of this Constitution in relation to that expenditure:

(b)  to make a grant for meeting an unexpected demand upon the resources of India when on account of the magnitude or the indefinite character of the service the demand cannot be stated with the details ordinarily given in an annual financial statement;

(c)  to make an exceptional grant which forms no part of the current service of any financial year; and to authorise by law the withdrawal of moneys from the Consolidated Fund of India for the purpose for which the said grants are made.

(2)  The provisions of articles 93 of this Constitution shall have effect in relation to the making of any grant under clause (1) of this article and to any law to be made under that clause as they have effect in relation to the making of a grant with regard to any expenditure mentioned in the annual financial statement and the law to be made for the authorisation of appropriation of moneys out of the Consolidated Fund of India to meet such expenditure.'

 

The debates in the Assembly were based on this Amendment.

 

The Amendment explicitly granted the House of the People certain powers with respect to votes on account, votes on credit, and exceptional grants, including the power to withdraw money for these grants from the Consolidated Fund of India.

 

A member contended that sub-clause (c) of the Amendment was defective as it allowed the House of the People to “authorise by law” the withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Fund of India. He noted that the Constitution did not permit only the House of the People to authorise withdrawals - such power vested with the Parliament. His suggestion to replace 'House of the People' with 'Parliament' was positively received by the Drafting Committee.

 

Another member argued that clause (2) of the Amendment required the House of the People to follow the procedures laid out in Draft Articles 93 and 94 (Articles 113 and 114). He contended that this was an unnecessary procedural burden. In response, a member clarified this Draft Article gave the Parliament flexibility in 'either following or varying the rigid provisions mentioned in these articles'.

 

The Assembly accepted the aforementioned proposals and adopted the Draft Article on 10th June 1949.