There shall be a Parliament for the Union which shall consist of the President and two Houses to be known respectively as the Council of States and the House of the People.

Debate Summary

Draft Article 66

There shall be a Parliament for the Union which shall consist of the President and two Houses to be known respectively as the Council of States and the House of the People.

 

Draft Article 66 (Article 79, Constitution of India, 1950) was debated on 3rd January 1949. It laid down the composition of the Parliament.

 

A member moved an amendment to delete ‘Council of States’ from the Draft Article. He argued that the Council of States, also known as Second Chambers, was not of any use and an outdated institution. A member of the Drafting Committee argued against this motion. He highlighted that the Council of States would provide another platform for people to take part in politics. Moreover, it would prevent ‘hasty legislation’ making.

 

There was another proposal to substitute ‘the Parliament’ with ‘the Indian National Congress’. The mover wanted to ‘permanently commemorate’ Congress’ participation in the freedom movement and prevent the party from future deterioration. She further referred to the American Parliament’s usage of Congress. A member of the Drafting Committee did not support this motion. He believed that encoding Congress’ name in the Constitution would lead to a one-party nation.  

 

A member sought to delete ‘President’ from the Draft Article. He termed this an ‘unnecessary imitation of the British system’. He noted that the President is merely an ornamental head of the nation and should not be an integral part of the legislature. A member of the Drafting Committee disagreed with this motion and argued that the Indian Constitution gave prominence to the President- he/she was the executive head of the nation. It was important to include President in the legislature.

 

None of these proposals was accepted. The Assembly adopted the Draft Article without amendments on 3rd January 1949.