A person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in Parliament 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 Council of States, not less than thirty years of age and, in the case of a seat in the House of the People, not less than twenty-five 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 68-A, Draft Constitution 1948

A person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in Parliament unless he-

(a) is a citizen of India;

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

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

 

This article was not a part of the initial Draft Constitution, 1948. It was introduced the Drafting Committee as an amendment on 18th May 1949. It laid down qualifications for membership of the Parliament.

 

The Chairman of the Drafting Committee clarified the purpose of this provision. He noted that while any voter qualified to stand for elections, he/she must meet certain ‘higher’ qualifications. A Parliamentarian should have experience and knowledge to discharge his/her responsibilities effectively. Encoding these additional qualifications will ensure better candidates at the Parliament.

 

A significant proposal was to reduce the age limit from 35 to 30 for members to the House of People. The mover of this amendment argued that ‘wisdom does not depend on age’. With education younger citizens had more civic awareness. Moreover, she pointed out how Jawaharlal Nehru was appointed as the President of Congress at a young age.

 

On 18th May 1949, the Assembly adopted the Draft Article with the amendment to reduce the age limit.