(1) At the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons.

 

(2) Provision shall be made by the rules regulating the procedure of either House for the allotment of time for discussion of the matters referred to in such address.

Debate Summary

Article 71, Draft Constitution 1948

(1) At the commencement of every session the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons.

(2) Provision shall be made by the rules regulating the procedure of either House for the allotment of time for discussion of the matters referred to in such address and for the precedence of such discussion over other business of the House.

 

Draft Article 71 (Article 87) was discussed on 18th May 1949. It regulated the President’s special address to the Parliament.

 

A member proposed an amendment that would make the subject of the President’s address broader. He argued that the President, being a non-party head of the state should provide ‘general overview of policy, or the prospects before the country, rather than with the specific causes of the summons’. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee pointed out that the phrase ‘causes of its summons’ was wide enough to include any subject matter. Hence it was unnecessary to accept this amendment.

 

Another member was not convinced of the necessity of this Draft Article. He brought in a comparative perspective and noted that England did not make it binding on the King to address the Parliament. Having such compulsions on the President was not needed or useful.

 

The Assembly adopted the Draft Article without any amendments on 18th May 1949.