Every Minister and the Attorney-General of India shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, either House, any joint sitting of the Houses, and any committee of Parliament of which he may be named a member, but shall not by virtue of this article be entitled to vote.

Debate Summary

Article 72, Draft Constitution 1948

Every minister and the Attorney-General of India shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, either House, any joint sitting of the Houses and any committee of Parliament of which he may be named a member, but shall not by virtue of this article be entitled to vote.

 

Draft Article 72 (Article 88, Constitution of India, 1950) was debated on 18th May 1949. It granted the Ministers and the Attorney-General of India the rights to speak and take part in the Parliament.

 

A member moved an amendment to restrict rights under this provision only to the elected members of the Parliament. He argued that according to the principle of ministerial responsibility, only elected members must be made ministers. And elected parliamentarians inherently have the right to take part in the parliamentary proceedings. He further added that the rights of participation should be linked with the right to vote.

 

The Chairman of the Drafting Committee opposed this amendment. He noted that this provision was an exception to the generally accepted rule of only members of a house being allowed to participate in its proceedings. The legislative business occurred in both the houses of the Parliament. When a bill got introduced it passed through both the House of People and Council of States. This provision facilitated the Minister in charge, who need not be a member of the house, to speak on the Bill and respond to queries.

 

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