(1) Each House of Parliament shall have a separate secretarial staff:

 

Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as preventing the creation of posts common to both Houses of Parliament.

 

(2) Parliament may by law regulate the recruitment, and the conditions of service of persons appointed, to the secretarial staff of either House of Parliament.

 

(3) Until provision is made by Parliament under clause (2), the President may, after consultation with the Speaker of the House of the People or the Chairman of the Council of States, as the case may be, make rules regulating the recruitment, and the conditions of service of persons appointed, to the secretarial staff of the House of the People or the Council of States, and any rules so made shall have effect subject to the provisions of any law made under the said clause.

Debate Summary

Article 79A, Draft Constitution, 1948

(1) Each House of Parliament shall have a separate Secretarial Staff:

     Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as preventing the creation of posts common to both Houses of Parliament.

(2)Parliament may by law regulate the recruitment, and the conditions of service of persons appointed, to the secretarial staff of either House of Parliament.

(3)Until provision is made by Parliament under clause (2) of this article, the President may. after consultation with the Speaker of the House of the People or the Chairman of the Council of States, as the case may be, make rules regulating the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed to the secretarial staff of the House of the People or the Council of States, and any rules so made shall have effect subject to the provisions of any law made under the said clause

 

Draft Article 79A (Article 98, Constitution of India 1950) was debated on 30th July 1949. It laid down the office of Secretariat of Parliament. It was not a part of the original Draft Constitution, 1948. Instead, it was introduced as an amendment by the Drafting Committee.

 

The Chairman of the Drafting Committee noted that the motivation to include this provision stemmed from a Conference organised by Speakers of various Provinces. Encoding this provision in the Constitution would ensure that the office of the Secretariat was not controlled by the Executive, instead, it would be appointed and regulated by the Parliament itself.

 

A member believed that this Draft Article would protect the independence of the office of the Secretariat. He invoked his experiences as a Mayor and highlighted how the Secretariats for the Mayors were under complete control of the Executive. This led to several issues including denial of granting sufficient resources for the functioning of his office. This Draft Article would tackle these problems at the Parliament level.

 

There was an argument made to lay down terms relating to appointment, promotions and conditions of service in this Draft Article itself. The member noted that such matters should not be left for the Parliament to decide. He went a step further and demanded ‘Federal Public Service Commission’ to be made in charge of the Secretariat, not the Parliament. This would ensure impartiality in appointing and running of the office.

 

The Assembly did not accept these proposals. It adopted the Draft Article on 30th July 1949.