Every member of either House of Parliament shall, before taking his seat, make and subscribe before the President, or some person appointed in that behalf by him, an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.
Article 81, Draft Constitution 1948
Every member of either House of Parliament shall, before taking his seat, make and subscribe before the President, or some person appointed in that behalf by him, a declaration according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.
Draft Constitution 1948 (Article 81, Constitution of India 1950) was discussed on 19th May 1949. It required the members of the Parliament to take an oath before assuming his/her office.
A member moved an amendment that would require the oath to be administered before ‘Speaker of the House of Representatives or Chairman of the Council of States’ instead of the President. He argued that the President should be kept out of a ‘purely internal concern of the House’. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee argued against this amendment. A candidate after winning an election did not automatically become a member of the Parliament. He/she must meet additional qualifications including taking the oath. Hence only after all the candidates took the oath, would they become members of the house and go on to elect the Speaker. Therefore it was necessary to have someone other than the Speaker to facilitate the oath ceremony.
The President of the Assembly enquired regarding the members who would join in the middle of a session after a bye-election. He wanted to know before whom would such members take the oath. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee noted that after a Speaker was elected by the house, the President would confer, by order, his/her authority to administer the oath to the Speaker.
The Chairman of the Drafting Committee moved another amendment. He sought to replace ‘declaration’ with ‘oath or affirmation’.