Analysis of the Constituent Assembly Debates

Vital Stats

Analysis of the Constituent Assembly Debates

The Constitution of India was enacted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949.  This enactment completes 70 years on November 26, 2019.  The Indian Constitution was a product of deliberations of the Assembly for over three years.  In this document, we analyse the participation of members in the Assembly during these debates.  Note that these numbers do not measure the quality of contribution of members including during meetings of various sub-committees.  We have used number of words as a measure to indicate the relative contribution and time spent on discussing different issues.

Constituent Assembly debates can be broadly divided into four parts.

Debate stages

Debate dates

Description of work

Preliminary Stage

Dec 9, 1946 – Jan 27, 1948

Committees, such as Union Powers Committee, Committee on Fundamental Rights and Minorities, submitted reports to outline the guiding principles of the Constitution.  The drafting committee was constituted to prepare the draft Constitution.

First Reading

Nov 4, 1948 – Nov 9, 1948

Drafting committee published the draft Constitution of India in February 1948. The draft was introduced in the Assembly in November 1948.

Second Reading

Nov 15, 1948 – Oct 17, 1949

Clause by clause discussion of the draft was conducted in the Assembly.

Third Reading

Nov 14, 1949 – Nov 26, 1949

The Assembly finished the third reading and enacted the Constitution on November 26, 1949.

The Assembly discussed the text of the Constitution for 101 days

·   The Assembly met for a total number of 165 days between 1946 and 1950.

·   46 days were spent on preliminary discussion in the Assembly and 101 days were spent on the clause by clause discussion of the draft Constitution.

·   Approximately 36 lakh words were spoken during Assembly debates.  Two-thirds of all deliberations were during the clause by clause discussion in the second reading.

14% of the clause by clause discussion was on Fundamental Rights

·   From November 1948 to October 1949, the Assembly met for clause by clause disscussion on the draft Constitution.  They met for 101 days during this period.

·   Fundamental Rights were included in Part III of the draft Constitution.  These were discussed for 16 days.  14% of the total clause by clause discussion was dedicated to Fundamental Rights.

·   Directive Principles of State Policy were included in Part IV.  These were discussed for six days.  4% of the clause by clause discussion was dedicated to Directive Principles.

·   Provisions related to Citizenship were included in Part II. It was discussed for three days.  2% of the discussion was dedicated to this part.

Six members spoke more than one lakh words

Drafting Committee Members

Words Spoken

B. R. Ambedkar

2,67,544

T. T. Krishnamachari (from January, 1948)

97,638

Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar

61,162

K. M. Munshi

60,056

N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar

56,025

Mohammad Saadulla

19,868

Debi Prasad Khaitan (Died in 1948)

4,927

N. Madhava Rao

3,046

B. L. Mitter

2,811

Assembly Members

Word Spoken

H. V. Kamath

1,88,749

Naziruddin Ahmad

1,46,645

K. T. Shah

1,21,825

Shibban Lal Saksena

1,14,264

Thakur Das Bhargava

1,03,775

R. K. Sidhwa

88,595

Jawaharlal Nehru

73,804

P. S. Deshmukh

69,557

Hirday Nath Kunzru

69,158

M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar

55,357

·   The drafting Committee scrutinised and revised the draft created by the Constitutional Advisor, Sir B. N. Rau and submitted it for the consideration of the Assembly.  The Committee members frequently responded to comments made by other members during the discussion.  This led to a higher participation by these members in the Assembly.

·   Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the Chairman of the drafting Committee, spoke the most in the Assembly.

·   A few members who were not part of the drafting Committee participated extensively in Assembly debates.  Five such members said more than one lakh words each.

Women members altogether contributed to 2% of the discussion

Women Member

Words Spoken

G. Durgabai

22,905

Begum Aizaz Rasul

10,480

Renuka Ray

10,312

Purnima Banerji

9,013

Dakshayani Velayudhan

4,415

Annie Mascarene

2,970

Sarojini Naidu

2,342

Hansa Mehta

1,837

Vijayalakshmi Pandit

1,164

Ammu Swaminathan

1,056

·   During the entire tenure of the Assembly, 15 women were a part of the Assembly, of which 10 participated in debates.  They contributed to 2% of discussions in the Assembly.

·   The highest participation was made by G. Durgabai with nearly 23,000 words.  She spoke extensively on the judiciary during the debates.

·    Ammu Swaminathan, Begum Aizaz Rasul, and Dakshyani Velayudhan participated in debates on Fundamental Rights.

·    Hansa Mehta and Renuka Ray participated in debates on justice for women in India.

Members from provinces contributed 85% to Assembly debates

·   In the Constituent Assembly 210 members elected from provinces, and 64 members nominated by the princely states participated in debates.

·    Members elected from provinces contributed to 85% of discussions in the Assembly, while the representatives from princely states contributed to 6% of the discussions.

·   On average, each member from provinces spoke 14,817 words and a member from princely states spoke 3,367 words.

·   Speeches and interventions made by the presiding officers contributed to 9% of the discussions.

Sources: Constituent Assembly Debates, Centre for Law and Policy Research (https://www.constitutionofindia.net/constitution_assembly_debates). Text for Constituent Assembly Debate on January 20, 1947 has been taken from Lok Sabha website (http://164.100.47.194/Loksabha/Debates/cadebatefiles/C20011947.html).  Selected Speeches of Women Members of the Constituent Assembly, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, April 2012. The Indian Constitution Cornerstone of a Nation, Granville Austin.

 

DISCLAIMER: This document is being furnished to you for your information.  You may choose to reproduce or redistribute this report for non-commercial purposes in part or in full to any other person with due acknowledgement of PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”).  The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author(s).  PRS makes every effort to use reliable and comprehensive information, but PRS does not represent that the contents of the report are accurate or complete.  PRS is an independent, not-for-profit group.  This document has been prepared without regard to the objectives or opinions of those who may receive it.

Working Group on Group Insolvency

Report Summary

  • The Working Group on Group Insolvency (Chair: Mr. U.K. Sinha) submitted its report to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) on September 23, 2019. The Insolvency and Banking Code, 2016 creates a unified framework to resolve insolvencies in a time-bound manner.  This is done through a Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP), which is initiated by the National Company Law Tribunal.  The Working Group was constituted to examine issues arising in CIRPs where a distressed company is linked to other group companies.  Key observations and recommendations of the Working Group include:
     
  • Need for a common framework: The Working Group noted that the Code has provisions for resolving corporate insolvencies for a single company.  However, it does not have a common framework for resolving situations in which interlinked companies are going through   Several issues may arise in such scenarios.  For instance, the Committee noted that group companies may have financial linkages (say, inter-corporate guarantees for loans taken by one group company) or operational linkages (say, dependence on a group company for supply of raw materials).  In these cases, treating the insolvency of each group company in an isolated manner might be expensive, and might result in creditors realising lesser value.
     
  • Proposed framework: The Working Group recommended that the definition of ‘corporate group’ include holding, subsidiary, and associate companies.  The adjudicating authority may include other groups not covered in the definition.  The Working Group suggested a comprehensive framework for group insolvency, that would start with a procedural coordination mechanism in the first phase.  These mechanisms may apply only to those group companies which have defaulted, and are covered by the Code for insolvency resolution or liquidation.  Such procedural coordination may be allowed at any stage of the insolvency resolution, or liquidation process.
     
  • The framework may set certain rules against perverse behaviour (such as cases where the parent company has behaved unfairly in the management of a group member).  In such exceptional cases of fraud, the adjudicating authority may be allowed to subordinate the claims of other companies in a group. 
     
  • Elements of the proposed framework: Elements of the proposed framework may include: (i) a joint application against all corporate debtors who have defaulted and are part of a group, (ii) a single insolvency professional and a single adjudicating authority (to reduce to litigation and other costs, and save time), (iii) creation of a group creditors’ committee, (iv) communication, cooperation and information sharing among all these various members, and (v) group coordination proceedings.  Of these, the cooperation, communication and information sharing among insolvency professionals, creditors’ committee, and adjudicating authorities must be mandatory.  The remaining elements may be voluntary. 
     
  • Exceptions to the framework: Multiple adjudicating authorities or insolvency professionals may be allowed in cases where there are issues such as: (i) conflict of interest, (ii) lack of sufficient resources, or (iii) where stakeholders would get adversely affected. 
     
  • Phased implementation: The Working Group recommended that the framework for group insolvency may be introduced in a phased manner.  In the first phase only domestic companies may be covered, and only procedural consolidation mechanisms may be implemented.  To implement the first phase of the framework, extensive capacity building of insolvency professionals, creditors, and other stakeholders should be undertaken by IBBI and the central government.
     
  • Collaboration between creditors: The group creditors’ committee would support the individual Committee of Creditors and not replace them.  They may be governed by a framework agreement (approved by each of the Committee of Creditors) that lays out the cost of proceedings and their distribution, and various other mechanisms.  The group creditors’ committee may appoint a group coordinator to propose the actions of the committee.  The Working Group recommended that only insolvency professionals be appointed as group coordinators.
     
  • Extension of timeframe: The Working group noted that the existing timeframe of 180 days (extendable by 90 days) may not be sufficient for group insolvency proceedings.  This would depend upon the degree and complexity of inter-company linkages.  Therefore, it recommended that the timeframe for cases in which group coordination proceedings have been opened may be extended by an additional 90 days.  However, the overall timeframe should not exceed 420 days (including time taken in litigation).

 

DISCLAIMER: This document is being furnished to you for your information.  You may choose to reproduce or redistribute this report for non-commercial purposes in part or in full to any other person with due acknowledgment of PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”).  The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author(s).  PRS makes every effort to use reliable and comprehensive information, but PRS does not represent that the contents of the report are accurate or complete.  PRS is an independent, not-for-profit group.  This document has been prepared without regard to the objectives or opinions of those who may receive it.

महाराष्ट्र की 14वीं विधानसभा की प्रोफाइल

हरियाणा की 14वीं विधानसभा की प्रोफाइल

Profile of the 14th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly

The results of the elections to the 14th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly were declared yesterday.  In this context, we analyse data on the profile of the incoming Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and compare it with the previous Assembly.

BJP has the highest representation with 105 MLAs

Political Party

2014

2019

Bharatiya Janata Party

122

105

Shiv Sena

63

56

Nationalist Congress Party

41

54

Indian National Congress

42

44

Independent

7

13

Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi

3

3

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen

2

2

Prahar Janshakti Party

0

2

Samajwadi Party

1

2

Political Party

2014

2019

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

1

1

Jan Surajya Shakti

0

1

Krantikari Shetkari Party

0

1

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena

1

1

Peasants and Workers Party of India

3

1

Rashtriya Samaj Paksha

1

1

Swabhimani Paksha

0

1

Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh

1

0

85% of MLAs are older than 40 years; 24 women candidates elected

57% of the MLAs have at least a bachelors degree

Sources: Election Commission of India (results.eci.gov.in); Candidate Affidavits uploaded on ECI;

 

DISCLAIMER: This document is being furnished to you for your information.  You may choose to reproduce or redistribute this report for non-commercial purposes in part or in full to any other person with due acknowledgement of PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”).  The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author(s).  PRS makes every effort to use reliable and comprehensive information, but PRS does not represent that the contents of the report are accurate or complete.  PRS is an independent, not-for-profit group.  This document has been prepared without regard to the objectives or opinions of those who may receive it.

Profile of the 14th Haryana Legislative Assembly

The results of the elections to the 14th Haryana Legislative Assembly were declared yesterday.  In this context, we analyse data on the profile of the incoming Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and compare it with the previous Assembly.

BJP has the highest representation with 44% MLAs followed by INC with 34%

Political Party

2014

2019

Bharatiya Janata Party

47

40

Indian National Congress

15

31

Jannayak Janta Party

 

10

Independent

5

7

Haryana Lokhit Party

 

1

Indian National Lok Dal

19

1

Haryana Janhit Congress

2

 

Bahujan Samaj Party

1

 

Shiromani Akali Dal

1

 

·   In the newly elected Assembly, of 90 members, no party could get a majority.

·   BJP has the highest number of MLAs (40) in the Assembly, followed by INC (31).

·   Seven independent members have been elected.

Average age of MLAs is 55 years; 4% less women elected

69% of the MLAs have at least a bachelors degree

Sources: Election Commission of India (results.eci.gov.in); Candidate Affidavits uploaded on ECI; Haryana Legislative Assembly website (http:// http://www.haryanaassembly.gov.in/)

 

DISCLAIMER: This document is being furnished to you for your information.  You may choose to reproduce or redistribute this report for non-commercial purposes in part or in full to any other person with due acknowledgement of PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”).  The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author(s).  PRS makes every effort to use reliable and comprehensive information, but PRS does not represent that the contents of the report are accurate or complete.  PRS is an independent, not-for-profit group.  This document has been prepared without regard to the objectives or opinions of those who may receive it.

हरियाणा की 13वीं विधानसभा का कामकाज

Functioning of the 13th Haryana Legislative Assembly

Elections for the 14th Haryana Legislative Assembly will be held on October 21, 2019.  The 13th Assembly held its sessions from November 2014 to September 2019.  This document analyses the working of the 13th Assembly up to February 2019 (excluding the Budget 2017 and October 2017 sessions for which the bulletins were not available on the Assembly website).

The Assembly worked for 72 hours a year, on average

·   During a session, the Assembly is scheduled to meet for 4.5 hours a day, Monday to Thursday, and 3.5 hours on Friday.  The 13th Assembly worked for 108% of its scheduled time, i.e., an average of 4 hours 39 minutes per day.

·   Between November 2014 and February 2019, the Assembly met for a total of 69 days, for 321 hours.  In the first four full years for which we have data, it averaged 16 days a year, meeting for 72 hours a year.

39% of starred questions received an oral answer

·   MLAs hold government accountable by asking questions.  A starred question receives an oral answer from the relevant minister.

·   Between November 2014 and February 2019, excluding the Budget 2017 and October 2017 sessions, 865 starred questions were listed for answers.  39% of these questions received an oral answer from the relevant minister.

·   After the reply from the minister in the Assembly, MLAs can ask supplementary questions.  878 supplementary questions were asked duirng the same period.  On average 2.6 supplementary questions were asked for each starred question orally answered.

48% MLAs were younger than 55 years

·   44% of MLAs were between the ages of 41 and 55 years, and 42% MLAs were between 56 and 70 years.

·   74% of MLAs had at least a bachelors degree, of which 18% had a post-graduate degree and 2% had a doctorate.

·   26% of MLAs were educated upto higher secondary level.

Sources: Haryana Legislative Assembly website (http://www.haryanaassembly.gov.in), Haryana Assembly Bulletins and Daily Proceedings.  The bulletins for Budget 2017 and October 2017 sessions were not available on the Assembly website.  Age and educational qualifications of members have been extracted using the date of birth on the Assembly website and 2014 election affidavits data from the Association for Democratic Reforms (http://www.myneta.info).

 

DISCLAIMER: This document is being furnished to you for your information.  You may choose to reproduce or redistribute this report for non-commercial purposes in part or in full to any other person with due acknowledgement of PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”).  The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author(s).  PRS makes every effort to use reliable and comprehensive information, but PRS does not represent that the contents of the report are accurate or complete.  PRS is an independent, not-for-profit group.  This document has been prepared without regard to the objectives or opinions of those who may receive it.

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