The Constituent Assembly

The Constituent Assembly means a Constitution making body, i.e. an assembly of people or a convention set up by the people of a country for the purpose of framing its constitution.

The idea of Constituent Assembly was implicit in the demand for Swaraj made by the Indian National Congress as early as 1906. In 1936 the congress resolved that "the congress stands for a genuine democratic State in India, where power has been transferred to the people as a whole and the government is under their effective control. Such a State can only come into existence through a Constituent Assembly having the power to determine finally the constitution of the country. On March 15, 1946 Mr. Attlee, the labour Prime Minister categorically admitted the right of Indians to frame their own Constitution.

The constituent Assembly which was already been formed went into action as per Cabinet Mission Plan. Its total membership for the whole of India was 389 out of which 93 members were from the Princely States and 296 were elected from the British Indian Provinces.

The Constituent Assembly, when it met for the first time in December 9, 1946 was not a sovereign body. It had to follow the prescribed procedure set up by the Cabinet Mission of British Parliament. On December 11,1946, the Indian National Congress elected Dr. Rajendra Prasad as the permanent Chairman of the Constituent Assembly. The Constituent Assembly of India, which had its first meeting on 1st December 1946, was reassembled on 14 August 1947 and started the process of framing a new constitution for India on the basis of complete independence. It appointed a large number of committees such as the Union Constitution Committee, the Union Powers Committee, and the Committee on Fundamental Rights etc. and discussed the reports of these Committees thoroughly. 

On 29 August 1947, it appointed a Drafting Committee under the chairmanship Dr. B. R, Ambedkar, which came out with the Draft Constitution of India in February 1948. The Constituent Assembly next met in November 1948 to make clause by clause analysis of the Draft Constitution. The second reading of the clauses was completed by 17th October 1949 and the third reading by 26th November 1949 when the Constitution was adopted. The Constitution finally came into force on 26th January 1950.
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