ENACTMENT AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

ENACTMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar introduced the final draft of the Constitution in the Assembly on November 4, 1948 (first reading). The Assembly had a general discussion on it for five days (till November 9,1948).

The second reading (clause by clause consideration) started on November 15, 1948, and ended on October 17, 1949. During thisstage, as many as 7653 amendments were proposed and 2473 were actually discussed in the Assembly.

The third reading of the draft started on November 14, 1949. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar moved a motion– ‘the Constitution as settled by the Assembly be passed’. The motion on Draft Constitution was declared as passed on November 26, 1949, and received the signatures of the members and the president. Out of a total 299 members of the Assembly, only 284 were actually present on thatday and signed the Constitution. This is also the date mentionedin the Preamble as the date on which the people of India in theConstituent Assembly adopted, enacted and gave to themselves this Constitution.

The Constitution as adopted on November 26, 1949, contained a Preamble, 395 Articles and 8 Schedules. ThePreamble was enacted after the entire Constitution was alreadyenacted. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the then Law Minister, piloted the Draft Constitution in the Assembly. He took a very prominent part in the deliberations of the Assembly. He was known for his logical, forceful and persuasive arguments on the floor of the Assembly.He is recognised as the ‘Father of the Constitution of India’. Thisbrilliant writer, constitutional expert, undisputed leader of the Scheduled Castes and the ‘chief architect of the Constitution ofIndia’ is also known as a ‘Modern Manu’.

ENFORCEMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

Some provisions of the Constitution pertaining to citizenship, elections, provisional parliament, temporary and transitional provisions, and short title contained in Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 came into force on November 26, 1949, itself.

The remaining provisions (the major part) of the Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950. This day is referred to in the Constitution as the ‘date of its commencement’, and celebrated as the Republic Day.
January 26 was specifically chosen as the ‘date of commencement’ of the Constitution because of its historical importance. It was on this day in 1930 that Purna Swaraj day was celebrated, following the resolution of the Lahore Session (December 1929) of the INC.
With the commencement of the Constitution, the Indian Independence Act of 1947 and the Government of India Act of 1935, with all enactments amending or supplementing the latter Act, were repealed. The Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act (1949) was however continued.

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