Some Aspects of our Constitution
PROF. A.N. SHARMA, M.A., LL.B.
The present Constitution was drafted by a Constituent Assembly which was set-up in 1946 under the Cabinet Mission Plan.
It was for the first time in 1934 the demand for a Constituent Assembly was officially noticed by the Indian National Congress. At its Faizpur session in 1936 the Congress resolved, "The Congress stands for a genuine democratic state in India where power has been transferred as a whole to the people 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."
The then Conservative Government of England headed by Mr. Chur- chill was not at all prepared to recognise the right of the Indian people to determine their own future. But this right received due recognition when British Labour Party came to power in 1945. On March 15, 1946, Mr. Attlee, the Prime-Minister of England made an announcement recog- nising the right of the people of India to frame a Constitution. He also expressed his government's decision to send a Cabinet Mission to settle the constitutional matters of India. Among the various recommendations made by the Cabinet Mission was the setting-up of a Constituent Assembly. Thus the Constituent Assembly of India came into being in 1946 under the Cabinet Mission Plan.
This Assembly met for the first time in December 1946, but the members of the Muslim League Party refused to co-operate with it and persisted in the demand for Pakistan. On February 20, 1947, Mr. Attlee made the historic statement "..... His Majesty's Government wish to make it clear that it is their definite intention to take necessary steps to effect the transference of power to responsible Indian hands by a date not later than June, 1948." On March, 1947, Lord Mountbatten came to India as the last Viceroy. He was "entrusted with the task of transferring to In- dian hands the responsibility for the government of the British India." After his arrival in India, Lord Mountbatten started negotiations with all the important political leaders of India for evolving an agreed plan. On