Article 4 in the Constituent Assembly of India Debates (Proceedings): Volume VII – November 18, 2019
The Constituent Assembly drafted the Constitution of India from 1946-1950. It sat for the first time on December 6, 1946, and in two years and 11 months, it met for 11 sessions spread over 165 days. On November 26, 1949, the Assembly adopted the Constitution, which came into effect on January 26, 1950.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the chairman of the Assembly and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the Drafting Committee. A majority of the Assembly’s deliberations were debates on the Draft Constitution, which was presented for discussion on November 4, 1948. Over the next year, Assembly members debated each clause in detail and proposed amendments that were either adopted or rejected by a majority vote.
The Assembly debated Article 4 on November 18, 1948. Article 4 states that any laws passed by Parliament under Article 2 (admitting new states into the union) and Article 3 (forming new states and altering the names, areas or boundaries of existing states) are not amendments to the Constitution (as per Article 368). These laws only need a majority vote and not a special procedure.
During the Assembly’s debate on Article 4, Shibban Lal Saksena (Indian National Congress, United Provinces) argued that changes in the boundaries of states were matters of ‘much consequence’ and should not be carried out by ‘a mere majority’. He added that these boundaries should be stable and ‘every majority in Parliament’ should not be able to alter them. Other Assembly members like Pattabhi Sitaramayya (Indian National Congress, Madras) agreed, but they did not propose an amendment asking for any changes. So Article 4 was incorporated into the Constitution without any modifications.
Focus by Pratik Dixit.
Constituent Assembly of India
Government of India, New Delhi
18 Nov, 1948