WORKING OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY The Constituent Assembly held its first meeting on December 9, 1946. The Muslim League boycotted the meeting and insisted on a separate state of Pakistan. The meeting was thus attended by only 211 members. Dr Sachchidanand Sinha, the oldest member, was elected as the temporary President of the Assembly, following the French practice Later, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Assembly. Similarly, both H.C. Mukherjee and V.T. Krishnamachari were elected as the Vice-Presidents of the Assembly. In other words, the Assembly had two Vice- Presidents
Objectives Resolution On December 13, 1946, Jawaharlal Nehru moved the historic 'Objectives Resolution' in the Assembly. It laid down the fundamentals and philosophy of the constitutional structure It read: 1. "This Constituent Assembly declares its firm and solemn resolve to proclaim India as an Independent Sovereigr Republic and to draw up for her future governance a Constitution: 2. Wherein the territories that now comprise British India, the territories that now form the Indian States, and such other parts of India as are outside India and the States as well as other territories as are willing to be constituted into the independent sovereign India, shall be a Union of them all; and
3. wherein the said territories, whether with their present boundaries or with such others as may be determined by the Constituent Assembly and thereafter according to the law of the Constitution, shall possess and retain the status of autonomous units together with residuary powers and exercise all powers and functions of Government and administration save and except such powers and functions as are vested in or assigned to the Union or as are inherent or implied in the Union or resulting there from; and
4. wherein all power and authority of the Sovereign Independent India, its constituent parts and organs of Government are derived from the people; and S. wherein shall be guaranteed and secured to all the people of India justice, social, economic and political; equality of status of opportunity, and before the law; freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action, subject to law and public morality; and 6. wherein adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and depressed and other backward classes; and
7. whereby shall be maintained the integrity of the territory of the Republic and its sovereign rights on land, sea and air according to justice and the law of civilized nations; and 8. This ancient land attains its rightful and honoured place in the world and makes its full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind." This Resolution was unanimously adopted by the Assembly on January 22, 1947. It influenced the eventual shaping of the constitution through all its subsequent stages. Its modified version forms the Preamble of the present Constitution.