Constitutional History


Prior to the constituent assembly in 1948 to draft the Indian constitution adopted in 1950, the fundamental law of India was mostly embodied in a series of statutes enacted by the British.

    Act of 1919

The primary purpose of this act was to expand native participation in the government

Act of 1935

This Act was adopted in response to opposition and criticisms from the National Congress of India to the 1919 Act for doing too little in terms of granting autonomy

Key timelines in the 1948 constitutional process


Britain decides on to grant independence to India and cabinet mission is dispatched to India to discuss modalities for transfer of power

14 August 1947

Proposal for creation of committees is tabled

29 August 1947

Drafting committee is established

6 December 1947

Constituent Assembly formally convenes for the first time, following elections, to start the process of writing a constitution.

4 November 1947

Draft is finalized and submitted

1948 – 1949

Constituent Assembly meets in sessions open to the public

26 November 1949

Constituent Assembly adopts final draft making it official

26 January 1950

Entry into force of the new constitution

Constitution needs to be stable. As it is the supreme source of power for the nation, it should not be altered frequently or easily