It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but for the experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss.

Sample Answer


The Government of India Act, 1935 provided a procedural and structural blueprint that significantly aided the Constituent Assembly’s effort from 1946 to 1950 to draft the Constitution of Independent India. This Act served as a preliminary model, aiding in the articulation of a democratic framework suited to India’s diverse ethos.


Procedural and Institutional Framework:

  • The Act’s establishment of a federal structure with a central authority and provincial governments greatly influenced India’s federal design.
  • The Act’s provision for a Governor’s rule in provinces served as a precedent for the constitutional provisions regarding President’s rule in states.

Bicameral Legislature:

  • The Act introduced bicameralism, which was a precursor to the establishment of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha in independent India.
  • Provisions like the method of election and representation of provinces in the Central Assembly were adapted and refined in the Constitution.

Judicial Structure:

  • The Act’s establishment of the Federal Court laid a foundational precedent for the judicial structure in India, paving the way for the establishment of the Supreme Court.
  • The jurisdiction and powers accorded to the Federal Court under the Act provided a blueprint for delineating the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction.

Executive Machinery:

  • The Act of 1935 provided a detailed schema of executive machinery, which facilitated a smoother transition to independent governance.
  • The Act’s provision for a Council of Ministers and its relationship with the legislature was a significant influence on similar provisions in the Constitution.

Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles:

  • Although not overtly, the Act hinted at the necessity of safeguarding individual rights, which was later robustly enshrined in the Constitution as Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy.
  • The Act’s provisions on personal liberty and freedom of expression foreshadowed the Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution.

Emergency Provisions:

  • The Act contained provisions regarding the governance of provinces under certain emergency conditions, which were adapted and elaborated upon in the Indian Constitution.
  • The Act’s provision for Governor-General’s rule in emergencies influenced the constitutional provisions for President’s rule during emergencies.


The Government of India Act, 1935, acted as a precursor, providing a scaffold on which the edifice of the Indian Constitution was built. This legislative groundwork facilitated the Constituent Assembly in the timely drafting of a document that has stood the test of time, underlining the symbiotic link between historical legislative experiences and modern constitutional development.

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