Report of the Franchise Committee, 1933

Friday, August 27, 2010

Legal Document No 51
1. In the order dated 31st May 1932, His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur in Council accepted the
recommendation of the President of the Kashmir Constitutional Reforms Committee, Mr.
Glancy, and appointed a Franchise Committee. Observing from Mr. Glancy's Report that the
Reforms Conference had only been able to put forward tentative suggestions regarding the
important question of the franchise and of the composition of the Assembly, His Highness in
Council instructed the Franchise Committee to examine the different kinds of qualifications and
disqualifications for the franchise and for elected membership of the Assembly and to submit
recommendations on matters referred to in that Report and on - any other matters which as a
result of the Committee's enquiries appeared to be germane to the subject. The Committee
was authorised to collect statistics, to receive representations and to examine witnesses.
2. The Committee was composed of the following Members:
1.Sir Barjor Dalal, Kt., I.C.S. (Retd.) President
2. Mr. L.W. Jardine, I.C.S Vice President
3. R.B. Sardar Thakur Kartar Singh Ji, Member
4. K.B. Sheikh Abdul Qayum Member
With Mr. Ram Nath Sharma, Registrar High Court. As Secretary.
On the 24th March 1933, Sir Ivo Elliott, I.C.S. (Retd.) was appointed Franchise Officer and
replaced Mr. Jardine as Member of the Committee.
Owing to the pressure of his ordinary work Mr. Ram Nath Sharma left the Secretaryship and
Mr. Hira Nand Raina was appointed Secretary to the Committee. To both these gentlemen the
Members of the Committee desire to express their thanks, and especially for their
arrangements in the examination of witnesses.
3. The Committee first met on the 8th of June 1932, to discuss procedure. We paid special
attention to the need for securing the widest possible attention of the public to the points
which we had been instructed to examine. A proceedings of the Committee were published in
the Gazettee and in October 1932, the Committee issued a Questionnaire as a further help to
witnesses in covering the whole ground of Enquiry. The 3rd October 1932 was the earliest date
by which we could expect witnesses to prepare written statements and to give oral evidence,
and we hoped to hear the Srinagar witnesses in this month. Very few of them, however, were
able to attend at the date fixed and the hearing of evidence in Kashmir had to be postponed to
the 1933 season, though the Committee took the opportunity of examining some witnesses at
Muzaffarabad and Baramulla. The Committee heard evidence in Jammu in April 1933 and in
Srinagar in May 1933.
Full publicity was given to the proceedings; the written statements of witnesses were read in
open Committee and the witnesses were then orally examined. The Committee also permitted
any persons present at the meeting to ask questions from the witness on the points on which
they had given their evidence.
4. The list of the witnesses examined and of some individuals who were only to submit written
statements is given in Appendix 1. The list comprises representatives of every community in
Jammu and Kashmir and we are satisfied that we have been made acquainted with the
opinions of most parties and classes in the State. We should have welcomed some further
assistance at Srinagar from the "Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference." We were informed
by the President of the Conference on 16th May 1933 that in fact the Conference did not
propose to add anything to the statements made in the Memorial of 19th October 1931. That
Memorial was earlier in date than the proceedings of the Constitutional Reforms Conference,
which it was our special duty to supplement by more detailed enquiries, and as the particular
statements in it were no more than two very short paragraphs expressed in the most general
terms, the President in his letter of the 17th May 1933 invited the Conference to submit
evidence on the points of detail in the manner which had been indicated by our Questionnaire
and which had been followed by our other witnesses whether speaking in a personal or
representative capacity. We were promised that a member of the working committee of the
Conference would send in a written statement and give evidence, but this was not done.
5. Our Questionnaire, which in its arrangement closely followed the points in Mr. Glancy's Report
on the Constitutional Reforms Conference, has probably been more helpful to our witnesses
than it has been to us. It enabled them or the associations which they represented to say yes
or no to a number of isolated propositions. But we have been disappointed at the failure in too
many cases to give reason for the answer or even to ensure that the answer to one question
was consistent with the answer to another. This failure was due in part no doubt to the
divergent nature of the questions which we had asked in our Questionnaire and in particular
the function of constituencies; but we must regret that so few witness sawtheneed for basing
their answers on some general and consistent scheme which would embrace all interests. It
was not enough at this stage to put forward the maximum claims of a community, to express
ignorance of or indifference to the claims of any other community and to make no attempt to
reconcile these different claims in one coherent scheme. Yet this has been a general feature of
the evidence.
It is a matter of interest that on only one of the main points which we had to examine were
our witnesses absolutely unanimous; all agreed in preferring direct election to any form of
indirect election. Only one witness advocated manhood suffrage. For the rest there was an
extreme divergence of opinion and this divergence has been mainly on a communal basis.
We have therefore been faced with the same exaggeration of communal claims and fears
which made the Constitutional Reforms Conference abortive and prevented any of its Members
from putting their signatures to Mr. Glancy's Report. We think then that it would be helpful if
we begin by examining what appears to us to be the chief cause of this exaggeration, namely
the excessive attention which has been given to the idea. We certainly cannot call it the
principle - of enfranchising 10 per cent of the total population. This idea rests on mixapprehension
and indeed on mix-statement.
6. Mr. Glancy began that part of his report with which we are chiefly concerned by saying; "it is
generally agreed that the number of voters on the electoral roll should amount approximately
to ten per cent of the total population a ratio which has frequently been adopted as the
working rule in British India." This is not correct; it is not a working rule. The reports of the
Statutory Commission and of the Indian Franchise Committee show that the existing system in
British India has enfranchised a percentage which varies from 1.1 in Bihar to 3.9 in Bombay.
The British Indian Provinces have been accustomed for many years to election either for the
local self-governing bodies or for the Councils, and it is because there has been this
experience with the smaller experience, an advance towards adult franchise. It was for
conditions which were still in the future that the Statutory Commission suggested 10 percent
as a possible figure which would educate a\\ider electorate, that the Provincial Governments
with some hesitation prepared to arrange for number of electors, and that tile Indian Franchise
Committee developed their further proposals.
There is no virtue whatever in the ratio of 10 per cent it is an arbitrary figure which has been
suggested as a rough measure of the advance which can be made practically towards adult
suffrage in a country where years of experience of a restricted franchise have made some
advance possible. It would be entirely against constitutional history to lay so much stress on
the total numbers of men, women and children, or in other words to think in terms of adult
suffrage, in a country which has never yet had any wide-spread electoral system. In the first
stages of constitutional progress the chief element is not the individual men, it is the
constituency. When the Ruler has desired to associate his Government, he has had two ways
of securing a competent and representative body of advisers. A part from his own officials
there are prominent and capable men whose advice he would obviously require for legislation,
and whom he can summon by name to his Council, and these have often been the nucleus of
a second Chamber. But as the Kingdom advances there is more need for the specific
representation of local interests, and more important men of local areas are required to elect
their members to supplement the nominees. What these local are as should be, has never
been determined by some exact measurement of men and women through a census of even
by the allotment of an exact number of enfranchised voters to each seat; the local areas have
determined themselves by their history and form of administration. Historically it has been the
towns which usually have been the first to secure elected representation, as the concentration
of trade in them has given them importance and they have had some special administration
which has made it less reasonable that there interests should be represented only by the big
land holders who have been called by the Ruler to his Council. Elected representation of the
country apart from the town, belongs to a later stage, and when it has been granted, the
territorial units have differed very largely in size in every country where representative Govt.
has been established, and these differences still continue. It is only at a very advance stage of
progress, namely when adult suffrage is becoming possible, that there has come the idea of
making the constituencies more equal in size or number of the total population, and even now
as the example of many democratic countries shows, equality cannot be reached, and the
constituency remains more important than the census.
1. It is from these considerations of normal constitutional growth that we hold that it has been a
misapprehension to lay so such stress on the idea of enfranchising 10 per cent of the total
population, apart from the actual misstatement of describing this ratio as a working rule. We
propose to base our recommendations on the constituencies; and for this reason we deal first
with the composition of the Assembly before `\e proceed to discuss the franchise; but our
scheme will show that we have also given appropriate weight to the numerical facts, though
we have been careful not to exaggerate their importance.
The facts about the constituencies can be stated very shortly. There are the two cities. Jammu
and Srinagar, which havespecial importance as in them are concentrated wealth, trade,
education and the learned professions. There are ten Wazarats, Jammu, Udhampur, Reasi,
Kathua, Mirpur, Kashmir North, Kashmir South, Muzafferabad, Ladakh and Gilgit. We have
been informed in the Prime Minister's letter that the Jagirs should be included in the
constitutional scheme. Chenani is small but has entirely separate interests which must be
represented. This Jagir and Poonch bring the number of rural constituencies to twelve. There
can be no question of including the Frontier Ilaqas outside Ladakh and Gilgit.
On these facts, and with historical reasoning behind us, we might with advantage consider a
first hypothesis of what would be a justifiable constitution. It would be possible to recommend
that His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur's first Legislative Assembly, for the exercise of powers
such as Mr. Glancy has foreshadowed, might well consist of thirty two members. Sixteen of
these would be summoned by name by His Highness from those of his subjects who were
most eminently fitted to be State Councillors; sixteen would be elected representatives, one
from each of the rural constituencies, and two from each the cities; in this point we should be
giving weightage, to the interests of the cities, but weightage to the factors of wealth and
learning has always preceded weightage for mere numbers in the stages before it becomes
possible to be constituted to form a Sound nucleus for further development, when the political
progress of the State made it possible to give greater responsibilities to the Legislature; the
elected representation of the cities and districts could be increased so as to form a large
Assembly; and the State Councillors would from the nucleus of a second Chamber or Council
such as we consider might be required in the interest of the State as a whole in a more
advanced type of constitution.
Such an Assembly would also have the merit of being comparable to that which has been
established in the State of Bhopal. a State which resembles this State in certain essential
factors. Bhopal has an Assembly of 74 members, only eight of whom are elected, and of these
two members represent the city and two represent trade. Our Assembly of 39 members, 16 of
whom u ould be elected, would be in advance of the Bhopal constitution and while giving
weightage, as in Bhopal, to the urban interests, would give far greater representation to the
agricultural population.
2. We are faced, however, by other local facts in Jammu and Kashmir, in particular the great
diversity of the population. which compel us to go beyond our first hypothesis' though we
retain its general principle. To m et these facts we must propose a greater number of
representative members. In thus enlarging the Assembly on the lines which we state below we
are aware that we are recommending a greater advance over constitutions such as that of
Bhopal, but we do not think that this will be unwise.
The diversity of the population can best be stated in the following table which shows to the
nearest thousand of the adult males over 20 years of age in each of our proposed
constituencies and in each of the principal communities. There is such general agreement that
women cannot be enfranchised to any large extent that we require only the figures adult
males. The figures for districts are exclusive of the cities:
Constituency Muslims Hindus Sikhs Buddhists
Jammu 37 56 2
Udhampur 31 46
Chenani 1 3
Reasi 39 24
Kathua 11 35
Mirpur 71 15 2
Kashmir North 135 4
Kashmir South 156 7 1
Muzaffarabad 56 1 3
Poonch 82 6 3
Ladakh 41 12
Gilgit 8 1
Jammu City 5 9
Srinagar City 39 10
3. In the rural districts the result) of an election on any conceivable system Of franchise, if only
one member was to be elected, would be the election of a Muslim member in five Wazarats
and in Poonch, and of a Hindu in Kathua and Chenani. In Jammu, Udhampur and Reasi the
result would be uncertain and this uncertainty could not fail to be reflected in communal
competition which would be dangerous to the peace. We, therefore, recommend that each of
these three constituencies should have two elected members, one for the Muslim electorate
and one for the Hindu.
But if Jammu, Udhampur and Reasi return two members each, it would be to great an
anomaly to leave Mirpur, Northern and Southern Kashmir and Poonch each with only a
single member, and although we do not attach the first importance to this factor of
population, it would be an almost equally great anomaly if in these four districts the
second member were to be elected by the minority communities which are negligible in
numbers compared with the minorities in Jammu, Udhampur and Reasi. The second
member in these four districts must clearly be a Muslim.
10.If however the Assembly is to embrace all local interests we must provide for the
representation of the smaller minorities also, if they are to be divided from the major
community and formed into separate electorates, as Mr. Glancy and the great majority of our
witness, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh, are recommended. The 15,000 Hindus of Mirpur and the
11,000 Muslims of Kathua might each elect a member without straining over much the idea of
weightage. The groups of Hindus in the three Kashmir districts are very much smaller, but
they are to a very large extent homogeneous, and they have a high degree of literacy. For the
small minority in Poonci1 the best course will be for the Ilaqadar to nominate a representative
of the Hindus. In Chenani the numbers are so small that although there must be special
representation, a system of election is not really justified, still less a system of separate
electorates, and we feel that in this case also it will be wiser to ask the Ilaqadar to nominate
his representative. But while we thus provide for the minorities by election or nomination
according to their size, we must also in fairness to the majority community, be mindful of our
principle of giving some weight, though in a less degree to the numbers of adult male
population. We follow the same course of giving an extra elected member for a large group
and an extra nominated member for a smaller group and we propose that where any
community has more than 40,000 adult men to each elected member, there should be an
additional elected member for each 40,000 and an addition d nominated member for part of
40,000 greater than 5000. This scale would give a third elected member both to Kashmir
North and Kashmir South, both from Muslim electorate and extra Muslim nominated member
to each of the three Kashmir Districts, and an extra Hindu nominated member to Jammu and
Udampur. Where a Wazarat or Ilaqa is allotted two or more members under this scheme, and
the population is practically homogeneous, we think that the representation would be more
effective if it were divided by Tehsils, roughly in accordance with the population figures, into
single member constituencies. This would also make the conduct of the election much easier
by decreasing. The number of candidates for any one constituency. We recommend that these
constituencies should be as follows:
District Constituency Adult Muslims
Mirpur Bhimbar 25
Poonch Mirpur Kotli 46
Haveli-Mendhar 42
Bagh-Sudhnuti 39
Handwara (Uttarmachipura)
62
Kashmir North Baramulla 34
Badgam (Sri
PartapSinghpura) 49
Tehsil Khas Pulwama 69
Anantnag 33
Kashmir South Kulgam 54
Although there is inevitably some inequality in the population of the different units we
believe that this scheme would give excellent representation to local interests, and we are
opposed to any readjustment of boundaries in order to equalize population, as the limit of
the Tehsils are well known to everyone. The provision of three extra Muslim seats for the
three districts of Kashmir Province will enable His Highness to nominate representatives of
any Muslim elements for which the electoral system does not provide.
11.In the evidence given to us at Jammu we have
heard with great interest and sympathy the claims
of the Megh Community, and our conclusion is that
the Meghs have real grounds for being specially
considered, without however, being in any way
separated from the mass of the Hindus. A
comparison of the figures in the last two census
shows that there must hl 1931 have been some
concealment of membership of this caste and their
real numbers; this is one of the most important
caste groups in the State. We also observe that the
great majority of the Meghs are localized in Jammu
and Udhampur Wazarats.
We have recommended that each of these Wazarats
should have an extra Hindu membernominated;
Jammu has 16,000 and Udhampur 6,000 adult
males in excess of 40,000 but these communities
would not come on to our scale for extra members,
were it not for the approximately 9,000 Megh adults
in Jammu and 7,000 in Udhampur and also
members of other castes which are elsewhere called
the depressed classes. It is, therefore, as a measure
of obvious fairness that we suggest that in these
two constituencies the extra Hindu members to be
nominated should be chosen from the Megh
community. We make no other recommendation for
the representation of the depressed classes; such a
step would not be suitable in this first stage of
constitutional representation, and the case for
making it is not strong if the action which we
recommend on behalf of the Meghs is taken, as they
are by far the most important of the communities of
this type.
12.We have hitherto referred to representation of Ladakh and Gilgit in the same terms as in the
case of the other districts, but we feel that it will be impossible to hold elections in these
frontier districts until much greater experience of the conduct of elections has been acquired.
Those of our witnesses who have stated that elections could be held now in Ladakh and Gilgit
have clearly been speaking without any knowledge of the actual process of election and have
made light of administrative difficulties which they have not attempted to examine. These
difficulties will be considerable in other parts of the State, but in Ladakh and Gilgit the rigours
of the climate, the immense area the wide dispersion of inhab ted sites and the extreme
difficulty of communications between them make it a present impossible for a limited and
entirely inexperienced staffto conduct an election. We must, therefore, recommend that at
least until experience of election has been gained the members for Ladakh and Gilgit should
be nominated and not elected. Our scale would give one Muslim and one Buddhist member to
Ladakh and one Muslim member to Gilgit; but in view of the scattered and divers population of
Ladakh we recommend that two Muslim and two Buddhist members should be nominated for
that Wazarat. One of the Muslim members should represent Skardu Tebsil and the other
Kargil.
13.We have provided members by nomination for the Buddhist and, as part of the Hindu
representation, for the Megh community. A community which requires special consideration is
that of the Sikhs. and we have given a careful hearing to the claims put forward their behalf,
claims which have some justification from the fact that the numbers of the Sighs, 12,365 adult
males, are certainly not commensurate with their wealth, activities and general place in the
State. The Sikhs are far less localized than are either the Buddhists or the Czechs, and it is
difficult to fit their groups into our scheme of constituencies; yet the Sikh witnesses have laid
stress on the fact that the two members suggested by Mr. Glancy could not properly represent
local groups which live in such diverse conditions, and this has led them to make extravagant
claims which admitted, have ignored every other consideration except the communal. After
examining this point of the local distribution of the Sikhs, we think that it would not be unfair
to assign them to three groups. firstly those of Mirpur and Poonch (4,800 adult males) whose
circumstances are very similar; secondly those of Muzaffarabad and of the Baramulla and
Uttarmachipura Tehsil (3,800 adults); and thirdly the Sikhs of the rest of the State (3,700
adults) who no where from any large local group, but have some general importance in
business and industry.
We cannot treat these three groups as one body for the purpose of electing a member, like the
Kashmiri Hindus whose groups in the three districts are living in the same condition in far
easier contact one with the other. Our general method of handling this question of the smaller
minority groups would justify us in proposing that three members should be nominated to
represent the Sikh groups, but in that case the Sikhs unlike the other communities, would
have no elected member. This would on general grounds be an unsatisfactory conclusion, and
specially so because the Sikhs have a high percentage of literacy; out of the 12,365 adult
males 4,064 are literate. This factor entitles us to recommend that out of the three Sikh
groups, two (1) Mirpur-Poonch and (2) West Kashmir should each elect one member. This third
constituency of Eastern Kashmir and Jammu minus Mirpur will be too large a constituency in
wl1icll to arrange an election so we recommend a nominated Sikh member for that
constituency.
14.The steps which we have considered in the preceding paragraphs have raised the proposed
rural representation to 24 elected and 12 nominated members. In the hypothetical
constitution which we first examined we had 12 rural to 4 urban members and the latter
number also must now be raised, and for the same reasons. We propose, therefore, that there
should be 10 urban elected members, 7 from Srinagar and 3 from Jammu, of whom the
Muslim electorate should elect 1 member in Jammu and 5 in Srinagar and the Hindu electorate
2 in each city.
In order to simplify the process of election, Srinagar should be divided into single-member
constituencies, the basis of the division being, according to our general principle, the existing
municipal wards. For the Muslim seats wards Nos. 1 and 3 in the south can be combined as
one constituency No. 1 carrying a comparatively light population. Similarly the outlying wards
in the north, Nos. 6 and 8 should provide one seat. The qualified voters in ward No. 2 will be
so predominantly Hindu that for the Muslim electorate this ward can be combined with No. 4.
The densly populated wards 5 and 7 should each return a Muslim member. Of the two Hindu
members one should be elected by wards 1, 2 & 3, the other by the remaining five municipal
wards.
We have heard much evidence on behalf of the domiciled Hindus of Srinagar, a community
which is of real importance to the State, though its numbers are small and it has few members
who are State-subjects. It is obvious that these Hindus could not secure an elected seat, as
they are completely outnumbered in the possible Hindu electorate, and they would not de
qualified for inclusion in the State Councillors. We, therefore, propose that there should be one
nominated seat in Srinagar for their representation.
15.Our full scheme would thus provide 34 elected and 13 nominated members to represent the
cities and districts. To these we should add the 15 State Councillors, to whom we referred in
pare 7 and whose inclusion we regard as an essential element in the constitution. The local
facts which have led us to raise the number of representative members from 15 to 47 do not
apply to the nomination of the most eminent men in the State, and we retain the original
number sixteen. It is not for us to restrict His Highness' freedom of choice in summoning his
Councillors by name, but we would respectfully urge, firstly that they should be chosen from
those whose actual and historical position in the State is so eminent that they would naturally
be members of a second Chamber, if such were constitute], secondly that they should not be
officials, and thirdly that in order preserve the balance of the communities, no fewer than five
should be Muslims. It would also be advantageous if one State Councillor were a Sikh who
could help to harmonize the more purely local views of the representative Sikh members.
Fourthly we recommend that in view of their historical position in the State, four of the State
Councillors should be Rajputs and four should be Illaqadars or Jagirdars.
We propose that the State Councillors should remain members for more than one term of the
Assembly, and that a Councillor nominated to fill a vacany should hold his seat for the next
half term. This would secure some continuity in the advice which the Assembly could tender. It
has a parallel in the British Municipal system. As we recommend later a three years term for
the Assembly the State Councillors should be appointed for a term of 41 years.
16.We recommend that the Assembly should be completed by the addition of twelve official
members of whom six would be Ministers holding their seats ex-officio. Their presence is
unquestionably necessary in order to state to the Assembly the views of the government. It is
similarly desirable to have in the Assembly Heads of Departments who have expert
knowledge; the remaining six official seats would enable His Highness to make such
nomination as might be required for presenting this expert official knowledge and we
recommend that one of these six official seats should be for an official of Poonch, to be
nominated by the Illaqadar with the approval of His Highness.
17.We can now conveniently tabulate the proposed composition of the Assembly.
Constituencies Muslim Hindu Buddhist Sikh
Elected Nominated Elected Nominated Elected Nominated Elected Nominated
Jammu City 1 2
Jammu Wazarat 1 1 1
Udhampur 1 1 1
Chenani 1
Reasi 1 1
Kathua 1 1
Mirpur, Hindu 1
Mirpur, Kotli 1
Bhimbar 1
Poonch, Hindu 1
Haveli Mendhar 1
Bagh Sudhunti 1
Mirpur Poonch
Sikh 1
Srinagar City 5 2 1
Tehsil Khas
Pulwama 1
Anantang 1
Kulgam 1
Kashmir South
Muslim 1
Badgam 1
Handwara 1
Baramulla 1
Kashmir North
Muslim 1
Muzaffarabad 1 1
Kashmir Hindu 1
West Kashmir
Sikh 1
Ladakh 2 2
Gilgit 1
Total 21 6 10 5 2 2 2
Total members with 16 State Councillors and 12 officials ...75
33 elected members (21 muslims, 10 Hindus, 2 Sikhs)
30 nominated members
Minimum number of Muslim members...32 excluding the 12 officials.
Maximum number of Hindu members. . .25
11.We do not recommend that there should be special representation either of the Rajputs or of
the land-holders or of traders or of the depressed classes or of labour. The first two groups
would have their representatives among the State Councillors; so too might trade, and we
have considered the tradinginterests when giving weightage to the cities; and w e have
already stated our views and made provision for the depressed classes. Neither these nor the
labourers would normally be represented in the first stage of constitutional development. We
have no evidence of any serious organic cation of labour as a separate class. We consider,
however, that the provision of extra nominated seats in the Kashmir Muslim constituencies
would give His Highness an opportunity of selecting one or two members who would be more
directly interested in the welfare of the labouring classes, in the same way as the Jammu and
Udhampur Hindu nominated seats can be used for the representation of the lower orders of
the Hindus.
We may and add here a recommendation that in no case should a candidate who has been
defeated in an election be nominated to a seat in the same term of the Assembly. This is a
convention in the practice of British India, for obvious reasons.
12.We conclude this portion of the Report with certain recommendations about the assembly,
though we do not consider it to be our province to discuss its powers; we have made our
proposals as to its composition on the assumption that its powers will be on general lines
similar to those recommended by Mr. Glancy.
We would desire that in accordance with the practice in British India in earlier days when the
Councils were formed, the Prime Minister should be the President of the Assembly. But we
recognize that to act throughout a session both as President, responsible for the procedure of
Assembly, and as Leader of the House, responsible in addition to the Prime Minister's duties.
We, therefore, recommend that His Highness should appoint another Minister, preferably the
Judicial Minister, to preside over the Assembly. and be in permanent charge of the Assembly
office. It may be ordered that in the unavoidable absence of the Minister particularly appointed
as President, any other Minister may act as President. It is obvious that these duties will
demand an officer with full experience in the transaction of official business, and that the
election of an untrained non-official cannot yet be contemplated.
In the experimental stage we think that there should be a dissolution in the ordinary course
after three years.
The terms of the nominated members, other than of the Ministers and State Councillors,
should be the same as that of the elected members.
13.There are five general conditions which must govern any system of Franchise. Two are of
minor practical importance and we only follow ordinary usage in saying that:
1. Persons of unsound mind cannot vote,
2. Persons may be disfranchised for corrupt practices at an election.
The other three general conditions are those of:
1. nationality,
2. sex, and
3. age.
There should be no question that every elector must be a State-subject. this is the
essential bond of unity in an electorate which is so separated by natural conditions and by
religion, and we might add that this is one point on which the majority of our witnesses
are agreed. We do not propose that for the purpose of enfranchisement the existing law
defining a State-subject should be changed. Mr. Glancy's remarks on this point exaggerate
the issue and we do not understand his reference to "hereditary - State-subject" or to
"domicile in the State for a thousand years." The present definition, if applied to the
franchise, would admit persons who have acquired immovable property in the State and
have ten years' continuous residence. It is our general principle that the new constitution
must be evolutionary; it should rest on existing conditions in the State and not on a priori
ideas or on blind imitation of the practice in other countries. If for general reasons, and
after hearing the advice of the new assembly, His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur decides
to alter the law that would automatically affect the franchise; but the franchise now must
be based on the present definition, and only State-subject of the three classes as now
defined should be qualified to vote or to be elected as members.
The same principle leads us to agree with Mr. Glancy that women in general should not be
enfranchised. We have a representation from the local branch of the All-India Women's
Conference, and some of our Hindu witnesses have favoured women's suffrage. But it is
obvious that the majority of the population would not welcome this and we must add the
practical consideration that the inclusion of women voters in any large number would
increase the administrative difficulties of the first election. At the beginning the most that
we can do is to admit women who have a sufficient educational qualification..
As regards age we follow the general practice that a voter must be 21 years old when the
electoral roll is published. We note that this means a small reduction in the figures of adult
males, which we have quoted from the census.
11.Only one witness has urged adult male suffrage, and it is not necessary for us to consider this
question either as an immediate issue or as the goal for the future. Adult male suffrage would
require at least 1,300 officials of standing to act as presiding officers at the election, besides
more than 3,000 clerks. Besides being premature now, it is administratively impossible.
Just as many of the opinions expressed to us about the Assembly have been of no help
because witnesses have assigned seats to the different communities by percentages, without
considering what the constituencies actually should be, so the attempt to create an electorate
on a fixed percentage of the population as well as on personal qualification has led our
witnesses into logical and practical difficulties; one witness, regardless of finance, has
proposed that there should be a special electoral census, in order that the Government may
ascertain the exact figures of land revenue payment which would qualify precisely 10 per cent
of the people, another witness takes the line 10 per cent, should be enfranchised in each
district, and that the personal qualifications should be varied accordingly from district to
district. We must repeat that 10 percent was an arbitrary figure taken by the statutory
Commission as a rough guide in conditions which do not as yet apply to Jammu and Kashmir.
The simple fact is that no uniform personal qualifications can give same numerical result all
over the country. We must leave these arbitrary figures and base our scheme of qualification
on reasoned grounds.
12.We may begin by admitting to the franchise all those whose position is already representative,
and who therefore may justly represent their fellows at an election. These are the Zaildars,
Safed-Poshes and Lumberdars, who in districts where there are many villages, are very
numerous. There are also the religious representatives, Imams, Mufties and Qazis, the
Adhisthatas of temples, the Bhais and Granthis of Gurdwaras and ordained Ministers of the
Christian Church.
A second group includes those whose prominence or responsibility are shown by the fact that
they received titles in the State or in British India, or are receiving pensions of not less than
Rs. 10 a month, or are retired or pensioned officers or N.C.Os of the regular military forces. To
these we may add, without straining our principle the retired soldiers, who certainly hold a
distinguished place among their fellows.
Our third group would include those whose education or subsequent attainments have clearly
fitted them for a part in a modern constitutional system. We would enfranchise as such the
Lawyers, Doctors, Hakims, Vaids and Schoolmasters, who are actually practicing in the State.
To these we would add those who have at least passed through the Middle school or an
equivalent educational test, as well as those who have had higher education.
Lastly there must be the principal mass of electors, who can voice the feelings of the ordinary
citizen, but who must be expected to do with some degree of responsibility. For this purpose
property is the only possible test, in this State as elsewhere, but we think it necessary to
make the property test a low one, in order that the Government may be quite sure that at an
election the ordinary people are really represented. We agree with Mr. Glancy in putting the
basic figure for the payment of land revenue as low as Rs. 20, a lower figure than is in force in
the Punjab, but, in order to secure an adequate urban electorate we prefer Rs. 600 as the
value of immovable property other than land which should qualify a person to give a vote,
instead of Mr. Glancy's figure of Rs. 1,000. These qualifications must be supplemented by a
similar qualification for occupancy tenants, and by a slightly higher qualification for the holders
of Ilaqas, Jagirs, Guzaras and revenue-free land. We add a grazing-fee qualification in order to
enfranchise persons of settled habitation whose property is in livestock. We adopt in all these
cases the Punjab rule which enables co-sharers to vote if the value of their share would, if
partitioned, come within the prescribed limits. We have not delayed the submission of this
report in order to complete or test the figures which we have been collecting of the number of
voters which these property qualification would produce: but we are satisfied that the number
will not be so great as to make the conduct of the elections too difficult for a limited official
staff, whereas lower rates would certainly lead to practical difficulties in some parts of the
State. Our scheme would enfranchise more than 10Oo of the adult male population, and would
give to the small revenue payers and the small house holders a great and often a decisive
influence on the election. As there can be no doubt that these men are not distinguishable in
feeling from the mass of the people, our object would be attained; our electorate would
comprise all State-subjects who had raised themselves to a responsible position, and all who
were educate, and also a large number of voters who would both be completely in touch with
the masses and yet have the responsibility induced by the possession of their small property.
13.We have, in conclusion, to express our views as to the qualification for candidates for election.
The object of the Election system being to secure the real representation of local opinion, no
one should be entitled to be a candidate for a constituency in which he is not resident and
registered as an elector but for this purpose registration in any part of a city should qualify an
elector The object of convening the Assembly being to -obtain responsible assistance in
legislation, we are justified in raising the age of candidates to 25, agreeing in this with Mr.
Glancy and many of our witnesses. Lastly we recommend, in agreement with Mr. Glancy, that
every candidate must be able to read and write the Urdu language, which will be the Language
in which the Assembly will conduct its business.
14.As a summary of this part of our recommendations we append a draft of the relevent electoral
rules, preparing, on established models, rules to govern the detailed procedure of elections,
which it is not necessary for us to discuss in the Report.
DRAFT ELECTORAL RULES
1. Every person shall be entitled to be registered as an elector on the electoral roll of a
constituency who is not subject to any of the following disqualifications, namely:
a. is not a State-subject of any class, as defined in notification I - L/1984, dated Jammu, 18th
April 1927; or
b. has not attained the age of 21 years on the first day of the month on which the roll is
published; or
c. has been adjudged by a competent court to be of unsound mind; or
d. if female, has not obtained the Middle school certificate or any other certificate mentioned in
rule 4(7) below or a certificate of having passed some higher examination; and who has the
qualifications prescribed for an elector of that constituency in rules 2,3 and 4.
1. A person shall be qualified as an elector,
a. in a Muslim constituency, who a Muslim,
b. in a Sikh constituency, who is a Sikh, and
c. in any other constituency, who is neither a Muslim nor a Sikh.
1. A person shall be qualified as an elector of that constituency alone in which he or she
ordinarily resides or carries on business.
Provided that no person shall be entitled to have his name entered on the roll of more than
one constituency but he can choose the constituency on whose roll his name may be entered.
2. A person shall be qualified as an elector who has any one of the following qualifications:
1. is a Zaildar, or Safed-Posh, or Lumberdar, or
2. is an Imam of a mosque, or Mufti or Qazi, or an Adhisthata of a temple, or a Bhai or Granthi of
a Gurdwara, or an ordained Minister of the Christian Church, who has been acting as such for
a period of not less than six months prior to the preparation of the electoral rolls, or
3. is a recognized title-holder, or
4. is a retired or pensioned officer, non-commissioned officer or soldier of His Highness regular
forces, pro that he has not been discharged therefrom with vided ignominy, or
5. is a pensioner who receives a pension of not less than Rs. 10 a month from treasury in this
State or any other, or
6. is a Doctor, or Hakim or Vaid, or Lawyer, or Schoolmaster actually practising his profession
within the State, or tenancy is divisible by 20 or the value of immovable property is divisible
by 600. The co-sharer shall appoint by name the persons so entitled to vote as electors.
1. For the purpose of these rules a person shall be deemed to have owned property or to have
paid fees for any period during which the property was owned or the fees paid by any person
through whom he derives lisle by inheritance.
2. (1) An electoral roll shall be prepared for every contituency on which shall be entered the
names of all persons appearing to be entitled to be registered as electors for that
constituency. It shall be published in the constituency together with a notice specifying the
manner in which and the time within which any person whose name is not entered in the roll
and who claims to have it inserted therein, or any person whose name is on the roil and who
objects to the inclusion of his own name or of the name of any other person on the roll, may
prefer a claim or objection to the Revising Authority.(2) The orders made by the Revising
Authority shall be final. and the electoral roll shall be amended in accordance therewith and
shall, as so amended, be republished in such manner as the Government may prescribe. No
person shall vote at an election if on the date on which the poll is taken he is undergoing a
sentence of imprisonment or if he has been bound over to be of good behavour and the period
of the bond has not yet expired.
1. has obtained the Middle school cerficate, or a certificate of having passed the Budhiman,
Rattan, Adhib, Munshi, Moulvi, or Prajna examination or a certificate of having passed some
higher examination, or
2. is the owner of land assessed to land revenue of not less than Rs. 20 per annum, or
3. is an Ilaqadar, or
4. (a) is a Jagirdar, Muafidar, or Guzarkhar holding an assignment of not less than Rs. 20 per
annum, or
5. is a tenant with right of occupancy paying rent of not less than Rs. 20 per annum, or
6. is the owner of immovable property, other than land. within the State, of the value of not less
than Rs. 600, or
7. pays grazing-fees to the Government of not less than Rs. 20 per annum and is not a Bakarwal.
1. Where two or more persons are co-sharers in land assessed to land revenue, or in an
assignment of land-revenue, or in other immovable property, or in a tenancy, every person
shall be qualified as an elector who would be so qualified it his share in such land, property,
assignment or tenancy were held separately. The share of any such person who is under 21
years of age shall be deemed to be the share of his father, or if his father is dead his eldest
brother provided that his father or eldest brother as the case may be. is a co-sharer with him
in the property.
2. If on division, none of the persons would be entitled to vote, any one or two or such number
of them shall be entitled to vote as the number of times the total revenue or assignment of
land-revenue or rent of
3. A person shall be eligible for election as a member of the Assembly for a constituency if he is;
a. over 25 years of age, and
b. can read and write the Urdu language, and
c. is registered as an elector for that constituency, or if the constituency is an urban constituency
is registered as an elector in the city of which the constituency forms a part, and
d. has ordinarily resided or carried on business in the constituency or city for the twelve months
proceeding the first day of the month on which the roll is published.
Note:- For the puspose of this rule, a person may be presumed to reside in a
constituency if he owns a family dwelling house or a share in family-dwelling
house in the constituency, and that house has not during the twelve months
been let on rent either in whole or in part.
1. A person against whom a conviction by a criminal court for an offense punishable with a
sentence of imprisonment for a period of more than six months is subsiting shall, unless the
offence of which he was convicted has been pardoned, not be eligible for election for five years
from the date of the expiration of the sentence.
2. A person shall not be eligible for election if he is an undischarged insolvent, or being a
discharged insolvement has not obtained from the court a certificate that his insolvency was
caused by misfortune without any misconduct on his part.
3. The name of any person who has been found guilty of a corrupt practice, under any rules in
force regarding elections, shall be removed from the electoral roll, and shall not be registered
on an electoral roll for a period of five years from the date of the finding, and such person
shall not be eligible for election to the Assembly for such period.
(Sd) Barjor Dalal President
(,,) Kartar Singh Member
(,,) Abdul Qayoom Member
(,,) Ivo Elliott Member
Jammu:
30th December, 1933
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Bhushan said...

Useful information. Thanks.

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