(1) No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State.

 

(2) No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State.

 

(3) No person who is not a citizen of India shall, while he holds any office of profit or trust under the State, accept without the consent of the President any title from any foreign State.

 

(4) No person holding any office of profit or trust under the State shall, without the consent of the President, accept any present, emolument, or office of any kind from or under any foreign State. 

 

Debate Summary

 

Draft Constitution of India, 1948

12. (1) No title shall be conferred by the State.

(2) No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State.

(3) No person holding any office of profit or trust under the State shall, without the consent of the President, accept any present, emolument, title or office of any kind from or under any foreign State

 

Article 18 (Draft Article 12) was debated on 30 November 1948 and 1 December 1948.

 

The Constituent Assembly was unanimous about the underlying principle behind the Article: the continuation of titles in post-independent India would accentuate the problem of hierarchies in Indian society. From the debates, it was clear that the Article placed obligations on both the State and the citizen: the former to not recognise or confer a title and the later, to not accept one. 

 

The Assembly grappled with the question of implementation: what should be the consequences if a citizen accepts a title or the state recognised and conferred one? It was clarified that parliament could in the future pass laws that prescribed appropriate penalties and measures.

 

 Also, it was decided that titles related to military and academic distinction would be an exception to the Article. The Assembly then adopted the Article with amendment.