Punjab Legislative Assembly 1937


April 5, 1937 to March 19, 1945


The popular demand, for more responsible government and for fully sovereign assemblies, grew stronger and stronger. The British Government held a series of round table conferences in London during the period from 1930 to 1932 with representatives of various parties in India and formulated certain constitutional reforms. These reforms were eventually embodied in the Government of India Act, 1935. This Act introduced Provincial autonomy which was of a controlled type, but still it was an improvement over the previous system of dyarchy.


The Government of India Act, 1935 brought significant change in the political scenario of the sub-continent. It provided for the constitution of Punjab Legislative Assembly instead of the Punjab Legislative Council and the office of President was re-designated as Speaker. The membership of the Assembly was fixed as 175 divided into various categories1. The election of the first Legislative Assembly under the said Act was held in 1936. The first sitting of the first Assembly was held on April 5, 1937 at Council Hall, Lahore as the Assembly building was under construction. The Assembly elected its first Speaker on April 6, 1937. The first ever walk-out, in the history of Punjab Legislature, was also staged at this occasion2.



The first meeting in the present building was held on November 10, 19381. The term of the Assembly was five years2, however, due to various political developments as well as World War II, the Assembly continued for about eight years and its last sitting was held on March 19, 1945. The Assembly held 368 sittings during its extended life.



1 See subsection (1) of section 61, Government of India Act, 1935.

2 Proceedings, Punjab Legislative Assembly, April 6, 1937, page 18