Indian Constitution
General Knowledge

Parliament of India

Parliament of India

» The Parliament of India consists of the President, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. {Ref.: Art. 79}.
» The President is a part of the Legislature, even though he or she does not sit in Parliament.
» The main functions of Parliament are :
  ★ Providing the cabinet
  ★ Control of the Cabinet
  ★ Criticism of the Cabinet and of individual Minister
  ★ Parliament secures the information authoritatively
  ★ Legislation i. e. making laws {Ref.: Arts. 107; 108; 245}
  ★ Financial control

» Bill passed by the House of Parliament can not become law without the President's assent.

Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha

» The Rajya Sabha is composed of not more than 250 members of whom 12 are nominated by the President and 238 are representatives of the states and the Union Territories elected by the method of indirect election {Ref.: Art. 80}.
» The 12 nominated members are chosen by the President from amongst persons specialized in science, art, literature and social service.
» Representatives of each State are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the state in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
» Prescribed composition of the Lok Sabha is :
  ★ Not more than 530 representatives of the States
  ★ Not more than 20 representatives of Union Territories
  ★ Not more than 2 members of the Anglo- Indian community, nominated by the President.

» The Lok Sabha at present consists of 543 members (530 members are directly elected from the States and 13 from UTs).
» The representatives of the States are directly elected by the people of the States on the basis of adult suffrage.
» Every citizen who is not less than 18years of age and is not otherwise disqualified is entitled to vote at such election {Ref.: Art. 326}.
» There is no reservation for any minority community other than the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes {Ref.: Arts. 330, 341, 342}.
» The Council of State is not subject to dissolution. It is a permanent body. 1/3 of its members retire on the expiration of every second year.
» The normal term of the Lok Sabha is 5 years, but it may be dissolved earlier by the President.
» The normal term of Lok Sabha can be extended by an Act passed by Parliament itself during Emergency.
» The extension can not be made for a period exceeding one year at a time. Such extension can not continue beyond a period of six months after the proclamation of Emergency ceases to operate.
» Parliament must meet at least twice a year and not more than six months shall elapse between two sessions of Parliament.
» A session is the period of time between the first meeting of Parliament and prorogation of Parliament.
» The period between prorogation of Parliament and its re-assembly in a new session is called recess. Within a session, there are a number of daily sittings separated by adjournments which postpone the further consideration of a business for a specified time.
The sitting of a House can be terminated by dissolution, prorogation or adjournment :
  ★ While the powers of dissolution and prorogation are exercised by the President on the advice of the Council of Ministers. The power to adjourn the daily sittings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha belongs to the Speaker and the Chairman, respectively.
  ★ A dissolution brings Lok Sabha to an end so that there must be a fresh election while prorogation merely terminates a session. Adjournment does not put an end to the session of Parliament but merely postpones the further transaction of business for a specified time, hours, days or weeks.
  ★ On dissolution of the Lok Sabha all matters pending before the House lapse. If these matters have to be pursued, they must be re-introduced in the next House after fresh election.
  ★ But a Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha which has not yet been passed by the Lok Sabha shall not lapse on dissolution.
  ★ A dissolution does not affect a joint sitting of the two Houses, if the President has notified his intention to hold a joint sitting before the dissolution (Ref.: Art. 108(5)}.

» Adjournment has no such effect on pending business.
Qualifications for becoming a member of Parliament are :
  Must be a citizen of India.
  ★ Must not be less than 25 years of age in the case of Lok Sabha and 30 years in the case of Rajya Sabha.
  ★ Additional qualifications may be prescribed by Parliament by law (Ref.: Art. 84}.

A person can be disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament, if:
  ★ He holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State
  ★ He is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent Court
  ★ He is not a citizen of India or has voluntarily acquired citizenship of a foreign State or is under acknowledgment or allegiance or adherence to a foreign power
  ★ He is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament {Ref.: Art. 102}
  ★ In a dispute regarding qualification the President's decision in accordance with the opinion of the Election Commission, is final {Ref.: Art. 103}
  ★ The House can declare a seat vacant if the member absents himself from all meetings of the House for a period of 60 days without permission of the house.

Speaker and Deputy Speaker of The Lok Sabha

» Speaker presides over the Lok Sabha.
» The Speaker or the Deputy Speaker, normally holds office during the life of the House, but his office may terminate earlier in any of the following ways:
  ★ By his ceasing to be a member of the House.
  ★ By resignation in writing, addressed to the Deputy Speaker, and vice- versa.
  By removal from office by a resolution, passed by a majority of all the then members of the House {Ref.: Art. 94}.

» A resolution to remove the speaker can not be moved unless at least 14 days notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution.
» While a resolution for his removal is under consideration, the Speaker can not preside but he can speak in, take part in the proceedings of the House and vote except in the case of equality of votes {Ref.: Art. 96}.
» At other meetings of the House the Speaker can not vote in the first instance, but can exercise a casting vote in case of equality of votes.
» The Speaker has the final power to maintain order within the Lok Sabha and to interpret its Rules of Procedures.
» In the absence of a quorum the Speaker adjourns the House or suspends the meeting until there is a quorum.
» The Speaker's conduct in regulating the procedure or maintaining order in the House can not be questioned in a Court {Ref.: Art. 122}.
» The Speaker presides over a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament {Ref.: Art. 118(4)}.
» When a Money Bill is transmitted from the Lok Sabha to the Rajya Sabha the Speaker may certify that it is a Money Bill {Ref.: Art. 110(4)}.
» The decision of the Speaker on whether a Bill is Money Bill is final.
» While the office of Speaker is vacant or the Speaker is absent from a sitting of the House, the Deputy Speaker presides, except when a resolution for his own removal is under consideration.