Indian Legislature

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Indian Legislature
Indian Constitution

Introduction

Primarily, there are two models of legislative structure:
The Parliamentary- the executive is selected by the legislature from among its own members. Therefore, the executive is responsible to the legislature. For example- U.K.

The Presidential- based on the theory of separation of powers and does not permit any person to serve simultaneously in both executive and legislature. For example- USA

Indian Legislature

Under the provision of Article 79, the Parliament of India consists of the President and the two Houses – the Lower House or Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Upper House or Rajya Sabha (Council of States). While the Lok Sabha is subject to dissolution, the Rajya Sabha is a permanent chamber which cannot be dissolved. The office of the President also never remains vacant.

The President

  • The President of India is an integral part of the Indian Parliament. 
  • He cannot sit and participate in the deliberations in any of the two Houses. 
  • The President summons and prorogues the House from one session to another and has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha. 
  • No bill passed by both the Houses can become a law without the President’s assent. 
  • Further certain bills can be introduced only after the recommendation of the President has been obtained. 
  • The President also has the power to promulgate Ordinances when both the Houses are not in session.

The Lok Sabha

  • Its members are directly elected by the people. 
  • The maximum number of members to be elected are 552. Out of these, 530 members are chosen by direct election from constituencies in the States and not more 20 members to represent the Union Territories. the President may nominate two members of the Anglo-Indian community if he is of the opinion that the community is not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha.
  • The distribution of seats among the States is based on the population of the state. For elections, each state is divided into territorial units called constituencies which are more or less of the same size with regard to the population.
  • The normal life of the Lower House is five years, though it can be dissolved earlier by the President.
  • A candidate seeking election to the Lok Sabha can contest from any parliamentary constituency from any of the States in India.
  • Qualifications-
    • a person should be an Indian citizen
    • S/he must have completed 25 years of age
    • S/he must possess all other qualifications that are prescribed by a law of the Parliament. 

The Rajya Sabha

  • The Rajya Sabha or Council of States consists of not more than 250 members.
  • Of the total membership 12 members are nominated by the President from amongst persons having ‘special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, and social service. The remaining members are elected by the members of the State Legislative Assemblies in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote
  • The Rajya Sabha, thus reflects the federal character by representing the States or the units of the federation. 
  • The number of representatives of the States to the Rajya Sabha varies from one state to another depending on the population. 
  • Rajya Sabha is a continuing chamber as it is a permanent body not subject to dissolution. 
  • One third of its members retire at the end of every two years and elections are held for the vacant positions.
  • A member of Rajya Sabha has a six-year term, unless he resigns or is disqualified.
  • It has no power to pass a vote of no-confidence in the Council of Ministers
  • The Rajya Sabha has not much say in matters of money bills, it can only suggest amendments and can not reject the bill.

Special Powers of Rajya Sabha

  • First, under Article 249, the Rajya Sabha has the power to declare that, in the national interest, the Parliament should make laws with respect to a matter enumerated in the State List. If by a two-thirds majority, Rajya Sabha passes a resolution to this effect, the Union Parliament can make laws for the whole or any part of India for a period of one year.
  • The second, is with regard to the setting up of All-India Services. If the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting, the parliament is empowered to make laws providing for creation of one or more All-India Services common to the Union and the States

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