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Chapter 07. The Parliament (Polity & Constitution of India Notes)

THE PARLIAMENT

LOK SABHA: STRUCTRE, COMPOSITION & FUNCTIONS

➤ Parliament is the supreme legislative body of India.
➤ Article 79 to 122, Part V deals with the Parliament.
➤ According to Article 79, the Parliament consists of
1. The President
2. House of the people (Lok Sabha)
3. Council of states (Rajya Sabha) ➤ Though the President is not a member of either House of Parliament. He is an integral part of it.
House of the People (Lok Sabha)
➤ In the constitution, the strength of the Lok Sabha was provisioned to be not more than 552.
From the state = 530 From the UTs = 20 From the Anglo Indian = 2 Total seats = 552
➤ But at present there are 545 seats (530 + 13 + 2).
➤ The 84th amendment Act 2001, extended freeze on Lok Sabha and assembly seats till 2026 by
Tenure of the Lok Sabha
➤ The normal tenure of the Lok Sabha is 5 years.
➤ It may be dissolved earlier by the President.
➤ The life of the Lok Sabha can be extended by the Parliament beyond the five year term during the period of National Emergency Proclaimed under Art 352.
➤ But this extension is not more than one year at a time.
➤ However, such extension shall remain in force for not more than six months after the emergency has been revoked.
Qualification for the membership of Lok Sabha :
➤ Be a citizen of India.
➤ Be not less than 25 years of age.
➤ Be a registered voter in any of the Parliamentary constituancy in India.
➤ Must not hold any office of profit.
Disqualification of the MPs :
➤ If he holds any office of profit.
➤ If a competent court declares him to be of unsound mind.
➤ If he is an undischarged insolvent.
➤ If his citizenship is found forged.
➤ If he voluntarily acquires the citizenship of any foreign country.
➤ If he is so disqualified under any law by the Parliament.
➤ If he is so disqualified under the tenth schedule.
Seat of MP becames vacant under these situations :
➤ If he resigns from the House by writing a letter to the speaker or the chairman.
➤ Absent for 60 days without permission ➤ Expelled from the house under disciplinary action.
➤ If he over rules the ‘Whip’.
➤ Elected to the office of President or vice President or Governor of the state.
Powers of the Lok Sabha :
➤ The money bills and the financial bill can be introduced only in the Lok sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha.
➤ In case of money bill, the Rajya Sabha has only the right to make recommendations and the Lok Sabha may or may not accept this.
➤ A money bill must be passed by the Rajya Sabha within a period of 2 weeks or 14 days otherwise the bill shall be deemed to be passed automatically by the house.
➤ Thus the Lok Sabha enjoys exclusive legislative jurisdiction over the passage of the money bills.
➤ The council of ministers are responsible to the Lok Sabha.
➤ Confidence and no confidence motions are introduced in the Lok Sabha only.
➤ Under Article 352, the Lok Sabha in a special sitting can disapprove the continuance of the National Emergency Proclaimed by the President.
➤ The leader of the Lok Sabha is the Prime Minister.
Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha :
➤ The speaker is the Chief Presiding officer of the Lok Sabha.
➤ The two officers are elected from amongst the members of Lok Sabha after a new Lok Sabha is constituted.
➤ In absence of speaker, deputy speaker performs the duties of speaker.
➤ The speaker continues in the office even after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha till a newly elected Lok Sabha meets.
➤ Usually the speaker, after his election resign from his party membership and acts in an impartial manner.
➤ He does not vote in first instance.
➤ He exercises his casting vote only to remove a deadlock.
➤ The speaker and Deputy speaker don’t subscribe to any separate oaths.
➤ The speaker and deputy speaker are entitled to salary and allowances fixed by Parliament and charged on consolidated fund of India.
➤ Speaker can vacate his office earlier, if he resigns by writing to the Deputy speaker. Similary Deputy speaker can resign office by writing to the speaker.
➤ The speaker presides over the meetings of the house and his rulings on the proceedings of the house are final.
Powers of the Speaker :
➤ Whether a bill is a money bill or not, is certified only by the speaker and his decision is final and binding.
➤ He is the ex-officio chairman of India’s Parliamentary group.
➤ He presides over conference of presiding officers.
➤ He himself chairs Business Advisory Committee, General Purpose Committee and the Rules Committee.
➤ The committee of the Parliament function essentially under the speaker and their chairpersons are also appointed or nominated by him.
➤ Principal spokesperson of the Lok Sabha.
➤ His decisions are final in all matters of the House.
➤ Maintain order and decorum in the house for the smooth functioning.
➤ He can call for the secret sitting of the house on the request of the leader of the house.
➤ He presides over a joint sitting ➤ He decides the question of disqualification of members of Lok Sabha, arising on the ground of defection under the provisions of the Tenth schedule.

RAJYA SABHA: STRUCTRE, COMPOSITION & FUNCTIONS

The Rajya Sabha or the Council of States :
➤ The Rajya Sabha is to consist of not more than 250 members (238 +12).
➤ The members to be nominated by the President are persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service.
➤ Rajya Sabha is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution.
➤ One-third of the members retire every two years and are replaced by newly elected members.
➤ Each member is elected for a term of 6 years.
Qualification
➤ The person must be a citizen of India.
➤ The must not be below the age of 30 years.
➤ He should not hold any office of profit.
Powers of Rajya Sabha
➤ The powers of Rajya Sabha are in Articles 67, 249 and 312.
➤ According to Article 67 a resolution seeking the removal of the Vice-President can originate only in the Rajya Sabha. After passing the resolution by Rajya Sabha, it goes for approval of the Lok Sabha, but no resolution for the purpose of this clause shall be moved unless at least 14 days notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution.
➤ If Rajya Sabha has declared by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest so to do Parliament may by law provide for the creation of one or more all India services (including an all India Judicial Service) common to the union and the states and subject to the other provisions of the chapter regulate the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed to any such service.
➤ The service known at the commencement of this constitution as the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service shall be deemed to be services created by Parliament under this article (Art-312). In addition to this another All India Service, i.e. Indian Forest Service was created in 1966.
➤ A resolution seeking legislation on any subject of the state list can only originate in the Rajya Sabha, if it thinks that such resolution is necessary or expedient in the national interest (art-249).
Officer’s of the Rajya Sabha :
1.Chairman
➤ The vice President of India is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
➤ Unlike the speaker the chairman is not a member of House i.e. Rajya Sabha.
➤ He Presides over the Proceedings of the Rajya Sabha as long as he does not act as the President of India during a vacancy in the office of the President.
➤ He can be removed from the office only if he is removed from the office of the Vice-President.
➤ He may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by a absolute majority of all the then members of the council, which is to be approved by the Lok Sabha by a simple majority. Such a resolution can only be moved by giving at least 14 day’s prior
Deputy Chairman
➤ He is elected by the Rajya Sabha from amongst its members.
➤ In the absence of the chairman, Deputy chairman Presides over the functions and proceedings of the house.
➤ He shall vacate his office if he ceases to be a member of the Rajya Sabha .
➤ He may resign his office by writing to the chairman ➤ He may also be removed from the office by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha .

LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE IN PARLIAMENT

The legislative procedure is identical in both the Houses of Parliament. Every bill has to pass through the same stages in each House. A bill is a proposal for legislation and it becomes an act or law when duly enacted.
▸ Bills introduced in the Parliament are of two kinds: public bills and private bills (also known as government bills and private members’ bills respectively). Though both are governed by the same general procedure and pass through the same stages in the house, they differ in various respects. Public bill can introduced by a minister which requires seven days notice. It reflects the policies of the Government and its rejection by the House shows non confidence of ruling party in Parliament and may leads to its resignation while private bill introduce by any member of Parliament and requires one month notice. Its rejection has no implication on parliamentary confidence.
▸ The bills introduced in the Parliament can also be classified into four categories:
1. Ordinary bills, which are concerned with any matter other than financial subjects.
2. Money bills, which are concerned with the financial matters like taxation, public expenditure, etc.
3. Financial bills, which are also concerned with financial matters (but are different from money bills).
4. Constitution amendment bills, which are concerned with the amendment of the provisions of the Constitution.
The Constitution has laid down separate procedures for the enactment of all the four types of bill.
Ordinary Bill
This is a bill other than money bill and finance bill. An ordinary bill may originate in either house of the Parliament.
Money Bill (Article 110)
Whether a bill is a money bill or not is decided by the speaker of the Lok Sabha. Art 109 says that a money bill can only be introduced in Lok Sabha and not in Rajya Sabha and only with the prior re commendation of the President. When a money bill is passed by the Lok Sabha, it is sent to Rajya Sabha for its recommendations. Rajya Sabha must return the bill with or without any recommendations, within 14 days from the date of receipt of bill. It is the discretion of the Lok Sabha whether to accept or reject recommendations of Rajya Sabha. The bill now is deemed to be passed by the Lok Sabha and is sent to the President for his/her assent. President cannot withhold his/her to a money bill (Art 111). There is no provision for a joint sitting in the case of a money bills as the Lok Sabha has a final say in the matter.
Financial Bills
They are of 3 kinds-
1 Money bills
2. Other financial bills
3. Bills involving expenditure
A financial bill will deal with matters mentioned in Art 110 (1). A money bill deals with other matters also.
Therefore all money bills are financial bills but all financial bills are not money bills.
All financial bills are introduced only in the Lok Sabha after the recommendations of the President. A financial bill is passed like an ordinary bill. Joint session can be held.

COMPARISONS AMONG DIFFERENT BILLS

Ordinary BillMoney BillFinancial BillConstitutional Amendment Bill
Can be introduced in either house of parliament.Only in Lok Sabha.Only in Lok Sabha.In either house of parliament.
No President recommendation for introduction.Need President recommendationNeed President recommendationNo need President recommendation
Passed by simple majority.Passed by simple majority.Passed by simple majority.Passed by simple or special majority (by both houses separately) and or approval of legislatures of not less than one-half of the states.
Equal jurisdiction of both houses of parliament.RS has only recommendatory power (14 days)Equal jurisdiction of both houses.Equal jurisdiction of both houses.
Joint session can be held.Joint session cannot be held.Joint session can be held.Joint session cannot be held because if one house rejects the bill, it comes to an end.
President has three options: Absolute veto, suspensive veto, pocket veto.President has choice of withholding or giving assent to the bill, but by convention he can not withhold the assent.President has three options: Absolute veto, suspensive veto, pocket veto.President has to give assent to the bill.

THE BUDGET

➤ The budget is contained in Articles 112 to 117.
➤ According to Article 112 the President shall in respect of every financial year cause to be laid before both the House of Parliament a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India for that year, in this part referred to as the ‘annual financial statement’.
➤ It is a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditures both revenue and capital of that financial year.
➤ The expenditure of government is classified as ‘charged’ and made from the consolidated fund of India.
➤ The General Budget is usually presented in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister on the last working day of February.
➤ The General Budget is presented with the Budget speech by the Finance Minister.
➤ The Budget speech has two parts.
➤ At the end of the Budget speech in Lok Sabha, the Budget is laid in Rajya Sabha.
➤ Rajya Sabha can only discuss the budget.
➤ After the general discussion the house is adjourned for a period of a month.
➤ During this time the 24 standing committees carry out detailed scrutiny of the budget.
➤ Voting on demands for grants takes place in Lok Sabha.
➤ The time allotted for the discussion is decided by the business advisory committee headed by the speaker.
➤ After the completion of voting on demands for grants appropriation bill introduced.
➤ Finance Bill includes taxation Proposals and introduced with the General Budget has to be passed within 25 days of its introduction.
➤ No amendments can be moved in appropriation bill to vary the amonut or alter the destination which is unlike the finance bill–

FUNDS OF INDIA

Consolidated fund of India (Article 266-a)
➤ It is the fund into which all receipts and revenues of the government flows.
➤ All expenditure from it, is authorised by appropriation bill.
Public Account of India (Article 266-b)
➤ In this account public money is put in and governments acts only as banker.
➤ It is operated by executive action.
Contigency Fund of India (Article 267)
➤ It is kept at disposal of President to meet unforeseen expenditure.
➤ It is opened by secretary, ministry of Finance on behalf of the President.

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES

➤ Parliamentary committees are of two kinds – Standing Committes and Ad Hoc Committees. The former are permanent
(constituted every year or periodically) and work on a continuous basis, while the latter are temporary and cease to exist on completion of the task assigned to them.
Important standing Committees
1. Public Account Committee : This committee was setup first in 1921 under the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1919 and has since been in existence. At present, it consist of 22 members (15 from the Lok Sabha and 7 from the Rajya Sabha). The chairman of the committee is appointed from amongst its member by speaker.
➤ The function of the committee is to examine the annual audit reports of the comptroller and Auditor General of India.
2. Estimate Committee : The origin of this committee can be traced to the standing financial committee set up in 1921. Originally, it has 25 members but in 1956 its membership was raised to 30. All 30 members are from Lok Sabha only. The chairman of the committee is appointed from amongst its member by speaker.
The function of the committee is to examine the estimates included in the budget and suggest ‘economics’ in the public expenditure. Hence, it has been described as a ‘Continuous economy committee’.
3. Committee on Public Undertakings : This committee was created in 1964 on the recomendation of the Krishna Menon Committee. Originally it had 15 members however in 1974. Its membership was raised to 22 [15 are from the Lok Sabha & 7 from the Rajya Sabha].
➤ The functions of the committee are to examine the reports and accounts of public undertakings. Also to examine the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General on Public Undertakings.

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

➤ Article 74 provides that there shall be council of ministers with Prime Minister as its head to aid and advice the President, who shall in exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.
➤ The advice given to President by the council of ministers can’t be inquired into by any court of law.
➤ Article 75 has provisions relating to qualifications, appointment, oath, tenure, responsibilities and salaries and emoluments of the ministers.
➤ The Prime minister shall be appointed by the President and the other ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of PM.
➤ The President shall administer the oath and secrecy of the office to the ministers.
➤ The minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.
➤ The minister who is not a member of either house, he can’t remain minister after 6 months, if he doesnot become the member of it.
➤ Salaries and allowances of the minister are determined by Parliament.
➤ Article 75 entails the principles of collective and individual responsibilities of ministers.
➤ All ministers are together responsible for their acts to Lok Sabha.
➤ If Lok Sabha passes a vote of no confidence motion against council of ministers, all of them had to resign.
THE STRUCTURE OF COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
➤ The council of ministers consist of three categories of ministers—
1. Ministers of cabinet rank
2. State ministers
3. Deputy ministers ➤ Ministers of Cabinet are real policy maker. They attend the meeting of cabinet.
➤ The word ‘Cabinet Ministers’ has been incorporated into the constitution through the 44th amendment Act ➤ State Ministers can either hold independent charges or attached to cabinet ministers.
➤ State ministers assist to cabinet ministers.
➤ Ministers of state paid the same salary as the cabinet ministers.
➤ The Prime minister can give charge to the state minister if it needs or if he desires so.
➤ Deputy ministers don’t hold the separate charge.
➤ Deputy ministers can’t attend the cabinet meetings.
➤ They are paid lesser salary than the cabinet ministers rank.
PRIME MINISTER
➤ Prime minister is the leader of the lower House of the Parliament.
➤ He is the real executive authority.
➤ He is appointed by the President.
➤ He is the chairman of Niti Ayog, National Integration Council and Inter State Council.
POWERS OF PRIME MINISTER
➤ He presides over the meetings of the council of ministers.
➤ He can call the meeting of cabinet any time.
➤ He allocates portfolios.
➤ He can ask a minister to resign.
➤ He can get any minister
➤ He assist the President in appointment of all high officials.
➤ He summons and decides the agenda of the cabinet meetings.
➤ He has right to call any file from any ministry .
➤ He advises the President with regard to the summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the Parliament.
➤ He has right to intervene in any debate in the Parliament.
➤ He can give answer in both the house of Parliament.
➤ He can participate in debates of Parliament.
➤ He plays a significant role in shaping the Foreign Policy.

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