Legislature

Question 57
CBSEENPO11021473

Describe the procedure of law making in State Legislature.

Solution

The procedure of law making in the State Legislature is the following:

1. Introduction of the Bill: An Ordinary Bill can be introduced in either House of Legislature. It can also be introduced by a private member of the Legislature. The Money Bill can only be introduced in the Legislature Assembly by the Ministers. A private member is to give a month’s notice for the introduction of the Bill and for this purpose a day is fixed in the programme of House. On the fixed date mover of the Bill asks for the permission of the House to move the bill which is only a formality. After getting the permission of the Bill and the Bill published in the Government Gazette. The Ministers are not bound to give a notice for the introduction of the Bill and they can get the Bill published in the Gazette in no time.

2. First Reading: Sometimes there is a first reading of the Bill just after the introduction stage. Sometimes another date is fixed for the first reading of the Bill. On the fixed date the mover of the Bill stands up at his seat and requests that the Bill be read for first time. On getting the permission of the House he explains the main principles and objects of the bill. After this other members of the House express their opinions in favour or against the Bill. The Bill at this stage is not debated. Then the mover of the Bill puts a resolution that the Bill be sent to a Select Committee. If this request of the mover of the Bill is not opposed to, the Bill is sent to the Select Committee, if it is opposed to it, it is sent to press for eliciting public opinion. It can also be put to vote and if the majority of the members is against the Bill, it is rejected.

3. Select Committee: The Bill is sent to the Select Committee if it is rejected at the first reading. The Committee consist of nearly 20 members which are taken from among the members of the House. The Bill which is published for eliciting public opinion is also sent to the Select Committee, the Select Committee discusses the Bill in detail and debates the merits and demerits of the Bill. The Committee can suggest amendments in the provisions and clauses of the Bill. After discussing the Bill thoroughly the Committee prepares its report in favour or against the Bill or suggests some amendments in the Bill. While preparing the report the Committee takes into consideration public opinion also. Then the Committee sends its report to the House.

4. Second Reading: The report of the Select Committee is discussed on a fixed date. The mover of the Bill on the fixed date requests the House that the report of the Select Committee may be discussed. The Bill is discussed in detail in the House. The views of the Select Committee on all clauses are discussed. Amendments in the Bill can be suggested by the Select Committee. After the Bill is thoroughly discussed, the opinion of the House is sought on each clause amendment or proposals are also put to vote. The Bill is passed according to the view point of the majority of the members.

5. Third Reading: A day is fixed for the third reading of the Bill. Only verbal suggestions can be made in the third reading. The proposals for change in the wording of the Bill can be given. The entire Bill is put to vote at this stage and it is either rejected or passed. The entire Bill passed in the third reading means that the Bill has been passed by one House.

Bill in the Second House: Where there is no upper chamber in a State, the Bill is passed by the Legislative Assembly and is sent to the Governor for his assent. Money Bill can only be introduced in the Legislative Assembly and after it is passed by the Assembly it is sent to the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council may reject a Money Bill or make such certain amendments which may not be acceptable to the House or may delay its passage for 14 days without taking any action against it. In all these situations the Bill is considered passed by the Legislative Council.

If Non-Money Bill is introduced and passed in the Legislative Council, it is sent to the Legislative Assembly. It cannot become a law unless it is passed by the Legislative Assembly. But a Bill which is passed by the Legislative Assembly cannot be completely rejected by the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council may reject the Bill or may suggest some amendments which may not be acceptable to the Legislative Assembly as may not take any action over it for 3 months. In all these cases that Legislative Assembly can pass the Bill for the second time. After the Bill is passed for the second time by the Legislative Assembly it is sent to the Council. Legislative Council may reject the Bill, may suggest certain amendments which may not be acceptable to the Legislative Assembly, or may not take any action over it within one month. In all these cases it is considered passed by the Legislative Council and is sent to the Governor for his assent.

The Bill is to pass through all the stages in the second chamber through which it has passed in the first chamber.

Assent of Governor: After the Bill is passed by both the Houses it is sent to Governor for his assent. He cannot refuse to give his assent to the Money Bill. In case of an Ordinary Bill he give his assent, or he may reserve it for the consideration of the President or he may reject it. If the Governor feels that the public opinion is against the Bill. He can use the veto power. If the Legislature passes the Bill for second time, the Governor is bound to give his assent to it.

Question 58
CBSEENPO11021474

Describe the composition of Indian Parliament i.e. Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Compare the Powers of the Rajya Sabha with those of the Lok Sabha.

Solution

Composition of Parliament of India:

1. Rajya Sabha: Rajya Sabha is the Upper Chamber of the Parliament. It can have at the most 250 members in it. The President of India nominates 12 members. These are the persons who have distinguished themselves in the field of art, commerce, science and social service. Rest of the members are elected by the members of State Legislatures. At present is consists of 245 (233 + 12) members in all. 1/3 of its members retire after every two years and other members are elected to fill up the vacancies. Each member remains in office for a period of 6 years.

2. Lok Sabha: Lok Sabha is the lower chamber of the Parliament. It can have at the most 545 elected members. 525 members can be directly elected by the voters from different States and 20 members can be elected from Union Territories. The members will be elected according to the laws framed by the Union Parliament. The President can nominate two members of the Anglo-Indian community if he feels that in the Lok Sabha this community has not got adequate representation. The present Lok Sabha has 543 elected members. The members of the Lok Sabha are elected for a period of 5 years. The President of India can dissolve the Lok Sabha before the expiry of its term and can order fresh elections. The Members of the Lok Sabha elect one Speaker and one Deputy Speaker from amongst its members.

Relations between the Two Houses of Parliament:

1. Ordinary Bills: Ordinary Bill can originate in either House of Parliament. Unless passed by both the Houses they cannot be sent to the President for his assent. A Bill passed by one House is sent to the other House. If the other House passes the Bill in the form in which it was passed by the originating House, it is sent to the President for his assent. The other House may propose amendments in the Bill or may even reject the Bill. Thus, if the two Houses do not agree on the proposed amendments or if the two Houses finally disagree on the Bill, the President, under Article 108 of the Constitution is empowered to call a joint meeting of the two Houses. In case the receiving House takes no action on the Bill for six months from the date of its receipt in that case also the President may summon a joint meeting of both the Houses if the Bill has lapsed because of the dissolution of the Lok Sabha. Even if the President has already issued a notification for joint sitting and even if the date, time and place of the meeting has been announced and summons issued, the meeting shall have to be cancelled because no joint sitting can be held for deliberating and voting on a Bill which has already lapsed. When the President has notified his intention to summon the two Houses to meet in a joint sitting, neither House can proceed with the Bill. If at the joint meeting of the two Houses the Bill is passed by a majority of the total number of members of both Houses present and voting, it shall be deemed to have been passed by both the Houses. At the joint sitting of the two House, the voice of the Lok Sabha should prevail because of its numerical strength.

2. Financial Powers: Money Bills and Budget can originate in the Lok Sabha only. The Rajya Sabha is the receiving end. When a Money Bill is passed by the Lok Sabha it is sent to Rajya Sabha for its recommendations. The Rajya Sabha, has the right to propose amendments in the Money Bill. It must return the Bill to the Lok Sabha, with or without amendments within 14 days, but Lok Sabha may or may not agree to those recommendations. If the Rajya Sabha does not return the Money Bill within 14 days from the date of the receipt of the Bill, the same shall be considered to have been passed by both the Houses of Parliament in the same form in which it was passed by the Lok Sabha. All these provisions clearly prove that the hold of the Lok Sabha over the finance of the country is complete and absolute. It should be noted that in case of disagreement over Money Bill, there cannot be a joint sitting of the two Houses. The Senate of Australia possesses the power to reject even a Money Bill. The House of Lords of England can delay a Money Bill for a month. The Upper House of Japan can also delay the passage of a money bill for 30 days. In matters of finance the powers of the Rajya Sabha are insignificant.

3. Control over the Executive: In India, Parliamentary system of Government has been established. The essence of this form of Government is that the executive is responsible to the Legislature for its actions and policies. In practice it is answerable to the Popular House. Thus, according to the Constitution of India, the Council of Ministers has been made collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. No doubt, the Rajya Sabha can exert its influence on the Government in a number of ways and it may even put the Government in an awkward position, but it cannot remove the Government from office. This power belongs to the Lok Sabha only. This power of the Lok Sabha is exclusive and not concurrent. The Government must enjoy the confidence of the Lok Sabha or else resign. The Lok Sabha can express its lack of confidence in a number of ways, for example by rejecting a Government Bill, a Money Bill or by passing a no confidence resolution. Thus, the Government must either be in tune with the Lok Sabha or face expulsion. One point may be noted here. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. The Constitution does not speak of individual responsibility. Moreover, it is not clear that when the Lok Sabha stands dissolved, before whom the Council of Minister is responsible then? After the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in December, 1970, the continuance of Indira Government was challenged in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld the legality of the continuance of Indira Gandhi Government.

Question 59
CBSEENPO11021475

Describe the composition, powers and functions of the Upper House of Indian Parliament i.e. Rajya Sabha.

Or

Describe the powers and functions of Rajya Sabha.

Solution

Indian Parliament consists of two Houses. The Rajya Sabha is the Upper House and the Lok Sabha is the Lower House. The composition and powers of the Rajya Sabha are given below:

Composition of Rajya Sabha: According to the Constitution, the maximum strength of the Rajya Sabha has been put at 250 members. Out of 250 members, 12 members are nominated by the President. These members shall consists of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art and social service. The remaining 238 members represent the State and the Union Territories. The representatives of the states are elected by the elected members of their Legislative Assembly in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable.

Tenure: Like the Senate of the U.S.A. the Rajya Sabha is a permanent House. It is not subject to dissolution. Members retiring after every two years.

Officials of the Rajya Sabha: The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Upper House (Rajya Sabha).

The Rajya Sabha elects a Deputy Chairman from among its own members and the presides in the absence of the Chairman or during the period when the Vice-President is discharging the functions of the President.

Powers and Functions of the Rajya Sabha:

1. Legislative Powers: The Rajya Sabha is an integral part of the Indian Parliament. Since the main responsibility of the Parliament is to make laws, hence the Rajya Sabha takes part in the making of laws. Except Money Bills, all Bills can originate in the Rajya Sabha. No Bill can become a law unless agreed to by both the Houses. The Lok Sabha by itself cannot pass a Bill and send it to the President for his assent. In case of disagreement between the two Houses on a Bill or on the amendments made in the Bill, the President has been empowered to summon a joint meeting of the two Houses on a Bill or on the amendments made in the Bill, the President has been empowered to summon a joint meeting of the two Houses for the purpose of deliberating and voting on the Bill. At a joint sitting questions are decided by a majority of the members of both Houses present and voting. A decision taken at a joint sitting shall mean the decision of both Houses. All the time of the joint sitting the Speaker of the Lok Sabha presides. The President can also summon the joint sitting when a Bill passed by one House is not considered by the other House for six months. For the purpose of summoning the joint sitting it does not matter when the Bill was introduced first in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.

2. Administrative Powers: The Rajya Sabha does not control the Executive as the Constitution makes the Council of Ministers collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. But this does not mean that the Rajya Sabha can exert no influence over the Executive. Some of the Ministers are taken from the Rajya Sabha. The members of the Rajya Sabha have the right to ask questions and supplementary questions from the Ministers. They can elicit information about the actions of Government and can move resolutions impressing on the Government the desirability of pursuing a particular line of policy. As said, the Council of Minister can be ousted from office by the Lok Sabha only. The Rajya Sabha can condemn the Government but it cannot kick the Government out of office.

3. Financial Powers: In financial matters, it is the Lok Sabha which enjoys a pre-eminent position. The Rajya Sabha has not been given any substantial power with regard to finance. No Money Bill or Financial Bill can first be introduced in the Rajya Sabha. It is the privilege of the Lok Sabha to pass the Money Bill first and send it to the Rajya Sabha for its recommendations. It should be noted that the Bill is transmitted to the Rajya Sabha for its recommendation and not for its approval. The Rajya Sabha can make amendments in the Money Bill it may ever reject the Money Bill. It has no effect on the Bill. The Lok Sabha is not bound to accept the recommendations made by the Rajya Sabha. In case the Lok Sabha rejects the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha the Bill is deemed to have been passed by both Houses in the form in which it was passed by the Lok Sabha. Likewise, if the Rajya Sabha does not return the Money Bill to the Lok Sabha within 14 days, it will be considered to have been passed by both Houses in the form in which it was passed by the Lok Sabha. Thus, Lok Sabha possesses complete control over the purse of the nation.

4. Electoral Powers: The elected members of the Rajya Sabha take part in the election of the President. All the members (elected and nominated both) of the Rajya Sabha take part in the election of the Vice President.

5. Powers of amendment in the Constitution: The Rajya Sabha exercises constituent functions alongwith the Lok Sabha. A Bill to amend the Constitution may originate in either House of Parliament. And the Bill amending the Constitution is required to be passed in each House by a majority of its total membership and by a majority of two-thirds of its members present and voting.

6. To declare a subject to the State list of National Importance: Under Article 249 the Rajya Sabha may declare by resolution, passed by two-thirds majority of its members present and voting, that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest that Parliament should make laws with respect to any matter enumerated in the State List.

Question 60
CBSEENPO11021476

Discuss the Composition, Powers and Functions of the Lower House of Indian Parliament i.e. Lok Sabha?

Or

How does the Composition of Lok Sabha take place? What are the main powers of this House?

Solution

The Indian Parliament is a Bi-Cameral Legislature. It consists of two houses: 1. Rajya Sabha, 2. Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha is an Upper House of Parliament and the Lok Sabha is the Lower House of Parliament. The composition, powers and functions of the Lok Sabha are described below :

Composition of the Lok Sabha: Lok Sabha is the Lower House of Parliament. It is a popular House because it represents the nation at large. It is not only popular but a powerful House as well. It is the pivot of all political activities. The members of the Lok Sabha are elected directly by the people. The maximum number of members is fixed by the Constituton itself. Originally its number was fixed at 500. Later, it was raised to 525- 500 to be elected from the States and 25 from the Union Territories. By 31st Amendment is strength was raised to 545 and frozen upto 2001 A.D. Out of 545, 525 are to be elected from the States and 20 from the Union Territories. The President is entitled by 42nd Amendment to readjust the seats between States and Union Territories but he cannot increase the seats beyond 545. The President may, if he feels that the Anglo-Indian Community is not adequately represented, nominate two members to Lok Sabha.

Election of Lok Sabha: The election to the House is conducted on the basis of universal adult franchise system. Every citizen of 18 years of age, irrespective of caste, creed or sex may vote from the constituency in which his name appears in the electoral roll. The election is held through secret ballot. A candidate who scores the highest vote is declared elected. Some of the constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Tenure of Lok Sabha: The life of the Lok Sabha is five years. All the members of this House are elected at one and the same time for a period of five years. However, the President can dissolve the Lok Sabha even before the expiry of its term, i.e. five years. The President also has the power to extend its tenure during Emergency.

Powers and Functions of the Lok Sabha:

1. Legislative Powers: The main function of the Parliament (President, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) is to enact laws for the social and material welfare of the citizens. It can make laws on all subjects given in the Union and Concurrent Lists. Under certain circumstances, it can pass laws on subjects given in the State List. A Non-Money Bill may originate in either House of the Parliament. It must be passed by both the Houses. In case of disagreement between two Houses, the President may summon a joint sitting. Here the Bill must pass with majority of total members of both Houses present and voting. Generally wishes of the Lok Sabha prevail in such cases.

2. Control over the Executive: It is the Lok Sabha which controls the executive. The leader of the minority party in the Lok Sabha is the Prime Minister of the country. Most of the Ministers are also taken from the Lok Sabha. The Cabinet is responsible to the Lok Sabha for all its actions and policies. The members of the Lok Sabha ask the Ministers questions and supplemenatary questions and they are to answer these questions. The members of the Lok Sabha can criticise the functioning of the Cabinet. If the Lok Sabha passes a vote of no-confidence against the Cabinet, the Cabinet will have to resign. The Cabinet remains in office till it is supported by the majority of the members of the House.

3. Financial Powers: It is said that, ‘One who holds the purse, holds the powers.’ This is true in regards to Lok Sabha. The Constitution provides that a Money Bill can only originate in Lok Sabha and cannot be introduced in Rajya Sabha. When it is passed by Lok Sabha, it is sent to Rajya Sabha for its recommendations. Rajya Sabha has to return the Bill with or without recommendations within fourteen days. Lok Sabha may or may not accept the recommendations of Rajya Sabha. The Bill is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses of Parliament in its original form even if Lok Sabha does not accept the recommendations of Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha, can, thus, only delay a Money Bill for a maximum period of fourteen days. The Annual Budget is presented in the Lok Sabha by the Finance Minister. The Lok Sabha has the power to decrease the expenses shown in the Budget. Unless the Budget is passed by the Lok Sabha, the Government gets no right to spend the money.

4. Electoral Powers: The Constitution gives elective functions to the Parliament. Lok Sabha alongwith Rajya Sabha and Legislative Assemblies elects the President. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha elect Vice-President of India. The Lok Sabha elects a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker from amongst its members.

5. Judicial Powers: The Lok Sabha can starts impeachment proceedings against the President of India. It investigates into the charges levelled against the Vice-President and gives its decision. It along with the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution of the removal of the judges of the High Courts or the Supreme Court.

6. Power of Amendment in the Constitution: Lok Sabha alongwith Rajya Sabha may amend the provisions of the Constitutions. An Amending Bill may be introduced in either House of the Parliament and has to pass according to the methods laid down in the Constitution. In case of deadlock between the two Houses, a joint sitting of both the Houses may be summoned by the President. Here, too, wishes of the Lok Sabha will prevail because of its better numerical strength.

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