Tuesday, 22 April 2014 09:59




The Indian Parliament comprises two Houses – Lok Sabha (House of the People), and Rajya Sabha, (Council of the States), and the President of India.

Rajya Sabha

Council of States (Rajya Sabha) is composed of not more than 250 members. Out of this 238 are the representatives of the States and the Union Territories elected by the methods of indirect election. Rest 12 members are nominated by the President.

The representatives of each state are elected by the elected member of the State Legislative Assembly in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. The representatives for the Union Territories are chosen in such a manner as the Parliament suggests.
Rajya Sabha is a permanent body. It is not subject to dissolution. However, the term of individual member is 6 years from the date of his election to the house. One-third of its members retire at the expiration of every second year.
The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. It, however, elects a Deputy Chairman from among its members who takes care of the day-to-day working of the House. Both Houses have equal legislative powers except in the area of finance where the Lok Sabha is given overriding powers.

Lok Sabha

The Constitution of India provides that maximum strength of Lok Sabha House is 552. The composition consists of not more than 530 members chosen directly by direct election from territorial constituencies in the States, and not more than 20 members to represent the Union Territories.

In addition, the President chooses not more than two members from the Anglo-Indian community to represent the community in the Lok Sabha, if he feels that the community is not adequately represented in the House (Art. 331).
Lok Sabha members are directly elected by the citizens of India. Every citizen of India who has attained the age of 18 years is entitled to vote in elections to Lok Sabha.

The minimum age for qualification as a member of the Lok Sabha is 25 years. Each Lok Sabha is formed for a period of five years, at the end of which the House is dissolved.

The House can be dissolved before the completion of the term or it can be extended by a Proclamation of Emergency. The period of extension cannot exceed one year at a time.

A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker, elected by the members of the Lok Sabha, conduct day to day business. The Deputy Speaker presides during the absence of the Speaker.

The President is the constitutional head of Republic of India, directly elected by an electoral college that includes elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States.

The President performs certain constitutional functions:

The President invites the leader of the majority party to form the Government after a new Lok Sabha is duly elected.

The President nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha and has the right to nominate two members from the Anglo Indian community to the Lok Sabha if they are under-represented.

On the advice of the Executive, the President summons the two Houses of Parliament to meet from time to time.

The President has the power to discontinue a session in the two Houses and dissolve the Lok Sabha (in consultation with the Executive).

The President has to agree to sign a Bill before it can become a law.

If the Houses are not in session, the President can enact or promulgate Ordinances  having the same validity as a law passed in Parliament.

The President has the power to appoint the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of Rajya Sabha on an interim basis.

The President has the right to address either or both Houses of Parliament.

The President has the power to call both Houses for a joint sitting in case a dispute arises over passing a Bill. In the joint sitting, the matter is decided by majority vote.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:01