Subjects >>Indian Polity >>The House of People - LOK SABHA

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INTRODUCTION
01 Aug 2020

  • The House of the People, Lok Sabha is the Lower house of the Parliament or the first chamber of the Parliament.
  • It is also called as popular house of the Parliament. It is called so because its members are directly elected by the people except two Anglo-Indian members nominated by President, if in the opinion of President, this community is not adequately represented.

Composition of the Lok Sabha

The composition of the Lok Sabha according to the Constitution is:

  • Not more than 552
  • 530 from the representative state,
  • 20 from Union Territories
  • 2 nominated from Anglo Indian community.

However, the Parliament has fixed (during Vajpayee Government in 2001) the strength of Lok Sabha as 545 (530+13+2).

Till the year 2025 AD.

Tenure of Lok Sabha

  • The normal tenure of Lok Sabha is 5 years.
  • However, this house can be dissolved by the President before the end of normal tenure.
  • The life of Lok Sabha can be extended the Parliament beyond 5 years term during National Emergency (Article 352). Bu this extension is for a period of not more than 1 year at a time. (no limit on number of times)
  • However, if National Emergency is revoked then within 6 months this extension would be over and election would be conducted.
  • By 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, Indra Gandhi Government extended the normal tenure of Lok Sabha from 5 years to 6 years.
  • However, when Janta Party Government cause to power it was reduced to its original normal tenure of 5 years by 44th Amendment Act, 1978.

Qualification for Lok Sabha

The qualification for the members of the Lok Sabha includes:

  1. He must be a citizen of India.
  2. He must not be less than 25 years of age.
  3. He must be a registered voter in any of the Parliamentary Constituency in India.
  4. He must not hold any office of profit.

Vacancy of seats in Lok Sabha

  • No person shall be a member of both houses of Parliament at the same time.
  • If he is elected for both the houses, he has to vacate the membership of either house.
  • If a member of either house is disqualified under Article 102.
  • If a member resigns in writing addressed to the Speaker in case of Lok Sabha and Chairman in case of Rajya Sabha.
  • If a member of either house absent from the house without its permission for more than 60 days, the house may declare his seat vacant.
central Hall Lok Sabha

Disqualification of member of Parliament

Under Article 102, a member of Parliament can be disqualified on one or more of the following grounds. If –

  • 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 requires citizenship of foreign country.
  • If he is so disqualified under any law of the Parliament.
  • In case of any dispute, regarding the disqualification on above grounds, the President’s decision in accordance with the opinion of election commission shall be final.
  • If he is declared disqualified under anti-defection law (52nd Amendment Act, 1985).
  • In this case the decision is taken by Presidency officer of the house.

Special Powers of Lok Sabha

  1. Money Bill can be introduced only in Lok Sabha.
  2. Finance Bill can also be introduced only in Lok Sabha
  3. In case of money bill Rajya Sabha has the right to make recommendations which may or may not be accepted by the Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha can’t stop money bill for more than 14 days.
  4. The Council of Ministers are only responsible to the Lok Sabha, and therefore Confidence and Non-Confidence motions can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha.
  5. Under Article 352 the Lok Sabha in a special sitting disapprove the continuation of Emergency even if Rajya Sabha rejects such a resolution.

Speakers and Deputy Speaker

  • The speaker is the chief presiding officer of the Lok Sabha.
  • He presides over the meeting of the Lok Sabha and his decisions on the proceedings of the house are final.
  • He has the responsibility to uphold the dignity and privilege of the house.
  • In the absence of the Speaker, Deputy speaker performs speaker’s duty.
  • The Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected by the members of the Lok Sabha from amongst its own members.
  • They can be removed from their offices by a resolution passed by Lok Sabha by a majority of all the then members of the house (effective members, total vacant).
  • Rajya Sabha has no role in appointment of speaker and deputy speaker of Lok Sabha.
  • To maintain impartiality of his office the speaker votes only in case of a tie to remove a dead lock arising from equality of votes (casting votes).
  • The speaker holds his office even after dissolution of Lok Sabha till new Lok Sabha is constituted.
  • This is because he heads the Lok Sabha secretariat which continues to function even after dissolution of the Lok Sabha.

Special Powers of Speaker

  • Whether a Bill is Money Bill or not is certified by the speaker and his decision is final and binding.
  • In the absence of The Speaker, The Deputy Speaker presides over the Joint Sitting of the Parliament.
  • The Committee of Parliament function essentially under the speaker and their Chairpersons are also appointed by the speaker.

If the speaker is member of any committee, he is ex-officio chairman of that committee.

Pro-Tem Speaker

  • As soon as a new Lok Sabha is constituted, the President appoints the pro-tem speaker who is generally the senior most member of the Lok Sabha (Seniority in terms of experience as the members of the house).
  • If two or more members are of equal experience, then it is age of members amongst them is concluded.
  • His functions include:
    • administering oath to Lok Sabha members
    • presiding over the election of new Speaker.
  • The office of pro-tem Speaker sinks as soon as new speaker is elected.
  • Senior most member of new Lok Sabha is appointed as pro-tem Speaker of Lok Sabha to administer oath and to preside over speaker’s election meeting.

Quorum

Quorum is the minimum required strength to initiate or continue the proceedings of either house.

It is 1/10th of total members of that house. (55 in Lok Sabha and 25 in Rajya Sabha).

Leader of Opposition

  • There was no provision for leader of opposition in the original constitution.
  • However, this was created and given a cabinet rank by an act of the Parliament.
  • The party other than the ruling side with the largest number of members on Lok Sabha having at least 1/10th of the total strength of Lok Sabha is recognized as opposition party and its leader as Leader of Opposition.
  • Cabinet Rank – Cabinet Rank Minister is not a Cabinet Minister but facilities of Cabinet Minister are given to a Cabinet Rank Minister. For example; (LOP=Leader of Opposition).

Did You Know

  • Parliament of India is called Sansad.
  • The first female speaker of Parliament of India was Meira Kumar.
  • Indian Parliament has a canteen, and it is the cheapest canteen in the country with a 3-course veg meal available for Rs. 61 only.
  • The library in the Parliament House is the second largest library of India after the National Library in Kolkata.