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Pro-tem Speaker

Topics covered:

Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

 

Pro-tem Speaker

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: Pro- tem Speaker- appointment, oath, functions and powers.

 

Context: Virendra Kumar a BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh will be the Pro-tem Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha.

 

What is Pro-tem Speaker?

It is a Latin phrase which translates to for the ‘time being’ in English. So the Pro-tem Speaker is a temporary speaker appointed for a limited period of time.

 

The need for pro- tem speaker:

The speaker of the Lok Sabha/legislative assembly vacates the office immediately before the first meeting of the newly elected house.

Hence President/governor appoints the pro-tem speaker to preside over the sittings of the house.

 

Appointment:

Usually the senior most member is elected as the pro-tem speaker.

The president/governor will administer the oath of the office for the pro-tem speaker.

When the house elects the new speaker the office of the pro-tem speaker ceases to exist. Hence the office of the pro-tem speaker is a temporary one which will be in existence for few days.

 

Duties and functions:

The main duty of the pro-tem speaker is to administer the oath to the newly elected members.

Pro-tem also enables the house to elect the new speaker.

 

Powers:

The Bombay High Court in its 1994 judgement in the Surendra Vassant Sirsat case holds that a pro-tem is Speaker of the House “for all purposes with all powers, privileges and immunities” until the Speaker is elected.

The Odisha High Court also agreed in the Godavaris Misra versus Nandakisore Das, Speaker, Orissa Legislative Assembly case when it said the “powers of the Speaker pro-tem are co-extensive with the powers of elected Speaker”.

The pro-tem speaker also has same powers, privileges as that of the Speaker.

 

Key facts:

Article 180 (1) of the Constitution gives the Governor the power to appoint a pro-tem Speaker. The Article says that if the chair of the Speaker falls vacant and there is no Deputy Speaker to fill the position, the duties of the office shall be performed “by such member of the Assembly as the Governor may appoint for the purpose”.

Sources: the Hindu.

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