Rajya Sabha TV In Depth –Speaker Roles and Responsibility

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Rajya Sabha TV In Depth –Speaker Roles and Responsibility


Members of 17th Lok Sabha have elected Om Birla as the 17th Speaker of Lok Sabha on 19 June 2019. He won for the 17th Lok Sabha from Kota Parliamentary constituency.

 

Parliament of India:

  • The supreme legislative body of the Republic of India is a bicameral legislature composed of – The President of India, the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People).
  • It was founded on 26.01.1950.
  • The total number of seats in Parliament = 245 (Members of Rajya Sabha) + 545 (Members of Lok Sabha) = 790.
  • Members of Parliament are either elected or nominated to either House of the parliament.

 

Speaker of the Lok Sabha:

  • He is the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha, the lower House of the Parliament of India.
  • Term = 5 years
  • He is generally elected in the first meeting of the Lok Sabha following the general elections.
  • Newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Lok Sabha elect the speaker from among themselves, until next general election.
  • Powers and functions:
  1. He conducts the business in House.
  2. He decides if a bill is a money bill (given in Artice 110 of the Constitution of India) or not. A money bill concerns taxation or government spending in the Westminster system. Such bills can be introduced only in Lok Sabha.
  3. He maintains discipline and decorum in the house.
  4. He is invested with immense powers to interpret Rules of Procedure.
  5. He can punish a member for unruly behavior by suspending him.
  6. He takes the decision to disqualify a member under Schedule X of the Indian Constitution (Anti-Defection Law).
  7. He permits moving of various kinds of motions and resolutions – motion of no confidence, motion of adjournment, motion of censure and calling attention motion as per the rules.
  8. He decides on the agenda to be taken up for discussion during the meeting.
  9. All comments and speeches made by members of the House are addressed to the Speaker.
  10. He adjourns the House until Quorum is met. The presence of at least 10% of the total strength of the House (about 55 members) makes the Quorum.
  11. He can use his power to vote in order to resolve a case of deadlock in the House.
  12. He presides over the joint sitting of both Houses of the Parliament of India. A joint sitting of both the Houses can be can be called by the President of India (Article 108) to resolve the cases of deadlock in the bicameral Parliament. Such joint sittings, however, are not possible for Money Bills and Constitution Amendment Bill (Article 368).
  13. He has a number of Parliamentary committees under his jurisdiction.
  • The Chairperson of Rajya Sabha (the Vice President of India being the ex-officio chairman) is the counterpart of Speaker of Lok Sabha.
  • He is answerable to the House.
  • Removal: As per articles 94 and 96, the Speaker can be removed by the Lok Sabha by a resolution passed by an effective majority (>50% of total strength excluding vacancies).
  • Eligibility criteria:
  1. He/she must be a citizen of India.
  2. <25 years of age.
  3. He should not hold an office of profit under the Government of India, or a state government.

 

Conclusion:

Speaker of the Lok Sabha being the Leader of the House, which has members elected by the citizens of India is a very important position in the Indian Parliament. This is the reason that he is vested with a large number of powers so that a functioning of the House may be conducted smoothly.