Qualification of the Members

How is a Member Disqualified?

A person can be disqualified for election as a member of Parliament as per Article 102, if (a) she/he holds an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of a State, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder; (b) she/he is of unsound mind and is so declared by a competent court; (c) she/he is an undischarged insolvent; (d) she/he is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State, or is under acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign state; (e) she/he is so disqualified by or under the law of Parliament. �There are some other disqualifications specified by the Parliaments; these are: one should not be guilty of an election ofience; one should not have undergone imprisonment for two or more years: one should not have been dismissed from government service, one should not have been guilty of inciting communal feelings, and one should not have been either preached or practised untouchability.

Furthermore, disqualifications would follow

(i) if one has violated the defection law (Tenth Schedule),

(ii) absented himself for a period of sixty days or more from the meetings of either of the two Houses without permission (Article 101); if one�s election is declared void by a court.

Officers of the Parliament

�The Lok Sabha is presided over by the Speaker (Article 94) while the Vice-President, as the ex-officio chairman (Article 64), presides over the proceedings of the Council of States (Article 89). �The Rajya Sabha elects its Deputy Chairman and the Lok Sabha elects its own Speaker and Deputy Speaker as its officials. �The Deputy Chairman presides over the meetings of the Council of States when the Chairman is absent. Similary, the Deputy Speaker presides over the meetings of the Lok Sabha when the Speaker is absent.

The office of speaker Pro Tem who is usually the seniormost member of the Lok Sabha after general elections, presides over the house until the Speaker is elected, �This is done at the first sitting of the Lok Sabha after the House is constituted, following general elections. The officials presiding the Houses of Parliament supervise the legislative proceedings of their respective Houses, maintain decorum and discipline in the Houses, interpret the rules of procedures and parliamentary precedents when asked, adjourn the Houses when there is no quorum, and exercise their casting vote when votes are divided equally in the voting.

Working of the Parliament

�The two Houses of the Parliament function as per specified rules and regulations. �The working of the Parliament can be briefly summed up as under:

There is a leader of the House in Lok Sabha, usually, it is the Prime Minister. In case, the Prime Minister is not the member of the Lok Sabha, the other cabinet rank member becomes the leader. There is a separate leader in the Rajya Sabha, usually a minister of cabinet rank. Deputy Leaders of the Houses are also appointed. These leaders help conduct business in their respective House. In each House, there is a leader of the opposition, usually the leader of the largest opposition party, and recognised as such by the speaker (See Act No. 33, of the Act 1997) .

�The Party Whip of each political party in each House is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the attendance of his party members when required and of securing their support in favour of or against particular bill. He regulates and monitors their behaviour in the Parliament. �The disciplinary action is taken, against the member by the concerned party if its directives are flouted by its members.

Sessions of Parliament

The President summons the sessions of the Parliament (Article 85). He can prorogue either House of the Parliament. He can dissolve the Lok Sabha sessions on the advice of the Prime Minister, but not of one who has lost a confidence vote in the Lok Sabha. The Constitution says that the duration of gap between the meetings of the should not exceed six months (Article 85).

In case the Lok Sabha is dissolved, the status with regard to the pending bills would be as under:

  • A bill pending in the Lok Sabha lapses (whether in the Lok Sabha or one that was transmitted to the Rajya Sabha),
  • A bill passed by the Lok Sabha but pending in the Rajya Sabha lapses,
  • A bill not passed by the two Houses due to disagreement and if the President has notified the holding of a joint sitting, does not lapse,
  • A bill pending in the Rajya Sabha and which has not passed by the Lok Sabha does not lapse,
  • A bill passed by both Houses but pending the assent of the President does not lapse
  • A bill though passed by both the Houses but had been returned by the President for reconsideration of Houses, does not lapse.

Government motions generally seek approval of the House with regard to some policy or action. Motions moved by private members focus on eliciting opinion of the House on a particular matter. "Three categories of the motion are: substance, substitute, subsidiary. A substance motion is moved in lieu of an original motion, proposing an alternative to the original motion. A subsidiary motion is a follow-up motion on some proceedings in the House. A subsidiary motion has no relevance, independent of the original motion.

Subsidiary motions are further classified into three categories:

  • ancillary motion,
  • superseding motion, and
  • amendment

Some types of motions, in parliamentary proceedings, may be stated as:

Call Attention Motion

�This unique �Calling Attention� motion allows members to highlight attention of the government especially the ministers, on an important matter of public importance. �The minister is allowed to make a brief statement or request a later date for making a statement.

Adjournment Motion

In Parliamentary procedure, �adjournment� means a termination of debate on a motion/resolution/bill in the House. It may also mean a brief break during a sitting of the House. Adjournment sine die means termination of the sitting of the House for the next sitting.

No Confidence Motion

The Motion of Confidence takes place when a one-line motion under Rule 184 specifies �that this House (Lok Sabha) expresses its confidence in the Council of Ministers� is moved by the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers remains in office as long as it enjoys the confidence of the Lok Sabha. If the Lok Sabha expresses a lack of confidence in the Council of Ministers, the ministry has to resign. In order to ascertain the confidence, the rules provide for moving a motion to this effect, which is called a Confidence motion.

A motion of No-confidence, once admitted, has to be taken up within 10 days of the leave being granted. �The Rajya Sabha has no such power to entertain a motion of No-Confidence.

Censure Motion

A censure motion is a type of no-confidence motion. While a motion of a no-confidence need not specify any ground on which it is based, a censure motion must reveal the ground on which it is based. �This type of motion is moved specifically for censuring the government�s specific policies/actions. A censure motion can be moved against the whole Council of Ministers or a minister for the failure to act or not to act and may express regret, indignation or surprise of the House.

Privilege

The members of the Parliament may raise a question involving a breach of either a member or the Council or of a Committee, with the consent of the Speaker/Chairmen.

Written by princy

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