The Legislatures in India

“The legislatures in India include the Parliament with two Houses at the Union level and the legislative bodies at the State level as also the local bodies at the local (urban and rural) level. VI:II:A: The Parliament Article 79 of the Constitution says that there shall be a Parliament for the Union which consists of the President and two Houses: the Council of States, i.e., the Rajya Sabha and the House of the People, i.e., the Lok Sabha.

“Though the President is not a member of either House of the Parliament, he constitutes a part of it in so far as he

  • Can convenes, prorogues the sessions of the two Houses and can dissolve the House of the people, he
  • also has the power to address the Houses, ask for a joint meeting of the two Houses,
  • promulgates the ordinances during the intervals of the sessions of the Parliament, and
  • gives assent, withholds or sends the bill back to the originating House of Parliament. “The President has the power to send messages to the Houses of Parliament.

The Rajya Sabha (The Council of States)

The Council of States, i.e., the Rajya Sabha, is the upper House of the Indian Parliament. “The total strength of the Rajya Sabha is 250, out to which 12, distinguished in the fields of literature, science, art and social service are nominated by the President of India and the remaining 238 are those who represent the States and the Union Territories as per the Fourth Schedule, elected by the respective legislative assemblies on the basis of the population. Hence the larger the population of the States, more are their numbers in the Rajya Sabha. “Thus, the smaller the State, fewer are its members in the Rajya Sabha.

At present, (in November 2014), there were 245 members in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha). Article 83 says that the Council of States is not to be dissolved, but one-third of its members retire every two years. In accordance with Article 84, qualifications for a Council of States (Rajya Sabha) member are: the candidate should be

(a) a citizen of India,

(b) not less than thirty years of age; and

(c) should have such other qualifications as may be prescribed by Parliament ‘s laws from time to time.

The Lok Sabha (The House of the People)

The Lok Sabha (the House of the People) is the popular house of our Parliament, elected directly by the people. Its total strength is 550; 530 members are elected by the people Indian Polity and Governance’93 from difierent States, while 20 from the Union Territories and two, nominated by the President, if the President is satisfied that the Anglo-Indian community has not been represented. Here also, the larger the state, the more are its members in the Lok Sabha (Article 80).

At present (June, 2014), the strength of the Lok Sabha is 545, nominated members are to be notified. Article 83 refers to the tenure of the Lok Sabha which is five years, unless dissolved earlier; during emergency, its tenure can be extended for a period not more than one year. Article 84 prescribes qualifications of the members of the Lok Sabha which include: (a) the candidate has to be a citizen of India, (b) minimum age 25 years, (c) other qualifications as prescribed by the Parliament from time to time.

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