What is a Parliament in India?
The Indian Parliament consists of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha with the President of India acting as their head.
What is the Lok Sabha?
As conceived by the Constitution of India, the Lok Sabha or the House of People (Lower House) consists of 552 members made up by elections. 530 members represent States and 20 represent Union Territories and 2 members from the Anglo – Indian community are nominated by the President of India.
Unless dissolved, the Lok Sabha operates for five years from the date of its appointment.
What are the powers of Lok Sabha?
- Motions of No Confidence can be introduced and passed. If the majority votes, the Prime Minister and the Ministers resign collectively.
- Money Bills are passed and taken forward to the Rajya Sabha only if passed by the Lok Sabha.
- Equal powers with Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing a Bill for Constitutional Amendment.
- Equal powers with Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing the motion for the impeachment of the President, by a two third majority.
- Equal powers with Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing a motion for the impeachment of the judges of the Supreme Court and the State High Courts, who are then removed by the President of India.
- Equal Powers with Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing a resolution declaring war or national emergency, by a two third majority voting or constitutional emergency (by simple majority) at State level.
- The Lok Sabha has almost equal powers as Rajya Sabha, though Lok Sabha has more influence due to the high number of Members.
What is the Rajya Sabha?
According to the Indian Constitution, the Rajya Sabha or the Council of States (Upper House) membership is restricted to 250. The members of Rajya Sabha are elected by state and territorial legislatures using single transferrable votes. The members are in office for six years with one third of members retiring every two years. Twelve members of the Rajya Sabha are selected on the basis of their contribution to arts, science, literature, social science.
Unlike the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha cannot be dissolved. Although the President can prorogue the session and adjourn it. The Vice President of India is the ex officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
What are the powers of Rajya Sabha?
- Same as that of Lok Sabha, except some motions cannot be passed by Rajya Sabha, according to the guidelines of the Constitution of India.
- The Rajya Sabha member cannot bring about Motion of No Confidence against the government.
- In Indian federal structure, Rajya Sabha is a representative of the States in the Union legislature and hence is granted powers that protect the rights of States against the Union.
- The union government cannot make a law on a matter reserved for states without any authorisation from Rajya Sabha.
- Rajya Sabha, by a two-thirds super majority can pass a resolution empowering the Government of India to create more All-India Services common to both Union and States, including a judicial service.