Indian Parliament is a living example of our rich democratic tradition, this institution has continuously worked towards making our country better.
In this article, we will discuss the Indian Parliament in a simple and easy way and try to understand its various important aspects; So for better understanding, definitely read the article till the end as well as read other related articles as well.
|Lok Sabha: Role, Structure, Functions||Hindi||English|
|Rajya Sabha: Constitution, Powers||Hindi||English|
History of Indian Parliament
India formally became a parliamentary democracy on 26 January 1950. Although institutions like democracy and Parliament are not new to India, clear evidence of this starts appearing from the Vedic period itself.
In the Vedic period there used to be two organizations called Sabha and Samiti. Where Samiti used to be a general body and the Sabha was a smaller body consisting of a few selected seniors. (Like today’s Rajya Sabha). The special feature of these bodies was that, like today, discussions were held on various important topics and decisions were usually taken by majority. And it would not have been possible to ignore these decisions.
This shows that even three thousand years ago people understood the importance of institutions like Parliament for better decisions and governance. Whereas the political system of that time was generally based on the monarchical concept. Although institutions such as sabha and samiti gradually disappeared after the establishment of large empires, they always existed in rural India in the form of village sanghas, gram sabhas or panchayats; Whether it is under Islamic rule or under British rule.
Emergence of Modern Indian Parliamentary System
The emergence of modern Indian parliamentary system can be seen from the period of British rule. However, it developed very slowly over a period of about 100 years. which can be seen below.
Charter Act 1833 – Through this act the Governor General of India was introduced in place of the Governor General of Bengal. Under this, a council was formed for the Governor General of India, which was called the Indian Council.
Due to this Indian Council, the beginning of the Central Legislature in India is considered from here. There were three members in this council and they used to hold separate meetings for law making and a separate meeting for administrative work. Lord Macaulay, who was a legal expert, was included as the fourth member .
Although it was not like today, but still it could be said that the Central Legislature had started.
Charter Act 1853 – Under this act 6 more members were added to the council created earlier and it was named as Legislative Councilor. It was made to function like a small parliament. In this way the administrative and legislative functions of the Central Council were now completely separated.
In this way, this council became 10 members, excluding the Governor General. Later the Commander-in-Chief was also included in this. Through this new council, an attempt was made to work in the same way as in the British Parliament.
Indian Council Act 1861 – This act is special in the sense that under it the inclusion of Indian representatives in the process of making laws started.
Note – By the Government of India Act 1858, the post of Viceroy was introduced by abolishing the post of Governor General. That is, now the Governor General came to be called the Viceroy.
In fact, under this act, the Viceroy was given the freedom to include a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 members in his council. Under this, the then Viceroy Lord Canning included three Indians – Raja of Benares, Maharaja of Patiala and Sir Dinkar Rao – in the council.
Another special thing that happened under this act was that three Provincial Legislative Councils were formed. Bengal in 1862, North-West Frontier Province in 1866 and Punjab in 1897.
Overall, it can be said that the foundation of today’s state legislature was laid here. Secondly, in this period (in 1885) the Congress was also formed, whose initial objective was to increase the number of provincial councils and increase the number of Indian members in it. And they also seemed to be successful in their objective.
Indian Councils Act 1892 – as desired by Congress; This act was brought to increase Indian representation in the Legislative Councils. Under this, there was a system that up to 16 members could be included in the Viceroy’s Council. Under this, 5 members were included in the Viceroy’s Council (i.e. in the Indian Legislative Council). Out of which 4 were sent from the provincial legislative councils and 1 by the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce.
However, in spite of all this, the majority was of government members only. That is, even the non-official members together could not do much. But then this act was special in the sense that the system of indirect election was adopted to choose the members and the members of the Legislative Council were given the right to ask questions.
Indian Council Act 1909 – This act is also the result of the campaigns run by the Congress. Under this, the number of members in the Legislative Council was increased from 16 to 60. Similarly, the number of members in the Provincial Legislative Council was also increased more than double.
Although the central legislative council still had a majority of government members, private members could also come to the majority in provincial legislative councils. Along with this, the rights of the members of the council were also increased such as the right to vote on the budget, the right to ask supplementary questions, etc.
The worst thing about this act was that it arranged for elections but on communal lines. That is, only a Muslim can choose a Muslim representative, etc.
Government of India Act 1919 – The biggest feature of this act was that a bicameral legislature was created at the center. One was the Council of States (which we call Rajya Sabha today) and the other was the Legislative Assembly (which we call the Lok Sabha today).
The Council of State could have a maximum of 60 members, out of which only 20 could be an official member. The number of members in the Legislative Assembly was temporarily increased from 60 to 140. Out of which 100 were to be selected through election.
Under this Act two lists were made and thus the legislative subjects of the Center and the Provinces were separated. (as in today’s system)
Overall, a parliamentary system-like system had been shaped to a great extent by this Act. Because now the central budget and the provincial budget were also separated. Public Service Commission was constituted for civil servants etc.
Government of India Act 1935 – The purpose of this act was to establish a federal system in India. For this, bicameral system was introduced in 6 provinces by this act. The franchise was extended to 10 percent of the population.
A council of ministers was arranged at the center to aid and advise the Viceroy. Reserve Bank of India was established to control currency and credit. A Federal Court was established in 1937, etc.
However, many provisions of this Act never came into existence. But many good things about this act have been included in our constitution.
Indian Independence Act 1947 – Under this act the British Raj in India ended and India became an independent and sovereign nation from 15 August 1947. And on November 4, 1948, while presenting the draft of the Constitution, Dr. BR Ambedkar spoke of adopting a parliamentary system of government.
The Constitution came into force on 26 January 1950 and thus India became a parliamentary system country. Elections were held for the first time on this basis in 1951-52 and till date India is running under the same system.
What is Parliament?
Parliament is the legislative organ of the central government from where the fate of the whole country is written and erased. In other words, the name of our collective thinking and effort is Parliament. According to the Indian Constitution, the Parliament is made up of three components – the President, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. That is, these three components are collectively called Parliament.
Although the President does not sit in the Parliament but still he is an integral part of the Parliament. Why is this? It is explained further.
Under the 5th part of the constitution, the constitution, composition, duration, officers, procedure, privileges and power etc. of Parliament have been described in Article 79 to Article 122. We are going to understand everyone further.
Role of Indian Parliament
Parliament is the seat of those people who represent a particular section of the people. The main function of Parliament is to make laws or acts or to abolish or amend irrelevant and unnecessary laws; So that such a system should be maintained which is rational and just according to that time period.
constitution of parliament
According to Article 79 , the Indian Parliament is the highest representative body of the country, which is governed (or constituted) by its three constituents – the President and two houses – the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.
President – The President is the constitutional head of the country and conducts his functions from Rashtrapati Bhavan. It is an integral part of the Parliament and the biggest reason for this is that any bill passed by the Parliament does not become an Act until the President gives his assent to it. Secondly, the executive, which is a member of the majority party of Parliament itself; They do all their work in the name of the President. [Read more – President]
Lok Sabha – The lower house of the Parliament is called the Lok Sabha. It is discussed in Article 81. Its members are directly elected by the public and sent. At present there are 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha is special in the sense that it is the government that forms it. [For more details – read Lok Sabha]
Rajya Sabha – The upper house of the Parliament is called Rajya Sabha. It is discussed in Article 80. It is also called a gathering of intellectuals because it is usually a tradition to send such people here. It is not directly elected by the public and it is a continuous running house. At present it has 245 seats. [Read Rajya Sabha for more details ]
Membership of Indian Parliament
Qualifications – Under Article 84 of the Constitution, the following qualifications are prescribed for being elected to the Indian Parliament-
1. He must be a citizen of India
2. He must take oath before any person authorized by the Election Commission for the purpose. In his oath he undertakes that he will have true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and that he will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.
3. He should be at least 30 years of age to get a seat in the Rajya Sabha and at least 25 years of age to get a seat in the Lok Sabha.
expulsion from parliament
Disqualification – According to Article 102, a person cannot become a member of the Parliament of India if,
1. He holds an office of profit under the Government of India or any State Government
2. If he is of unsound mind and the Court has so declared
3. If he is a declared insolvent
4. If he is not a citizen of India
5. If he Disqualified by any law made by Parliament. Such as Representation of the People Act, Defection Act etc.
The following provisions are also considered as disqualification under the Representation of the People Act, 1951. such as –
1. He has been convicted of an election offense or corrupt practice in an election.
2. He has been sentenced to two years or more in any offense.
3. He has failed to furnish the details of election expenses within the prescribed time.
4. He is interested in government contract work or services,
5. He holds an office of profit in a corporation in which the government has a 25% stake,
6. He has been dismissed from government services for corruption or insincere
7. He has enmity with different groups Has been punished for extortion or bribery
8. He has been found involved in the spread of social offenses like untouchability, dowry etc.
The decision of the President on the question of the above disqualifications in a member is final, although he takes this decision after taking the opinion of the Election Commission.
Disqualification on grounds of defection – According to the Constitution, a person can be disqualified from the membership of Parliament, if he is found guilty of defection in accordance with the provisions of the 10th Schedule. for example –
1. If he voluntarily resigns from the political party on whose ticket he has won the election,
2. If he votes in the House against the directions given by his party,
3. If elected as an independent Member and joins a political party,
4. If a nominated member joins a political party after six months.
All matters relating to defection are disposed of by the Chairman in the Rajya Sabha and by the Speaker in the Lok Sabha. But remember that the Supreme Court can judicially review this decision taken by the Speaker and the Chairman.
When does a seat in the Indian Parliament become vacant?
According to Article 101, the Member of Parliament of India has to vacate his seat in the following situations:-
Dual Membership – No person can be a member of both the houses of Parliament at the same time. The provision related is mentioned in the Representation of the People Act, 1951. such as
(1) If a person is elected to both the Houses of Parliament, he shall, within 10 days, specify in which House he is to reside. In case of non-intimation, his seat in the Rajya Sabha will become vacant.
(2) If a member of one house is also elected a member of the other house, then his office in the first house becomes vacant.
(3) If a person is elected to two seats in the same House, he must voluntarily vacate one of the seats, otherwise, both the seats become vacant. This happens because many times a candidate contests from two places.
(4) A person cannot be a member of the Parliament and of the State Legislature at the same time. If a person is elected in both the places, then he has to vacate the seat of the state legislature within 14 days, if he does not, then his membership in the Parliament ends.
Resignation :- A member may resign his office by resignation addressed to the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. The Chairman or Speaker may or may not accept the resignation. If the resignation is accepted then his seat becomes vacant and if it is not made then his seat does not become vacant.
If a member is absent from all the sittings of the House for more than a period of 60 days without the leave of the House, the House can declare his office vacant.
(Remember one thing here that in computing the period of these 60 days, the period of adjournment or prorogation of the House for more than four consecutive days is not taken into account.)
Apart from this, the seat of a member can become vacant in many other ways, such as – if the court invalidates the election from which he has won, if he is expelled by the House, if he is the President or The Vice-President is elected or if he is made the Governor of a State. Such issues are dealt with by the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Some important provisions related to the Indian Parliament
According to Article 99 , every member of both the Houses of Parliament, before taking his seat, takes oath and signs it before the President or a person appointed by him for the purpose. The Member of Parliament pledges in oath that I will :- 1. Have true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India 2. Will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India 3. Will discharge my duties faithfully
According to Article 104 , unless a member has taken oath, he cannot take part in or vote in any sitting of the House. He also does not get the benefit of the privileges and immunities of Parliament and has to pay a fine for sitting without taking oath.
In addition, a member may be liable to pay a fine if he knows that he does not qualify for membership, or when he knows that under any parliamentary law he is not entitled to sit or vote in Parliament.
what will be said in the oath; It is written in the third schedule, if you want, you can read it by clicking ️ here.
presiding officer of parliament
Both houses of Parliament have their own presiding officers. There is a Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the Lok Sabha and the Chairman and Deputy Speaker for the Rajya Sabha. Their main job is to run the house smoothly. [Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman ️ How do they do this? A separate article is available on this, please read it.]
language in parliament
It is mentioned in Article 120. Before the implementation of the Constitution, there was a lot of difference among the members of the Constituent Assembly on the language, some members were in favor of Hindi and some were in favor of English. Due to this difference, when the Constitution came into force, no language was made the national language, but both Hindi and English were declared as the languages of the proceedings of the House. It was arranged that English is allowed to run for 15 years, after which it will end itself, but this did not happen. In 1963, the Official Language Act was enacted, which allowed the continuity of English along with Hindi.
However, this does not mean that no other language can be used in the House except these two languages. If the Presiding Officer wants, he can give the right to speak in his mother tongue as well because there is a provision of translation in both the houses.
leader in Indian Parliament
According to the rules of the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister or a minister appointed by the Prime Minister is the leader of the house but he must be a member of the Lok Sabha. In Rajya Sabha also there is a leader of the house. Who is appointed by the Prime Minister but must be a member of the Rajya Sabha.
leader of the opposition
There is a Leader of the Opposition in both the houses of the Parliament. To become the leader of the opposition, it is necessary that he has at least one tenth of the total members. That is, if we talk about the Lok Sabha, the party which will have at least 55 seats, the same party will choose its leader, who will be called the leader of the opposition.
The main task of the opposition is to properly criticize the actions of the government and to arrange for an alternative government, that is why the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha got importance in 1977. He gets salary, allowances and facilities like a cabinet minister.
Remember one thing here that there is no provision like Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition mentioned in the Constitution, it is based on tradition in a way.
What is whip ?
Whip is also mentioned neither in the Constitution of India nor in the rules of the House. This too is based on the traditions of parliamentary government.
Each political party, whether in power or in opposition, has its own whip in Parliament. It simply means that whenever a party wants its members to behave according to their party, then a whip is issued. For example, if the party wants all its members to be present in the house, then they can issue a whip.
If a party wants all its members to vote in favor or against a bill, then they can issue a whip. After issuing the whip, the members of that party have to do what they are told. If a member does not do so, disciplinary action can be taken against him.
Rights of Ministers and Attorney General
Under Article 88 , every minister and the Attorney General of India, besides being a member of the House, has the right to express his views in the House, to take part in the proceedings of the House, in joint sitting of both the Houses. Can participate, but without the right to vote.
A minister who is a member of the Lok Sabha can take part in the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha, similarly a minister who is a member of the Rajya Sabha can take part in the proceedings of the Lok Sabha. Even a minister who is not a member of either house can participate in the proceedings of both the houses but only for 6 months.
Due to the length of the article, all the aspects of Parliament could not be included in this article, but a separate article has been made available on it. You can read other articles with the help of the link given below.