The State Legislature is a replica of the Parliament itself. The state legislature for the states has been envisaged just as the Parliament for the Center has been envisaged; Although there are two houses in the Parliament whereas the State Legislature may or may not have two houses.

In this article, we will discuss the State Legislature in a simple and easy way and understand its constitution, functions, privileges etc. If you have a good understanding of Parliament then you will understand it easily.

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State Legislature overview

For example, if we talk about Parliament, it is also a legislature because there is work to make laws etc. That is why we can call it the Central Legislature. Similarly, the constitution has provided a legislature for each state, which is known as the state legislature. Just as the Parliament plays a role in the political system of the country, the legislature has a similar role in the political system of the state.

Article 168 to 212 of the Constitution deals with the constitution, tenure, officers, procedures, privileges and powers of the State Legislature. Although all these things are like Parliament, but some differences are found in it, this is so that according to the situation of a state, it can fit in it.

constitution of state legislature

Talking about Parliament, there are two houses (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha). But there is no uniformity in the constitution of the State Legislature. In some state there is one unicameral system and in some state there is bicameral system. That is, in a state there is both a Legislative Assembly and a Legislative Council, whereas in some states there is only a Legislative Assembly.

Barring the present seven states (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka) where there is a bicameral system, all the rest of the states have a single unicameral system.

In the states where there is a unicameral system, the state legislature consists of the governor and the assembly. And in the states where there is a bicameral system, the legislature consists of the Governor, the Legislative Assembly as well as the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council is called the Upper House, while the Legislative Assembly is called the Lower House.

Some states have Legislative Councils and some do not, why is it so?

While framing the constitution, many members believed that the Legislative Council would delay the legislative work of the legislature and at the same time it would also increase the expenditure of the state. That’s why it was eventually made an alternative arrangement. That is, if a state wants to establish or constitute a Legislative Council, then the state can do so by taking care of its desire and economic condition. For example Andhra Pradesh formed a Legislative Council in 1957 and then it was abolished in 1985. Again in 2007 the Legislative Council was revived in Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, Tamil Nadu had a Legislative Council, so it abolished it in 1986.

The Constitution has given the right to the Parliament to constitute and dissolve the State Legislative Council. How? If a state needs a Legislative Council or if a state already has a Legislative Council and wants to remove it, then the Legislative Assembly of that state has to pass a resolution in this regard. Such a special resolution has to be passed by the state assembly with an absolute majority. That is, this majority should not be less than two-thirds of the total votes and the members present.

Such action is not considered a constitutional amendment under Article 368, that is, it is passed just like a normal legislation.

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Parliamentary MotionHindiEnglish

Membership of State Legislature

1. Qualifications – A person can be elected a member of the Legislature only if he fulfills the following qualifications mentioned by the Constitution.

 1. He should be a citizen of India. 

2. He has to take an oath before any person authorized by the Election Commission, in which he resolves that (1) he will bear true allegiance to the Constitution of India, and, (2) will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.

3. His age should be at least 25 years for the seat of the Legislative Assembly and at least 30 years for the seat of the Legislative Council.

4. He should also have other qualifications prescribed by the Parliament, such as – Under the Representation of the People Act 1951 , the House has determined the following additional qualifications :-

(1) A person to be elected to the Legislative Council shall be qualified to be an elector of the Legislative Assembly and must be a resident of the State concerned to be nominated by the Governor.

(2) Must be a member of SC/ST if he contests for the seat of SC/ST. However, a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe can also contest for a seat which is not reserved for him.

2. Disqualification – According to the Constitution, a person cannot be elected to the State Legislative Council or to the Legislative Assembly,

1. If he holds any office of profit under the Central or State Government

2. If he is of unsound mind and there exists such a declaration of a competent court.

3. If he is declared insolvent. 

4. If he is not a citizen of India or has voluntarily acquired citizenship somewhere abroad or has allegiance to a particular State

5. If disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament.

Under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Parliament has laid down certain additional disqualifications:

1. He has not been found guilty of any corrupt practices or electoral offenses in the election. 

2. He has not been convicted of any offense for which he has been sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more. But the detention of any person under any preventive law shall not be deemed to be a disqualification.

3. He has not failed to submit the details regarding election expenditure within the prescribed time limit.

4. He has no interest in any Government contract, work or services. 

5. He should not hold an office of profit or be a director or a managerial agent in a corporation in which the Government holds at least 25% stake. 

6. He has been removed from Government service due to corruption or betrayal of Government. 

7. He should not have been convicted of the offense of promoting enmity between different groups or of bribery. 

8. He should not have been punished for indulging in or promoting social crimes like obscenity, dowry and sati system etc.

If any question arises against any member regarding the above disqualifications, the decision of the Governor shall be final. However, in this matter, he works on the advice of the Election Commission.

Disqualification on the ground of defection – Under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, if a person is disqualified on the ground of defection, he shall be disqualified for membership of either House of the State Legislature.

Such matters are dealt with by the Speaker in the Legislative Assembly and by the Chairman in the Legislative Council. However, the decision taken by them comes under the purview of judicial review. (since 1992)

3. Oath – Every member of each House of the Legislature shall, before taking a seat in the House, take an oath before the Governor or a person appointed by him for the purpose. In this oath a member of the Legislature pledges that he will, 1. have true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India. 2. Will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India. 3. Will discharge the assigned duties faithfully.

No member can vote or take part in the proceedings of the House without taking oath. If any person does so, he will be fined five hundred rupees per day.

4. Vacancy of seats –

In the given cases a member of the Legislature resigns or has to resign. 

1. Dual Membership : A person cannot be a member of both the Houses of the Legislature at the same time. If a person is elected to both the Houses, his seat in one House shall become vacant under the provisions of law made by the State Legislature. 

2. Disqualification : If a member of the State Legislature is found to be disqualified, his office shall become vacant.

3. Resignation : A member can submit his resignation in writing to the Speaker in the case of the Legislative Council and the Speaker in the case of the Legislative Assembly. On acceptance of his resignation, his post will become vacant. 

4. Absence : If a member is absent from the meetings for 60 days without prior permission, the House can declare his office vacant.

5. Other matters : The office of a member may become vacant:-

(1) if his election is invalidated by a court,

(2) if he is expelled from the House,

(3) if he is elected to the office of the President or the Vice-President. be elected to office and

(4) if he is elected as the Governor of a State.

presiding officer of legislature

Each House of the State Legislature has its own Presiding Officer. There is a Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the Legislative Assembly and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the Legislative Council. The Chairman’s panel for the Legislative Assembly and the Vice-Chairman’s panel for the Legislative Council is also appointed. There is a separate article available on this subject, you must read it. read from here

Quorum : A minimum number of members present to do any work is called quorum. It constitutes one tenth of the total members in the House. If there is no quorum during the sitting of the House, it is the duty of the Presiding Officer to adjourn the House or to adjourn the House till the quorum is completed.

Voting in the House : All matters in a sitting of any House are decided on the basis of majority of the members present and the vote of the Presiding Officer is not included in this. Some matters which have been specially decided in the constitution, such as: removal of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly or removal of the Speaker of the Legislative Council, these require special majority instead of simple majority. The Presiding Officer cannot vote in the normal case, but can cast a casting vote in the event of an equal number of votes.

Powers of Ministers and Advocate General

Being a member of the House, every Minister and Advocate General has the right to take part in the proceedings of the House, speak and participate in the Committee attached to the House for which he is nominated as a member, without the right to vote. There are two reasons for this provision of the Constitution: 1. A minister can also take part in the proceedings of the House of which he is not a member. 2. A Minister who is not a member of the House can take part in the proceedings of both the Houses.

State Legislature Privileges

The privileges of the State Legislature are the sum total of the special rights, immunities and exemptions enjoyed by the Houses of the State Legislature, its committees and its members. This is essential to ensure the independence and effectiveness of their proceedings. Without these privileges, the House can neither maintain its authority, dignity and honour, nor can it provide any greater protection to its members in the discharge of their legislative responsibilities.

The Constitution has also extended the privileges of the State Legislature to those persons who are authorized to speak and speak in the proceedings of the House of the State Legislature or any of its committees. This includes the Advocate General of the State and the Minister of State.

It is necessary to clarify here that the privileges of the State Legislature are not available to the Governor, who is an integral part of the State Legislature.

The privileges of the state legislature can be divided into two main categories – one that is jointly enjoyed by each house of the state legislature and the other which is enjoyed by the members individually.

Collective privilege – The collective legislative privileges that each house gets are as follows:

1. It has the right to publish its reports, debates and proceedings and also to prohibit others from its publication.

2. It can exclude strangers from its proceedings and can hold secret meetings in some important matters.

3. It may, in its rules of procedure and conduct of business, regulate and decide such matters.

4. It may punish outsiders including members for breach of privileges or contempt of the House by reprimand, or imprisonment. It can also suspend or expel its members.

5. It has the right to receive immediate information regarding the arrest, conviction, imprisonment and release of a member.

6. It may initiate inquiry and order the attendance of witnesses and send relevant letters and records.

7. Court cannot inquire into the Assembly or its committees

8. No person can be arrested and any legal process can be done in the premises of the assembly without the permission of the Presiding Officer.

Personal Privilege – The personal privileges available to a member are as follows:

1. He cannot be arrested for 40 days before and 40 days after the commencement of the House. This exemption is only in a civil case, not a criminal or restrictive prohibition case.

2. They have the freedom to speak in the State Legislature. The opinion or opinion given by him in any proceeding or committee cannot be challenged in any court. This freedom is in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution and the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of the State Legislature. 

3. They are free from judicial services. While the House is in operation, he can refuse to give evidence or appear as a witness in any case.

So here are some basic things about the State Legislature, you must have seen that it is similar to Parliament. There are also some other articles related to this which are given below, read them also.

Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council : Constitution, Functions, Powers, etc.

legislative process in the legislature

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