Lok Sabha: Functioning, Membership, Dissolution of effect under Constitution6 min read

By- Aradhaya Singh

Introduction

The Parliament of India consists of three organs. The President, the Council of States (the Rajya Sabha) and the House of People (the Lok Sabha). Though President is not a member of either House of Parliament yet, like the British Crown, he is an integral part of the Parliament and performs certain functions relating to its proceedings. The President of America is not an integral part of the Legislature. In India, the President summons the two Houses of Parliament, dissolves the House of People and gives assent of Bills.

The lower house of parliament is calledLokSabha or House of the people.

It is also called the Popular house because its members are elected directly by the people. As it is clear from its name it represents the people of India. It is a powerful and fully democratic house of the union parliament and its similar to the British house of commons.

Membership

The members of the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people. The number of its membership as provided under Article 81 (1) is [550] out of whom, (a) not more than [530] are elected by the votes in the States, (b) not more than 20 to represent the Union Territories (Article 81). The provisions of Article 81 (1) are subject to the provisions of Article 331 under which the President may nominate not more than two members of the Anglo- Indian community of in his opinion that community is not  adequately represented in the Lok Sabha. Thus, the actual strength of the Lok Sabha may be 550 or maximum 552 depending on such opinion of the President and nomination by him.

The representatives of States are directly elected by the people of the State on the basis of Adult Franchise. The representatives of the Union Territories shall be elected in the manner prescribed by Parliament by law. Every citizen of India, male or female who is not less than 18 years of age and is not disqualified on the grounds of non- residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice, is entitled to vote at election of the Lok Sabha (Article 326).

Territorial Constituencies

For the purpose of elections to the Lok Sabha each state is divided into Territorial Constituencies in such manner that the ratio between the population of each constituency and the number of seats allotted to it, as far as practicable, is the same throughout the State. Each State is allotted a number of seats in the Lok Sabha in such manner that ratio between that number and its populations, so far as practicable is the same for all States.

The readjustment of territorial constituencies on the basis of new census after the year 2026 will take place from such date as the President may order. Whether the readjustment of the constituencies and consequently the reallocation of seats in the House of People would be necessary after the year 2026 will be decided by the President. Thus, there will be no re-adjustment of the territorial constituencies on the basis of new census till the year 2026. Whether the re – adjustment of the Constituencies and consequently the re- allocation of seats in the House of the People would be necessary after the year 2026 will be decided by the President.

Tenure

The Lok Sabha shall continue for five years from the commencement of its first session. The President may, however, dissolve it even earlier. But when a proclamation of emergency is in operation the life of the House of People may be extended by law of parliament for one year at a time. The Lok Sabha, whose life has been so extended, cannot continue beyond a period of six months after the proclamation of emergency has ceased to operate [Article 83 (2)].

The Lok Sabha in India is composed of on almost similar lines as the Lower House in England, America, Canada and Australia. The Lok Sabha in India may be dissolved even before the expiry of its normal period of five years.

READ ALSO: DISTRIBUTION OF POWER BETWEEN CENTRE AND STATE (ARTICLE 245-255) SCHEDULE VII




Functioning

1.  Legislative power :

 The Lok Sabha together with the Rajya Sabhahas the power to frame laws on subjects in the union list, concurrent list, and the residuary subjects.

Although ordinary bill can be introduced in either of two houses of the Parliament,  yet almost 95% of the bills are introduced in the Lok Sabha.

 In a Joint session due to deadlock, the Lok Sabha dominates the show because of its large membership. Hence the Lok Sabha has a dominant position.

2.  Executive powers :

Under article 75(3) of, constitution council of the minister has been made responsible to the House of people that is Lok Sabha. The council of minister remains in office till it enjoys the confidence of the Lok Sabha if, it loses the confidence of Lok Sabha the Council of Ministers shall have to resign.

Thus,  the Lok Sabha enjoys the power over life and death of the council of minister.

3.  Financial power :

 a) The Lok Sabha has a superior position in the financial matter as a money bill can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha.

b) A money bill can only be delayed by the Rajya Sabha for a maximum of 14 days.

 If the Rajya Sabha fails to pass the money bill within the 14 days of receiving it, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both of the houses of the Parliament.

c) In case of any dispute as to whether a particular bill is money bill or not the decision of the speaker of the Lok Sabha is final.

4.  Judicial power :

 The Lok Sabha possesses the following judicial power-

a) The charges of impeachment against President, Judges of Supreme Court and the High court can be framed in either of two houses by a two-thirds majority of the members present voting.

 b) Though the impeachment charges against the Vice President of India by Rajya Sabha, it is essential that regulation is passed by the Lok Sabha also.

 c) In case of the violation of the discipline in the Lok Sabha, the members are free to take action against the defaulting members.

Dissolution of effect

In India, the Lok Sabha has a five-year term, but can be dissolved earlier. According to Article 83(2) of the Constitution, completion of five years from the first day of its meeting amounts to dissolution of the Lower House. In this case, an election is held to elect the new Members of Parliament. The Lower House can also be dissolved earlier by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. It can also be dissolved if the President feels that no viable government can be formed after the resignation or fall of a regime.

Conclusion

It is very evident that despite being the lower house of the Parliament the Lok Sabha is a very powerful house.

The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha and not before the Rajya Sabha. They remain in office as long as they enjoy the confidence of the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha full control over the state finances. Hence we can conclude that Lok Sabha is a more powerful chamber.




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