Parliament may be perceived as a political institution to ensure the realization of what Mahatma Gandhi once envisaged that, Democracy essentially is the art and science of mobilizing and utilizing the entire physical, economic and immaterial & metaphysical resources for the common good of all the people.
Though the origin of the concept of Parliament traces to European nations since medieval ages, it has been an indispensable part of the Indian democratic structure since the inception of democracy in India.
After the first general election in the year 1952, both the houses of parliament came into existence.
It must be noted that after the Constitution was adopted and till general elections, i.e., between 1950 to 1952, the Constituent Assembly itself functioned as the provisional legislative body
The supreme legislative organ of the union of India is called the Parliament. Indian Constitution provides us a Parliamentary Democracy. Parliament of India is made from Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and President. Articles 79-122 of the Indian Constitution deal with the composition, powers and procedures of the Parliament of India.
COMPOSITION OF PARLIAMENT
Article 79 of the Constitution of India states that there shall be a Parliament for the Union, which comprises of the President and the two Houses- Rajya Sabha (the council of states) and Lok Sabha (House of the people).
Article 80 of the Constitution specifies the composition of the council of states, which consists of 12 members nominated by the President and 238 representatives of the state and union territories.
The allocation of seats in the council of states to be fulfilled by representatives of states and union territories in accordance with the provisions contained in the 4th schedule.
Representation from States- They shall be elected by the elected members of the legislative assembly of the state in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. Hence from the above it can be said that the number of seats to each state varies in accordance with population of that state. Therefore, larger states occupy more seats than smaller states.
THE RAJYA SABHA OR THE UPPER HOUSE
This house is permanent in nature as it can never be dissolved. This is because every member elected to the Rajya Sabha serves for a term of 6 years and one-third of members do retire biennially, while the other members continue their tenure. It’s like an election in different batches.
Retired members are subject to re-election.
This house consists of 250 members out of which, 238 members are elected by means of a single transferable vote. 12 members are nominated by the President on the advice of the council of ministers.
The method of election of these members is listed in Article 80(1) of the Indian Constitution.
It says that the members would be elected by the elected members of respective state assemblies in accordance with proportionate representation of every state.
Article 84 of the Indian Constitution provides for the qualification to become a member of Rajya Sabha, i.e., one must have the nationality of India, doesn’t holds any office of profit and must have completed 30 years of age. Article 102 of the Indian Constitution provides for conditions on which one can be disqualified from either of the houses. It says that one must be disqualified as a member of the house if,
- he/she holds any office of profit;
- he/she is of unsound mind;
- he/she is discharged insolvent;
- he/she is not a citizen of India and has voluntarily accepted the nationality of other nations;
- he/she is disqualified under any law made by the Parliament.
In Rajya Sabha, the Vice-President of India presides of its sessions and is ex-officio chairperson of the house.
THE LOK SABHA OR THE HOUSE OF PEOPLE
The provisions of Article 331 of the Indian Constitution provides for the existence of the house of the people and shall consist of a maximum of 530 chosen members from different states, not more than 20 members to be chosen from the Union Territories. If President feels that there is a lack of representation of the Anglo-Indian Community in parliament, he may nominate two members of the Anglo-Indian Community.
Some seats are also reserved for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribes’ communities especially laid aside for them all over the country.
The representation is allocated to the states and the Union Territories according to the Representation of the people Act passed by the Parliament of India in 1951.
The Lok Sabha, unless dissolved midway, continues its tenure for 5 years from the day of its first meeting.
The members elected by Universal Adult Suffrage serve their offices for a tenure of five years.
QUALIFICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP OF PARLIAMENT
Qualifications necessary for becoming a member of parliament is provided in Article 84 of the Indian Constitution.
Following are the qualifications:
- he/she should be a citizen of India.
- In the case of Upper House, i.e., Rajya Sabha, he/she should have completed at least 30 years of age and for Lower House, i.e., Lok Sabha, he/she should have completed 25 years of age.
- he/she need to comply with other such qualifications as prescribed in any law by the Indian Parliament.
Now, Article 102 of the Indian Constitution lays the grounds on which a legislator can be disqualified as a member of the Parliament.
Those grounds are:
- If he/she holds any office of profit under the Government of India or any of the states;
- If he/she is declared of unsound mind by a Court;
- If he/she is an undischarged insolvent;
- If he/she is not a citizen of India anymore;
- If he/she is disqualified by virtue of any law passed by the parliament of India.
SESSIONS OF PARLIAMENT
Now coming to Sessions of the Parliament, let’s first understand what exactly a session is.
So, whenever either of the houses meets for the conduct of its business, for the period it meets, is called a session.
With not more than a 6-months gap, the president can summon either of the houses for conducting a session.
Thus, the Parliament must necessarily meet at least two times a year.
As per convention, three sessions are conducted by the Indian Parliament in a year:
- Budget Session between February and May.
- Monsoon Session between July and September.
- Winter Session between November and December
The Indian President is the head of the state. He is the first citizen of India and is a symbol of solidarity, unity, and integrity of the nation. He is a part of Union Executive along with the Vice-President, Prime Minister, Council of Ministers, and Attorney-General of India.
Once President is elected, he holds office for five years. He sits in the office even after the completion of five years given no new election has taken place or no new President has been elected till then. He can also be re-elected and there is no cap on his re-election.
A candidate has to meet some qualifications to be elected as the president. Those qualifications of the President are:
- He should be an Indian Citizen
- His age should be a minimum of 35 years
3.He should qualify the conditions to be elected as a member of the Lok Sabha
4.He should not hold any office of profit under the central government, state government, or any public authority
The only condition for the initiation of impeachment of the Indian president is the ‘violation of the constitution.’
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