- Articles 79 to 122 in Part V of the Constitution deal with the organisation, composition, duration, officers, procedures, privileges, powers, and so on of the Parliament.
- Under the Constitution, the Parliament of India consists of three parts:
(i) The President
(ii) The Council of States
(iii) The House of the People
- In 1954, the Hindi names ‘Rajya Sabha' and 'Lok Sabha' were adopted by the Council of States and the House of People respectively. The Rajya Sabha is the Upper House (Second Chamber or House of Elders) and the Lok Sabha is the Lower House (First Chamber or Popular House).
- President of India is not a member of either House of Parliament and does not sit in the Parliament to attend its meetings, he is an integral part of the Parliament. This is because a bill passed by both the Houses of Parliament cannot become law without the President's assent.
- Lok Sabha
The President is authorised to dissolve the Lok Sabha at any time even before the completion of 5 years and this cannot be challenged in a court of law.
- Rajya Sabha
One-third of its members retire every second year. Their seats are filled up by fresh elections and presidential nominations at the beginning of every third year. The term of office of a member of the Rajya Sabha shall be 6 years.
Membership of Parliament
The Constitution lays down the following qualifications for a person to be chosen as a member of the Parliament:
- He must be a citizen of India.
- He must make and subscribe to an oath or affirmation before the person authorised by the election commission for this purpose.
- He must be not less than 30 years of age in the case of the Rajya Sabha and not less than 25 years of age in the case of the Lok Sabha.
- He must possess other qualifications prescribed by Parliament.
- If he holds any office of profit under the Union or state government (except that of a minister or any other office exempted by Parliament).
- If he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a court.
- If he is an undischarged insolvent.
- If he is not a citizen of India or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign state or is under any acknowledgment of allegiance to a foreign state.
- If he is so disqualified under any law made by Parliament.
3. Vacating of Seats
In the following cases, a member of Parliament vacates his seat:
- Double Membership: A person cannot be a member of both Houses of Parliament at the same time.
- Resignation: A member may resign his seat by writing to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha or Speaker of Lok Sabha, as the case may be. The seat falls vacant when the resignation is accepted.
- Absence: A House can declare the seat of a member vacant if he is absent from all its meetings for a period of sixty days without its permission.
4. Speaker: Roles and Responsibility
Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) MP Om Birla was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha on 19th June 2019. Since the Indian System of Government follows the Westminster Model, the Parliamentary proceedings of the country are headed by a presiding officer, who is called the Speaker.
(i) Speaker of the Lok Sabha
- The Lok Sabha, which is the highest legislative body in the country, chooses its Speaker who presides over the day to day functioning of the House.
- Electing the Speaker of the House is one of the first acts of newly constituted House.
- The office of the Speaker is a Constitutional Office. The Speaker is guided by the constitutional provisions and the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.
(ii) Election of the Speaker
- No specific qualifications are prescribed for being elected as the speaker.
- The constitution states that the Speaker must be a member of the House but an understanding of the constitution and conventions of the Parliament is considered a major asset.
- The House elects its presiding officer by a simple majority of members present, who vote in the House.
(iii) Removal of the Speaker
- The Speaker’s term is coterminous with the term of the Lok Sabha i.e. 5 years.
- However, the constitution has given the Lower House authority to remove the Speaker if needed. The House can remove the Speaker through a resolution passed by an effective majority (more than 50% of the total strength of the house present and voting) as per Articles 94 and 96 of the Indian Constitution.
- The Speaker can also be removed on getting disqualified from being a Lok Sabha member under sections 7 and 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
(iv) Powers of the Lok Sabha Speaker
- The Speaker presides over the meetings in the Lower House. In other words, the Speaker conducts business in Lok Sabha by ensuring discipline and decorum among members.
- S/he guards the rights and privileges of the members of Lok Sabha, deciding who should speak at what time, the questions to be asked, the order of proceedings to be followed, among others.
- A Speaker uses his/her power to vote, in order to resolve a deadlock.
- In the absence of a quorum in the House, it is the duty of the Speaker to adjourn the House or to suspend any meeting, until a quorum is met.
- The Speaker decides the agenda that must be discussed in a meeting of the Members of the Parliament.
- The Speaker is invested with the immense powers of interpreting the Rules of Procedure.
- The Speaker presides over the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
- Once a Money Bill is transmitted from the Lower House to the Upper House, the Speaker is solely responsible for endorsing his or her certificate on the Bill. In other words, s/he is given the pivotal power to decide whether any Bill is a Money Bill. His/her decision is considered final.
- Except for the no-confidence motion, all other motions which come before the House come only after the Speaker permits them.
- The Speaker also decides on granting recognition to the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
5. Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha
- The institutions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker originated in India in 1921 under the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1919 (Montague- Chelmsford Reforms). At that time, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were called the President and Deputy President.
- Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Lok Sabha itself from amongst its members. He is elected after the election of the Speaker has taken place. The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the Speaker. Whenever the office of the Deputy Speaker falls vacant, the Lok Sabha elects another member to fill the vacancy.
- G. V. Mavalankar and Ananthasayanam Ayyangar had the distinction of being the first Speaker and the first Deputy Speaker (respectively) of the Lok Sabha.
6. Panel of Chairpersons of Lok Sabha
Under the Rules of Lok Sabha, the Speaker nominates from amongst the members a panel of not more than ten chairpersons. Any of them can preside over the House in the absence of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker. He has the same powers as the Speaker when so presiding.
7. Speaker Pro Tern
- As provided by the Constitution, the Speaker of the last Lok Sabha vacates his office immediately before the first meeting of the newly-elected Lok Sabha. Therefore, the President appoints a member of the Lok Sabha as the Speaker Pro Tern.
- When the new Speaker is elected by the House, the office of the Speaker Pro Tern ceases to exist. It has all power of the speaker.
8. Chairman of Rajya Sabha
- The presiding officer of the Rajya Sabha is known as the Chairman. The vice-president of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. During any period when the Vice-President acts as President or discharges the functions of the President, he does not perform the duties of the office of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
- The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha can be removed from his office only if he is removed from the office of the Vice-President. As a presiding officer, the powers and functions of the Chairman in the Rajya Sabha are similar to those of the Speaker in the Lok Sabha.
- But Speaker has two special powers which are not enjoyed by the Chairman:
(i) The Speaker decides whether a bill is a money bill or not and his decision on this question is final.
(ii) The Speaker presides over a joint sitting of two Houses of Parliament. Unlike the Speaker (who is a member of the House), the Chairman is not a member of the House.
9. Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha
- The Deputy Chairman is elected by the Rajya Sabha itself from amongst its members. Whenever the office of the Deputy Chairman falls vacant, the Rajya Sabha elects another member to fill the vacancy.
The Deputy Chairman vacates his office in any of the following three cases:
(i) If he ceases to be a member of the Rajya Sabha.
(ii) If he resigns by writing to the Chairman.
(iii) If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Rajya Sabha. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days' advance notice.
- The Deputy Chairman performs the duties of the Chairman's office when it is vacant or when the Vice President acts as President or discharges the functions of the President.
10. Panel of Vice-Chairpersons of Rajya Sabha
- The Chairman nominates from amongst the members a panel of vice-chairpersons. Any one of them can preside over the House in the absence of the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman.
- He has the same powers as the Chairman when so presiding. He holds office until a new panel of vice-chairpersons is nominated.
11. Secretariat of Parliament
Each House of Parliament has separate secretarial staff of its own, though there can be some posts common to both the Houses. Their recruitment and service conditions are regulated by Parliament. The secretariat of each House is headed by a secretary-general. He is a permanent officer.
Sessions of Parliament
The Parliament should meet at least twice a year.
There are usually three sessions in a year:
(i) The Budget Session (February to May)
(ii) The Monsoon Session (July to September)
(iii) The Winter Session (November to December)
- Adjournment: A session of Parliament consists of many meetings. Each meeting of a day consists of two sittings, that is, a morning sitting from 11 am to 1 pm and post-lunch sitting from 2 pm to 6 pm. A sitting of Parliament can be terminated by adjournment.
- Adjournment Sine Die: When the House is adjourned without naming a day for reassembly, it is called adjournment sine die.
- Prorogation: The presiding officer (Speaker or Chairman) declares the House adjourned sine die, when the business of a session is completed. Within the next few days, the President issues a notification for prorogation of the session.
- Dissolution: Rajya Sabha, being a permanent House, is not subject to dissolution. Only the Lok Sabha is subject to dissolution. Unlike a prorogation, a dissolution ends the very life of the existing House, and a new House is constituted after general elections are held.
- Quorum: Quorum is the minimum number of members required to be present in the House before it can transact any business. It is one-tenth of the total number of members in each house including the presiding officer. It means that there must be at least 55 members present in the Lok Sabha and 25 members present in the Rajya Sabha.
Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings
- Question Hour: The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is slotted for this. During this time, the members ask questions and the ministers usually give answers.
The questions are of three kinds, namely, starred, unstarred and short notice:
(i) A starred question (distinguished by an asterisk) requires an oral answer and hence supplementary questions can follow.
(ii) An unstarred question, on the other hand, requires a written answer and hence, supplementary questions cannot follow.
(iii) A short notice question is one that is asked by giving a notice of less than ten days. It is answered orally.
- Zero Hour: The zero hour starts immediately after the question hour and lasts until the agenda for the day ( i.e, regular business of the House) is taken up.
- Motions: No discussion on a matter of general public importance can take place except on a motion made with the consent of the presiding officer.
(i) Substantive Motion: It is a self-contained independent proposal dealing with a very important matter like the impeachment of the President or the removal of Chief Election Commissioner.
(ii) Substitute Motion: It is a motion that is moved in substitution of an original motion and proposes an alternative to it. If adopted by the House, it supersedes the original motion.
(iii) Subsidiary Motion: It is a motion that, by itself, has no meaning and cannot state the decision of the House without reference to the original motion or proceedings of the House.
- Closure Motion: It is a motion moved by a member to cut short the debate on a matter before the House. If the motion is approved by the House, the debate is stopped forthwith and the matter is put to vote.
- No-Confidence Motion: Article 75 of the Constitution says that the council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. In other words, the Lok Sabha can remove the ministry from office by passing a no-confidence motion. The motion needs the support of 50 members to be admitted.
- Privilege Motion: It is concerned with the breach of parliamentary privileges by a minister. It is moved by a member when he feels that a minister has committed a breach of privilege of the House or one or more of its members by withholding facts of a case or by giving wrong or distorted facts. Its purpose is to censure the concerned minister.
- Motion of Thanks: The first session after each general election and the first session of every fiscal year is addressed by the president. In this address, the president outlines the policies and programmes of the government in the preceding year and the ensuing year. This motion must be passed in the House.
- Calling Attention Motion: It is introduced in the Parliament by a member to call the attention of a minister to a matter of urgent public importance, and to seek an authoritative statement from him on that matter. Like the zero hour, it is also an Indian innovation in the parliamentary procedure and has been in existence since 1954.
- No-Day-Yet-Named Motion: It is a motion that has been admitted by the Speaker but no date has been fixed for its discussion. The Speaker, after considering the state of business in the House and in consultation with the leader of the House or on the recommendation of the Business Advisory Committee, allots a day or days or part of a day for the discussion of such a motion.
- Censure Motion: It should state the reasons for its adoption in the Lok Sabha. It can be moved against an individual minister or a group of ministers or the entire council of ministers. It is moved for censuring the council of ministers for specific policies and actions. If it is passed in the Lok Sabha, the council of ministers need not resign from the office.
- Half-an-Hour Discussion: It is meant for discussing a matter of sufficient public importance, which has been subjected to a lot of debate and the answer to which needs elucidation on a matter of fact. The Speaker can allot three days in a week for such discussions.
- Short Duration Discussion: It is also known as two-hour discussion as the time allotted for such a discussion should not exceed two hours. The members of the Parliament can raise such discussions on a matter of urgent public importance.
- Point of Order: A Member can raise a point of order when the proceedings of the House do not follow the normal rules of procedure. A point of order should relate to the interpretation or enforcement of the Rules of the House or such articles of the Constitution that regulate the business of the House and should raise a question that is within the cognizance of the Speaker.
Legislative Procedure in Parliament
The legislative procedure is identical in both the Houses of Parliament. Every bill has to pass through the same stages in each House. A bill is a proposal for legislation and it becomes an act or law when duly enacted.
Bills introduced in the Parliament are of two kinds:
(i) Public bills
(ii) Private bills (also known as government bills and private members’ bills respectively).
Though both are governed by the same general procedure and pass through the same stages in the House.
The bills introduced in the Parliament can also be classified into four categories:
- Ordinary bills, which are concerned with any matter other than financial subjects.
- Money bills, which are concerned with financial matters like taxation.
- Financial bills, which are also concerned with financial matters (but are different from money bills. Constitution amendment bills, which are concerned with the amendment of the provisions of the Constitution.
(a) Ordinary Bills
Every ordinary bill has to pass through the following five stages in the Parliament before it finds a place on the Statute Book:
(i) First Reading: An ordinary bill can be introduced in either House of Parliament. Such a bill can be introduced either by a minister or by any other member. The member who wants to introduce the bill has to ask for the leave of the House. No discussion on the bill takes place at this stage. Later, the bill is published in the Gazette of India.
(ii) Second Reading: During this stage, the bill receives not only the general but also the detailed scrutiny and assumes its final shape. In fact, this stage involves three more sub-stages, namely, stage of general discussion, committee stage and consideration stage.
- Stage of General Discussion, Committee Stage, Consideration Stage.
(iii) Third Reading: At this stage, the debate is confined to the acceptance or rejection of the bill as a whole and no amendments are allowed, If the majority of members present and voting accept the bill, the bill is regarded as passed by the House.
(iv) Bill in the Second: House In the second House also, the bill passes through all the three stages, that is, first reading, second reading, and third reading. If the second House passes the bill without any amendments or the first House accepts the amendments suggested by the second House, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses, and the same is sent to the president for his assent.
(v) Assent of the President: Every bill after being passed by both Houses of Parliament either singly or at a joint sitting, is presented to the president for his assent.
There are three alternatives before the president:
- He may give his assent to the bill.
- He may withhold his assent to the bill.
- He may return the bill for reconsideration of the Houses.
(b) Money Bills
Article 110 of the Constitution deals with the definition of money bills.
It states that a bill is deemed to be a money bill if it contains 'only’ provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters:
(i) The imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax.
(ii) The regulation of the borrowing of money by the Union government.
(iii) The custody of the Consolidated Fund of India or the contingency fund of India, the payment of money into or the withdrawal of money from any such fund.
(iv) The appropriation of money out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
(v) Declaration of any expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or increasing the amount of any such expenditure.
(vi) The receipt of money on account of the Consolidated Fund of India or the public account of India or the custody or issue of such money
(vii) Any matter incidental to any of the matters specified above:
- If any question arises whether a bill is a money bill or not, the decision of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha is final. His decision in this regard cannot be questioned in any court of law or in the either House of Parliament or even the president. When a money bill is transmitted to the Rajya Sabha for recommendation and presented to the president for assent, the Speaker endorses it as a money bill.
- A money bill can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha and that too on the recommendation of the president. Every such bill is considered to be a government bill and can be introduced only by a minister. After a money bill is passed by the Lok Sabha, it is transmitted to the Rajya Sabha for its consideration. The Rajya Sabha has restricted powers with regard to a money bill. It cannot reject or amend a money bill. It can only make recommendations. It must return the bill to the Lok Sabha within 14 days, whether with or without recommendations. The Lok Sabha can either accept or reject all or any of the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha.
- If the Lok Sabha accepts any recommendation, the bill is then deemed to have been passed by both the Houses in the modified form.
(c) Financial Bills
Financial bills are those bills that deal with fiscal matters, that is, revenue or expenditure. However, the Constitution uses the term financial bill in a technical sense.
Financial bills are of three kinds:
(i) Money bills-Article 110
(ii) Financial bills (I)-Article 117 (1)
(iii) Financial bills (II)-Article 117 (3)
This classification implies that money bills are simply a species of financial bills. Hence, all money bills are financial bills but all financial bills are not money bills.
➢ Joint Sitting of Parliament
The Constitution of India provides for a joint session of the Parliament.
- India has a bicameral Parliament. To pass any bill, both the Houses (the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha) must concur. The bill has to be passed by both Houses before the President can give his/her assent.
- The founding fathers foresaw situations where there could be a deadlock between both Houses of Parliament.
- Therefore, they provided for a constitutional mechanism to break this deadlock, in the form of joint sittings.
➢ Joint Sitting of Parliament is Summoned by
- The joint sitting is called by the President.
- The Speaker presides over a joint sitting. In the absence of the Speaker, the
- Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha presides over it, and in his absence, the sitting is presided over by the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
- If any of the above-mentioned people are not available, any Member of Parliament (MP) can preside over the sitting by consensus of both Houses.
- The quorum to constitute a joint sitting: l/10th of the total number of members of the House.
➢ Joint Sitting Constitutional Provision
Article 108 of the Indian Constitution provides for a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament. Accordingly, a joint session can be summoned when: If after a bill is passed by one House and transmitted to the other House.
(i) The other House rejects this bill.
(ii) The Houses do not agree on the amendments made to the bill.
(iii) More than six months elapse with the bill being received by the other House without it being passed.
Then, the President can summon a joint sitting unless the bill had elapsed because of the Lok Sabha's dissolution
How is the period of the above-mentioned 6 months calculated: Those days are not taken into account when the House is prorogued or adjourned for over 4 consecutive days.
➢ Conduct of Business
- According to Article 118, the President can make rules for the procedure of the joint sitting after due consultation with the Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman.
- In a joint sitting, any new amendment cannot be proposed in the bill, excepting those which have been passed by one house and refused by the other.
- Amendments that are relevant to the matter at discussion can only be proposed.
- With regard to the admissibility of amendments, the decision of the presiding officer is final.
- The bill in a joint sitting is passed by a simple majority.
According to Article 87 of the Constitution, there are two instances when the country's President specifically addresses a joint sitting of both Houses.
- At the start of the first session after a general election. This is when the reconstituted Lok Sabha meets for the first time after being elected.
- At the start of the first session every year.
Powers of an MLA
The powers and functions of the Members of the Legislative Assembly can be categorised under the following heads:
1. Legislative Powers
- The primary function of a Member of the Legislative Assembly is law-making.
- An MLA can exercise his legislative powers on the State List and the Concurrent List. The State List contains subjects of importance to the individual state alone, such as trade, commerce, development, irrigation, and agriculture, while the Concurrent List contains items of importance to both the Union Government and the State Government such as succession, marriage, education, adoption, forests and so on.
2. Financial Powers
The Legislative Assembly holds absolute financial powers in the state. A Money Bill can only originate in the Legislative Assembly and the Members of the Legislative Assembly must give consent for any of the expenses made from the State Treasury. All grants and tax-raising proposals must be authorised by the MLAs for them to be executed and implemented for the development of the state.
3. Executive Powers
The Members of the Legislative Assembly control the activities and actions taken by the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers.
4. Electoral Powers
The Members of the Legislative Assembly have certain electoral powers such as the following:
- Elected Members of the Legislative Assembly comprise the Electoral College that elects the President of India.
- MLAs elect the members of the Rajya Sabha, who represent a particular state.
- The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly are elected by the MLAs.
- In states with a bicameral legislature, one-third of the members of the Legislative Council are elected by the MLAs.
5. Constituent and Miscellaneous Powers
(i) Some parts of the Constitution of India that relate to federal provisions can be amended by ratification by one-half of the Members of the Legislative Assembly.
(ii) MLAs review reports of the Public Service Commission and the Accountant General.
(iii) MLAs appoint the various Committees to the House.
Functions of Parliament
The functions of the Parliament are mentioned in the Indian Constitution in Chapter II of Part V.
The functions of the Parliament can be classified under several heads. They are discussed below:
1. Legislative Functions
- The Parliament legislates on all matters mentioned in the Union List and the Concurrent List.
- In the case of the Concurrent List, where the state legislatures and the Parliament have joint jurisdiction, the union law will prevail over the states unless the state law had received the earlier presidential assent.
- The Parliament can also pass laws on items in the State List under the following circumstances:
(i) If an Emergency is in operation, or any state is placed under President's Rule (Article 356), the Parliament can enact laws on items in the State List as well.
(ii) As per Article 249, the Parliament can make laws on items in the State list if the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution by % majority of its members.
(iii) As per Article 253, it can pass laws on the State List items if it is required for the implementation of international agreements or treaties with foreign powers.
(iv) According to Article 252, if the legislatures of two or more states pass a resolution to the effect that it is desirable to have a parliamentary law on any item listed in the State List, the Parliament can make laws for those states.
2. Executive Functions (Control over the Executive)
- In the parliamentary form of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature. Hence, the Parliament exercises control over the executive by several measures.
- By a vote of no-confidence, the Parliament can remove the Cabinet (executive) out of power. It can reject a budget proposal or any other bill brought by the Cabinet.
- The Parliament appoints a Committee on Ministerial Assurances that sees whether the promises made by the ministers to the Parliament are fulfilled or not.
- Cut Motion: A cut motion is used to oppose any demand in the financial bill brought by the government.
3. Financial Functions
- Parliament is the ultimate authority when it comes to finances. The Executive cannot spend a single pie without parliamentary approval.
- The Union Budget prepared by the Cabinet is submitted for approval by the Parliament. All proposals to impose taxes should also be approved by the Parliament.
- There are two standing committees (Public Accounts Committee and Estimates Committee) of the Parliament to keep a check on how the executive spends the money granted to it by the legislature. You can also read on parliamentary committees.
4. Amending Powers
The Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution of India. Both Houses of the Parliament have equal powers as far as amending the Constitution is concerned. Amendments will have to be passed in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha for them to be effective.
5. Electoral Functions
The Parliament takes part in the election of the President and the Vice President. The electoral college that elects the President comprises of, among others, the elected members of both Houses. The President can be removed by a resolution passed by the Rajya Sabha agreed to by the Lok Sabha.
6. Judicial Functions
In case of breach of privilege by members of the House, the Parliament has punitive powers to punish them. A breach of privilege is when there is an infringement of any of the privileges enjoyed by the MPs.
(i) In the parliamentary system, legislative privileges are immune to judicial control.
(ii) The power of the Parliament to punish its members is also generally not subject to judicial review.
(iii) Other judicial functions of the Parliament include the power to impeach the President, the Vice President, the judges of the Supreme Court, High Courts, Auditor-General, etc.
➢ Other powers/functions of the Parliament
- Issues of national and international importance are discussed in the Parliament.
- A Parliament is sometimes talked of as a nation in miniature’.
- The Parliament has the power to alter, decrease, or increase the boundaries of states/UTs.
Position of Rajya Sabha
The Constitutional position of the Rajya Sabha (as compared with the Lok Sabha) can be studied from three angles:
- Where Rajya Sabha is equal to Lok Sabha.
- Where Rajya Sabha is unequal to Lok Sabha.
- Where Rajya Sabha has special powers that are not at all shared with the Lok Sabha.
1. Equal Status with Lok Sabha
In the following matters, the powers and status of the Rajya Sabha are equal to that of the Lok Sabha:
- Introduction and passage of ordinary bills.
- Introduction and passage of Constitutional amendment bills.
- Introduction and passage of financial bills involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India.
- Election and impeachment of the president.
- Election and removal of the Vice-President.
- Making recommendation to the President for the removal of Chief Justice and judges of Supreme Court and high courts, Approval of ordinances issued by the President.
- Approval of proclamation of all three types of emergencies by the President.
- Selection of ministers including the Prime Minister.
- Consideration of the reports of the constitutional bodies like Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, comptroller and auditor general, etc.
2. Unequal Status with Lok Sabha
In the following matters, the powers and status of the Rajya Sabha are unequal to that of the Lok Sabha:
- A Money Bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha.
- Rajya Sabha cannot amend or reject a Money Bill. It should return the bill to the Lok Sabha within 14 days, either with recommendations or without recommendations.
- A financial bill, not containing solely the matters of Article 110, also can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha.
- The final power to decide whether a particular bill is a Money Bill or not is vested in the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- The Speaker of Lok Sabha presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses.
- Rajya Sabha can only discuss the budget but cannot vote on the demands for grants (which is the exclusive privilege of the Lok Sabha).
- The Rajya Sabha cannot remove the council of ministers by passing a no-confidence motion. This is because the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible only to the Lok Sabha.
3. Special Powers of Rajya Sabha
Due to its federal character, the Rajya Sabha has been given two exclusive or special powers that are not enjoyed by the Lok Sabha:
- It can authorise the Parliament to make a law on a subject enumerated in the State List (Article 249).
- It can authorise the Parliament to create new All-India Services common to both the Centre and states (Article 312).