LOK SABHA – Members, Speaker and Deputy Speaker
- The Lok Sabha (LS) is also known as ‘House of People’ or ‘First Chamber’ or ‘Lower House’ and it represent whole population of the country.
- The maximum strength of the Lok Sabha is fixed at 552 (States -530, UTs – 20, Anglo Indian -2) but currently LS consists of 545 members (States – 530, UT – 13, Anglo -2). All seats are filled by direct election except of Anglo Indians who are nominated by president if considered necessary.
- The term of Lok Sabha is generally 5 yrs from date of its first meeting after each general election. The term can be expanded in case of Emergency 1yr at a time subject to approval of Parliament.
Method of Election
- Each state is allotted a number of seats in a manner such that ratio b/w number of seats and population of state, as far as practicable, shall be same for all states;
- Each state shall be divided into Territorial Constituencies such that ratio b/w population of each constituency and number of seats allotted to it shall be same throughout the state.
- The number of seats allotted to each state shall remain at its level till 2026 (84th amendment 2001).
- Delimitation – The govt is empowered to readjustment or delimitation of Territorial constituencies as per census 2001 or 2011 as the case may be.
- Reservation –The number of seats shall be reserved for SCs and STs as per population ratio of SC/ST in that particular state. Initially this reservation was for 10 yrs but extended by govt after every 10 yrs.
Membership of Lok Sabha
- Minimum Age – 25 yrs; Citizen of India;
- Any other qualification as prescribed by Parliament such as registered as an elector and member of SC/ST if contesting election from reserved seats of SC/STs.
- If holds any office of profit under Govt of India or under Govt of any state/UT (other than office exempted by Parliament such as a Minister);
- If he is of unsound mind and he is an undischarged solvent;
- Any other prescribed by Parliament in any law such as convicted for an offence of punishment more than 2 yrs, dismissed in any corruption or disloyalty case while holding govt office etc.
- Anti Defection Law (Tenth Schedule) – a) An independent elected member joins any political party; b) Voted against decision of his party; c) Give up membership of political party from whose ticket contest and won election; d) Any nominated member joins political party after expiry of 6 months.
- The question of disqualification of a member is decided by President and his decision is final except disqualification on provisions of anti defection law which is decided by Speaker of Lok Sabha and decision is final. In 1992, the SC held that decision of Speaker is subjected to judicial review.
- Vacancy – If member disqualifies or resigns or remains absent for a period of 60days from all meetings of the house without permission of house then house may declare his seats vacant.
Speaker of Lok Sabha
- Election & Tenure – the Speaker is elected by its member on date as fixed by President. The Speaker remains in office during the life of Lok Sabha (he remains in office till first meeting of newly elected Lok Sabha).
- Vacancy – The office of Speaker is become vacant if he is not longer member of Lok Sabha or resigns to deputy speaker or impeached by a resolution (backed by 50 members to initiate) passed by absolute majority in Lok Sabha with prior notice of 14 days.
- Powers – he derived powers from Constitution, Rules/Conduct of Lok Sabha and Parliamentary Conventions (residuary powers unspecified in rules). These powers are as follows:-
- Maintain order and decorum;
- Presides over joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in case of deadlock on any legislation;
- Decides whether a bill is money bill or not and decision is final;
- Decides on disqualification of Members on grounds of defection but subjected to judicial review;
- No power to exercise vote but can exercise casting vote in case of tie;
- Ex-officio chairman of conference of Presiding officers of all legislative bodies in the country;
- Appoints chairman of all Parliamentary committees and himself serve as Chairman of Business Advisory, Rules and General Purpose Committee.
Deputy Speaker of LS
- He is also elected by members on date fixed by Speaker of Lok Sabha. He enjoys office till life of Lok Sabha and he may vacate his office if resigns or cease to be member of Lok Sabha or removed by Lok Sabha (same process as of Speaker).
- He shall act as Speaker of Lok Sabha if office of Speaker is vacant or when Speaker is absent from sitting of house and enjoys all powers of speaker while presiding over sitting of the house.
- When he is appointed as member of any Parliamentary committee then automatically become Chairman of that committee.
Panel of Chairpersons of LS
- The Speaker nominates a Panel of Chairpersons amongst member of Lok Sabha (not more than 10). Any of them can preside over sitting of house only in absence of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
- They can’t preside over house when office of speaker/deputy speaker is vacant. In that case, President can appoint any member to preside over house.
Speaker Pro Tem
- The speaker has to vacate his office just before first meeting of newly elected Lok Sabha. So President appoints a member (generally senior most) as Speaker Pro Tem to preside over first sitting of House.
- His main function to administer oath to the new members and enables the house for election of new speaker. As soon as new speaker is elected, his office ceases to exist.