Composition of Parliament- Difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Functions, Money Bill, Ordinary Bill
- Composition of Lok Sabha
- Composition of Rajya Sabha
- Difference between Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
- Qualifications for Member of Parliament
- Functions of Parliament
- Legislative functions of Parliament
- Passing of Ordinary Bill
- Passing of Money Bill
The President and the two houses i.e. the lower house and the upper house together constitute the Parliament. The lower house is known as “House of People” or “Lok Sabha” and the upper house is known as “Council of States” or “Rajya Sabha”. All these three organs play an important role in the process of legislation by Parliament.
Composition of Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha consists of 550 members out of which 530 members are elected by the voters in the States and 20 members represent the Union Territories. The term of the Lok Sabha is 5 years but it can be dissolved prior to completion of the term in certain cases. Lok Sabha is a popular chamber and directly elected by the people.
Composition of Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha consists of 250 members out of which 238 members are elected as representative members of States and Union Territories and 12 members having special knowledge or expertise in areas of literature, science, art and social services are nominated by the President. The seats in the Rajya Sabha are allotted to States and Union Territories on the basis of their population. The term of Rajya Sabha is 6 years and cannot be dissolved as it is a continuing body. 1/3rd members of Rajya Sabha retire after every two years and fresh elections and Presidential Nominations are done for filling up the seats.
Difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
|Basis of Difference||Lok Sabha||Rajya Sabha|
|Capacity||Maximum capacity of Lok Sabha is 550 members.||Maximum capacity of Lok Sabha is 250 members.|
|Nature||Lok Sabha is not a continuous body and can be dissolved.||Rajya Sabha is a continuous body and cannot be dissolved.|
|Term||Term of Lok Sabha is 5 years.||Term of Rajya Sabha is 6 years.|
|Election||Lok Sabha members are elected directly by the people.||Rajya Sabha members are elected indirectly and 12 members are nominated by the President|
|Business||The Speaker is the controlling authority of Lok Sabha.||Vice-President is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha.|
|Age||A person must have completed 25 years of age to become a member of Lok Sabha.||A person must have completed 30 years of age to become a member of Rajya Sabha.|
Qualifications for a Member of Parliament
The members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are known as Members of Parliament. The eligibility for becoming a Member of Parliament is as follows:
- a) Sound Mind.
- b) Citizen of India.
- c) Shall not hold office of profit under Union or State Government.
- d) Shall not have been imprisoned even for one day or fined up to Rs. 500/-.
- e) Shall possess qualifications as the Parliament may by law otherwise prescribe for the purpose of becoming a President.
- f) Shall not suffer from disqualifications prescribed by the Constitution or Parliamentary law.
- g) A person must complete 25 years of age to become a member of Lok Sabha and 30 years for becoming a member of Rajya Sabha.
If a Member of Parliament (M.P.) becomes a Member of State Legislative Assembly (M.L.A), he shall take an oath or affirmation before the person who is authorized by the election commission for this purpose.
Functions of Parliament of India-
A Parliament, being a deliberative and legislative body has to perform different functions including but not limited to making Laws, controlling public finance, deliberation and discussion, controlling executives and removing high officials, and other constituent functions.
Legislative functions of Parliament of India
One of the important functions of Parliament is to make laws. The changing society constantly demands new laws or amendments in the existing laws. The procedure of making laws is as follows:
- a) Passing of Ordinary Bill: Any bill which is not a money bill or a financial bill, it will be an ordinary bill. A bill in a house passes through three stages: i) introduction bearing, ii) general discussion of principles and provisions of bill or clause by clause consideration, iii) a brief general discussion. After a brief general discussion, the bill is passed.
Joint Session: Generally, both the houses agree to a bill and pass it to the president for his assent in the same form. However, sometimes both the houses do not agree on a Bill. In such cases, a joint session is held of both the houses under Article 108(1). The joint sitting is presided by the Speaker of Lok Sabha or by the person who is authorized to preside in the absence of Speaker. In this joint sitting, if the bill is passed by a majority of all the members present and voting in the joint session, the bill is said to be passed by both the Houses.
Since the commencement of the Indian Constitution, the Joint Session has only been called three times:
- a) For passing Dowry Prohibition Bill on 6th and 9th May, 1961.
- b) For Banking Service Commission (Repeal) Bill on 16th May, 1978.
- c) For Prevention of Terrorism Bill on 26th March, 2000.
President’s Assent: A bill cannot become a law without the assent of the President as the President is an important part of Parliament. Therefore, a bill when passed by both the houses is sent to the President. The President, after receiving the bill may:
- a) give or withhold his assent to the bill; or
- b) send the bill back to the Houses for reconsidering it or considering the amendment suggested by him.
When a bill is returned, the houses shall reconsider it and if the bill is passed by the houses again with or without any amendment, the President shall not withhold his assent to such bill. The President has a veto power and if he refuses to assent to the bill, it will be dead. The President has been given the power to send the bill back to the Houses for reconsideration so that the important changes that need to be made because of development can be made before making a law.
The cases in which the President of India refused to assent the Bill are:
- i) Indian Telegraph Office Correction Bill, 1986 was kept as it is by President Gyani Zail Singh for three years till the dissolution of 8th Lok Sabha Assembly. It was again sent to Parliament for reconsideration by President R Venkat Raman and is still pending in Rajya Sabha.
- ii) 2nd Bill of a Member of Parliament, Remuneration & Allowances was submitted to President Venkat Raman on the last day of ninth Lok Sabha i.e. 13th March, 1991. He refused to assent to it and it was dead.
iii) Ordinance for Reservation of Dalit Christians and for Reduction of Period Propaganda in Election was refused by President Dr. S.D. Sharma as the 10th Lok Sabha elections were coming up.
- b) Passing of Money Bill: The Indian Constitution under Article 110 defined a Money Bill as “a bill in respect of imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax; regulation of borrowing of money; custody, payment or withdrawal of money of and from Consolidated Fund or Contingency Fund of India and the appropriation of money out of Consolidated Fund of India.
Procedure: The procedure of passing of Money Bill is similar to that of Ordinary Bill except it shall be introduced first in Lok Sabha only. The stages involved in passing of a Money Bill are as follows:
- Introduction of Money Bill in Lok Sabha
- Motion, Circulation, Consideration and Discussion of Bill
- Appointment of Select Committee for referring the bill to it for consideration
- Discussion, Consideration and Suggestions of changes by Lok Sabha on the report of Select Committee on the bill
- At last, the bill is put for voting. If the bill is passed by majority of the members, it is sent to Rajya Sabha.
Joint Session: In the cases of Money Bill, if there’s a deadlock between the Houses on the bill, there is no joint sitting called for passing of the bill. The bill will be sent for President’s assent even if it is not passed by the majority in Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha shall consider and pass the Money Bill within 14 days of receipt of Bill from Lok Sabha. If not, the bill will be deemed to be approved and there will be no joint sitting of the houses.
President’s Assent: Though the President’s assent is necessary to pass a Money Bill once it has been passed by both the Houses but the President does not have power to refuse to assent Money Bill. He cannot withhold his assent therefrom.
Parliament is a legislative body of the nation which performs the lawmaking functions. The laws can be made through two different procedures i.e. passing of Ordinary Bill and passing of Money Bill. In an Ordinary Bill, upper hand is given to the President as he has power to refuse to assent the Ordinary Bill even if it has been passed by the majority of both the Houses. Whenever there is a deadlock in regard to an Ordinary Bill between the houses, the President shall call a joint session of both the Houses and it will be considered as passed by both Houses if the majority of the members present and voting in the Joint Session passes the bill. The Upper House i.e. House of People is given an upper hand in respect of Money or Financial Bills as Rajya Sabha and the President cannot refuse to assent the Money Bill.