Parliament of India consists of The President, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. We have already discussed about The President of India in our previous articles. For the ease of our understanding, we will learn about the parliament of India through a series of articles. In this article, we will learn about Lok Sabha, its composition, duration/ tenure, qualification to become its member and its functions.
What is Lok Sabha ?
It is the Lower House or popular house of the parliament. It represents the people of India. It is also known as popular house as its members are directly being chosen by the people except two who are nominated by the president of India.Also known as ” House of the People”
What is the normal Tenure of Lok Sabha ?
The normal tenure of Lok Sabha is 5 yrs (if not dissolved earlier- to be discussed later). However it’s term can be extended during national emergency but not for more than 1 year at a time. It must not continue for more than 6 months after the national emergency is revoked. In other words, once national emergency is over, within 6 months new lok sabha must be re constituted.
What are the qualifications needed for being a member of Lok Sabha ?
1- He must be 25 yrs of age.
2- must be citizen of India
3- Must not hold any office of profit.
4- Must be a registered voter in any one of the parliamentary constituency.
Who are disqualified from being a member of Lok Sabha ?
1- Person must not be of unsound mind – Now the question is who will give a tag to the person that he is of unsound mind and is not fit to become the member of Lok Sabha (LS) ? of course it won’t be you or me to decide 🙂 . It must be declared by court that a particular person is of unsound mind and hence can’t be a member of LS.
2- Person is a undischarged insolvent-
3- Person disqualified under law made by Parliament of India
4- on the ground of defection under the provisions of Tenth Schedule.
Following are the grounds under which a member can be disqualified under defection law.
a- If an elected member to the house voluntarily abdicates (gives up) his membership of the political party on whose ticket he fought the election , stands disqualified from being the member of the house.
b- If he votes or remains absent from the voting against the directives given by his party, he stands disqualified from being member of the house.
c- Any independently elected member if joins some political party after the election.
d- If nominated member/s by the President of India, joins any political party after being nominated for six months.
In case of Lok Sabha, the Speaker of the house shall decide whether a member can be disqualified under defection law or not.
In case of Rajya Sabha, the chairman of the house shall have the privilege to decide upon the disqualification under defection law.
How people are elected to become member of Lok Sabha ?
Direct elections are being held every five years,(unless otherwise required due to dissolution of Lok sabha ). For this each state is divided into territorial constituencies. Constitution ensures uniformity of representation in two ways :
1- Between the States- Seats are allotted to a state in such a manner that the ratio between the number of seats allotted and population is same across all the states.
2- Between the constituencies in same state – State is divided into territorial constituencies in such a manner that ratio of population of each constituency and number of seats allotted to each constituency is same throughout the state.
How many seats are there in Lok Sabha ?
It consists of 552 seats.
No. Of Seats
Nominated Members (Anglo Indians )
However, the the constitution of India has empowered the Parliament to readjust the strength of Lok Sabha. By 42nd amendment act 1976, this strength was frozen to 545 till 2001 A.D. Vajpayee govt in the year 2001 through 84th amendment act decided to keep the seats of Lok Sabha frozen till 2026 A.D.
What are the functions of Lok Sabha ?
A few functions can be mentioned as follows :
1- It’s one of the most important function is to legislate laws for the benefit of the society at large.
2- The members take part in the election of President and Vice President of India.
3- Parliament helps to amend the constitution.
4- It provides as a forum for debate and discussions on various policies before their implementation etc.
Who is the presiding Officer of Lok Sabha ?
The speaker act as the presiding officer of Lok Sabha. He is chosen from amongst the elected and nominated members of the house soon after the first sitting. The date of election of the speaker is decided upon and fixed by the president of India.If Speaker is absent, deputy speaker may act as the presiding officer of the house.
We will discuss more about speaker, deputy speaker, their functions, tenure, removal etc in our next article, Speaker of Lok Sabha.