Rajya Sabha

As discussed in earlier articles, Rajya Sabha is part of Parliament of India.  Rajya Sabha is also termed as ” Council of States”.

What is Rajya Sabha ?

Rajya Sabha is the House of Elders or the Upper House of the Parliament. It represents the various states and union territories of the Indian Union.

What is the normal tenure of Rajya Sabha ?

Rajya Sabha is a continuing chamber and not subjected to dissolution. By this, we mean that , as Lok Sabha gets normally dissolved after completion of five years to make way for the formation of new government ,instead one third (1/3 rd ) of the members of Rajya Sabha retire every second year. Fresh Elections are conducted every third year to fill the vacant seats of the house.

Through Representation of the People Act, 1951, President of India has been authorized to govern the order of retirement of the Rajya Sabha Members. First Rajya Sabha was constituted in the year 1952, and who would retire after 2 years was decided by lottery in the first batch of Rajya Sabha.

The term of office of a member is 6 years in Rajya Sabha. The retiring candidates are eligible to be re elected to the House any number of times.

What are the qualifications needed to be member of Rajya Sabha ?

1. He must be a citizen of India.

2. He must be of at least 30 yrs of age.

3. Must be a registered elector for a parliamentary constituency of any state. { People who have watched Bhoothnath Returns must be aware of this fact 🙂 }

4. Must not hold any office of profit.

How members of Rajya Sabha are elected ?

The members of Rajya Sabha are elected indirectly unlike Lok Sabha where members are elected directly by the people.

1. Representation of States – Members are elected by the respective state legislative assemblies by means of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.

2. Representation of Union Territories- The union territories don’t have their legislative assemblies, except Delhi and Pudduchery, hence here the members are elected in a manner prescribed by the Parliament of India, according to which the members are elected to Rajya Sabha indirectly by members of a electoral college of that territory by the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.

3. Nominated by President of India- The members nominated by the president are choosen from amongst the people / persons having  ” special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, and social service “.

How many seats are there in Rajya Sabha ?

It consists of 250 Seats. It is the maximum strength written in the Constitution of India.

Representation of

No. of Seats

States & Union Territories

238

Nominated by President of India

12

Total

250


However, Currently It consists of 245 members and the figure will remain frozen till 2045 A. D as per decision taken by Atal Bihari Vajpayee Govt, in 2001.

Representation of

No. of Seats

States & Union Territories

233

Nominated by President of India

12

Total

245

What are the Functions of Rajya Sabha ?

1. It acts a platform to debate the policies before its implementation.

2. Along with Lok Sabha, helps to legislate laws for the benefit of society.

A bill passed by both the house’s must get an ascent from The President of India before it becomes a law.

Different types of bills which can be introduced in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will be dealt with in upcoming Articles.

Who is the presiding officer of Rajya Sabha ?

The Vice President of India is the ex officio chairman of Rajya Sabha. If due to any reason, (as explained earlier in the article Vice President of India  )vice president needs to discharge the duties of President of India, the duties of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha is not performed by him for that specific period.His salaries and allowances are charged upon the Consolidated fund of India.

The duties and responibilities of the Vice President as the chairman of Rajya Sabha is similar to the speaker of Lok Sabha ( for details please refer Speaker of Lok Sabha ) except the following two :

1. Whether the bill is money bill or not is decided by the speaker of the Lok Sabha

2. The joint sitting of the parliament is presided upon by the speaker of Lok Sabha.

 

Following are the major differences between the Presiding Officers of Rajya Sabha andLok Sabha.

Chairman of Council of States

Speaker of Lok Sabha

Is not the member of the house i.e. council of States Is member of the house i.e. Lok Sabha
However, He can vote in case of equality of votes. Not allowed to vote in the first instance, but in case of equality of votes, he can vote.
When a resolution is in consideration for his removal as a chairman in Rajya Sabha, he is allowed to be present in the house Without being allowed to Vote. Moreover he cannot preside over the house as a chairman while such resolution is in consideration. When a resolution is in consideration for his removal as a speaker in Lok Sabha, BUT he is allowed to be Vote.

Who is the deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha ?

Deputy Chairman is elected from the members of Council of states, who discharge the duties of Chairman’s office when it falls vacant. Vacancy may arise due to:

1. Vice President, the ex officio chairman of Rajya Sabha has to discharge the duties of President due to vacancy in the President’s office.

2. Absence of Vice President, the ex officio chairman of Rajya Sabha from the sitting of the house.

His salaries and allowances are charged upon the Consolidated fund of India.

A vacancy in the Deputy chairman’s office can arise due to following reasons :

1. He ceases to be a member of Rajya Sabha.

2. He resigns from the office by writing his resignation to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

3. He is removed by passing a resolution by majority of all the members of the house, after giving 14 days prior notice of such a resolution.

A panel of chairpersons are also nominated by the Chairman of the council of States from among the members of the house. Any one of them can preside over the sitting of the house in absence of Chairman or Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. While Presiding, he has all the powers of Chairman of the House.

It must be noted that a member from the panel of Chairpersons can preside over the sitting of the house only in the absence of the Chairman or Deputy Chairman, and not when the office of Chairman or Deputy Chairman Falls Vacant. During such time, the duties are to be performed by a person nominated by the “President of India”.

Readers comments and suggestions are welcome 🙂 Do let us know if you want any improvement in the article, which can make your reading experience more rewarding. 🙂

 

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  1. By Priya

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