POLITY

House without Speaker and Deputy Speakers

House without Speaker and Deputy Speakers


Context:

Maharashtra has been without a Speaker since February, while Lok Sabha and several state Assemblies are without a Deputy Speaker.


Probable Question:

  1. The office of the Speaker and deputy speaker      occupies a pivotal position in our parliamentary      democracy. Elaborate.

Speaker and Deputy Speaker:

Article 93 for Lok Sabha and Article 178for state Assemblies state that these Houses “shall, as soon as may be”, choose two of its members to be Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

● The Constitution neither sets a time limit nor specifies the process for these elections. It leaves it to the legislatures to decide how to hold these elections.

● In Lok Sabha and state legislatures, the President/Governor sets a date for the election of the Speaker, and it is the Speaker who decides the date for the election of the Deputy Speaker. The legislators of the respective Houses vote to elect one among themselves to these offices.


Role, Powers and Functions:

● The Speaker is the head of the Lok Sabha and its representative. He is the guardian of the members' rights and privileges, as well as the House as a whole and its committees.

Principal spokesman of the House and his decision in all Parliamentary matters is final.

● The Speaker of the Lok Sabha derives the powers and responsibilities from three sources:

➢ The Indian Constitution.

➢ Conduct of Business and Rules of Procedure of Lok Sabha.

➢ Conventions of Parliamentary (residuary powers that are unwritten or unspecified in the Rules).

● He is the final interpreter of:

➢ The Indian Constitution is within his jurisdiction.

➢ Conduct of Business and Rules of Procedure of Lok Sabha.

➢ Parliamentary precedents, within the House.

● In the absence of a quorum, he adjourns or suspends the meeting.

● Presides over a joint sitting of Parliament's two Houses.

● He determines whether or not a bill is a money bill and his decision is final.

● He decides the matters of disqualification of a member of the Lok Sabha, arising on the ground of defection under the provisions of the Tenth Schedule.

● He is the ex-officio chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Group, which serves as a link between the Indian Parliament and other parliaments around the world;

● He also serves as the ex-officio chairman of the country's conference of presiding officers of legislative bodies.

● The Speaker is the guardian of the rights and privileges of the House, its Committees and members.

● He appoints the chairman of all Lok Sabha parliamentary committees and oversees their work. He heads the following committees:

➢ The Business Advisory Committee,

➢ The Rules Committee and

➢ The General Purpose Committee


Deputy Speaker:

● Like the Speaker, the 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. Speaker decides the date for the election of the Deputy Speaker.

● Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker remains in the office usually during the life of the Lok Sabha.

● The Deputy Speaker vacates office earlier under the following circumstances:

➢ If he ceases to be a member of the Lower House.

➢ If he resigns in writing to the Speaker; and

➢ If he is disqualified from office by a resolution passed by a majority of all the then Lok Sabha members (Effective Majority).

● A Deputy Speaker enjoys the same legislative powers as the Speaker. And in absence of the Speaker because of death, illness or any other reason, the Deputy Speaker also assumes the administrative powers.

● The Deputy Speaker is independent of the Speaker, not subordinate to him, as both are elected from among the members of the House.

● In addition, when a resolution for removal of the Speaker is up for discussion, the Constitution specifies that the Deputy Speaker presides over the proceedings of the House.

● The Deputy Speaker has one special privilege, that is, whenever he is appointed as a member of a parliamentary committee, he automatically becomes its chairman.

House without Speaker and Deputy Speakers
House without Speaker and Deputy Speakers
House without Speaker and Deputy Speakers
House without Speaker and Deputy Speakers