Relevance of Legislative Council
The West Bengal government has recently approved the setting up of the Legislative Council. The decision will have to be approved by Parliament before coming into effect.
Why do Some States in India have Bicameral Legislatures? Discuss the relevance of the Legislative Councils in the States in the backdrop of recent demand of certain states to create the second house.
About Legislative Councils:
● Article 169(1) of the Constitution allows Parliament to either create or abolish a Council if the Legislative Assembly of the State passes a resolution to that effect by a special majority (majority of the total membership of the Assembly and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Assembly present and voting).
● The act of Parliament to create/abolish LCs is not deemed as an amendment under Article 368. So, a Simple majority in Parliament suffices.
● At present, there are six states viz Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, UP, Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, where the Legislative Council is in existence. Jammu and Kashmir too had one, until the introduction of the J&K Reorganisation Bill, 2019 that bifurcated it into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
● Under Article 171(1), the Legislative Council of a state shall not have more than one-third of the total strength of the State Assembly, and in no case, shall have fewer than 40 members.
Tenure of Members:
● Similar to the Rajya Sabha, the legislative council is a continuing chamber, i.e. it is not subject to dissolution. The tenure of a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) is of six years, with one-third of the members retiring every two years.