POLITY

Presiding Officers

Presiding Officers

LOK SABHA – HOUSE OF THE PEOPLE

The Government of India Act, 1919 created the institutions of speaker and deputy speaker.


Speaker

  • The Speaker is the presiding officer of the house.

  • Election
    No specific qualifications for being elected as Speaker.
    Elected from amongst the members of the LS by a simple majority of members present and voting.
    In case LS is dissolved, Speaker continues till LS is reassembled.

  • The Speaker’s term is coterminous with Lok Sabha’s term of 5 years.

  • The House can remove the Speaker through a resolution passed by an effective majority, i.e. more than 50% of the total strength of the house present and voting. (Articles 94 and 96)

  • Speaker is removed when he/she ceases to be a Lok Sabha member (sections 7 and 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.)

  • Speaker may tender his resignation to the Deputy Speaker.

POI - Dr. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy is the only Speaker who resigned from Office. Dr. Reddy is also the only Speaker who was later elected as the President of India (1977 - 1982).


  • Powers and responsibilities
    Maintains order and decorum in the house.
    Final interpreter regarding the constitution, rules of procedures and parliamentary conventions.
    May adjourn or suspend the house meeting in absence of quorum.
    Can vote only in case of tie to resolve deadlocks.
    He decides and certifies whether a bill is a money bill.
    Decides matters of disqualification of MP under tenth schedule; judgment is subject to judicial review.
    Appoints and supervises chairmen of various house committees.
    He is the chairman of parliamentary forums; ex-officio chairman of conference of presiding officers of various legislative bodies of country
    He presides over joint sitting of parliament convened to resolve deadlocks between two houses.


Current Speaker of Lok Sabha - Om Birla


Speaker Pro-Tem

The first meeting after the election when the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are selected by members of the Parliament is held under the pro-tem Speaker. The President swears in the Pro-Tem Speaker.

  • Duties of pro-tem speaker:
    Presides over the first sitting of the Lok Sabha, administers the oath of office to the newly elected MPs.
    Conducts the vote for the speaker and deputy speaker.
    Administers the floor test.


Deputy Speaker

  • Deputy Speaker is the presiding officer of the house in absence of Speaker.

  • Not subordinate to the speaker but directly responsible to the house.

  • By convention the position of Deputy Speaker is offered to opposition party in India

  • When speaker is present, Deputy becomes ordinary member of the House.

  • Elected by the House after Speaker.
    Terms of office, grounds/procedure for removal, provision for salary and allowances are same as Speaker.

  • Deputy Speaker resigns by writing to the Speaker.


POI – Sachinanand Sinha was the first deputy speaker of the central legislative assembly.

Current Affairs POI – The Office of Deputy Speaker has been in the news recently for the backlash faced by the Government and the Speaker of the House, Om Birla, for the lack of one. The Office of the Deputy Speaker has remained vacant for 15 months, the longest since 1998. In the previous Lok Sabha, AIADMK MP, M. Thambidurai was elected unopposed to the post of deputy speaker (2014-2019).



RAJYA SABHA – HOUSE OF THE STATES


Chairman of Rajya Sabha


  • The Vice President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and its presiding officer.

  • Unlike Speaker of Lok Sabha, Chairman is not a member of the House.

  • Chairman can be removed from the position only when removed from his post of Vice President.

  • This removal requires majority of total membership of the House.

  • Powers and responsibilities
    Power and functions of the Chairman are the same as Speaker of LS.
    He nominates a panel of chairpersons to preside over the House when both Chairman and Vice Chairman are absent.
    While presiding over Rajya Sabha, Chairman has only casting vote in case of deadlocks.
    Admits notices of questions, motions, resolution etc.
    Nominates members to various House committees.

Current Chairman of Rajya Sabha – M Venkaiah Naidu


Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha


  • Nominated from amongst member of House.

  • Presides over the House in case of:
    Absence of Chairman.
    The Vice-President acting as or discharging the functions of the President.

  • Deputy Chairman is not subordinate to the chairman but is directly responsible to the house.

  • Removal of Deputy Chairman:
    Total majority of membership of the House.
    Ceasing of Rajya Sabha membership.
    Resigning in writing to Chairman.

  • Power and responsibilities – in all cases he has same powers and duties as the chairman.

Current Affairs POI – Harivansh Singh was reelected as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha at the beginning of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament. However, pursuant to the violent chaos and vehement opposition that disrupted the decorum in the Rajya Sabha during the voting in respect of the Farm Bills (which had been promulgated as Ordinances), 12 opposition parties jointly moved a motion of No-Confidence against the Deputy Chairman. However, the motion was rejected by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, and 8 MPs were further suspended for their role in the disruption of the House.


Leader of the House

  • In the Lok Sabha, Leader of the House is the Prime Minister (if he’s a member of the LS) or a Minister nominated by him.

POI – Narendra Modi, BJP (PM) has been Leader of the House since 26 May 2014.

  • Similarly, in the Rajya Sabha the Leader of the House is a cabinet minister – Prime Minister (if he’s a member of RS) or another nominated minister.

POI – Thawar Chand Gehlot, BJP – Leader of the House since 11 June 2019.


Leader of the Opposition


  • For both Houses Leader of opposition is the leader of the largest party in the house but should have at least one tenth seats of the total strength of the house.

POI – Leader of Opposition: for Rajya Sabha is Ghulam Nabi Azad, INC (since 8 June 2014); for Lok Sabha this post is vacant since no opposition party has more than 10% membership in the Lower House.

Presiding Officers
Presiding Officers
Presiding Officers
Presiding Officers