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Legislative Council in India, Composition, Member, Article, Power

Legislative Council

Within the Indian government, the Legislative Council is a deliberative body with limited legislative authority. A permanent body cannot be disbanded, but every two years, one-third of its members leave. It is the state legislature’s upper house. The Legislative Council is also known as the Vidhan Parishad in India.

The Legislative Council is an important part of Indian Polity which is an important subject in the UPSC Syllabus. Students can also go for the UPSC Mock Test to get more accuracy in their preparations.

Legislative Council in India

India’s Legislative Council is a permanent group of people that participates in the enactment of laws. Members of the state legislatures make up this upper house of India’s bicameral legislature. It consists of members who are appointed, members who are chosen by state legislatures, and members who are elected by municipal bodies.

The Legislative Council is the name of India’s parliament’s upper house.  It is a permanent body with a maximum of 250 members, of which one-third are chosen by the State Legislative Assembly members and the remaining members follow the guidelines that the Parliament periodically sets forth.  During their six-year terms, a third of the members of the Legislative Council retire every two years.

Aspect Details
Type of Legislature Bicameral (Two Houses)
Name Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad)
Constitutional Basis Article 169 of the Constitution of India
Nature Permanent, not subject to dissolution
Tenure of MLCs Six years
Retirement of Members One-third of members retire every two years
Bicameral States Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka
Formation The first Legislative Council for India was formed in 1834

The Legislative Council’s members elect the Chairman and Deputy Chairman. Having the exception of money bills, the Legislative Council is a deliberative body having the authority to discuss, approve, and propose amendments to laws approved by the Legislative Assembly.

Legislative Council Formation

The Indian parliament is composed of two houses. States may establish a Legislative Council in addition to the Legislative Assembly, just as Parliament has two Houses, per Article 169 of the Constitution. Six states, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Karnataka, have a legislative council.

In 2020, the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly accepted a resolution to dissolve the Legislative Council. To legally dissolve the council, this resolution still needs to be approved by the Indian Parliament. The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council was disbanded in 2019 as a result of the J&K Reorganization Bill, which reduced the State of J&K to the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

Legislative Council State in India

Currently, only six states in India have a Legislative Council:

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Telangana
  • Karnataka
  • Maharashtra
  • Bihar
  • Uttar Pradesh

Legislative Council Member

Legislative Council Members play a vital role in India’s bicameral legislative system by offering a platform for broader representation, critical review of legislation, and enriched discussion on vital issues. According to Article 171, a legislative council’s membership cannot exceed one-third of the entire membership of the Legislative Assembly. Additionally, it must have at least 40 members.

Constitutional Provisions of Legislative Council

  • Article 168: Establishes the existence of Legislative Councils in states with bicameral legislatures.
  • Article 170: Determines the maximum and minimum size of the LegCo in relation to the Legislative Assembly.
  • Article 171: Outlines the different methods of choosing MLCs: election by MLAs, graduates, local bodies, and appointment by the Governor.
  • Article 172: Defines the term of office for MLCs as six years, with one-third retiring every two years.
  • Article 173: Lists the qualifications for becoming an MLC (age, citizenship, etc.) and specifies disqualifications based on certain offences or holding specific offices.

Legislative Council Composition

According to Article 171 of the Constitution, a state’s legislative council may consist of no fewer than 40 members and a maximum of one-third of the members of the State Assembly. The legislative council is a continuing chamber, similar to the Rajya Sabha, meaning it is a permanent institution that cannot be dissolved. Members of the Legislative Council (MLC) have a six-year term, and a third of them leave office every two years.

Election of Legislative Council

The Assembly’s members elect one-third of the members. 1/3 by electorates made up of representatives of the state’s municipalities, district boards, and other local authorities. Teachers make up the electorate that chooses the 1/12th. Registered grads elect 1/12 of the total. The Governor proposes the other members from among people who have excelled in literature, science, art, the cooperative movement, and social service.

Legislative Council and Rajya Sabha

  • The Councils have a finite amount of legislative authority. Legislative Councils lack a constitutional mandate to shape non-financial legislation, in contrast to the Rajya Sabha, which has considerable power to do so.
  • The Legislative Council’s recommendations and revisions to the law are subject to override by the Assemblies.
  • Again, MLCs are not permitted to cast ballots in presidential and vice presidential elections, unlike Rajya Sabha MPs.
  • The Rajya Sabha is presided over by the Vice President, and the Council is presided over by a member of the Council.

Power and Role of Legislative Council

Legislative Councils lack the constitutional authority to enact non-financial legislation, in contrast to the Rajya Sabha, which has considerable capacity to do so. Additionally, legislative assemblies have the authority to reject recommendations or changes made to legislation by the Council. Members of Legislative Councils are not permitted to vote in presidential and vice-presidential elections, but Rajya Sabha MPs are. MLCs are likewise ineligible to cast ballots in the elections for Rajya Sabha members.

Legislative Council Role

The Legislative Council can make sure that people (such as artists, scientists, etc.) who might not be good candidates for office can nonetheless contribute to the legislative process. It can monitor the Legislative Assembly’s rash decisions. Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.

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Legislative Council FAQs

What is legislative council?

India has a bicameral system i.e. two Houses of Parliament namely Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. At the state level, the equivalent of the Lok Sabha is the Vidhan Sabha or Legislative Assembly.

Which state has legislative council?

Its institution is outlined in Article 169 of the Constitution of India. At present, only six states of our country have a legislative council. They are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.

Is Rajya Sabha a legislative council?

In the Indian federal structure, the Rajya Sabha is a representative of the states in the union legislature (hence the name, Council of States).

Who is the head of Legislative Council?

Raghunath Rao Malkapure is the head of Legislative Council.

What is the size of Legislative Council?

The size of the State Legislative Council cannot be more than one third of the membership of the State Legislative Assembly.

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