Table of Contents
Lok Sabha in India
The Lok Sabha, also known as the House of the People, is the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha. It consists of 543 members, directly elected by the people of India on the basis of universal adult suffrage and a first-past-the-post system. The maximum membership of the House allotted by the Constitution of India is 552. After the first General Elections were held from 25 October 1951 to 21 February 1952, the Lok Sabha (House of the People) was legally formed for the first time on 17 April 1952.
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Constitutional Provisions of Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha’s composition is covered in Article 81. The maximum number, according to this article, should be as follows
- No more than 530 state representatives.
- The Union Territories may send no more than 20 representatives.
- The President of India may appoint no more than two members of the Anglo Indian Community if, in his/her opinion, the community is not sufficiently represented in the legislature.
- As a result, the Lok Sabha’s total membership is now 552, or 530 + 20 + 2.
Process of Selection of Lok Sabha Members
The process of selecting Lok Sabha members is a crucial part of India’s democratic system. It ensures that the people of India have the opportunity to choose their representatives and that the government is accountable to the people. The candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Must be a citizen of India
- Must be at least 25 years of age
- Must be a voter for any constituency in India
- Must not be mentally unsound
- Must not be a convict or an undischarged bankrupt
The process of selecting Lok Sabha members in India involves a series of steps, from the announcement of elections to the final declaration of results. Here is a detailed overview of the process:
- Delimitation of Constituencies
- Announcement of Election Dates
- Filing of Nominations
- Scrutiny of Nominations
- Withdrawal of Nominations
- Allotment of Symbols
- Counting of Votes
- Declaration of Results
- Notification of Elected Candidates
- Formation of the Government
Universal Adult Franchise (Article 326)
According to the 61st Amendment Act, every citizen who is at least 18 years old is eligible to vote in Lok Sabha elections. However, it is crucial that his name appear on the voters list for his constituency.
Reservation of Seats for SCs and STs
For Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, some constituencies are set aside. Reserved Constituencies are what they are known as. Only SC or ST candidates, if appropriate, may run for office from each reserved constituency. However, every voter in each of these constituencies exercises their right to vote to choose one SC or ST candidate to serve as their representative. 131 seats are currently reserved (84 for SCs and 47 for STs).
Single Member Territorial Constituencies
The number of geographical constituencies that make up the entire nation equals the number of Lok Sabha members that will be elected. Every constituency elects one MP.
Direct Election and Simple Majority Vote Victory System
All of the Lok Sabha’s members are chosen by popular vote. Any voter may cast a ballot to support the election of any candidate from his or her constituency. The candidate who receives the most votes among all candidates running in a constituency is chosen to serve as the Lok Sabha member representing the residents of that seat.
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Lok Sabha Member Tenure
The ordinary tenure of the Lok Sabha is five years. Its duration may be increased in an emergency by one year. However, six months after the end of the emergency, new Lok Sabha elections must be held. Additionally, when the Prime Minister of India advises it or when no party is in a position to do so, the President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha. In this circumstance, a new Lok Sabha must also be legitimately elected within six months.
Term of the Lok Sabha
Five Years: The term of the Lok Sabha is five years, from the date appointed for its first meeting.
Dissolution: The Lok Sabha can be dissolved by the President of India on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
Early Elections: In some cases, the Lok Sabha can be dissolved before the end of its five-year term, and early elections can be held.
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Lok Sabha Sessions
Lok Sabha sessions are an essential part of India’s democratic process. They provide a platform for elected representatives to voice the concerns of the people, hold the government accountable, and shape the nation’s policies and laws. The President may call a session of Parliament at any time, although no more than six months must pass between meetings. It implies that the Lok Sabha must hold at least two sessions in a calendar year. The Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament, typically holds three sessions in a year:
Budget Session: This session typically lasts from February to May and is primarily focused on discussing and approving the government’s budget for the upcoming financial year.
Monsoon Session: This session typically lasts from July to September and is used to consider and pass legislation.
Winter Session: This session typically lasts from November to mid-December and is used to debate and discuss various issues facing the country.
Lok Sabha Meeting
The Lok Sabha must have at least one-tenth of its total members present in order to constitute a quorum. The Speaker of the House has the authority to adjourn a Lok Sabha meeting for lack of quorum if 1/10th of the members are not present. There are two main types of Lok Sabha meetings:
Regular Sittings: These are the most common type of Lok Sabha meeting and are typically held for two to three days each week during a session. Regular sittings are used to discuss and debate legislation, question ministers, and hold the government accountable.
Special Sittings: These meetings are convened for a specific purpose, such as to address a national crisis or to discuss a particular issue in more detail. Special sittings may be held for one day or for several days, depending on the need.
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Lok Sabha Power and Functions
Once a regular bill has been approved by both Houses of Parliament, it can then become law. Although common legislation may be introduced in either of the two chambers of Parliament, the Lok Sabha receives over 90% of the introductions.
If a law passed by the Lok Sabha is rejected by the Rajya Sabha and returned with or without changes, the Lok Sabha reconsiders the bill. A deadlock results if the Lok Sabha approves it again but the Rajya Sabha is still unwilling to approve it. If this impasse is not broken after six months, the President calls a combined meeting of the two Houses in accordance with Article 108’s rules. Both Houses have agreed to the combined sitting’s decision.
The Council of Ministers is jointly liable before the Lok Sabha under Article 75(3). The Prime Minister is chosen by the majority in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha is home to the majority of the ministries. As long as the majority in the Lok Sabha has confidence in them, the ministers remain in their positions.
In accordance with the mechanism outlined in Rule 198 of the norms of procedure and conduct of business of the Lok Sabha, the Lok Sabha has the power to remove the ministry from office by voting a vote of no-confidence against it. As a result, the Lok Sabha has the power to make or break the Ministry. The Lok Sabha continues to have oversight of the Council of Ministers.
Ministers can be questioned by MPs about the administration’s policies and activities. They are free to critique their actions. The Indian Constitution’s Article 75 confers the right to ask inquiries. They are capable of moving and adopting a variety of resolutions and motions (adjournment motion, call attention motion, censure motion, and no-confidence motion)
The Lok Sabha has extensive budgetary authority. A money bill may only be introduced in the Lok Sabha in accordance with the guidelines provided by Article 109. The money bill then moves on to the Rajya Sabha after being approved by it. The Lok Sabha Speaker decides if a certain law qualifies as a money bill or not in the event of a disagreement. His judgement is final, and there is no way to appeal it in a court, the Rajya Sabha, or the Lok Sabha.
As a result, we can assert that the Lok Sabha has ultimate authority over the state’s finances. No tax can be imposed, collected, modified, or eliminated without the Lok Sabha’s consent. Without the Lok Sabha’s approval, the government cannot carry out its fiscal policy.
A few judicial tasks are also carried out by the Lok Sabha. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have the authority to consider the impeachment procedures against the President stated in Article 61. Only when both Houses have passed an impeachment resolution with a 2/3 majority of their members can the President be removed from office.
Additionally, the Rajya Sabha’s allegations against India’s vice president are subject to scrutiny by the Lok Sabha. As per the guidelines set forth in Article 124 (4), the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha may jointly adopt a resolution to dismiss any judge of the Supreme Court or of a State High Court.
For the expulsion of some high-ranking state officials, such as the Attorney General of India, the Chief Election Commissioner, and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, both Houses may pass a special address jointly and submit it to the President. In addition, the Lok Sabha has the authority to punish any individual who is found guilty of contempt of the House, whether they are a member or a citizen.
Additionally, the Lok Sabha has some electoral duties. The Lok Sabha’s elected members participate in the presidential election. In accordance with Article 66 of the Indian Constitution, members of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha vote to choose the vice president of India. The Lok Sabha’s members also choose from among themselves the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
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Lok Sabha Members and Their Grounds Of Disqualifications
According to Article 102 of the Constitution, a person is ineligible to be elected to, and to serve as, a member of either House of Parliament:
- If he holds a position of profit under the control of the Government of India or the Government of any State that is not one for which Parliament has passed a law exempting the holder;
- If a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that he is mentally incompetent;
- If he has not been declared insolvent,
- If he is not an Indian citizen, or if he has chosen to become a citizen of another country, or if he has pledged his loyalty to another country;
- If he is otherwise ineligible under a law passed by Parliament.
The Representation of People Act 1951 established the additional disqualifications listed below by the Parliament.
- He must not have been convicted of any election-related crimes or unethical behaviour.
- He must not have been convicted of any crime that resulted in a sentence of two years or more in prison. However, being detained under legislation that allows for preventative detention is not a bar to eligibility.
- He must not have missed the deadline for submitting an account of his election-related expenses.
- He must not be interested in any projects, services, or contracts with the government.
- He cannot occupy a position of profit or serve as a director or managing agent for a company in which the government owns at least a quarter of the shares.
- He couldn’t have had his employment with the government terminated due to dishonesty or corruption.
- He must not have been guilty of bribery or encouraging animosity between various groups.