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Bhartruhari Mahtab sworn as Pro-Tem Speaker of Lok Sabha

Bhartruhari Mahtab, a seven-term MP, has been sworn in as the pro tem Speaker of the Lok Sabha. The Opposition has raised objections to this appointment, arguing that it deviates from the customary practice of choosing the most senior member of the Lower House for the position. Mahtab convened the Lok Sabha session at 11 am in Parliament House. His first order of business was to call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Leader of the Lok Sabha, to take the oath as a member of the House.

Bhartruhari Mahtab appointed Pro-Tem Speaker of Lok Sabha

President Droupadi Murmu was appointed Bhartruhari Mahtab who served as a seven-term MP from Cuttack, as the pro tem Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha under Article 95(1) of the Constitution, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju confirmed on 20th June 2024.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, 66, had quit the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party recently and got a ticket from the BJP in the recent 18th Lok Sabha elections from Cuttack in Odisha is a constituency he has represented six times for the BJD now for the 7th time for the BJP.

The speaker for the 18th Lok Sabha will be elected in its first session. Until this happens, a pro-tem Speaker will be chosen to swear in the new Members of Parliament.

Who is Pro-Tem Speaker?

  • The pro-tem Speaker is a temporary presiding officer in the Lok Sabha until the regular Speaker is elected. The term ‘pro-tem’ means ‘for the time being’ or ‘temporarily’.
  • The primary role of the pro-tem Speaker is to administer the oath to new Members of Parliament (MPs) and facilitate the election of the new Speaker.
  • According to Article 95(1), a pro-tem speaker is appointed for a brief period to preside over the proceedings of the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) following the General Elections.

The Pro-Tem Speaker is an important topic of Indian Polity which is an important subject in the UPSC Syllabus. Candidates can also go for the UPSC Mock Test to get more accuracy in their preparations.

Selection of Pro-Tem Speaker

  • Procedure: The post of pro-tem Speaker is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution but is outlined in the ‘Handbook on the Working of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs’.
  • When the Speaker’s post is vacant before a new Lok Sabha session, the duties are performed by a Member of the House appointed by the President as Speaker pro-tem.

The Legislative Section of Parliament creates a list of the most seasoned Lok Sabha members following a general election and the establishment of a new administration. The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs receives the list and submits it together with a letter asking the President to approve the appointment of the interim Speaker.

The Pro-tem Speaker presides over the first meeting following the election during which the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are chosen by the members of the Parliament. The Deputy Speaker serves in the Speaker’s absence, and in the event of their absence, a committee of six members chosen by the Speaker will take over as Speaker in accordance with their order of seniority.

Pro-Tem Speaker Appointment

The President/Governor appoints the pro-tem speaker to preside over meetings of the freshly elected house. The most senior member of the house is typically the pro-tem speaker. Pro-Tem speakers play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition and the establishment of a new legislative body. Their neutrality and experience are essential for upholding decorum and conducting the initial proceedings efficiently.

Pro-Tem Speaker Role and Responsibilities

The first Lok Sabha session is presided over by the Pro-tem Speaker, who also swears in the newly elected MPs. The pro tem speaker’s responsibility is to oversee the speaker and deputy speaker elections. The pro tem speaker’s position is abolished with the election of a new Speaker. Additionally, he conducts the floor test.

  • Presiding over Initial Sessions: The pro-tem speaker oversees the first meeting of the newly elected house until a permanent speaker is elected.
  • Administering Oath of Office: They administer the oath of office to newly elected members.
  • Conducting Speaker and Deputy Speaker Elections: They facilitate the election process for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
  • Maintaining Order and Decorum: Ensuring smooth proceedings and upholding decorum in the house during the initial session.
  • Additional Duties: Depending on the specific rules and procedures of the legislative body, the pro-tem speaker may have additional responsibilities.

Swearing-in Ceremony

  • Procedure: Following the President’s approval, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs informs the selected members about their appointments.
    • The President administers the oath to the pro-tem Speaker at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, while the pro-tem Speaker administers the oath to the other members in the Lok Sabha.
  • Timing: The swearing-in of the pro-tem Speaker is typically scheduled at 9:30 am on the same day the Lok Sabha session starts at 11 am, subject to the President’s convenience.

Pro-Tem Speaker UPSC

The pro-tem speaker shares all of the Speaker’s rights and privileges. Therefore, the experts argue that to avoid tarnishing the reputation of democracy, there needs to be more clarity regarding the choice of the pro-tem speaker.  A speaker who is chosen on a temporary basis is known as a pro tem Speaker. Just prior to the first meeting of the newly elected house, the Lok Sabha’s or legislative assembly’s Speaker steps down, forcing the appointment of a pro-tem speaker. Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.

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Pro-Tem Speaker FAQs

Who is the 1st Protem Speaker of Lok Sabha?

Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar is the 1st Protem Speaker of Lok Sabha.

Who was pro tem speaker of constituent assembly?

Mavalankar was elected to the office of speaker of the Constituent Assembly (Legislative) on 17 November 1947.

Who is the Protem speaker of 17th Lok Sabha?

BJP MP Dr Virendra Kumar to be protem speaker of 17th Lok Sabha

Who is known as Protem Speaker?

The duties of the Speaker are to be performed by a Member of the House appointed for this purpose by the President as Speaker pro tem.

Who is the first female speaker of Lok Sabha?

Meira Kumar was the first female speaker of Lok Sabha.

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