Presiding Officers of Parliament – Speaker of Lok Sabha

Speaker of Lok Sabha

Election and Tenure
  • The Speaker is elected by the Lok Sabha from among its members
  • Elected as soon as may be, after its first sitting.
  • The office of the Speaker falls vacant, the Lok Sabha elects another member to fill the vacancy.
  • The date of election of the Speaker is fixed by the President.
  • Office will be vacate earlier in three cases:
    1. If he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha;
    2. If he resigns by writing to the Deputy Speaker
    3. If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Lok Sabha. Resolution need 14 days’ advance notice.
  • When a resolution for the removal of the Speaker is under consideration, he cannot preside at the sitting of the House but can take part and vote
  • Whenever the Lok Sabha is dissolved, the Speaker does not vacate his office and continues till the newly-elected lok Sabha meets
 
 
Role, Powers and Functions
  • The Speaker is the head of the Lok Sabha, and its representative.
  • He is the guardian of powers and privileges of the members, the House as a whole and its committees.
  • He is the principal spokesman of the House
  • His decision in all Parliamentary matters is final.
  • The Speaker derives his powers and duties from three sources
    1. Constitution of India
    2. Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Lok Sabha
    3. Parliamentary Conventions
  • He maintains order and decorum in the House as his primary responsibility and he has final power in this.
  • He is the final interpreter of the provisions of
    1. Constitution of India,
    2. Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Lok Sabha
    3. Parliamentary precedents, within the House.
  • He adjourns the House or suspends the meeting in absence of a quorum.
  • He does not vote in the first instance. But he can exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie. Such vote is called casting vote
  • He presides over a joint setting of the two Houses of Parliament.
  • He can allow a ‘secret’ sitting of the House at the request of the Leader of the House, no stranger can be present in the chamber, lobby or galleries except with the permission of the Speaker.
  • He decides whether a bill is a money bill or not and his decision on this question is final.
  • He decides the questions of disqualification of a member of the Lok Sabha, on the ground of defection and its subject to judicial reviews as per Supreme Court order in 1992
  • He acts as the ex-officio chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Group which acts as a link between the Parliament of India and the various parliaments of the world.
  • He also acts as the ex-officio chairman of the conference of presiding officers of legislative bodies in the country.
  • He appoints the chairman of all the parliamentary committees of the Lok Sabha and supervises their functioning.
  • He himself is the chairman of
    1. Business Advisory Committee
    2. Rules Committee
    3. General Purpose Committee.
 
 
Independence and Impartiality
  • He is provided with a security of tenure.
  • He can be removed only by a resolution passed by the Lok Sabha by an absolute majority
  • Motion of removal need support of at least 50 members
  • His salaries and allowances are fixed by Parliament and charged on the Consolidated Fund of India
  • His work and conduct cannot be discussed and criticised in the Lok Sabha except on a substantive motion.
  • He is placed at 7th rank, along with the Chief Justice of India.
  • In Britain, the Speaker is strictly a non-party man.
  • There is a convention that the Speaker has to resign from his party
 
 

Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha

  • Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Lok Sabha itself from among its members.
  • He is elected after the election of the Speaker has taken place.
  • The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the Speaker.
  • He resigns by writing to the Speaker
  • The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speaker’s office when it is vacant or absent
  • Deputy Speaker is not subordinate to the Speaker.
  • He is directly responsible to the House.
  • If he is appointed as a member of a parliamentary committee, he automatically becomes its chairman.
  • When the Speaker presides over the House, the Deputy Speaker is like any other ordinary member of the House
  • Since the 11th Lok Sabha, post of Deputy Speaker goes to the main opposition party.
 
 
  • Speaker and Deputy Speaker, do not make any separate oath or affirmation
  • Institutions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker originated in India in 1921 under Government of India Act of 1919, and were called the President and Deputy President.
  • Government of India Act of 1935 changed the name but it continue till 1947
  • Frederick Whyte and Sachidanand Sinha were appointed as 1st Speaker and the 1st Deputy Speaker of the central legislative assembly.
  • In 1925, Vithalbhai J. Patel became the 1st Indian and the 1st elected Speaker of the central legislative assembly.
  • G V Mavalankar held the post of Speaker in the Constituent Assembly (Legislative) as well as the provisional Parliament
 
 

Panel of Chairpersons of Lok Sabha

  • Under the Rules of Lok Sabha, the Speaker nominates a panel of not more than ten chairpersons, from members
  • Any of them can preside over the House in the absence of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker.
  • He holds office until a new panel of chairpersons is nominated.
  • Member of the panel of chairpersons cannot preside over the House, when the office of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker is vacant.
  • During such time, President may appoint any member
  • The elections are held, as soon as possible, to fill the vacant posts.
 
 

Speaker Pro Tem

  • As provided by the Constitution, the Speaker of the last Lok Sabha vacates his office immediately before the first meeting of the newly elected Lok Sabha.
  • President appoints a member of the Lok Sabha as the Speaker Pro Tem.
  • Usually, the seniormost member is selected for this.
  • He presides over the first sitting of the newly-elected Lok Sabha.
  • His main duty is to administer oath to the new members.
  • He also enables the House to elect the new Speaker.
  • When the new Speaker is elected by the House, the office of the Speaker Pro Tem ceases
 
 

Chairman of Rajya Sabha

  • The vicepresident of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • During any period when the Vice-President acts as President he does not perform the duties of the office of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
  • The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha can be removed from his office only if he is removed from the office of the Vice-President.
  • As a presiding officer, the powers and functions of the Chairman in the Rajya Sabha are similar to those of the Speaker in the Lok Sabha.
  • Chairman is not a member of the House.
  • Chairman also cannot vote in the first instance. He can use cast vote
  • The Vice-President cannot preside over a sitting of the Rajya Sabha  when a resolution for his removal is under consideration.
  • he can be present and speak in the House without voting
  • salaries and allowances of the Chairman are also fixed by the Parliament.
  • They are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India
 
 

Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

  • The Deputy Chairman is elected by the Rajya Sabha itself from amongst its members, whenever the office falls vacant
  • The Deputy Chairman vacates his office in any of the following three cases:
    1. If he ceases to be a member of the Rajya Sabha
    2. If he resigns by writing to the Chairman
    3. If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of the Rajya Sabha. Such a resolution need 14 days’ advance notice.
  • The Deputy Chairman perform as Chairman when it is vacant or absent or when the Vice-President acts as President
  • Deputy Chairman is not subordinate to the Chairman.
  • He is directly responsible to the Rajya Sabha.
  • When the Chairman presides over the House, the Deputy Chairman is like any other ordinary member of the House.
  • Salary and allowance are fixed by Parliament and are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India
 
 

Panel of Vice-Chairpersons of Rajya Sabha

  • Under the Rules of Rajya Sabha, the Chairman nominates from amongst the members a panel of vice-chairpersons.
  • Any one of them can preside over the House in the absence of the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman.
  • Cannot preside over the House, when the office of the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman is vacant.
  • During such time,  President appoints someone from members
 
 

Secretariat of Parliament

  • Each House of Parliament has separate secretarial staff of its own, though there can be some posts common to both the Houses.
  • Their recruitment and service conditions are regulated by Parliament.
  • The secretariat of each House is headed by a secretary-general.
  • He is a permanent officer and is appointed by the presiding officer of the House.
 
 

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