Indian Parliamentary System Explained


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Knowledge is of no use untill you put it into Practice. — Anton Chekhov

Democracy, it was first introduced by Athenians in Greece during 5th century BCE. Cleisthenes a political figure of Athens born in 570 BCE known as the father of democracy.

The Father of Athenian Democracy – Cleisthenes

– Out of all countries in the world, 123 countries are democratic countries.

– Modern democratic governments are classified into two types of government systems.

Presidential and Parliamentary

India is known as one the most prominent democratic nation follows a Parliamentary system. So the first question arises why Parliamentary? Why not Presidential?

The answer is Diversity. India is known for its social and cultural diversity. There are approximately 3000 castes, 9 recognized religions and then there are different languages. Even states formation in India after Independence took place based on language is spoken. Many states of India even have their own official languages.

So, dividing the power of decision making in such a diverse nation can only be achieved by the parliamentary system which is also known as the Westminster System developed in the United Kingdom.

Parliament Of India – Delhi

In the parliamentary system, the executive is always responsible to the legislature.

Executive – The word itself means execution, implementation a person or body who implements a plan or take action.

In government, Executives have the responsibility of governance and implementing the law. Prime minister and his cabinet ministers are executives. Civil servants implement the executive decisions.

Legislature means the assembly in simple words parliament who makes law. Indian legislature has two legislative bodies

 1. Lok Sabha     2. Rajya Sabha

Legislative bodies like Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha pass or make law and Prime minister and his Cabinet implement those laws. They take action.

So what is the meaning of Executive ( Prime Minister + Cabinet Of Ministers) is responsible for the legislature?                                                                                                      – You can notice in the Parliament of  India, Members of parliament question Prime Minister regarding his policies and governance and he has to answer all those. This is taking responsibility for the legislature as well as governance. And this all Members of Parliament are part of the legislature.

President of India – He is the nominal executive. He has to take advice from the Prime Minister and his council of minister.

There are three parts of the Indian Parliament.

Lok Sabha

Let us break the explanation down to three main points.

  1.  Election
  2.  Structure
  3. Working

Election –

  • Lok Sabha is known as the house of the people because. People of India directly elect Lok Sabha members.
  • Election system used in their election is First past the post. First past the post is the name of that method but it is merely, a voting method in which voters choose the candidate of their choice by Voting.
  • Member of Lok Sabha must be above 25 years of Age. Lok Sabha member has fixed term of 5 years.

Structure –

  • Article 81 of the Indian Constitution deals with the structure of Lok Sabha.
  • The maximum number of seats allotted by the constitution to Lok Sabha is 552.
  • Currently, there are 445 members of Lok Sabha in India. 430 are the elected MLA through elections from Indian states and Union.
  • The specific number of seats allocated to each state and union territory based on only one-factor Population.
  • The larger the population of state more the number of seats allocated to that State and Union Territory.
  • That is the reason Uttar Pradesh has the most number of seats in Lok Sabha because it is the largest Indian state by population.
  • President nominates remaining two members from Anglo Indian community in Lok Sabha as per provision of Article 331 of Indian Constitution.

Working –

  • After the general election, these Lok Sabha members elect one person from the Lok Sabha as their Speaker. (Speaker of Lok Sabha)
  • To help speaker they elect two other people as Deputy Speakers.
  • Speaker maintains discipline during the sessions of Lok Sabha.
  • Indian Prime minister is the head of Lok Sabha.
  • Lok Sabha has the term of 5 Years.
  • It can be dissolved before 5 years under some circumstances. The only president can dissolve the Lok Sabha on the advice of Prime Minister.
         Now let us go up to the Upper House!

Rajya Sabha

Election –

  • State Legislative members elect Rajya Sabha members.
  • So yes, it means voters or Public do not directly elect Rajya Sabha members. But they are directly elected by the representatives sent by the public to the State Legislative Assembly.
  • President of Indian nominates 12 people in Rajya Sabha.

Structure –

  • The maximum number of seats allotted by the constitution to Rajya Sabha is 250.
  • Currently, there are 245 members in Rajya Sabha. Out of 245, 233 members are chosen by State legislative assemble means Lok Sabha.
  • President of India appoints remaining 12 members. He appoints these 12 people on basis of their specialized knowledge or their contribution in fields like art literature social work or sport.

In Indian politics, people and politicians also call it a backdoor entry.

Mr. Subramniayan Swamy is an excellent example of this appointment by the president.

Mr. Subramanian Swamy – Indian Economist, Member Of Parliament

Working –

  • Vice President of Indian is the chairperson of Rajya Sabha.
  •  Lok Sabha members elect Deputy Chairperson from themselves.
  • Rajya Sabha members have the term of 6 years and age must be above 30 years.
  • Rajya Sabha is known permanent house because it cannot be dissolved completely.
  • In every two years, 1/3 member get retired from Lok Sabha.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have equal powers in lawmaking. Only except in the area of finance.

 In finance, Lok Sabha holds more power.

– Lok Sabha can override Rajya Sabha’s vote when it comes to financing.

Now the third component of parliament

President

  • President of India is component of Parliament under article 60 and article 111
  • Members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha elect the president of India.
  • He serves for the term of 5 Years.
  • President’s responsibility is to examine the laws and bills passed by the parliament in accordance with the constitution.

     Now our last and essential question.

What is the procedure of passing bills, policies, and amendments?

For that first, understand the types of bills. There are 4 types of bills

Money bills

  • Money bills are related to taxes, borrowings, consolidated, contingency funds, audits, and accounting.
  • Definition of money bill is given in Article 110. Article 109 of the constitution gives special procedures regarding bill.

 Financial bill –

  • Financial Bills deal with revenues or expenditure.

These two bills can only be introduced in Lok Sabha on Recommendations of President.

The procedure of Passing Financial and Money bill –

  • Lok Sabha after getting the majority for their bill send the bill to Rajya Sabha.
  • Rajya Sabha can suggest some changes in the bill within 14 days. But, even if Lok Sabha says no to these changes. Parliament has to pass financial or money bills.
  • Remember?? I told you Lok sabha holds more power when it comes to financing.
  • When Parliament passes this bill, there is no need to go to the President. Because financial and money bills are always introduced on the recommendation of the President.

Constitutional Amendment bills –

  • Under article 368 of Indian Constitution parliament of India has the right to amend the constitution.
  • Amend means suggesting a change in the constitution.
  • Amendment bill can be introduced in both houses without the recommendation of President.
  • Amendment bill has to gain majority in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha separately.
  • After that, the bill goes to the President of India.

President has three choices –

  1. President can approve.
  2. President can withhold his approval, in other words, he can withhold his assent.
  3. President can return it.

When he returns amendment bill. If that bill again gains the majority in both houses. Then President approves it.

Ordinary Bills –

  • This is bill related to general matters other than money or financial bill.
  • Again these bills can be introduced in both houses and passed by a simple majority.
              So, that is how it works

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1 Response

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