The country's Parliamentary sessions are presided over by a presiding official known as the Speaker. In a parliamentary democracy, the Speaker represents the dignity and freedom of the House, and because the house represents the country, the speaker becomes a symbol of the country's freedom and liberty, according to India's first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. In this article, we will be discussing the post of the Speaker in India.
About Union Government
The Union government of India is the legislative, executive, and judicial body established by the Indian Constitution to oversee the union of twenty-eight states and nine union territories. The government of India (GOI), also known as the Union of India, is modeled after the Westminster system for governing the state. The Union government is primarily made up of the executive, legislature, and judiciary, with the prime minister, parliament, and supreme court holding all powers conferred by the constitution.
The president of India is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces, while the elected prime minister leads the executive and is in charge of the Union government. If we talk about the different houses of the Parliament, that is Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha, then here the highest authority is known as the Speaker who takes care of the proceedings of the house.
Who is the Speaker of Lok Sabha?
The Speaker of the Lok Sabha, India's lower house of Parliament, is the presiding officer and the highest authority in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha elects its speaker, who oversees the House's day-to-day operations. One of the first duties of the freshly formed House after the general election is to elect the Speaker. The Speaker's position is a constitutional one. The Speaker is guided by constitutional laws as well as the Lok Sabha Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. The Speaker of the House of Commons is ranked sixth in the country's Warrant of Precedence. The Speaker's office has sufficient powers to assist her/ him in the smooth conduct of parliamentary proceedings.
The Speaker's salary and allowances are not subject to parliamentary approval and are instead charged to the Consolidated Fund of India, according to the constitution. The Speaker's chair in the Lok Sabha chamber is uniquely positioned to provide a commanding view of the whole House. On legislative activities, practice, and procedure, the Speaker is aided by the Lok Sabha Secretary-General and top Secretariat staff.
The Speaker's functions are carried out by the Deputy Speaker when the Speaker is not present. In the absence of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, the House is presided over by a member of the Panel of Chairman.
How is the Speaker of Lok Sabha Elected?
There are no formal requirements for becoming Speaker of the House.
The Speaker must be a member of the House, according to the constitution, although knowledge of the Parliament's constitution and norms is regarded as a considerable asset. The presiding officer of the House is chosen by a simple majority of the members present who vote in the House. Speaker is usually elected by a member of the ruling party. Over the years, the procedure has evolved to the point where the dominant party nominates its candidate after informal consultations with other parties and groupings in the House.
There have also been instances where members who did not belong to the ruling party were elected to the position of Speaker. During the NDA coalition led by the BJP, GMC Balayogi and Manohar Joshi of the TDP and Shiv Sena, respectively, served as Speakers in the 12th and 13th Lok Sabhas. After the Speaker is elected, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition (the leader of the opposition's largest party in the House) accompany him to the Chair. When the Lok Sabha is dissolved, the Speaker remains in office until the first meeting of the new assembly, when the new Speaker is elected.
How can the Speaker be Removed?
The term of the Speaker is equal to the term of the Lok Sabha, which is five years.
However, the constitution empowers the Lower House to remove the Speaker if necessary. According to Articles 94 and 96 of the Indian Constitution, the House can remove the Speaker through a resolution passed by an effective majority (more than half of the total strength of the house present and voting).
Sections 7 and 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 allow the Speaker to be removed if he or she is disqualified from serving in the Lok Sabha. A speaker may also resign by submitting his resignation to a Deputy Speaker.
What are The Powers of The Speaker?
A Speaker, according to the Indian Constitution, has extensive administrative and discretionary functions, some of which are listed below:
The Lower House meetings are presided over by the Speaker. In other words, the Speaker oversees the conduct of business in the Lok Sabha by ensuring member discipline and decorum.
S/he protects the rights and privileges of Lok Sabha members, deciding who should speak when, what questions should be asked, and how the proceedings should be conducted, among other things.
In order to break a deadlock, the Speaker uses his or her power to vote. That is, when the House starts a voting procedure, the speaker does not cast a vote right away. The Speaker's vote breaks the deadlock only when both sides earn an equal number of votes, making his/her stance unbiased.
When a quorum is not present in the House, the Speaker has the authority to adjourn the House or suspend any meeting until a quorum is present.
The Speaker sets the agenda for a meeting of the Members of Parliament.
The Speaker has vast powers of interpretation when it comes to the Rules of Procedure. Because he is a member of the House as well as the Presiding Officer, he is responsible for maintaining the House's discipline.
Various legislative procedures, such as motions of adjournment, motions of no confidence, and motions of censure, are also permitted by the Speaker.
The Speaker of the House of Parliament is in charge of the combined sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
The Speaker is exclusively responsible for endorsing his or her certificate on a Money Bill once it has been transmitted from the Lower House to the Upper House. In other words, he or she is granted the crucial authority to determine whether or not a Bill is a Money Bill. It is his/her choice that is definitive.
Except for the no-confidence motion, all other motions that come before the House must be approved by the Speaker.
The Speaker also decides whether or not to recognise the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
The Speaker is in charge of several Parliamentary Committees, including the Rules Committee, the Business Advisory Committee, and the General Purposes Committee. The Speaker appoints the Chairman of these Committees while also overseeing their operations.
He/she is the final arbiter and interpreter of all House rules. His or her decisions are usually permanent and irreversible, and they cannot be contested, questioned, or criticised.
The Speaker of the Lok Sabha also serves as the head of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
The Speaker has complete control over the House Secretariat and its security procedures.
Without the Speaker's authorisation, no changes or additions can be made to Parliament House, and no new structures can be built on the Parliament Estate.
The Speaker is the conduit through which the House's decisions are communicated to individuals and authorities outside of Parliament.
The Speaker determines the format and method in which the House's proceedings are published.
When a decision of the House is required on a motion filed by a member, the Speaker calls the question before the House to seek the decision.
The Speaker makes obituary references in the House, official references to key national and international events, and the valedictory address at the end of each Lok Sabha session, as well as when the House's tenure expires.
Who is the Speaker of Rajya Sabha?
The presiding officer of the Rajya Sabha is the Chairman of the Sabha which is an ex-officio post. The Vice President of the country becomes the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and thus becomes the authority to preside over the affairs of the house. It is important to note that he is not the member of the house. It is not allowed to vote in the first instance but can vote when there is equality of votes. In simple words, he has a casting vote.
The salary and allowances of the Chairman are charged to the Consolidated Fund of India. The motion to remove him from his post can only be done in the Rajya Sabha and he is not allowed to preside over the session during his removal proceedings. The rest of the duties and powers are similar to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha except he does not decide on the bill whether it is a money bill or not.
Thus, the Speaker is a very crucial post in the parliament. It is a constitutional office which shows the importance of the office. It is very important to note that there is no path that needs to be taken before entering into the office of Speaker. The speaker can not preside over the house in case of his removal proceedings and in that case, a person chosen by the house used to preside over the house. These days the office of Speaker because of the controversies related to the money bill as well as defection cases. In such cases, the Speaker needs to take decisions as per the constitutional provisions and in favour of the people of the country.