What are the compositions and powers of the Lok Sabha?

Lok Sabha is the lower House of Parliament. It is a popular House because it represents the nation at large. It is not only popular but a powerful House as well. It is the pivot of all political activities.

Composition

According to the 31st Amendment the maximum strength of the Lok Sabha has been put at 547 members. The Lok Sabha can consist of (a) not more than 525 representatives of the people (b) not more than 20 representatives of the Union Territories & (c) not more than 2 members of the Anglo-Indian community nominated by the President if he is of the opinion that the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha.

Election

The members of the Lok Sabha are elected directly by the people. Every citizen of India of not less than 18 years has the right to vote provided of course he or she is not otherwise disqualified on grounds of unsoundness of mind, crime & corrupt & illegal practice.

Term

The life of the Lok Sabha is five years. All the members are chosen at one and at the same time. However, the President can dissolve the Lok Sabha even before the expiry of its term i.e., five years.

Qualification

  • He must be a citizen of India.
  • He must have completed 25 years of age.
  • He must not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State.
  • He must possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed by the Parliament.
  • No person can be a member of both Houses of Parliament. In case he becomes he must vacate one of the two seats. Likewise one person cannot be a member of a House of Parliament & of a State Legislature simultaneously.

Quorum

The quorum of the House requires 1/10th members presence for running the House smoothly.

Speaker

The Speaker is the Presiding Officer of the Lok Sabha. He is elected by the members of the Lok Sabha from among themselves. The Speaker presides over the meetings of the House; maintains orders in the House & conducts the business of the House in accordance with the rules of the House. The constitution also provides for the office of the Deputy Speaker. He is the member of the House & is elected by the members of the Lok Sabha from among themselves. The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speaker when the latter is absent or while the office of the Speaker is vacant.

Powers of the Lok Sabha

Legislative Powers

Any type of Bill can be introduced in the Lok Sabha. Laws in it can be framed on any subject given on the Union List & the Concurrent List. The Rajyasabha can transfer any subject on the State List by passing a resolution in favour of the centre and Lok Sabha can pass a law on the subject. Rajyasabha can transfer a subject only in case of national importance. After the Bill is passed by the Lok Sabha it is sent to the Rajyasabha & it can delay the Bill at the most for 6 months. If the Rajyasabha rejects the Bill & does not take any action over it for a period of six months, a joint session of the two Houses of the Parliament is called & the majority vote decides the fate of the Bill. As the number of the members of the Lok Sabha; larger than that of the Rajyasabha so the Lok Sabha can get the Bills passed according to its own wishes

Financial Powers

The Lok Sabha controls the finance of the state. A money Bill can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha & not in the Rajyasabha. If there is a difference of opinion whether a particular Bill is a money Bill or a non-money Bill, the decision of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha will be final. After a money Bill is passed by the Lok Sabha, it is sent to the Rajyasabha. The Rajyasabha can delay the passage of a money Bill at the most for 14 days. The Rajyasabha may reject the Bill or may not take any action over the Bill for a period of 14 days in both these conditions the Bill will be considered as passed. It will be sent to the President & he gives his assent to the Bill. The President cannot use his veto power in case of money Bill.

Control over the Executive

It is the Lok Sabha which controls the Executive. The leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha is the Prime Minister of the country. Most of the ministers are also taken from the Lok Sabha. The Cabinet is responsible Jo the Lok Sabha for all its action & policies. The members of the Lok Sabha can criticise the functioning as of the Cabinet. If the Lok Sabha passes a vote of no-confidence against the Cabinet, the Cabinet will have to resign. The Cabinet remains in office till it is supported by the majority of the members of the House.

Judicial Powers

The Lok Sabha can start impeachment proceedings against the President of India. It investigates into the charges leveled against the Vice-President and gives the decision. It along with the Rajyasabha passes a resolution of the removal of the judges to the High Court & the Supreme Court.

Electoral Function

The Lok Sabha participates in the election of the President. It has also the right to participate in election of the Vice-President. The Lok Sabha elects a Speaker & a Deputy Speaker from amongst its members.

Amendment in the Constitution

The resolution for amending the constitution can be introduced in the Lok Sabha. In the field it enjoys equal powers with the Rajyasabha.

Position of the Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha is the lower chamber of the Parliament. Almost all its members are elected by the people. This chamber is more important than the Rajyasabha because it represents the nation. The Lok Sabha controls the ordinary & the money Bills. No Bill can be passed against the wishes of the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha has also control over the Cabinet. The Lok Sabha can remove the Cabinet by passing a vote of no-confidence or by rejecting the budget. The Lok Sabha is the most powerful influential & an important part of the Parliament. In fact, it is the Lok Sabha which exercises all the powers of the Parliament.