The constitution provides for a law making body, Legislature for every state. In some states, the Legislature is bicameral and in some it is unit-cameral. Where the Legislature is bicameral the upper House is called the Legislative Council and the lower House is known as Legislative assembly Vidhan Sabha members are elected directly by the people hence it is the representative House.
The Vidhan sabhaby passing a resolution by 2/3 majority of the members present and voting may request the Parliament to create or abolish the Vidhan parisada in the state. The Orissa Legislative assembly or the Vidhan Sabha is the Unit-cameral, Legislature of Orissa.
The constitution provides that the Legislative Assembly of each state shall consist of not more than 500 and less than 60 members. According to 36th Amendment Sikkim was made a full-fledged state and members of Sikkim Legislative Assembly cannot b less than 30. The total strength of a State Legislative Assembly depends upon the population of the state.
Those eligible to vote must be (a) Citizen of India (b) must have completed the age of 21 years (c) must have been otherwise disqualified. The constitution also makes provision for the reservation of seats for the scheduled castes and tribes. It is to give special representation to them. However, elections of the members of the scheduled caste and tribes are also held on the basis of joint electorate. Provision for the nomination of members belonging to the Anglo-Indian community has also been made in the constitution. The Orissa Legislative Assembly has 22 seats reserved for the Scheduled Caste and 34 for the Scheduled Tribes. This reservation is to continue up to 2026 after the ninety one amendment of the constitution.
The qualifications and disqualifications for a member of the Legislative Assembly are the same as for members of the Lok sabha. A candidates seeks elections to the Legislative Assembly must fulfill the following qualifications.
- He must be a citizen of India.
- He must have completed the age of 25 years.
- He must not hold an office of profit.
- He must possess qualifications laid down by the parliament of India.
- He must not be unsound mind and should not have been declared disqualifications by a competent court.
If after election any question arises as to whether a member is subject to any of the disqualifications the decision of the Governor shall be final. But before giving any decision on any such question the Governor is required to obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and cat according to such opinion. The decision of the Governor therefore is really the decision of the Election commission.
The term of Legislative Assembly is five years. The term of five years starts from the date of sitting. During the Parliament of emergency the life of the Assembly can be extended by a law of Parliament for a period not exceeding one year at a time.
Members of the Legislative Assembly are entitled to such salary and allowances as are determined by the Legislature of states by law.
Like the members of parliament the members of the State Legislature also enjoy freedom of speech on the floor of the House. They cannot be prosecuted for having said anything on the floor of the House. During session the members cannot be arrested in any civil cases.
Until the Legislature of the state by law otherwise provides, the quorum to constitute a meeting of the House shall be ten members or one tenth of the total number of the House whichever is greater. According to 42nd Amendment each Home of State Legislature is empowered to determine its quorum.
The Legislative Assembly has the powers to make laws on all subjects contained in the state list. Those subjects are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the State Legislative Assembly.
The Legislative Assembly can make laws on the subjects mentioned in the state list and concurrent list. If there is only one chamber of the Legislature, the Bill after being passed by this chamber is sent to the Governor for his assent. If there are two chambers of the Legislature the Bill after having been passed by a chamber is sent to the second chamber is that to the Governor of the state for his assent. The second chamber Council can delay the passage of the Bill at the most for one month. The Governor can veto a Bill once but if passed by the Legislature for the second time the Governor will have to give his assent.
Money Bill can only be introduced in the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Assembly exercises committee control over the finances of state. The Governor cannot refuse to give his assent to the Money Bill. During emergency limitation can be imposed on the financial powers of the Governor.
The State Executive is responsible to the Legislative Assembly for all its actions and policies. The leader of the majority party in the Legislative Assembly is appointed as the Chief Minister of the state. Most of the Ministers are taken from the Legislative Assembly. The members of the Legislative Assembly can ask questions to the Ministers and they are to give satisfactory answers to these entire question. The Legislative Assembly can reject an important Bill of the cabinet or by decreasing the salary of the Ministers or by passing a vote of no. confidence against the ministry to remove it from office.
The members of the Legislative Assembly participate in the election of the President of India. The members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the state Legislature. If elects its own Speaker and Deputy speaker.
The constitutional power of the Legislative Assembly is not very important. Power of amendment is vested with the Parliament, but important provisions of the constitution cannot be amended unless half of the state Legislatures in the country approves such an amendment.
Creation or the abolition of the Legislative Council
The Legislative Assembly by passing a resolution by two third majority of the members present and voting can request the Union Parliament for the creation of the abolition of the Legislative Council in the state. It is merely a request to the Union parliament and the Union parliament is not bound to accept the request.