Rajya Sabha is not as powerful as Lok Sabha, but powerful enough in comparison to state legislative councils. Examine.

Q. Rajya Sabha is not as powerful as Lok Sabha, but powerful enough in comparison to state legislative councils. Examine.

Ans. Under the Constitution, the Parliament of India consists of three parts viz, the President, the Council of States and the House of the People. The Rajya Sabha (council of states) is the Upper House (Second Chamber or House of Elders) which represents the states and union territories of the Indian Union. It’s maximum strength is fixed at 250, out of which, 238 are to be the representatives of the states and union territories (elected indirectly) and 12 are nominated by the president.

  1. Money Bill: A Money Bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha cannot amend or reject a Money Bill. It should return the bill to the Lok Sabha within 14 days, either with recommendations or without recommendations. The Lok Sabha can either accept or reject all or any of the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha. In both the cases, the money bill is deemed to have been passed by the two Houses.
  2. Finance Bill: A financial bill, not containing solely the matters of Article 110, also can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha.
  3. Special power of the speaker: The final power to decide whether a particular bill is a Money Bill or not is vested in the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. The Speaker of Lok Sabha presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses.
  4. Financial Power Lok sabha: Rajya Sabha can only discuss the budget but cannot vote on the demands for grants (which is the exclusive privilege of the Lok Sabha).
  5. Discontinuance of Emergency: The resolution for the discontinuance of the national emergency can be passed only by the Lok Sabha and not by the Rajya Sabha.
  6. No-Confidence Motion: The Rajya Sabha cannot pass a no- confidence motion as Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. It can only discuss and criticise the policies and activities of the government.

However, in most of the affairs Rajya sabha have equal status with Lok sabha in all spheres except financial matters and with regard to the control over the Government.

Example: In the introduction and passage of ordinary bills and Constitutional amendment bills. In some cases, it also enjoys special powers such as for authorizing the Parliament to make law on state subject under Article 249.

  1. Ordinary Bill: The final power of passing an ordinary bill also lies with the assembly. At the most, the council can detain or delay the bill. In the council is not even a revising body like the Rajya Sabha; it is only a dilatory chamber or an advisory body.
  2. Constitutional Bill: Rajya sabha share equal power with Lok sabha with regard to constitutional amendment bill. The council has no effective say in the ratification of a constitutional amendment bill. In this respect also, the will of the assembly prevails over that of the council.
  3. Election of President and Vice-President: The council does not participate in the election of the president of India and Vice- President unlike Rajya Sabha.
  4. Predominance of the assembly: The council is subordinate to the assembly in all respects which is not so in case of Rajya Sabha.

It is clear that the position of the council vis-a-vis the assembly is much weaker than the position of the Rajya Sabha vis-a-vis the Lok Sabha. Thus, we can say Rajya sabha is not as powerful as Lok Sabha, but powerful enough in comparison to state legislative councils.

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