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Final Project

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF INDIAN PARLIAMENT

A study on concepts, techniques, provisions and powers

Submitted to: Dr S.P.Singh


Submitted by: Inzmamul Haque
Student, Ist year, Ist semester, Roll-933
Chanakya National Law University
Table Of Contents

Chapter Page No

Acknowledgement------------------------------------------
Introduction--------------------------------------------------
Research Methodology--------------------------------------
Objective -------------------------------------------------------
Hypothesis------------------------------------------------------
Composition Of Indian Parliament--------------------------
Role and Functions
of Indian Parliament------------------------------------------
Power and Importance
Of Indian Parliament-----------------------------------------
Opening Of Parliament
By President------------------------------------------------------
Conclusion-------------------------------------------------------
Bibliography-----------------------------------------------------
Acknowledgement:-
I am feeling highly elated to work on the topic Power And Functions Of Indian
Parliament under the guidance of my political science teacher Dr S P Singh .I am very
grateful to him for his exemplary guidance. I would like to enlighten my readers
regarding this topic and I hope I have tried my best to pave the way for bringing
more luminosity to this topic.

I also want to thank all of my friends, without whose cooperation this project was
not possible. Apart from all these, I want to give special thanks to the librarian of
my university who made every relevant materials regarding to my topic available to
me at the time of my busy research work and gave me assistance. And at last I am
very much obliged to the God who provided me the potential for the rigorous
research work.

At finally yet importantly I would like to thank my parents for the financial support.

-----------------Thanking You
Introduction:-

Historical Background

India became independent on 15 August 1947. Many sections of society participated in the
struggle. People from various backgrounds joined the struggle and they were inspired by the
ideas of freedom, equality and participation in decision making. Under colonial rule, the
people had lived in fear of the British government and did not agree with many of the
decisions that they took. But they faced grave danger if they tried to criticise these decisions.
The freedom movement changed this situation. The nationalists began to openly criticise the
British government and make demands. As far back as 1885, the Indian National Congress
demanded that there be elected members in the legislature with a right to discuss the budget
and ask questions. The Government of India Act 1909, allowed for some elected
representation. The dreams and aspirations of the freedom struggle were made concrete in the
Constitution of independent India that laid down the principle of universal adult franchise, i.e.
that all adult citizens of the country have the right to vote.

About Parliament

Article 79 declares: There shall be a Parliament for the


union which shall consist of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States
and the House of the People

1
The term Parliament is usually associated with the British system of parliamentary
government, a system which has influenced the development of representative assemblies in
many parts of the world. In pre-revolutionary France the word Parlement was applied to
courts of justice which were not representative bodies at all. The word itself is derived from
the Latin parliamentum and the French word parler and originally meant a talk; and
talking is, of course, what Parliaments do most of the time. The origins of Parliaments and
similar assemblies can be traced back to many centuries. They are the central institutions of
many systems of government. Although conceived in ancient times, they seem to be infinitely

1
N K Sapra,what is parliament, http://aplapindia2005.nic.in/keynotesapra.htm,accesed on 5/10/2013 at 15:51
IST
adaptable and their numbers have proliferated and developed many forms in modern times.
The term Parliament embraces many widely differing assemblies: the United States
Congress, the State Duma of Russia, the Japanese Diet, the National Peoples Congress of
China, the Knesset of Israel,Sansad in India, to name just a few.

Parliament is the supreme legislative body of a country. Our Parliament comprises of


the President and the two HousesLok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya
Sabha (Council of States). The President has the power to summon and prorogue either
House of Parliament or to dissolve Lok Sabha.

2
The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950. The first general elections
under the new Constitution were held during the year 1951-52 and the first elected Parliament
came into being in April, 1952, the Second Lok Sabha in April, 1957, the Third Lok Sabha in
April, 1962, the Fourth Lok Sabha in March, 1967, the Fifth Lok Sabha in March, 1971, the
Sixth Lok Sabha in March, 1977, the Seventh Lok Sabha in January, 1980, the Eighth Lok
Sabha in December, 1984, the Ninth Lok Sabha in December, 1989, the Tenth Lok Sabha in
June, 1991, the Eleventh Lok Sabha in May, 1996, the Twelfth Lok Sabha in March, 1998
and Thirteenth Lok Sabha in October, 1999.The Parliament have an essential part known as
The President .The legislative authority of the union of India is vested in the Parliament.
The President may issue an ordinance, when both houses of Parliament are not in session and
such ordinances must be approved by both the Houses within six weeks of their assembly.
The laws framed by the Indian Parliament are enforced in the whole of the country. The
Parliament holds its meetings in New Delhi the capital of India. The primary function of the
parliament is legislation by law making. Through Parliament people in parliamentary
democracy are always sovereign. Parliaments makes laws and even repeals the existing laws and
make new laws to suit the changing conditions of social life.3 The Parliament is sovereign over the
financial matters. No tax can be levied or expenditure or authorised without the considered
approval of the members of legislature. Parliament scrutinises the Governments expenditure
through a discussion on the annual audit report on Governments expenditure. The Parliament
controls the purse of nation.

The Parliament has to approve the appointment of high officers of the state. The Parliament or
legislature appoints commissions to enquire into the administration of the state. Parliament

2
Indian Parliament, Our Parliament, http://www.parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/intro/p1.htm, last accessed on
04/10/2013,00:26 IST

3
Dr S.R.MYNENI, political science for law students 399-400 (2012)
controls the executive as the executive is responsible to the legislature for all its actions and can
be driven out of power by the Parliament. Besides interrogating the executive through questions,
the members of Parliament can also move the vote of censure or vote of no confidence.

Only the parliament can amend the constitution. In a flexible constitution the process of
amendment to the constitution will be similar to ordinary law making.

All the legislative powers of the federal Government are vested in the Parliament. The laws
framed by the Indian Parliament are enforced in the whole of the country.

The Parliament is sovereign in Parliamentary democracy within the framework of the


constitution. As the people elect the members of the Parliament the people of the country are
sovereign in real sense.

Research Methodology:-

For the purpose of research the researcher has relied on the primary sources to look for
information relating to laws, statutes, functions and powers of Indian Parliament. The
researcher has aimed at doctrinal research and tries to critically analyse and provide an un-
biased account with the help of the doctrinal method of research. The various library and
Internet facilities available at Chanakya national Law University, Patna have been utilized for
this purpose. Most of the information is, however, from the Internet.

Aims and Objectives of research:-


To determine the functions of Parliament Of India
To determine the role and importance of parliament Of India
To know about the working of Parliament Of India

Research Question:-
1. What are the functions of the Parliament of India?
2. What are the compositions of Indian Parliament?
3. What are the legislative procedures in Indian Parliament?
Hypothesis:-
Parliament is basically body of elected representative of the country. Their members are
appointed to make the voice of the general masses who had elected the representative which
have been sent to the higher level of government to dominate and raise the the general issues
of the common people.
The working of the Parliament is divide into certain session and the
tenure and the function of the Parliament affairs varies from session to session.

Composition of Indian Parliament:-

COUNCIL OF STATES (RAJYA SABHA)


The Rajya Sabha is to consist of not more than 250 members. Of these, 12 are
nominated by the President for their special knowledge or practical experience in such
matters as literature, science, art and social service. The remaining seats are allocated to the
various States and Union territories, roughly in proportion to their population; each State is,
however, represented by at least one member. The total number of seats in the Rajya Sabha at
present is 245, including 12 members nominated by the President.
The representatives of each State in Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected
members of the Legislative Assembly of the State in accordance with the system of
proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. The representatives of the
Union territories are chosen in such manner as Parliament may by law prescribe. The
minimum age for membership of the House is 30 years. The Rajya Sabha is not subject to
dissolution, but as nearly as possible, one-third of its members retire as soon as may be on the
expiration of every second year in accordance with the provisions made in that behalf by
Parliament by law. The normal term of office of a member of Rajya Sabha is six years from
the date of election or nomination.
HOUSE OF THE PEOPLE (LOK SABHA)
The Lok Sabha, as the name itself signifies, is composed of representatives of the
people chosen by direct election on the basis of adult suffrage. The maximum strength of the
House envisaged by the Constitution is 552 upto 530 members to represent the States, upto
20 members to represent the Union territories and not more than two members of the Anglo-
Indian Community to be nominated by the President if, in his opinion, that community is not
adequately represented in the House. The total elective membership of the House is
distributed among the States in such a way that the ratio between the number of seats allotted
to each State and the population of the State is, so far as practicable, the same for all
States. The qualifying age for membership of the Lok Sabha is 25 years. The Lok Sabha at
present consists of 545 members. The Lok Sabha, unless sooner dissolved, continues for five
years from the date appointed for its first meeting and the expiration of the period of five
years operates as dissolution of the House. However, while a Proclamation of Emergency is
in operation, this period may be extended by Parliament by law for a period not exceeding
one year at a time and not exceeding in any case beyond a period of six months after the
Proclamation has ceased to operate.

4
Following the first General Elections held in the country in 1952, the First Lok Sabha
met for the first time on 13 May 1952. The Second Lok Sabha met for the first time on 10
May 1957, the Third Lok Sabha on 16 April 1962, the Fourth Lok Sabha on 16
March 1967, the Fifth Lok Sabha on 19 March 1971, the Sixth Lok Sabha on 25 March
1977, the Seventh Lok Sabha on 21 January 1980, the Eighth Lok Sabha on 15 January
1985, the Ninth Lok Sabha on 18 December 1989, the Tenth Lok Sabha on 9 July 1991, the
Eleventh Lok Sabha on 22 May 1996, the Twelfth Lok Sabha on 23 March 1998, the
Thirteenth Lok Sabha on 20 October 1999 and Fourteenth Lok Sabha on 2 June, 2004.

Role and Functions Of Indian Parliament:-

5
The Indian Parliament has become subject to severe criticism in recent weeks and years.
Frequent disturbances by its members causing disruption of proceedings and heated
exchanges between them forcing adjournments for several hours and even days at a stretch,
have become a rule rather than an exception. Even essential Bills have not been moved; many
are passed without debate and several hours of Parliament are lost without any transaction.
The atmosphere in Parliament, directly watched on television is remembered not for some
outstanding speeches, which do take place, but for frequent unruly scenes and crowding of
the well of either two Houses by members. In fact, the reputation of Parliament has declined

4
Legislative bodies in India, lok sabha, http://legislativebodiesinindia.nic.in/parliament%20of%20india.htm,
accessed on 5/10/2013 at 16:32 IST
5
Mirror image of society, Role of Parliament, http://www.sarkaritel.com/role-of-parliament-mirror-image-of-
society/ accessed on 05/10/2013 at 16:56 IST
so drastically in the opinion of some critics, that the demand for the service rule of no work,
no pay being adopted for members is worth a consideration.
Let us remember that Indian Parliament is a creation of the Constitution and not a growth
over centuries as in Britain. It has prescribed role and functions written into the Constitution.
In the course of six decades since its framing, one can perceive a number of changes in the
overall performance of Parliament that reflect changes in the political climate in the country.
Parliament is a mirror of the society and a replica of the political culture prevailing in the
country. What happens in Parliament is the audio-visual expression of the thoughts and
moods prevailing outside it.
Political experience since independence helps people to become increasingly of public
affairs, governance, administration, political parties, other political organs and institutions,
elections, etc., and as a result their expectations from parliamentarians inside and outside
change, along with their assessment of the performance of Parliament and its members.
Parliament members are not mere political functionaries having a fixed set of political
responsibilities in policy and law making, but have to bear a wider social responsibility
towards the people of the nation. The health of the polity depends on how well this obligation
is discharged by the members of Parliament. This is linked with the caliber of members and
the standing of the parties.
While the institution of Parliament has come into existence mainly as a supreme law-making
body, in the course of history, it has accumulated many more functions in all democracies,
including India. Thus, in assessing its role, it is crucial to take into account its multifarious
functions and its overall impact. For, by activism within Parliament and taking a negative role
also, it has been possible for Parliament to stall what it considers as anti-people policy.
Direct verbal and non-verbal confrontation in Parliament is partly a result of an absence of
prior discussions among parties or an attempt to accommodate the others point of view. A
certain consensus among different parties is necessary for the smooth functioning of any
Government. A Parliament consisting of members subscribing to totally antagonistic views
prevailing in the society can hardly play a constructive role. It will promote the vicious
number game and the politics of majority.
A major function of Parliament is the control of the Executive. The legislature is said to be
the watchdog of the government, and the forum before which the executive shall answer for
its actions. It is in discharging this role, that Parliament is facing difficulties. Former Prime
Minister, Vajpayee, had many times referred to this role of Parliament, and even lamented the
failure of democracy.
Various mechanisms such as budget discussions, cut motions, question hour, adjournment
motions, calling attention, no-confidence motions, and raising discussions on various subjects
are available to Parliament to control the executive. Every member has a right to use these
instruments according to parliamentary procedure.
A point in case is the Public Accounts Committee, which examines the report of the
Comptroller and Auditor-General and is headed by a member of the Opposition in the Lok
Sabha. It is one of the main instrumentalities of Parliament to hold the executive accountable
for the expenditure incurred by the Government. And, in recent times it has become very
active in the context of exposure of several scams.
Additionally, the quality of debates depends on the quality of members and their capacity to
deliberate on issues. The quality of members rests on the choice of political parties fielding
candidates. Winning an election does not depend on a candidates ability to be a good
parliamentarian, that is, possessing knowledge, ability, and sensitivity to understand and
debate issues with conviction. Rather, it requires the infamous three Ms money, muscle
power, and mafia according to many analysts. Criminal background of some candidates
and even elected members is an open secret tarnishing the image of political career itself in
India. As a result, there are ideal parliamentarians who cannot win in any territorial
constituency, and there are incompetent MPs whose seats are safe.
Thus, in the first place, one may draw a conclusion that there are only a few members, who
are competent parliamentarians, the rest being yes men/women for their parties. Many of
the complex issues that come before Parliament require sound knowledge of the subject
matter and invariably fail to interest the average members. This is one reason for heavy
absenteeism in Parliament unless crucial issues with potential to affect the credibility and
survival of the government are under discussion. These yes members are in many cases the
pillars of their parties providing funds, manpower, and vote banks.
This situation has also public support in the fact that for most people, MPs and MLAs are not
law-makers and public servants with tremendous social responsibility, but are possible
sources of power and patronage to be cultivated in their own interest. They approach them for
getting extra-legal influence or help. Public relations in political dictionary has, in fact, come
to signify distribution of favours and these do not come free. Thus, people play a substantial
role in encouraging political corruption. However, there are certainly exceptions in this
vicious atmosphere.
For the members, the MPLAD Scheme (Members of Parliament Local Area Development
Scheme) opens opportunities for extending patronage and increasing their local popularity.
The scheme gives scope for the parliamentarians to develop undue interest in works that
properly belong to various departments. No wonder, a group of MPs have recently demanded
absolute freedom in spending the funds allotted under this scheme.
Unlike the MPs of the 1950s and 1960s who were mostly engrossed in parliamentary work,
the members in recent decades take extraordinary effort to nurse their constituencies and also
groups of supporters to maintain their clout and ensure re-election. Keeping close contact
with the constituency is not an unwelcome development provided it is not mixed with undue
patron-client relationship. The members have a far greater role to play to ensure Indias
parliamentary democracy remains vibrant.
The Indian Parliament is an expression of the faith that the people of India have in principles
of democracy. These are participation by people in the decision making process and
government by consent. The Parliament in our system has immense powers because it is the
representative of the people. Elections to the Parliament are held in a similar manner as they
are for the state legislature. The Lok Sabha is usually elected once every five years. The
country is divided into numerous constituencies. Each of these constituencies elects one
person to the Parliament. The candidates who contest elections usually belong to different
political parties. Once elected, these candidates become Members of Parliament or MPs.
These MPs together make up the Parliament.
6
Parliament of India is a multi-functional institution performing a variety of roles that are
inter-related and often meshing into one another.

Some of the cardinal roles and functions of the Parliament may be described as follows:

To form or end the Government

To represent the Electorate

To legislate

To hold the government accountable for its actions

To monitor the expenditure of public funds

To be a forum for debate

To be a forum for the expression of grievances

6
Functions of Indian Parliament, http://www.indianetzone.com/45/functions_indian_parliament.htm,
accessed on 05/10/2013 at 19:59 IST
To call for information

To Form or To End Government :-

The Indian Parliament, like all parliamentary democracies, forms the government. This is
particularly due to the fusion of powers between the legislative and the executive branches of
the Government. Members of Parliament, from the largest party in the Lok Sabha or of late
from the largest coalition, form the Government at the centre.

At the same time if the ruling party loses the support of the majority of the members of the
House, its Government goes. No grounds, arguments, proofs or justifications are necessary.
When the House clearly and conclusively pronounces that the government of the day does not
command its support, it must resign. 7The Parliament in India consists of the President, the
Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. After the Lok Sabha elections, a list is prepared showing
how many MPs belong to each political party. For a political party to form the government,
they must have a majority of elected MPs. Since there are 543 elected (plus 2 nominated)
members in Lok Sabha, to have a majority a party should have at least half the number i.e.
272 members or more. The Opposition in Parliament is formed by all the political parties that
oppose the majority party/coalition formed. The largest amongst these parties is called the
Opposition party.

One of the most important functions of the Lok Sabha is to select the executive. The
executive is a group of persons who work together to implement the laws made by the
Parliament.

The Prime Minister of India is the leader of the ruling party in the Lok Sabha. From the MPs
who belong to her party, the Prime Minister selects ministers to work with her to implement
decisions. These ministers then take charge of different areas of government functioning like
health, education, finance etc.

The Rajya Sabha functions primarily as the representative of the states of India in the
Parliament. The Rajya Sabha can also initiate legislation and a bill is required to pas through
the Rajya Sabha in order to become a law. It, therefore, has an important role of reviewing
and altering (if alterations are needed) the laws initiated by the Lok Sabha. The members of

7
Selection Of National Government, http://www.excellup.com/ClassEight/sseight/parliamenteight.aspx,
accessed on 06/10/2013 at 13:30 IST
the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of various
states. There are 233 elected members plus 12 members nominated by the President.

Representation of the Electorate:-

The primary function of the Parliament is to represent the people. It is the supreme forum
through which people seek to realise their aspirations, urges and expectations. The Members
of Parliament are the elected representatives of the people and they act as the chief
communication channel between the people, Parliament and the Government. Multiplicity of
political parties in Parliament represents the multi-cultural and plural society of India.

Legislation:-

The process of legislating, making laws is the most basic day-to-day function of parliament.
Under Articles 245 and 246 Parliament can make laws for the whole or any part of India
within its area of competence as defined and delimited under the distribution of legislative
powers between the Union and the States vide the Seventh Schedule. In regard to the Union
List, the Parliament`s jurisdiction is exclusive. Both the Union and the States have concurrent
power to legislate in respect of entries in the concurrent list. In case of conflict between the
Union and the State laws, the former prevails.

Parliament may by law change the name, the boundaries, area etc. of the States or establish
new States, increase the number of judges of the Supreme Court or establish additional
courts.

Governmental Accountability:-

Under our system, after a policy is laid down, a law is passed or money is sanctioned, it is
the administration which is required to execute and implement. Since Parliament embodies
the will of the people, it must be able to oversee the way in which public policy is carried out
so as to ensure that it keeps in step with the objectives of socio-economic progress, efficient
administration and aspirations of the people as a whole.

The various procedural devices like the system of Parliamentary Committees, Questions,
Calling Attention Notices, Half-an-Hour discussions, etc. through which the Parliament gets
informed, also constitute very potent instruments for effecting parliamentary surveillance
over administrative action. Significant occasions for the review of administration are
provided by the discussions on the Motion of Thanks on the President`s Address, the Budget
demands, and particular aspects of governmental policy or situations. These apart, specific
matters may be discussed through motions on matters of urgent public importance, private
members` resolutions and other substantive motions.

Monitoring the Expenditure of Public Funds:-

Parliamentary control over public finance - the power to levy or modify taxes and the voting
of supplies and grants - is one of the most important checks against the Executive assuming
arbitrary powers. No taxes can be legally levied and no expenditure incurred from the public
exchequer without specific parliamentary authorization by law (articles 114 116 and 265).
The Constitution of India also provides for an annual statement of the estimated receipts and
expenditure-budget-to be placed before Parliament. Other means by which Parliament
exercises control over the public exchequer is through Public Accounts Committee,
Committee on Public Undertakings, Estimates Committee and the Report of the Comptroller
and Auditor General of India.

A Forum for Debate:-

During debate and discussion on legislative proposals or Finance Bills, motion to consider
and approve government policies, motion of thanks on the President`s Address, Budget, etc.
members are free to express themselves and to say what is good for the country and what
modifications in the existing policy are required.

A Forum for Expression of Grievances Parliament acts as a forum for ventilation of the
grievances of the people, their difficulties and their passions, anxieties and frustrations.
Various grievances, needs and aspirations of the people are discussed in the Parliament and
necessary legislation is taken up in this regard. In recent decades, emphasis has shifted more
and more representational and grievance ventilation role of the Parliament. It is the peoples`
institution par excellence.

Informational Role:-

Information is vital to Parliament. It is the first essential requisite for effective discharge of
any of its functions. To call for information is perhaps the greatest power of the Parliament.
Parliament`s right to be informed is unlimited except that if divulging of certain information
is likely to prejudice vital national interest or the security of the State, it may not be insisted
upon. So far as the activities of the Government are concerned, it is the duty of the
Government itself to feed the Parliament with information which is full, truthful, and precise
and supplied in time.

Other Functions:-

Besides, Parliament exercises multifarious functions, for example, in matters like the
amendment of the Constitution, the impeachment of the President, removal of Supreme Court
and High Court judges, Comptroller and Auditor General, Chief Election Commissioner,
Presiding Officers of the two Houses etc.
8
The role and functions of Parliament assume great significance in view of the basic
principles and assumptions associated with parliamentary democracy. A parliamentary form
of government acknowledges the fact that in this system, Parliament derives its power
directly from the consent of the people expressed through periodic elections and that it exists
to implement the will of the people. The parliamentary system also ensures the best possible
participatory democratic system and active interaction between the people and their
representatives. In this system, the Executive not only emanates from Parliament but is also
accountable to Parliament for all its acts of omission and commission. This accountability of
the Executive to Parliament is based on the principle that since Parliament represents the will
of the people, it should be able to oversee and keep the Executive under control and constant
surveillance.

9
The role of Parliaments around the globe has transformed tremendously over the years. It is
no more confined to enacting legislation only. Parliaments have now become multi-functional
institutions. The Parliament of India is a depository of varied functions as delineated by the
Constitution and, obviously, also of those powers and functions which inherently and
conventionally rest with Parliaments. Like other Parliaments, our Parliament has also
emerged as a multi-functional institution. It is the political nerve centre of the country, acting
as a mirror of the society, accommodating the needs of changing times, shouldering
responsibilities and engaging itself fully in the process of running our parliamentary polity.

8
SAYEED, P.M.: Parliament A Multi-Functional Institution in Fifty Years of Indian Parliament by G.C.
Malhotra. New Delhi, Lok Sabha Secretariat, 1992. p.24.

9
N K Sapra, role and importance of Parliament, http://aplapindia2005.nic.in/keynotesapra.htm, accessed on
06/10/2013 at 00:29 IST
Parliament now performs a variety of functions. Some of the cardinal roles and functions of
Parliament are: ensuring Executive accountability, law making, control over the Budget,
constituent functions, representational role, educational role, informational functions, training
and recruitment of leadership, besides other miscellaneous functions.

The main function of both the Houses is to make laws. Every Bill has to be passed by both
the Houses and assented to by the President before it becomes law. The subjects over which
Parliament can legislate are the subjects mentioned under the Union List in the Seventh
Schedule of the Constitution of India. Broadly speaking, Union subjects are those important
subjects which for reasons of convenience, efficiency and security are administered on all-
lndia basis. The principal Union subjects are defence, foreign affairs, railways, insurance,
communications, currency and coinage, banking, income tax, customs, excise duties, atomic
energy, census, etc.
Apart from the wide range of subjects allotted to it in the Seventh Schedule of the
Constitution, even in normal times Parliament can, under certain circumstances, assume
legislative power over a subject falling within the sphere exclusively reserved for the States.
Further, in times of grave emergency when the security of India or any part thereof is
threatened by war or external aggression or armed rebellion, and a Proclamation of
Emergency is made by the President, Parliament acquires the power to make laws for the
whole or any part of the territory of India with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the
State List. Similarly, in the event of the failure of the constitutional machinery in a State, the
powers of the Legislature of that State become exercisable by or under the authority of
Parliament. This apart, the Constitution also vests in the Parliament the constituent power or
the power to initiate amendment of the Constitution.
Besides passing laws, Parliament can by means of resolutions, motions for
adjournment, discussions, questions addressed by members to Ministers, system of
committees, etc., exercise control over the administration of the country and safeguard
people's liberties.

10 For Parliament, it is of the utmost importance constantly to review and refurbish its
structural-functional requirements and from time to time to consider renewing and reforming
the entire gamut of its operational procedures to guard against putrefaction and decay. The
case for reforming Parliament is unexceptionable and, in a sense, has always been so. The

10
http://lawmin.nic.in/ncrwc/finalreport/v2b3-1.htm, accessed on 06/10/2013 at 011:47 IST
real question is of how much and what to change to strengthen and improve the system. We
have to be clear about the precise need, the direction and the extent of the reforms that would
be desirable at present. It is obvious that mere tinkering first-aid repairs and trifling cosmetic
adjustments would not anymore be enough. What is needed is a full-scale review. We have
to be prepared for fundamental institutional - structural, functional, procedural and
organisational - changes. The overriding guiding norm and purpose of all parliamentary
reforms should be to make both Government and Parliament more relevant to meet the
challenges of the times and the changing national needs in the context of the objective of
faster economic growth. The main function of both the Houses is to pass laws. Every Bill has
to be passed by both the Houses and assented to by the President before it becomes law. The
Parliament can legislate only over the subjects mentioned under the Union List, in the
Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. Union subjects are those important subjects
which for reasons of convenience, efficiency and security, are administered on all-India basis.
Besides passing laws, Parliament can, by means of resolutions, motions for adjournment,
discussions and questions addressed by members, exercise control over the administration of
the country and Safeguard peoples liberty.

Powers And Importance Of Parliament:-

11
Like other parliamentary democracies in the world, the Parliament of India has the cardinal
functions of legislation, overseeing of administration, passing of budget, ventilation of public
grievances and discussing various subjects like development plans, international relations and
national policies. The distribution of powers between the Union and the states, followed as
per the constitution, emphasizes in many ways the general predominance of the Parliament in
the legislative field. Apart from a wide range of subjects, even in normal times, Parliament
can, under certain circumstances, assume legislative power, falling within the sphere
exclusively reserved for the states. Parliament is also vested with powers to impeach the
President and to impeach the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, the Chief
Election Commissioner and Comptroller and Auditor General in accordance with procedure
laid down in the constitution.

11
Functions and importance of Parliament, http://bestenglishtutor.blogspot.in/2011/04/4-functions-and-
powers-of-parliament.html, accessed on 06/10/2013 at 02:04 IST
All legislation requires consent of both the Houses of Parliament. In the case of money bills,
however, the will of the Lok Sabha prevails. Delegated legislation is also subject to review
and control y Parliament. Besides the power to legislate, the constitution vests in Parliament
the power to initiate amendment of the constitution.
The functions of Parliament are not only varied in nature, but considerable in volume. The
time at its disposal is limited. It cannot make very detailed scrutiny of all legislative and other
matters that come up before it. A good deal of its business is, therefore, transacted in
committees.
Both Houses of Parliament have a similar committee structure, with a few exceptions. Their
appointment, terms of office, functions and procedure of conducting business, are also more
or less, similar and are regulated under rules made by the two Houses under Article 118(1) of
the constitution.
Broadly, parliamentary committees are of two kinds standing committees and ad hoc
committees. The former are elected or appointed every year or periodically and their work
goes on, more or less on a continuous basis. The latter are appointed on an ad hoc basis as
need arises and they cease to exist as soon as they complete the work assigned to them
Standing Committees : Among standing committees three financial committees
Committee on Estimates, Public accounts and Public Undertakings constitute a distinct
group and they keep an unremitting vigil on Government expenditure and performance.
While members of the Rajya Sabha are associated with committees on Public Accounts and
Public Undertakings, members of the Committee on Estimates are drawn entirely from the
Lok Sabha.
The Estimates Committee reports on what economies, improvements in organisation,
efficiency or administrative reform consistent with policy underlying the estimates may be
affected. It also examines whether the money is well laid out within the policy limits implied
in the estimates and suggests the form in which estimates shall be presented to the
Parliament. The Public Accounts Committee scrutinises appropriation and finance accounts
of Government and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General. It ensures that public
money is spent in accordance with Parliaments decision. It calls attention to cases of waste,
extravagance, loss or nugatory expenditure. The Committee on Public Undertakings
examines the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General if any. It also examines whether
Public Undertakings are being run efficiently and managed in accordance with sound
business principles and prudent commercial practices. The control exercised by these
committees is of a continuous nature. They gather information through questionaires ,
memoranda from representative non-official organisations and knowledgeable individuals,
on-the-spot studies of organisations and oral examination of non-official and official
witnesses. Between themselves, the financial committees examine and report on a fairly large
area of multifarious activities of the Government of India.
Legislative Powers
The Parliament has the right to frame laws for the whole of the country. It can frame laws on
the subject mentioned in the union list & concurrent list. Under certain special circumstances
the Parliament gets the right to frame laws on the subjects-mentioned in the State List. The
Parliament frames laws on State subjects for Union territories. The Rajyasabha can transfer a
State subject in favor of the centre for the purpose of making laws. In case of the
proclamation of emergency by the President the Parliament can legislate on State subjects.
The power to legislate on residue subjects also vests with the Parliament. The Bill is sent to
the-President after it is passed by both the Houses. Excepting the money Bill he can give his
assent & make use of his veto powers. If the Parliament passes that Bill for the second time
then the President' is bound to give his assent to that Bill.

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The Parliament of the Union Government is competent to legislate on all matters that are
enumerated in the Union List and the Concurrent List of the Constitution. In the Concurrent
List, the Parliament and the State Legislatures have joint jurisdiction. However, in case of
conflict over any law made under the Concurrent List, the Union Law will prevail upon the
State Law provided the State Law has not received the earlier assent of the President. The
Union Parliament is also competent to make law over the State List under the following
circumstances:-

(i) When the proclamation of Emergency is in operation the Parliament can make law in any
item included in the State List. In case of the declaration of President's Rule in any State
under Article 356 of the Constitution, the Parliament is competent to legislate on any matter
included in the State List (Article 250).

(ii) In normal times when Rajya Sabha passes a resolution by two-thirds majority of its
members present and voting that it is necessary in the national interest that Parliament should
make law with regard to any matter enumerated in the State List, then Parliament is
competent to make law in that matter for the whole or any part of India (Article 249).

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(iii) The Parliament is competent to legislate on any matter pertaining to the State List if such
legislation is deemed necessary for the implementation of international treaties or agreements
concluded with foreign States (Article 253).

(iv) If the legislatures of two or more States pass a resolution to the effect that it is desirable
to have a parliamentary law in any matter in the State List, then the Parliament can make law
for those States (Article 252).

Except in the above-mentioned occasions, the Parliament of India is not competent to make
law in the State List. If at any time, the Parliament encroaches upon the rights of the States,
the Supreme Court can prevent such encroachment of the Parliament through its power of
Judicial Review. The Parliament must make law in accordance with the provisions of the
Constitution.

Parliaments Legislative Power to Make Laws for the States:-

If Rajya Sabha passes a resolution supported by two-thirds of the


members present and voting declaring that it is necessary and expedient in
National interest that Parliament should make laws with respect to any matter
In the State List specified in the resolution, Parliament can make laws
with respect to that matter. Art.249

When a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, Parliament shall


Have power to make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India
With respect to any of the matters in the State list. Art.250

Parliament can make a law in respect of a matter mentioned in the


State List at the instance of two or more states. But such states Legislature
must have passed a resolution that such matter must be regulated by an Act
of Parliament. If the States Legislature is bicameral, then both Houses
should have passed the resolution. Any other State which desires to adopt
the Act made by Parliament can do so by passing a resolution to that effect
in its Legislature, Art.252
A law made by Parliament to implement any international treaty,
agreement or convention cannot be invalidated on the ground that it intrudes
into the domain of State Legislature. Art.253. But, such law made in
pursuance of Art.253 cannot override, for example, the Fundamental Rights.

In respect of matters contained in the Concurrent List, both the union


and the States can exercise concurrent legislative power. The question then
would be: If there be conflict between the Central law and the State law,
19
which law should prevail? To seek the answer, we should turn to Art.254-
Inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and the laws made by the
Legislature of States. To invoke Art.254, it must be shown that both the
Central law and the State Law occupy the same field with respect to the
some matter enumerated in the concurrent list. Or, the repugnancy is
between the provisions of subsequent law and those of an existing law in
respect of a specified matter in the Concurrent List. Art.256(1) declares that
in case of conflict between Union law and State Law, the former prevails.
Clause (2) of Art.256 carves out an exception to the rule laid down in clause
(1). If any provision of the State made law with respect to a matter specified
in the Concurrent List is repugnant to the provision of an earlier law made
by Parliament or an existing law with respect to that matter, then the State
law shall prevail in the state if it has been reserved for the consideration of
the President and has received his assent. But, in the light of the Proviso to
clause(2), referred to above, the States victory may be a temporary one
because the proviso enables Parliament to supersede a state Legislation
which has received the Presidents assent by enacting a law on the same
subject matter.
Parliament, under Art.247, is invested with power to establish
additional courts for the better administration of laws made by Parliament or
any existing laws with respect to matter enumerated in the union list.
Parliament also enjoys Residuary Powers of Legislation. Art.248
declares; Parliament has exclusive power to make any law with respect to

any matter not enumerated in the concurrent List or State List


Financial Power
The Parliament controls the finances of the State. The Government places the budget before
the start of the financial year. The Parliament discusses the budget & gives its assent to the
Bill. The Government can neither impose any tax upon the public nor can it spend the money
without the approval of the' Parliament. The President will have to give his assent to the
Money Bill passed by, the Parliament.

13
In the financial domain the Parliament is the supreme authority. Not a single paisa can be
spent by the Executive without parliamentary sanction. The budget is annually prepared by
the Cabinet and it is submitted for the approval of the Parliament. The Parliament also
approves all proposals of the Union Government to impose taxes.

Money Bills can originate only in the Lok Sabha. After they have been passed by the Lok
Sabha, they are sent to the Rajya Sabha for approval. Within 14 days the Rajya Sabha is
expected to give its consent. Thus the power of the Rajya Sabha is limited with regards to
money Bills.

Further, to keep a vigil on the way the Executive spends the money granted by the legislature,
there are two Standing Committees of the Parliament. They are the Public Accounts
Committee and the Estimates Committee. These two Committees exercise legislative control
over the Executive on behalf of the Parliament. There are certain items of expenditure
included in the Budget which are not votable in the Parliament. These items include salary of
the President, the Judges of the Supreme Court, and the members of the Union Public Service
Commission etc. They are charged from the Consolidated Fund of India.

In the Financial Sphere, Parliament enjoys the supreme authority. No tax can be imposed
without the authority of law. Executive cannot spend any money without Parliament sanction.
Executive has to prepare Annual Budgets and seek Parliaments approval. As stated earlier,
Money Bills can originate only in Lok Sabha. Two Standing Committees namely the public
accounts committee and the Estimates committee keep a watch over the ways the Executive
spends the money sanctioned by Parliament.
Other Powers:-

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14
Parliament has judicial power of impeachment of President, Vice-President and
Supreme Court Judges. In England Parliament i.e, the House of Lords act as the
highest court of appeal.
In India, members of the Parliament participate in the election of President. Members
of the lower house elect members of the upper house.
Parliament has power to make laws but the laws but the laws are executed by the
execution of headed by the Ministries which are again a part of Parliament. The
Judiciary punishes the transgressors of the law, but the Parliament has the power to
impeach the judges of the Supreme Court.
Control over the Executive

The Parliament controls the executive in the following ways:

1. The Prime Minister & the other ministers are taken from the Parliament & after
becoming ministers they remain the members of the Parliament. They participate in the
meetings of the Parliament.
2. The ministers are responsible to the Parliament for their actions & policies.
3. The members of the Parliament can ask the ministers questions regarding the functioning
of the administration. The ministers are to give a satisfactory reply to all these questions.
4. The members of the Parliament by introducing "Adjournment Motion" can invite the
attention of the Government to a serious problem or event.
5. During discussion on budget the members of the Parliament discuss the working of
different departments of the Government & criticize the policies of the Government.
6. The Cabinet continues to remain in office according to the wishes of the Lok Sabha. It
can seek the removal of the Cabinet by passing a no confidence motion against or by
rejecting an important Government Bill & by passing a resolution for reducing the salary
of a particular minister.
Through Questions, Supplementary Questions, Adjournment Motions, No-confidence
Motions, Parliament seeksto exercise control over the Executive. Committee on Ministerial
Assurances constituted by Parliament seeks to ensure that the assurances made by the
Ministries to Parliament are fulfilled.
Judicial Powers

The Parliament exercises some judicial powers also.

14
Dr S.R.MYNENI, political science for law students 399-400 (2012)
1. The Parliament can remove the President from office through impeachment.
2. The parliament can also remove the Vice-President from office.
3. The parliament can remove the judges of the High Courts and Supreme Court by passing
a resolution to the effect.
4. The parliament can extend or reduce the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Electoral Powers:
1. The elected members of the Parliament participate in the election of the President.
2. The Vice-President is elected by the members of both the Houses of Parliament.
Amendment of the Constitution

Parliament plays a major role in the amendment of the constitution. Major portions of the
constitution can be amended by the parliament alone by a simple or two thirds majority. In
some important matters the amendment proposals after being passed by the parliament are to
be sent for the approval of Legislatures of the states. The states cannot introduce a resolution
of amendment of the constitution.

Miscellaneous Powers:
1. The Parliament can create new state or change the boundary of the state by the procedure
of law.
2. The Parliament has the power to ratify treaties.
3. The Parliament has the power to create or abolish Legislative Council. But the
recommendation should come from the Legislative Assembly.

The Indian Parliament enjoys vast powers and it is a very important institution. It represents
the entire nation. The laws framed by it are enforced in the whole of the state. But the Indian
Parliament is not a supreme, sovereign body. The Indian Parliament is less powerful than the
British Parliament.

Importance of Parliament

We in India pride ourselves on being a democracy. There is relation between the ideas of
participation in decision-making and the need for all democratic governments to have the
consent of their citizens.

It is these elements that together make us a democracy and this is best expressed in the
institution of the Parliament. Parliament enables citizens of India to participate in decision
making and control the government, thus making it the most important symbol of Indian
democracy and a key feature of the Constitution.

People Power

India became independent on 15 August 1947. Many sections of society participated in the
struggle. People from various backgrounds joined the struggle and they were inspired by the
ideas of freedom, equality and participation in decision making. Under colonial rule, the
people had lived in fear of the British government and did not agree with many of the
decisions that they took. But they faced grave danger if they tried to criticise these decisions.
The freedom movement changed this situation. The nationalists began to openly criticise the
British government and make demands. As far back as 1885, the Indian National Congress
demanded that there be elected members in the legislature with a right to discuss the budget
and ask questions. The Government of India Act 1909, allowed for some elected
representation. The dreams and aspirations of the freedom struggle were made concrete in the
Constitution of independent India that laid down the principle of universal adult franchise, i.e.
that all adult citizens of the country have the right to vote.

People and their Representatives

The take-off point for a democracy is the idea of consent, i.e. the desire, approval and
participation of people. It is the decision of people that creates a democratic government and
decides about its functioning. The basic idea in this kind of democracy is that the individual
or the citizen is the most important person and that in principle the government as well as
other public institutions needs to have the trust of these citizens.

People elect their representatives to the Parliament, then, one group from among these elected
representatives forms the government. The Parliament, which is made up of all
representatives together, controls and guides the government. In this sense people, through
their chosen representatives, form the government and also control it.

Delegated Legislation:-
In Democratic Society committed to the establishment of a welfare State, no Legislature
exercises a monopoly over the law-making activity, It has to necessarily share its Legislative
power with the Executive and other administrative organs of the State. Delegated Legislation
is a technique to relieve pressure on legislatures time so that it can concentrate on principles
and formulation of policies. Delegated Legislation, also referred to as Subordinate
Legislation, means the exercise of law-making power by a body which is subordinate to
The Legislature. In India, Rules, Regulations, Notifications, Notified Orders, Orders, Bye-
Laws-all denote Delegated Legislation.

Opening of Parliament by president:-

15
Article 87(1) of the Constitution provides: "At the commencement of the first session
after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first
session of each year the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled
together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons."

In the case of the first session after each general election to Lok Sabha, the President
addresses both Houses of Parliament assembled together after the Members have made and
subscribed the oath or affirmation and the Speaker has been elected. It takes generally two
days to complete these preliminaries. No other business is transacted till the President has
addressed both Houses of Parliament assembled together and informed Parliament of the
causes of its summons. In the case of the first session of each year, the President addresses
both Houses of Parliament at the time and date notified for the commencement of the session
of both the Houses of Parliament. Half-an-hour after the conclusion of the Address, both the
Houses meet separately in their respective Chambers when a copy of the Presidents Address
is laid on the Table and brought on the record of each House.

No separate summons for the Presidents Address are issued to members. They are informed
of the date, time and place fixed for the Presidents Address through a Parliamentary Bulletin.
At the time fixed for the Presidents Address, Members of both Houses of Parliament
assemble together in the Central Hall of the Parliament House where the President delivers
his Address. New members who have not already made and subscribed the oath or
affirmation are admitted to the Central Hall on the occasion of the Presidents Address on
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production of either the certificate of election granted to them by the Returning Officer or the
summons for the session issued to them. In the Central Hall, Prime Minister, Cabinet
Ministers, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha are allotted seats
in the first row. Other Ministers are also allotted a block of seats. The Leaders of the
Opposition in Lok Sabha and in Rajya Sabha are allotted seats in the first row. Leaders of
other Parties/Groups in both the Houses are also allotted suitable seats. Members of Panel of
Chairmen and Chairmen of Parliamentary Committees are allotted seats in the second row.
The Members are free to occupy other seats which are not
allotted/earmarked.

The Presidents Address to both the Houses of Parliament assembled together is a solemn and
formal act under the Constitution. Utmost dignity and decorum befitting the occasion are
maintained. Any action on the part of a Member which mars the occasion or creates
disturbance is punishable by the House to which that Member belongs. Members are
expected to take their seats five minutes before the President arrives in the Central Hall.

The visitors, who are issued passes for this occasion, are also requested to be in their seats
half-an-hour before the time fixed for the Presidents Address. It is a convention that no
Member leaves the Central Hall while the President is addressing. The President arrives at the
Parliament House (North West portico) in the State Coach or in the car and is received at the
Gate by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, Lok Sabha, Minister of
Parliamentary Affairs and Secretaries-General of the two Houses. The President is conducted
to the Central Hall in a procession. On the passage from the Gate to the Central Hall from
where theprocession passes, red baize cloth is spread.

Just when the procession enters the gangway of the Central Hall, the Marshal who has taken
his position at the dais, announces the arrival of the President by saying [Honble Members,
Honble the President] Almost simultaneously two trumpeters positioned in the Gallery
above the dais sound the fanfare till the President arrives at the dais. Thereupon, Members
rise in their places and remain standing until the President has taken his seat on the dais.

On reaching the floor of Central Hall in front of the dais, the procession bifurcates; the
President, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and the Speaker of Lok Sabha move towards their
seats on the dais the Chairman to the right and the Speaker to the left of the President who
occupies the middle seat. The Secretaries-General and other Officers in the procession move
towards the chairs placed for them in the pit of the Central Hall on either side of the dais.
When President reaches his seat on the dais, a band positioned in the Lobby of the Central
Hall to the right of the President, plays the National Anthem during which time everyone
remains standing. Thereafter, as the President takes his seat, Presiding Officers and Members
resume their seats. The President then addresses the Members in Hindi or English. The other
version of the Address is read out by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. After the conclusion
of the Address, the President rises in his seat followed by the members when the National
Anthem is played again. The President, thereafter, leaves the Central Hall in a procession
which is formed in the same manner as at the time of his arrival. The members remain
standing till the procession leaves the Central Hall. On reaching the gate, the President takes
leave of the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, Lok Sabha and
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. The Secretaries-General of the two Houses are also present
at the occasion. Thereafter, the President leaves for the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Conclusion:-

After reading this unit, we have come to know how the Parliament of India is constituted and
what are its powers and functions. The Parliament of India consists of two houses - the Lok
Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Between the two houses. The Lok Sabha is more powerful than
the Rajya Sabha as it has complete control over the finances of the country and the Council of
Ministers is collectively responsible to it for its activities. However, the importance of the
Rajya Sabha can not be ignored as it is a permanent house. The President of India can not
dissolve it. While we can legitimately proud of the reasonably successful working of
Parliament during the last five decades, Parliament is relevant only as a dynamic institution
ever adjusting its functions and procedures to the changing needs of the times. If democracy
and freedom are to endure, if representative institutions are to be made impregnable and if the
new economic reforms and an all round effort at liberalisation are to bear fruits, it is essential
to restore to Parliament and its Members their traditional esteem and honour in the affections
of the people. Reforming the Parliament in essential respects is already a categorical
imperative. An integrated approach to political and economic systems reforms is
necessary. No single reform can provide a miracle cure. Also, parliamentary reforms cannot
be affected in a hurry. We must proceed with care and caution and begin by setting up a
Parliamentary Reforms Commission or a Study of Parliament Group outside parliament as
was done in U.K. before the procedural reforms. Finally, of course, the Rules committee or a
Special Procedure Committee of the House should report on the matter. After reading the
various aspects of topic powers and importance of Indian Parliament the project is summed
up. In summing up the researcher through his research has analysed the powers, role,
importance of Indian Parliament.

Bibliography:-

Books:-

1) S R MYNENI, POLITICAL SCIENCE FOR LAW STUDENTS, 2013

2) A C KAPUR, PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, 2012

3) DR A C KAPUR, PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, 2013

4) DR R C BANARJEE, SOCIAL STUDIES FOR CLAS 8, 2013

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http://www.excellup.com/ClassEight/sseight/parliamenteight.aspx

http://www.parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/intro/ataglance.htm
http://www.preservearticles.com/201012251617/functions-and-powers-of-the-indian-
parliament.html

http://www.kkhsou.in/main/polscience/parliament_india.html

http://legislativebodiesinindia.nic.in/parliament%20of%20india.htm

http://bestenglishtutor.blogspot.in/2011/04/4-functions-and-powers-of-parliament.html

http://www.publishyourarticles.net/knowledge-hub/political-science/what-are-the-compositions-
and-functions-of-the-parliament-of-india.html

http://www.indianetzone.com/45/functions_indian_parliament.htm