Powers of Lok Sabha Speaker

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Source-This post on Powers of Lok Sabha Speaker has been created based on the article “What are the powers of the Speaker, why is the post crucial for BJP, its allies” published in “Indian Express” on 11 June 2024.

Why in News?

As the 18th Lok Sabha prepares to convene, the TDP and JD(U) are reportedly vying for the position of Speaker.

About Speaker’s Constitutional Mandate

1. Under the Article 93 of the Constitution of India, the Constitution mandates the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker “as soon as may be” after the House convenes.

2. Election Process: The Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected by a simple majority of the House members. There are no specific qualifications required to become the Speaker.

3. Under Article 94 of the Constitution of India, the Speaker is chosen from among the members of the House and vacates the office upon ceasing to be a member of the House.

4. Speaker’s Salary: The salaries of the Speaker are drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India.

Role of the Speaker in Parliamentary Democracy

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha holds the highest authority in the lower house of the Parliament of India, playing several crucial roles:

1. Presiding over Proceedings: The Speaker is responsible for chairing the sessions of the Lok Sabha and ensuring that debates and discussions are conducted in an orderly and respectful manner. The Speaker has the authority to rule on points of order and to enforce the rules of the parliament.

2. Acting as a Spokesperson: The Speaker often represents the Lok Sabha and speaks on its behalf in public or at international events.

3. Maintaining Impartiality: The Speaker is expected to be neutral and unbiased in discharging duties, ensuring that all members of the Lok Sabha are treated fairly and equally.

4. Ensuring Transparency and Accountability: The Speaker is responsible for making sure that the proceedings of the Lok Sabha are open and transparent, and that the public has access to information about the work of the Lok Sabha.

5. Involvement in the Legislative Process: The Speaker has several duties related to the passage of legislation. These include assigning bills to committees, deciding the order in which bills are considered, and certifying the final text of bills before they are presented to the President for assent.

6. Representation: The Speaker represents the Lok Sabha in its relations with other parliamentary bodies and institutions.

Powers of the Lok Sabha Speaker

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha performs several key functions as outlined in the Indian Constitution:

1. Presiding over Sittings (Article 95): The Speaker presides over the sittings of the Lok Sabha and is responsible for maintaining order and decorum in the house.

2. Participation in Proceedings (Article 96): The Speaker has the right to take part in the proceedings of the house and to speak in any sitting of the house or any committee of which he or she is a member. However, the Speaker does not have the right to vote in the first instance.

3. Certification of Bills (Article 97): The Speaker is responsible for the certification of money bills and financial bills, and has the power to direct that any other bill be treated as a money bill or a financial bill.

4. Casting Vote (Article 100): In the event of a tie in the voting in the house, the Speaker has the casting vote.

5. Committee Appointments: The Speaker appoints committees and chairpersons of committees, and refers matters to committees for consideration.

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