From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Read the attached story
Mains level : Significance of Rajya Sabha in Parliamentary procedures
- The landmark 250th session of Rajya Sabha is commencing from today.
- A glimpse of the content relating to the journey of Rajya Sabha during the last 67 years since it’s first sitting on 13.5.1952 is furnished below:
Some unique events relating to Rajya Sabha:
- Total members of Rajya Sabha so far including those with more than one term is 2,282 including 208 women and 137 nominated members.
- Mahendra Prasad is serving the highest number of 7th term followed by Dr.Manmohan Singh serving 6th term.
- Najma Heptulla and late Shri Ram Jethmalani are the other two with six terms each.
- The representation of women in Rajya Sabha increased from 15 (6.94%) in 1952 increased to 31(12.76%) in 2014 and is now 26(10.83%) in 2019.
Casting vote by the Chair
- The first and the only time when a Presiding Officer of Rajya Sabha cast his vote was when the Panel Chairman Shri M.A.Baby did so on 5.8. 1991.
- The voting was tied 39-39 on the Statutory Resolution moved by the opposition seeking disapproval of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance resulting in the victory of the opposition in the House.
President Rule approved only by Rajya Sabha
- It happened only twice in respect of extension of President Rule in Tamil Nadu and Nagaland in 1977 and in case of Haryana in 1991 when Lok Sabha was dissolved.
Removal of a Judge
- The only time Rajya Sabha adopted a motion for removal of a Judge was in respect of Justice Soumitra Sen of Calcutta High Court on 18.8.2011 but he resigned before the motion was taken up in Lok Sabha.
Expulsion of members
- Rajya Sabha adopted a motion on 15.11.1976 for expulsion of Dr.Subramanian Swamy whose conduct and activities were found by a Committee to be derogatory to the dignity of the House and it’s members.
- Chatrapal Singh was expelled on 23.11.2005 after Ethics Committee found him guilty of accepting money for asking questions.
- Swami Sakhsi Ji Maharaj was expelled on 21.3.2006 for irregularities in recommending projects under MPLAD scheme.
- Former Member of Rajya Sabha Shri K.K.Tiwari was summoned to the Bar of the House and was reprimanded on 1.6.1990 for a statement published in newspapers the same day that brought the office of Chairman and the House to indignity and contempt.
Bill passed by Rajya Sabha but negative by Lok Sabha
- The Constitution (Sixty-fourth Amendment) Bill 1990 seeking to amend Article 356 relating to extension of President’s Rule in Punjab.
Bills passed by Lok Sabha but negatived by Rajya Sabha (5)
- The Constitution (Twenty-fourth Amendment) Bill, 1970 seeking to terminate privy purses and privileges of former Indian States, The Banking Service Commission (Repeal) Bill, 1977, The Constitution (Sixty-fourth Amendment) Bill, 1989 seeking to insert a new Part IX in the constitution relating to Panchayats, The Constitution (Sixty-fifth Amendment) Bill, 1989 relating to Nagar Panchayats and Municipalities and The Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002.
Bill reconsidered by Rajya Sabha
- Rajya Sabha passed the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill on 17.5.2006 as earlier passed by Lok Sabha but the President referred the same for reconsideration on 30.5.2006.
- Rajya Sabha reconsidered the same and passed as it was on 27.7.2006 and Lok Sabha passed it four later and was later assented to by the President on 18.8.2006.
Bills passed at the joint sittings of both the Houses of Parliament (3)
- The Dowry Prohibition Bill, 1959 was first introduced in and passed by Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha later insisted on some amendments to which Lok Sabha did not agree. The Bill was passed on 9.5.1961 at a joint sitting.
- The Banking Service Commission (Repeal) Bill, 1978 first introduced in and passed by Lok Sabha was later rejected by Rajya Sabha. It was passed on 16.5.2018 at a joint sitting.
- The Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002 passed by Lok Sabha was negatived by Rajya Sabha and was later passed at a joint sitting on 26.3.2002.
Some firsts relating to Rajya Sabha
- First sitting of the House was held on 13.5.1952
- First Bill passed : The Indian Tariff (Second Amendment) Bill, 1952
- First Bill concerning social change: The Special Marriages Bill, 1952
- First Constitution Amendment Bill passed by Rajya Sabha: The Constitution (Second Amendment) Bill, 1953 for readjustment of representation in Lok Sabha by increasing the size of population per constituency.
- First Bill on Law and Order: The Preventive Detention (Second Amendment) Bill, 1952
- First Bill on imports: The Live-stock Importation (Amendment) Bill, 1953
- First media related Bill: The Press (Objectionable Matters) Amendment Bill, 1953
- First on reorganization of States: The Andhra State Bill, 1953
- First Bill on health education: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences Bill, 1955
- First on urban development : The Faridabad Development Corporation Bill, 1955
- First on agriculture: The Agriculture Produce (Development and Warehousing Corporations) Bill, 1956
- First Bill on all-India services: The All India Services (Amendment) Bill, 1958
- First security related Bill: The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Bill, 1958
- First relating to animals: The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bill, 1959
- First on corporate take over: The Jayanti Shipping Company (Taking Over of Management) Bill, 1966
- First on pollution: The Prevention of Water Pollution Bill, 1969
- First nationalization Bill: The Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Bill, 1970
- First against economic offences: The Economic Offences (Incapability of Limitation) Bill, 1974
- First Money Bill deemed to have been passed by Rajya Sabha: The Appropriation (Railways) No.4 Bill, 1978
- First Bill referring to terrorism: The Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Bill, 1984
Bills passed by Lok Sabha and amended by Rajya Sabha
The 120 such Bills include; The Companies Bill, 1953, The UGC Bill, 1954, The Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Bill, 1978, The Chit Funds Bill, 1982, The Prevention of Corruption Bill, 1988, The Prevention of Money Laundering Bill, 2002, The Special Economic Zones Bill, 2005, The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Bill, 2013, The Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas Bill, 2016, The National Medical Council Bill, 2019 and The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019.