From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Speaker of the Lok Sabha
Mains level : Terms of reference for Speaker
- Om Birla, a Member of Parliament from Rajasthan, was elected Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha.
Speaker of the Lok Sabha
- The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), the lower house of the Parliament of India.
- The speaker is elected generally in the very first meeting of the Lok Sabha following general elections.
- Serving for a term of five years, the speaker chosen from sitting members of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), and is by convention a member of the ruling party or alliance.
- Newly elected MPs from the Lok Sabha elect the Speaker among themselves.
- It is desired Speaker should be someone who understands Lok Sabha functions and it is someone accepted among the ruling and opposition parties.
- MP’s propose a name to Pro tem speaker. These names are notified to President of India. President through their aid Secretary- General notifies the election date. If only one name is proposed, Speaker is elected without any formal vote.
- However, if more than 1 nomination are received, a division (vote) is called.
- MPs vote for their candidate on such date notified by President. Successful candidate is elected as Speaker of the Lok Sabha until next general election
Powers and Functions
- The Speaker of the Lok Sabha conducts the business in house; and decides whether a bill is a money bill or not.
- She/he maintains discipline and decorum in the house and can punish a member for their unruly behaviour by suspending them.
- She/he also permit the moving of various kinds of motions and resolutions such as a motion of no confidence, motion of adjournment, motion of censure and calling attention notice as per the rules.
- The Speaker decides on the agenda to be taken up for discussion during the meeting.
- Further, all comments and speeches made by members of the House are addressed to the Speaker.
- The Speaker also presides over the joint sitting of both houses of the Parliament of India.
Removal from office
- Speaker can be removed by the Lok Sabha by a resolution passed by an effective majority (>50% of total strength excluding vacancies) of the house as per Articles 94 (vacation) and 96 (resolution for removal).
- Speaker is also removed on getting disqualified for being Lok Sabha member under sections 7 and 8 of Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- This would arise out of speaker’s wrong certification of a bill as money bill inconsistent with the definition given in Articles 110 of the constitution.
- When courts uphold the unconstitutional act of the speaker for wrong certification of a bill as money bill, it amounts to disrespecting the constitution deserving conviction under Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
- It is applicable for disqualification of speaker’s Lok Sabha membership under section 8K of Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- However the omissions in the procedure committed by the speaker in the Lok Sabha can not be challenged in court of law per Article 122.
Chairman of Rajya Sabha
- The counterpart of the Speaker in the Rajya Sabha (Council of the States) is its Chairperson; the Vice President of India is the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
- On the order of precedence, the Speaker of Lok Sabha ranks sixth, along with the Chief Justice of India. The Speaker is answerable to the House.
- Both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker may be removed by a resolution passed by the majority of the members.