LOK SABHA SPEAKER (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     11th June 2024        

Context: As the 18th Lok Sabha convenes, key allies of the ruling party are reportedly vying for the position of Speaker.

Constitutional Provisions of Speaker

  • About: The Constitution of India specifically delineates the roles of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker in parliamentary proceedings.
  • Article 93: It mandates the election of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, outlining the formal procedure for their selection.
  • Election Process: The Speaker is elected by a simple majority within the House.
  • Term Duration: The Speaker's term extends until the dissolution of the House, unless resignation or removal occurs prior to that.
  • No-Confidence Motion: A motion of no-confidence against the Speaker can be initiated with a 14-day notice period, as stipulated in Article 94 of the Constitution.
  • Disqualification: Similar to any other member of the House, the Speaker is subject to disqualification under relevant constitutional provisions.
  • Salary: It is drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India unlike for other MPs, which flow from a statute voted on by the House itself.

Powers of the Speaker

  • Conducting the House: The Speaker holds the authority to conduct the proceedings of the House, including deciding on the conduct of government business and granting permission for member interventions.
  • Impartiality in Procedure: Despite established Rules and Procedures, the Speaker wields significant power in ensuring adherence and selecting procedures, crucially ensuring impartiality for all members.
  • Voice Votes & Division: In situations of sparse attendance, the Speaker can bypass division requests and pass Bills through voice votes, a decision vital for maintaining legislative efficiency.
  • Money Bill: The Speaker determines whether a bill is a money bill, and their decision is final.
  • Disqualifying Members: The Speaker decides on disqualification of members based on defection under the Tenth Schedule, subject to judicial review.