The Parliament consists of three parts.
- The President
- The Council of States
- The House of the People
RAJYA SABHA: Introduction
The Rajya Sabha was constituted in the year 1952. This is a permanent house. It is not subjected to dissolution. The fourth schedule of the Indian Constitution deals with the allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha to the states and Union Territories.
The seats are allotted to the states in the Upper House on the basis of the population. The maximum strength of Rajya Sabha is 250 members.
The present strength of the Upper House is 245.
Out of 250 members, 238 are the representatives of the states and Union Territories.
These 238 are elected indirectly by the elected members of Legislative Assemblies of the concerned states.
Article 80 (3) of the Indian Constitution permits that 12 members are nominated by the President with the special knowledge or practical experience in fields like Science, Arts, Literature and Social Service.
1/3rd members retire at the end of every second year.
The members are eligible for re-election after completion of the term.
The term of a member of Rajya Sabha is 6 years.
Any person should satisfy the following conditions for being elected for Rajya Sabha.
- A citizen of India.
- Not be less than 30 years of age.
- Must possess other qualifications as prescribed by the Parliament.
- Must be registered as an elector for a parliamentary constituency in the concerned state or Union Territory.
The Parliament has laid down additional qualifications in the Representation of Peoples Act of 1951.
DISQUALIFICATIONS (Article 102):
Article 102 of the Indian Constitution provided disqualification of a person who is a member of the Parliament.
- If holds any office of profit under the Union or State government.
- If the person is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a court.
- If the person is an un-discharged insolvent.
- If the person is not a citizen of Indian or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign state.
- If so disqualified under any law made by the Parliament.
NOTE: The members of Rajya Sabha are disqualified by the President after seeking the opinion from the Election Commission.
Can a member of Rajya Sabha be disqualified?
A person can be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being a member of Rajya Sabha, if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder; if he is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State, or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State; if he is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament; and if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule which provides for disqualification on grounds of defection. The same rules apply to a member of the Lok Sabha.
Who decides if the member is disqualified from being a member of the Rajya Sabha?
If any question arises as to whether a member of the House has become subject to disqualification “under Article 102(1) of the Constitution”, the question is referred for the decision of the President and his decision is final. However, before giving his decision on such question the President obtains the opinion of the Election Commission of India and acts according to such opinion.
On the other hand, if any question arises as to whether a member of the House has become subject to disqualification “under the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution”, the question is referred to the Chairman, Rajya Sabha and his decision is final. In the case of Lok Sabha, the question is referred to the Speaker, Lok Sabha and his decision would be final.
Article 80 of the Indian Constitution provides the composition of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).
Accordingly, the Council of States shall consist of:
(a) twelve members nominated by the President and
(b) not more than two hundred and thirty-eight representatives of the States and of the Union territories.
In other words, besides the two hundred and thirty-eight representatives of the States and of the Union territories, the Rajya Sabha consists of twelve members nominated by the President who have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.
Under the Allocation of Business Rules, 1961, the subject “Nominations to the Rajya Sabha” is allocated to the Ministry of Home Affairs which is the Administrative Ministry for initiating the process of nominations. After a nomination is made by the President, the Ministry of Home Affairs notifies the same.
In the case of a casual vacancy in the seat of a nominated member, the term of office of the member nominated to fill that seat commences from the date of notification issued under sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 80 of the Constitution. That nominated member serves for the remainder of his predecessor’s term of office.
The term of office of a member other than a member chosen to fill a casual vacancy is six years. After the President has nominated a person to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of a member, the same is notified by the Ministry of Law under section 71 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the term of such a member commences from that date even though the date of notification of nomination of persons issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs precedes the notification issued by the Ministry of Law under section 71 of that Act.
The nominated members enjoy all the powers, privileges and immunities available to other elected members. However, they are not eligible to vote in the election of the President since the President is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the elected Members of Parliament, elected Members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States and elected Members of the Legislative Assemblies of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union territory of Puducherry. No such restriction exists in the Vice-President’s election, since the electoral college for that election consists of the members of both Houses of Parliament.
At the same time it may be mentioned that at the Centre no nominated member has yet been included in the Council of Ministers, though there is no bar against such inclusion under the Constitution.
Prof. S. Nurul Hasan was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1968. He resigned his seat in the Rajya Sabha on 30th September 1971. He was inducted in the Union Council of Ministers on 4th October 1971. Subsequently, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from the State of Uttar Pradesh on 11th November 1971.
There have been instances of the nominated members being appointed Chairmen of the Committees.
Under the Tenth Schedule, a nominated member is disqualified for being a member of the House, if he joins any political party after the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat..
Salary, Allowances & Pension
The Salary, Allowances and Pension of the Members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha
Article 106 of the Indian Constitution states that, “members of either House of Parliament shall be entitled to receive such salaries and allowances, as may from time to time be determined by Parliament by law and, until provision in that respect, is so made, allowances at such rates and upon such conditions as were immediately before the commencement of this Constitution applicable in the case of members of the Constituent Assembly of the Dominion of India.”
In other words, Article 106 of the Constitution empowers members of the Parliament to determine their salaries and allowances by enacting laws.
Accordingly, the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 was enacted by the Parliament. Till date, the Parliament periodically passed laws to revise the salaries, allowances and pension of the Members of the Parliament.
Thus, the Salary, allowances and pension of the members are governed by the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 as amended from time to time and the Rules made thereunder.
The Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament is a statutory Committee constituted under the Section 9 of the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954.
The Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament is a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament consisting of five members from the Council of States nominated by the Chairman and ten members from the House of the People nominated by the Speaker. This Joint Committee shall elect its Chairman and shall have power to regulate its procedure.
The Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament, after consultation with the Central Government frames rules for regulating payment of salary, allowances and pension to members of Parliament and makes rules to provide for matters like medical, housing, telephone facilities, etc. and regulating the payment of various allowances to which members are entitled under the Act.
In 2018, through the Finance Act, the Parliament amended the the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, for fixing the salary, Allowances and Pension for the Members of Parliament. It revised their salary and provided that the salary, daily allowance, and pension of Members of Parliament shall be increased every five years, based on the Cost Inflation Index provided under the Income-tax Act, 1961 for the purpose of making rules under the Act.
Accordingly, the Salary, Allowances and Pension of the members shall be increased after every five years commencing from 1st April, 2023 on the basis of Cost Inflation Index provided under clause (v) of Explanation to section 48 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
COMPOSITION OF RAJYA SABHA
|Name of State||# of Seats|
|Jammu and Kashmir||4|