Council of States (Rajya Sabha)
The Rajya Sabha (Council of States) is called the Upper House of our Parliament. It consists of 250 members, out of which, 238 Members designate the States and Union Territories and 12 Members are nominated by the President from amongst the persons having specialised knowledge and functional experience in regard of such matters as literature, science, art and social service. At present, the exact strength of the Rajya Sabha is 245.
List of Rajya Sabha Speakers
|Name Deputy Chairman||Term||Party|
|1||S. V. Krishnamoorthy Rao||31 May 1952 to 2 April 1956||Indian National Congress|
|2||Violet Alva||19 April 1966 to 7 April 1966||Congress|
|3||B. D. Khobragade||17 December 1969 to 2 April 1972||Republican Party of India|
|4||GodyMurahari||4 April 1972 to 2 April 1974||Samyukta Socialist Party|
|5||Ram Niwas Mirdha||30 March 1977 to 4 April 1980||Indian National Congress|
|6||Shyamlal Yadav||30 July 1980 to 4 April 1982||Indian National Congress|
|7||Najma Heptullah||25 January 1985 to 20 January 1986||Indian National Congress|
|8||M. M. Jacob||2 February 1986 to 22 October 1986||Indian National Congress|
|9||PratibhaPatil||18 November 1986 to 5 November 1988||Indian National Congress|
|10||K. Rahman Khan||22 July 2004 to 2 April 2006||Indian National Congress|
|11||P. J. Kurien||21 August 2012 to 1 July 2018||Indian National Congress|
|12||Harivansh Narayan Singh||9 August 2018 to 9 April 2020||Janata Dal (United)|
Term of the speaker of the Rajya Sabha
- A permanent body, Rajya Sabha is not subject to dismissal.
- However, one-third of its Members retire biennially—a Member who runs for a full term preserves his membership for six years.
- He is eligible for re-election.
- A Member elected or nominated to a casual vacancy serves for the remainder term only.
- Members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies following the system of proportional representation employing the single transferable vote.
Functions of the Rajya Sabha Speaker
- As the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice-President directs over the meetings of the House.
- He is also the chief spokesman of the House and represents the collective voice to the outside world.
- He assures that the proceedings of the House follow the appropriate constitutional provisions, rules, practices and conventions without neglecting the decorum of the House.
- He is the custodian and guardian of the rights and prerogatives of the House and its members.
- Due to several pressing and urgent engagements and preoccupations as Vice-President, he may not be able to devote full time as Presiding Officer of the Rajya Sabha. Still, in practice, he presides during the first hour of the sitting of the House, which is the Question Hour.
- The Chairman is also the principal spokesman of the House and represents its collective voice to the outside world.
- As a representative of House to the outside world, Chairman communicates decisions of the House to authorities concerned, requiring them to comply with the terms of such decisions.
- He is empowered to adjourn House or suspend its sitting in the event of the absence of a quorum.
- In case of withdrawal of a member from the House, the Chairman is obligated not to accept the resignation.
- He also produces rules for giving effect to the stipulations of that Schedule; he is authorised to direct that any willful violation of the said rules should be dealt with in the same manner as a breach of privilege of the House.
- It is the power of the Chairman to represent the Constitution and rules so far as subjects in or relating to the House are concerned, and no one can enter into any argument or controversy with the Chairman over such interpretation.
- The Chairman’s fundamental duty is to maintain the order in the House.
- The Chairman may also order expunction of any unparliamentary or undignified words used in the debate.
- The Chairman has the power to correct patent errors in a Bill after the House has passed it and to make such other changes in the Bill consequential on the amendments accepted by the House.
- Under Judges (inquiry) Act, 1968, Chairman must constitute a Committee, upon receipt of a motion for removal of Judge of Supreme Court or a High Court, for an investigation into the grounds on the prayer made for the removal of a Judge.
- Under the Press Council Act, 1978, the Chairman is one of the members of the Committee which nominates the Chairman of the Press Council.
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