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Showing posts from November, 2011

Q. When did the Election Commission become a multi-member authority?

Ans. The Election Commission is an independent constitutional authority, which was established in 1950. From 1950 to October 1989, the Government of India appointed two extra Elections Commissioners to it. But these posts of two Additional Commissioners were abolished on January 1, 1990. Again, the President of India appointed two more Election Commissions to the Election Commission on October 1. 1993 and an amendment was made in the concerned Act of 1991 providing for equal powers, salaries and allowances etc. for the other two Election Commissioners. This Amended Act was challenged in the Supreme Court. Rejecting the challenge a bench of 5 Supreme Court Judges approved the amended Act referred to above on iuly 14,1995.

Q. What is a Money Bill?

Ans. The Money Bill has been defined in Article 110 of the Constitution. Accordingly, a Bill shall be termed as a Money Bill only if it contains the following matters or any one of the following matters exclusively—
(a) the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax;
(b) the regulation of the borrowing of money or the giving of any guarantee by the Government of India;
(c) the custody of the Consolidated Fund of India or the Contingency Fund of India. the payment of moneys into or the withdrawal of moneys from any such fund; (d) the appropriation of moneys out of the Consolidated Fund of India;
(e) the declaring of any expenditure to be expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or the increasing of the amount of any such expenditure;
(f) the receipt of money on account of the Consolidated Fund of India or the Public Account of India or the custody or issue of such money or the audit of the accounts of the Union or of a Stale; or
(g) any matter incident…

Q. What is meant by terms like ‘Prorogation’, ‘Adjournment’ and ‘Dissolution’ with respect to the Parliament?

Ans. A session of Parliament consists of many meetings or sittings. When a particular meeting or sitting of Parliament is suspended for the time being or for the day, it is called ‘adjournment’ of the House. At least two sessions of Parliament must be convened in a year as there cannot be more than 6 months time between the two sessions. The session of the Parliament is called by the President on the advice of the Council of Ministers. When a session of Parliament comes to an end or suspended in the meantime, it is called ‘prorogation’ of the Parliament. Out of two Houses of Parliament, only the House of the People (Lok Sabha) is subject to dissolution. The Lok Sabha is dissolved by the President on the advice of the Council of Ministers. When the declaration of the end of the term of an ongoing Lok Sabha is announced, it is called the dissolution of the House. After the dissolution of the House of the People, the elections are announced to constitute new Lok Sabha. The dissolution of…

Q. When did Gram Nyayalaya Act come into force?

Ans. The Gram Nyayalaya Act, 2008 enacted by the Parliament has come into force with effect from October 2, 2009. Ii paves the way for the establishment of more than 5000 Gram Nyayalayas. The Act provides for cheap and readily available just ice to the rural people. ‘The judicial officer of a Gram Nyayalaya will be a first class Magistrate appointed by the State Government in consultation with the High Court. Functioning as mobile courts these Nyayalayas will have both civil and criminal jurisdictions.

Q. What are the Cut Motions in Parliament?

Ans. The Cut Motions are introduced by the members of the Lok Sabha during the passing of the Budget in the House. These motions are of three kinds—
1. Disapproval of policy Cut Motion
2. Economy Cut Motion
3. Token Cut Motion
1. Disapproval of the policy of Cut Motion—The policy Cut Motion is introduced by members to oppose the policy underlying the Budget proposals. The member will highlight that aspect of the policy which is not approved by him. The discussion on the motion will also be confined only to that aspect of’ the policy, which is opposed by the member. The wording of the Disapproval of the policy of Cut Motion goes like, ‘that the amount of demand be reduced to Re.
2. Economy Cut Motion—it seeks to reduce. the demand by a specific sum in order to effect economy in the expenditure. this motion is worded like, “that the amount of demand be reduced by ...... (the specified amount is mentioned here)”. The specified sum may be a total abolition of a demand of grant or it may be sum…

Q. What is the distinction between the Starred Questions and the Unstarred Questions in Parliament?

Ans. The members of Parliament have been given right to ask quest ions in Parliament, which are of two categories—

1. Starred Questions- --This category of questions is specified by asterisk mark. The starred questions are those questions which are answered orally by the Ministers. The supplementary questions are allowed to be asked by the member.
2. Unstarred Questions—1’hese are the questions which are answered by the Minister in writing. Since only the written answer is given, the supplementary questions by members are not permitted.

Q. Is Indian Parliament a Sovereign Body ?

Ans. The Indian Parliament is not a sovereign body like the I3ritish Parliament, because it is subject to the provisions of the Constitution. In other words, the Indian Parliament derives its authority and power from the Constitution itself. There are two limitations on the sovereignty of Parliament. First, Parliament can enact law with respect to only those matters which are enumerated either in the Union List or the Concurrent List. Second, the laws made by Parliament are also subject to the power of judicial review of the Supreme Court. That means if a law made by Parliament goes against the provisions of the Constitution, it can be declared null and void by the court. Thus, in India, the principle of supremacy of the Constitution has been adopted as against the principle of supremacy of Parliament in U.K. other principle of judicial supremacy in the U.S.A.

Q. How are the Speaker and the Dy. Speaker of the Lok Sabha removed from their offices?

Ans. The Speaker or the Dy. Speaker of the Lok Sabha is not removed from his office like the removal of the President through the process of impeachment. The Council of States does not have any role in the removal of the Speaker or Dy. Speaker of the Lok Sabha. This power rests with the Lok Sabha only. According to the provisions of Article 94 a member holding office as Speaker or Dy. Speaker of the Lok Sabha—
(a) shall vacate his office if he ceases to be a member of the house of the people;
(b) may at any time. by writing under his hand addressed, if such member is the Speaker, t the Dy. Speaker and if such member is Dy. Speaker. to the Speakers resign his office; and  (c) may be removed from his office by a resolution of the House of the People passed by a majority of all the then members of the House. No resolution for the purpose of removal of the Speaker or the Dy. Speaker, shall be moved unless at-least fourteen days’ notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution.

Q. How long does the Speaker of a dissolved Lok Sabha continue in his office ? Who presides over the first meeting of a newly constituted Lok Sabha?

Ans. The Speaker of a dissolved Lok Sabha continues to hold office till just before the first meeting of the newly constituted Lok Sabha. This provision is made in order to maintain the continuity in the functioning of the Lok Sabha. The Speaker of a dissolved Lok Sabha however, does not preside over the first meeting of the newly constituted Lok Sabha. The first meeting of a new Lok Sabha is presided over by the Protem Speaker. Usually the senior-most member of the House is designated by the President as Protem Speaker. The Protem Speaker remains in the chair till the new Speaker is elected by the House.

Q. How is the question of disqualification of a member of Parliament decided?

Ans. Under the provisions of Article 102, the following grounds are mentioned, which disqualify a person for being chosen as, and for being a member of either House of Parliament. These are—
(1) if such person holds any office of profit under government;
(2) if he is of unsound mind;
(3) if he is an undischarged insolvent;
(4) if he is not a citizen of India or has voluntarily acquired c1tizen ship of a foreign State, or is under any acknowledgment of allegiance or adherence to a foreign state.
(5) if he is so disqualified by or under a law made by Parliament;
(6) if he has become subject to the provisions of Anti-Defection provisions under Tenth Schedule.
If a question arises as to whether a member has become subject to these disqualifications such question is decided by the President after obtaining the opinion of the Election Commission and the President shall act according to such opinion.
However, in case of disqualifications under the anti-defection provisions, under Tenth Schedule of t…

Q. Both the Centre and the States are empowered to legislate upon the matters included in the Concurrent List. Which law shall prevail in case of consistency between the Union law or the State law?

Ans. If a law made by the Legislature of a State is inconsistent with a law enacted by Parliament with respect to the same matter of the Concurrent List, the law made by Parliament shall prevail and the law made by the State Legislature shall be void to the extent of inconsistency. According to Article 254, it is immaterial whether the law of Parliament was made before or after the law of the State Legislature. However, if a law made by the State Legislature receives the assent of the President and it becomes inconsistent with a law of Parliament enacted before the law of State Legislatures the law of State shall prevail. Again, Parliament has the right to enact a law again on the same matter in later date in order to modify the impact of State law.