Functions of Parliament of India

Functioning of the parliament of India

India is governed by a parliamentary system. The Parliament is the most significant organ of a parliamentary government. The Union Parliament is the country’s highest legislative body. In this article, you may learn everything there is to know about the Parliament’s polity and governance functions.

The legislature makes laws, the government implements them, and the courts interpret and enforce them, according to the Constitution. While the judiciary is separate from the other two branches, the government is formed with the support of a majority of legislators. As a result, the government is collectively liable to Parliament for its actions. This means that Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) can hold the government accountable for its decisions and scrutinise its operations. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as during Bill or issue debates on the floor of Parliament, or by posing questions to ministers during Question Hour, and in the parliamentary committees.

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha make up the Indian Parliament, which is a bicameral legislature with two houses. Members of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) are elected directly by the people in a democratic process. Members of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) are elected by the legislative assemblies of the states. The two Houses of Parliament, as well as the President, make up the Parliament.

The major functions of the Parliament of India are:

  1. Legislative Functions: All subjects specified in the Union List and the Concurrent List are subject to legislative action by Parliament.

When it comes to the Concurrent List, where state legislatures and Parliament share jurisdiction, the union legislation will take precedence over the states unless the state law has already acquired presidential assent. The Parliament, on the other hand, has the power to make legislation that adds to, amends, modifies, or repeals the Constitution at any moment.

  1. Fiancial Functions: the federation Parliament has sole authority over the methods and means by which income for public services must be raised. To that aim, it levies taxes and ensures that money appropriated for expenditure by various government departments is spent for the intended reasons.
  2. Providing and exercising control over Cabinet: In the sense that the executive power is handled by a group of Members of the Legislature who possess a majority in the Lok Sabha, our Parliamentary system combines the legislative and executive branches of government.

To be more exact, the government is run by a number of Ministries, each of which is led by a separate Minister. The Parliament appoints Ministers and keeps them accountable to the electorate.

  1. Critical Assessment of the Work of the Cabinet: The Lok Sabha, which is comprised of elected representatives of the people, provides the forum through which it is ensured that the Cabinet remains in power only as long as it has majority support in the Lok Sabha. One of the most important functions of Parliament is to facilitate debate and critical evaluations of government departments’ performance.

The debates ensure that performance flaws are exposed, and that Ministers and, through them, the entire executive apparatus are kept on their toes.

  1. An organ of Information: When it comes to information about how the government works, Parliament is the most powerful organ. The information provided in the Houses is authoritative, and Ministers are obligated to provide information on government matters when members request it.
  2. Judicial Functions: If members of the House violate their privileges, the Parliament has the authority to punish them. When one of the MPs’ privileges is violated, it is referred to as a breach of privilege.

A member may bring a privilege motion if he believes that a minister or another member has violated the House’s or one or more of its members’ privilege by withholding or distorting facts in a case.

Legislative privileges are untouchable by the courts in the parliamentary system.

In most cases, the power of Parliament to punish its members is not subject to judicial review.

Other judicial powers of Parliament include the ability to impeach the President, Vice President, Supreme Court and High Court judges, the Auditor-General, and others.

  1. Elective Functions: The Electoral College for the election of the Vice-President is made up of elected members of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. The Electoral College, which includes elected members of state legislatures, is responsible for electing the President. The Parliament can also create new states or change the boundaries of existing states through legislation.
  2. Constitutional Functions: Parliament has the authority to amend the Constitution. Constitutional amendments must be approved by each house by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting, as well as a majority of the total membership. In some cases, amendments require ratification by half of the state legislatures.
  3. Amending Powers: The Indian Parliament has the authority to amend the Indian Constitution. When it comes to amending the Constitution, both Houses of Parliament have equal authority. To be effective, amendments must be passed in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Other powers and functions of Parliament:

  • The Parliament debates issues of national and international importance. The opposition is crucial in this regard, as it ensures that the country is aware of opposing viewpoints.
  • A Parliament is sometimes talked of as a ‘nation in miniature’.
  • In a democracy, the Parliament is critical for deliberating important issues before laws or resolutions are passed.
  • The Parliament also serves as an information organ. When members request information in the Houses, ministers are obligated to provide it.
  • The Parliament has the power to alter, decrease or increase the boundaries of states/UTs.

The Indian judiciary may see itself as the custodian of the constitution, balancing the competing levels and powers of a diverse range of public institutions. Eventually the composition of the judiciary and sustenance of the conditions of its endurance are formulated and given concrete shape by the Parliament. The Lok Sabha is the heart of Parliament, and its public profile has grown dramatically over the years. Because there was no precedent, it was difficult for India to choose parliamentary democracy. Other Backward Classes (OBCs) rose to prominence in Indian politics beginning in the 1980s, according to recent literature. The tendency to assert pluralism or diversity cannot be seen as an attempt to promote a notion of nationalism distanced from individual rights or a post-modern tendency of de-centering of the nation or the consequence of the global turn of Indian polity.

Author: Ankita Sharma,
Sharda University

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