Facts about Lok Sabha Speakers, Functions, Power

This article explains in details about, interesting Facts about Lok Sabha Speakers, functions and powers of Lok Sabha speakers, Disqualification criteria of Lok Sabha Speakers, List of all Lok Sabha Speakers till date in different Lok Sabha terms, salary of Lok Sabha speakers, other amazing, rare, unknown facts about Lok Sabha Speakers.

The chairman or the Presiding Officer of Lok Sabha is called Speaker. The speaker of the Lok Sabha is elected from all other members by simple majority Geneally any member of Parliament is eligible to be nominated as a speaker but most commonly the candidate of ruling party or the party with majority wins this post. The term of the speaker is the same that of the term of Lok Sabha i.e. 5 years maximum. Generally the speaker is selected among the ruling party members or alliance by common consensus and the situation of election or head count rarely arises. However, there are certain cases when the elected Speaker does not belonged to the majority ruling party of Lok Sabha (G. M. C. Balyogi, Manohar Joshi, Somnath Chatterjee).

Deputy Speaker is also selected in the similar fashion like Speaker. In the absence of Speaker, Deputy Speaker takes the responsibilities of the hose and runs the house.

Functions and Powers of Lok Sabha Speakers

  1. Speaker of Lok Sabha is basically the head of the house and presides over the sittings of Parliament and controls its working.
  2. Usually the Speaker after his election, cuts off all connection with his party and acts in an impartial manner.
  3. The constitution has tried to ensure the independence of Speaker by charging his salary on the consolidated Fund of India and the same is not subject to vote of Parliament.
  4. The Vice President of India carries out the work of Speaker (Chairman) in Rajya Sabha. The term equivalent to Speaker in Rajya Sabha is Chairman. In other words Vice President is himself the speaker of Upper house (Rajya Sabha) of Indian Parliament.
  5. The role of the Speaker lies in carrying out the legislation works peacefully.
  6. Speaker has to ensure harmony among the houses of Parliament  and he is the one who is responsible to take crucial decisions.
  7. While debating or during general discussion on a bill, the members of the parliament have to address only to the Speaker.
  8. Whenever there is a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha) the Speaker of the Lok Sabha presides over this meeting.
  9. The Speaker of Lok Sabha comes at sixth position in the Order of Precedence of Government of India. The order of Precedence of Indian Government goes like this  – i) President, ii) Vice President, iii) Prime Minister, iv) Governors of State, v) Former Presidents and Deputy Prime Minister, vi) Lok Sabha Speaker and Chief Justice of India and so on.
  10. In the normal circumstances the Speaker does not casts his vote over any matter in Lok Sabha. But when ever there is a tie on votes between the ruling party and opposition, the Speaker at that time can exercise his vote.
  11. It is the Speaker who decides the agenda of various discussions. The speaker has the power to adjourn or suspend the house/meetings if the quorum is not met.
  12. The Speaker ensures the discipline and decorum of the house. If the speaker finds the behaviour and a member of Parliament is not good, he/she can punish the unruly members by suspending.
  13. The Speaker decides weather a bill brought to the house is a money bill or not. In the case Speaker decides some bill as a money bill, this decision can not be challenged.
  14. Speaker is the final and sole authority to allow different types of motions and resolutions such as No Confidence Motion, Motion of Adjournment, Censure Motion etc.
  15. The Speaker of Lok Sabha does not leaves the office just after dissolution of the assembly. He continues to be in the office till the newly formed assembly takes its first meeting and elects the new Speaker.
  16. The Speaker is not in position to preside the Lok Sabha meeting if a resolution for his disqualification/ removal is in progress.

Who is Protem Speaker ?

After the general elections, when the Parliament session is held for the first time, a Speraker is selected for one time only just for the first session. This speaker is called Protem Speaker. The role of the Protem Speaker is to head the first meeting of the lower house of Parliament and to elect/select the full term Speaker among the available members of Parliament.

Disqualification criteria of Lok Sabha Speakers

The Speaker of Lok Sabha automatically disqualifies from his post if  –

  1. he is no longer the Member of Parliament.
  2. if he tenders his resignation to the Deputy Speaker.
  3. if he holds the office of profit under central government or any state government.
  4. if he is of unsound mind and that too declared by the court of law.
  5. if he is declared undischarged insolvent.
  6. if he is no longer the citizen of India or voluntarily accepts the citizenship of any other country.
  7. if he is removed from the post of Speaker by passing a resolution by majority of the members of Lok Sabha. This is to note that during resolution for removal of Speaker, the Speaker is not in position to cast his vote even if there is tie.
  8. When the Lok Sabha is dissolved, he remains in his office till the first meeting of the new assembly when the new Speaker is elected.

Interesting Facts about Lok Sabha Speakers

  1. The first Speaker of Lok Sabha was Ganesh Vasudev Mavlankar. He served as the Speaker of first Lok Sabha from 1952 to 1956.
  2. The first woman parliamentarian to work as Speaker – Meira Kumar. She was the Fifteenth (15th) Speaker of Lok Sabha which was headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his second tenure from 2009 to 2014.
  3. There are many Speakers who worked in different assemblies, it was only Balram Jakhad who worked as Speaker for consecutive two full terms of assemblies. i) Spekaer of 7th Lok Sabha from 1980 to 85 and, ii) Speaker of 8th Lok Sabha from 1985 to 89.
  4. There was only one Speaker in history of India who resigned the post of Speaker in between the term and then elected unopposed as the President of India. This person was Neelam Sanjiva Reddy who worked as Speaker of 6th Lok Sabha just for 3 months of time. Neelan Sanjiva Reddy is also the shortes serving Speaker of India.
  5. The first Speaker who does not belong to Congress Party – Neelan Sanjiva Reddy. He served as the Speaker during the Janta Party government of 6th Lok Sabha (March 1977 to Aug 1979).
  6. The only Speaker who later contested for the President election although defeated is P A Sangma. He served as the Speaker of 11th Lok Sabha from 1996 to 98. Contested against Pranab Mukherjee for the post of President in year 2012.
  7. There are three cases when the Lok Sabha Speakers were not of the ruling party – they are i) G M C Balyogi  and ii) Manohar Joshi during the 12th Lok Sabha of 13 months ruled by BJP and 13th Lok Sabha from 1999 to 2004 again ruled by BJP. iii) Somnath Chatterjee as Speaker during 14th Lok Sabha headed by Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister for the first term.