What are legislative & executive powers & functions of the Parliament?

Q.  Which of the following are legislative and executive powers and functions of the Parliament?

1) Parliament can make laws on the subjects enumerated in the State List.
2) Parliament exercises control over the Executive through question-hour.
3) Lok Sabha can express lack of confidence in the government by no confidence motion.
4) It can recommend removal of judges.

- Published on 03 Mar 17

a. 1, 2, 3
b. 2, 4
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above

ANSWER: 1, 2, 3
    Legislative Powers and Functions -

  • The primary function of Parliament is to make laws for the governance of the country.

  • It has exclusive power to make laws on the subjects in the Union List (which at present has 100 subjects, originally 97 subjects) and on the residuary subjects (that is, subjects not enumerated in any of the 3 lists).

  • With regard to Concurrent List (which has at present 52 subjects, originally 47 subjects), the Parliament has overriding powers, i.e. the law of Parliament prevails over the law of the state legislature in case of a conflict between the two.

  • The Constitution also empowers the Parliament to make laws on the subjects enumerated in the State List under the following 5 abnormal circumstances -

    1. When Rajya Sabha passes a resolution to that effect.

    2. When a proclamation of National Emergency is in operation.

    3. When two or more states make a joint request to the Parliament.

    4. When necessary to give effect to international agreements, treaties and conventions.

    5. When President’s Rule is in operation in the state.

  • All the ordinances issued by the president (during the recess of the Parliament) must be approved by the Parliament within six weeks after its reassembly.

  • An ordinance becomes inoperative if it is not approved by the parliament within that period.

  • The Parliament makes laws in a skeleton form and authorises the Executive to make detailed rules and regulations within the framework of the parent law.

  • This is known as delegated legislation or executive legislation or subordinate legislation. Such rules and regulations are placed before the Parliament for its examination.

  • Executive Powers and Functions -

  • The Executive is responsible to the Parliament for its policies and acts.

  • The Parliament exercises control over the Executive through question-hour, zero hour, half-an-hour discussion, short duration discussion, calling attention motion, adjournment motion, no-confidence motion, censure motion and other discussions.

  • It also supervises the activities of the Executive with the help of its committees.

  • The ministers are collectively responsible to the Parliament in general and to the Lok Sabha in particular.

  • As a part of collective responsibility, there is individual responsibility, that is, each minister is individually responsible for the efficient administration of the ministry under his charge.

  • The council of ministers can be removed from office by the Lok Sabha by passing a no-confidence motion.

  • The Lok Sabha can also express lack of confidence in the government in the following ways -

    1. By not passing a motion of thanks on the President’s inaugural address.

    2. By rejecting a money bill.

    3. By passing a censure motion or an adjournment motion.

    4. By defeating the government on a vital issue.

    5. By passing a cut motion.

  • Therefore, “the first function of Parliament can be said to be to select the group which is to form the government, support and sustain it in power so long as it enjoys its confidence, and to expel it when it ceases to do so, and leave it to the people to decide at the next general election.”

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