What are special powers of Rajya Sabha?
Q. Which of the following is/are true?
1) With regard to passage of a financial bill, not containing solely the matters of Article 110, Rajya Sabha is equal in power to Lok Sabha.
2) Rajya Sabha cannot amend or reject a Money Bill.
3) Rajya Sabha can authorize the Parliament to create new All-India Services.- Published on 02 Mar 17
a. 1, 2
b. 1, 3
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above
ANSWER: 2, 3
The powers and status of Rajya Sabha are unequal to that of Lok Sabha due to following -
1. A Money Bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha.
2. Rajya Sabha cannot amend or reject a Money Bill. It should return the bill to the Lok Sabha within 14 days, either with recommendations or without recommendations.
3. The Lok Sabha can either accept or reject all or any of the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha.
4. In both the cases, the money bill is deemed to have been passed by the two Houses.
5. A financial bill, not containing solely the matters of Article 110, also can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha.
6. But, with regard to its passage, both the Houses have equal powers.
7. The final power to decide whether a particular bill is a Money Bill or not is vested in the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
8. The Speaker of Lok Sabha presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses.
9. The Lok Sabha with greater number wins the battle in a joint sitting except when the combined strength of the ruling party in both the Houses is less than that of the opposition parties.
10. Rajya Sabha can only discuss the budget but cannot vote on the demands for grants (which is the exclusive privilege of the Lok Sabha).
11. A resolution for the discontinuance of the national emergency can be passed only by the Lok Sabha and not by the Rajya Sabha.
12. The Rajya Sabha cannot remove the council of ministers by passing a no-confidence motion.
13. This is because the Council of ministers is collectively responsible only to the Lok Sabha.
14. But, the Rajya Sabha can discuss and criticize the policies and activities of the government.
Special Powers of Rajya Sabha -
Due to its federal character, the Rajya Sabha has been given two exclusive or special powers that are not enjoyed by the Lok Sabha -
1. It can authorize the Parliament to make a law on a subject enumerated in the State List (Article249).
2. It can authorize the Parliament to create new All-India Services common to both the Centre and states (Article 312).
- The position of the Rajya Sabha in our constitutional system is not as weak as that of the House of Lords in the British constitutional system nor as strong as that of the Senate in USA.
- Except in financial matters and control over the council of ministers, the powers and status of the Rajya Sabha in all other spheres is almost equal with that of the Lok Sabha.
Even though the Rajya Sabha has been given less powers as compared with the Lok Sabha, its utility is supported on the following grounds -
1. It checks hasty, defective, careless and ill-considered legislation made by the Lok Sabha by making provision of revision and thought.
2. It facilitates giving representation to eminent professionals and experts who cannot face the direct election.
3. The President nominates 12 such persons to the Rajya Sabha.
4. It maintains the federal equilibrium by protecting the interests of the states against the undue interference of the Centre.