Position of Rajya Sabha: Lok Sabha vs Rajya Sabha – UPSC

In this article, You will read the Position of Rajya Sabha i.e. Comparison Between the Powers and Position of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha – for UPSC IAS.

Position of Rajya Sabha

Constitutional status of Rajya Sabha w.r.t Lok Sabha to be discussed in three heads – 

  1. Where Rajya Sabha is equal to Lok Sabha
  2. Where Rajya Sabha is unequal to Lok Sabha 
  3. Special powers of Rajya Sabha which are not shared with Lok Sabha

Rajya Sabha is equal to Lok Sabha

In the following matters, the powers and status of the Rajya Sabha are equal to that of the Lok Sabha:

  • Introduction and passage of ordinary bills.
  • Introduction and passage of Constitutional amendment bills.
  • Introduction and passage of financial bills involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • Election and impeachment of the president.
  • Election and removal of the Vice-President. However, Rajya Sabha alone can initiate the removal of the vice-president. He is removed by a resolution passed by the Rajya Sabha by a special majority and agreed to by the Lok Sabha by a simple majority.
  • Making recommendations to the President for the removal of Chief Justice and judges of Supreme Court and high courts, chief election commissioner and comptroller and auditor general.
  • Approval of ordinances issued by the President.
  • Approval of proclamation of all three types of emergencies by the President.
  • Selection of ministers including the Prime Minister. Under the Constitution, the ministers including the Prime Minister can be members of either House. However, irrespective of their membership, they are responsible only to the Lok Sabha.
  • Consideration of the reports of the constitutional bodies like Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, comptroller and auditor general, etc.
  • Enlargement of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Union Public Service Commission.

Rajya Sabha is unequal to Lok Sabha 

In the following matters, the powers and status of the Rajya Sabha are unequal to that of the Lok Sabha:

  • A Money Bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha.
  • 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.
  • The Lok Sabha can either accept or reject all or any of the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha. In both cases, the money bill is deemed to have been passed by the two Houses.
  • 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. But, with regard to its passage, both the Houses have equal powers.
  • The final power to decide whether a particular bill is a Money Bill or not is vested in the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
  • The Speaker of Lok Sabha presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses.
  • The Lok Sabha with a 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.
  • Rajya Sabha can only discuss the budget but cannot vote on the demands for grants (which is the exclusive privilege of the Lok Sabha).
  • A resolution for the discontinuance of the national emergency can be passed only by the Lok Sabha and not by the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Rajya Sabha cannot remove the council of ministers by passing a no-confidence motion. This is because the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible only to the Lok Sabha. 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:

  • It can authorize the Parliament to make a law on a subject enumerated in the State List (Article 249).
  • It can authorize the Parliament to create new All-India Services common to both the Centre and states (Article 312).

Even though the Rajya Sabha has been given less powers as compared with the Lok Sabha, its utility is supported on the following grounds:

  • It checks hasty, defective, careless, and ill-considered legislation made by the Lok Sabha by making provision of revision and thought.
  • It facilitates giving representation to eminent professionals and experts who cannot face the direct election. The President nominates 12 such persons to the Rajya Sabha.
  • It maintains the federal equilibrium by protecting the interests of the states against the undue interference of the Centre.

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