About Anglo Indian MPsThe Parliament of India, which is the highest legislative body in the country, is a representative of the different sections of the country. In other words, the members who are elected to the different seats in the Parliament, represent the concerns of specific geographic constituencies, as well as the different sections of the population such as the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and others.
According to the Constitution of India, a person from the Anglo-Indian community is defined as, “a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent; but who is domiciled within the territory of India, and is or was born within such territory of parents habitually resident therein and not established there for temporary purposes only.”
Clearly, within the demographic structure of India, the Anglo-Indian community is a minority population and holds a peculiar position in the country. Because of its sparse numbers, at of times, the community is not adequately represented in the two Houses of Parliament, namely the Lok Sabha or the Lower House and the Rajya Sabha or the Upper House. Since India follows a bicameral legislature where members of the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people of the country, it has been seen that members from the Anglo-Indian community, are mostly not elected. In such cases, the President of India nominates two members from this community as MPs in the Lok Sabha, when it is felt that the community is not represented.
In other words, out of the maximum total strength of the Lok Sabha, which is 552 members in all, upto 550 members are elected and not more than two members are nominated by the President of India. The current strength of the House is 545 members. Therefore, in the upcoming elections to the sixteenth Lok Sabha tenure, elections will be held to 543 constituencies of India, while two seats are reserved for nominations from the Anglo-Indian community.
Role of the Anglo-Indian MPs
The basic premise for the nomination of the Anglo-Indian Members of Parliament to the ‘House of the People’ or the Lok Sabha, in case they are not adequately elected, is to have these members represent the concerns of their community in the Parliament. We must note in this regard, that for minority sections such as the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and women, reservations to specific constituencies have been guaranteed by the Constitution of India. But for other minority sections, foremost of whom is the Anglo-Indian community, no reservations have been guaranteed. Therefore, in the Parliamentary System of Government that India follows, it is essential that two members from this particular community, voice the opinions and concerns of the entire community. The role of the Anglo-Indian MPs therefore, is primarily, to safeguard the community and its vibrant presence within the jurisdiction of India.
Power of the Anglo-Indian MPs
Once nominated to the Indian Parliament, the two Anglo-Indian MPs can exercise their powers and functions equivalent to the other MPs in the House. Some of the powers enjoyed by the Anglo-Indian MPs are:
- Law-making Powers : The most important function of the MPs is law-making. Since the Parliament is the highest legislative body in the country, the Members of Parliament of both the Houses can legislate on any matter included in the Union List and the Concurrent List of the Constitution. When an ordinary Bill is initiated in the Parliament, both Houses of Parliament must pass the Bill for it to become a Law.
The MPs can also legislate on items included in the State List in special circumstances such as:
a) When an Emergency is promulgated under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution,
b) A resolution is passed by the Rajya Sabha with special majority, thereby asking to make a law for the state in the national interest, which can remain valid for one year,
c) A resolution by two or three states urging upon the Parliament to make law for them on certain items of the State list, and
d) If any international treaty or agreement is to be executed.
- Control over the Executive :Since India follows a Parliamentary form of Government, the executive is directly responsible to the Parliament. In other words, the MPs can keep a watch on the everyday activities of the Executive, question them, expose them and remove a ruling Cabinet from power, by passing the vote of no confidence. Any serious administrative lapses may be brought to the fore by adjournment motions, cut motions, censure motions and debates by the MPs. The Indian Parliament holds the MPs individually and collectively, and a Council of Ministers remains in power so long as it enjoys the confidence of the Lok Sabha. This is a critical function of the Lower House.
- Financial Powers : One of the foremost functions of the Anglo-Indian MPs, like other MPs, is their financial powers. Through the presentation of the Annual Budget, the presence of the two Standing Committees, and the legislation over the Money Bills, the Parliament enjoys supreme authority over the financial deliberations of the Executive.
- Judicial Powers : The MPs can impeach the President, the Vice President and other high Federal Officers, from their post. The MPs can also enjoy certain punitive powers to punish its members as well as non-members for acting against the Constitution of India.
- Amending Powers : The MPs of both the Houses can amend the Constitution of India.
- Electoral Powers : The MPs enjoy certain special electoral powers such as electing the President and the Vice President of the country.
The qualifications for members of the Anglo-Indian community to be nominated to the Parliament are:
- He or she must be a citizen of India.
- He or she must not be less than 25 years of age.
- He or she should not hold any office of profit under the Government of India, or the Government of any other state.
- He or she should not be of unsound mind.
According to the Salaries, Allowances and Pensions of Members of Parliament Bill of 2010, the salary of a Member of Parliament is Rs 50,000 along with an allowance of Rs 2,000.
Facilities for the Anglo-Indian MPs
According to the Salaries, Allowances and Pensions of Members of Parliament Bill of 2010, the MPs are given residential and travelling allowances, besides other perks such as use of free electricity upto a fixed number of units, free phone bills and other reimbursements.
After a general election which elects the MPs from different constituencies, if the President feels that sufficient members from the Anglo-Indian community have not been elected to the Parliament, then the President nominates not more than two members from this community to the House of the People.
Duty Term of the Anglo-Indian MPs
The term of the Lok Sabha is five years. Like other MPs, the Anglo-Indian MPs vacate their office every five years before fresh elections are held to decide the next tenure of the Lok Sabha. There is no retirement age of the MPs. It is permissible for the same MP from the Anglo-Indian community to be re-nominated to the Parliament in successive Parliamentary sessions.
According to the Salaries, Allowances and Pensions of Members of Parliament Bill of 2010, the MPs are entitled to a monthly pension of Rs 20,000 and an extra allowance of Rs 1,500.
The Anglo-Indian MPs are provided rent-free residential quarters in New Delhi.
- The Anglo-Indian member in the 15th Lok Sabha session was Dr. Charles Dias. He is a Civil servant by profession.
- One of the very few women Anglo-Indian MPs to be nominated to the Lok Sabha is Ingrid Mcleod from Chhattisgarh. She remained the Member of Parliament in the 15th Lok Sabha.
Nominated Members in Sixteenth Lok Sabha
|Sl. No||Name Of Member||Party Name||State|
|1||Baker,Shri George||Bharatiya Janata Party||West Bengal|
|2||Hay,Prof. Richard||Bharatiya Janata Party||Kerala|
Last Updated on 25 Aug, 2016