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Difference Between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

Posted by Admin on June 6, 2014 | Comment

Difference Between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

It would to be too naive to arrive at a conclusion that the only visible difference between the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha is the fact that they meet in separate chambers of the parliament. The two Houses of Indian parliament often complement each other and at times find themselves at loggerheads. Behind the apparent similarity between the two, lies a marked difference.

Functions of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

One of the primary functions of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is to debate and discuss over crucial Bills and approve the proposed laws before recommending them to the President for his consent. Both the Houses legislate over Union subjects such as Banking, Communications, Defence, and Foreign Affairs. The convergence between the two can also be seen when it comes to initiating any Bill for Constitutional Amendment, exercising control over the administration of the country, and passing resolutions on issues of national importance, which are put forward to draw the attention of the members.

Statutory Differences Between Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha

The members of Lok Sabha represent the people from 543 constituencies. They are chosen directly by the eligible voters. On the other hand, Rajya Sabha members are elected by the already elected members of State Legislative Assemblies. The system of proportional representation is followed in this regard. While an individual must be at least 30 years of age to become a member of the upper house, the minimum age limit fixed for the lower house is 25.While Rajya Sabha is a permanent body, the normal tenure of Lok Sabha is 5 years. However, it can also get dissolved earlier if the leader of the ruling party loses his majority in the house. In terms of composition, the maximum strength of the lower house can be 552 members. According to the Indian constitution, Rajya Sabha cannot have more than 250 members, including 12 members nominated by the President. Unlike Lok Sabha, money bills can’t be introduced in Rajya Sabha. It’s worth noting that Lok Sabha is considered the “controller of the purse of the nation” as the money for running country’s administration is granted by the lower house only.

Differences in Powers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

Our constitution has clearly articulated the demarcation of powers and responsibilities of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Certain powers are vested in the lower house that makes it more powerful. No confidence motion against the government can only be introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha. In case the motion is passed, it becomes obligatory for the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to resign. Rajya Sabha cannot have any say over such a motion as it lacks power over the executive.

Lower House of the parliament has a clear edge over the upper house since the latter cannot reject a money bill that has already been passed by its members. Rajya Sabha can only delay the bill for up to 14 days under the pretext of making recommendations. In case of a deadlock over non-financial bills, it’s the decision of Lok Sabha that generally prevails since it has more than double the members of Rajya Sabha.

Another crucial difference in powers of both the houses is evident from the fact that only Lok Sabha has the power to introduce budget of the country. No such power is given to the Rajya Sabha. It can only discuss the clauses of the budget once it’s passed by the Lok Sabha. Nevertheless, the upper house is not completely deprived of powers. It has the authority to declare laws in Parliament on matters pertaining to the State List.