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Electing a Speaker and Deputy Speaker


Maharashtra has been without a Speaker since February, 2021 while Lok Sabha and several State Assemblies are without a Deputy Speaker.


GS-II: Polity and Governance (Constitutional Provisions, Legislature)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Speaker of Lok Sabha
  2. Election and Term of Office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha
  3. Vacancy of office

Speaker of Lok Sabha

  • The Speaker is the head of the Lok Sabha (Or the Legislative Assemblies of the States), and its representative and his/her decision in any Parliamentary matter is final.
  • He is the guardian of powers and privileges of the members, apart from being the principal spokesman of the House.
  • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha derives his powers and duties from three sources: Usually, a member belonging to the ruling party is elected Speaker. The process has evolved over the years where the ruling party nominates its candidate after informal consultations with leaders of other parties and groups in the House.
  • This convention ensures that once elected, the Speaker enjoys the respect of all sections of the House.
    • The Constitution of India,
    • The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Lok Sabha, and
    • Parliamentary Conventions (residuary powers that are unwritten or unspecified in the Rules).

Election and Term of Office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha

  • The Speaker of the LS is chosen by the members of LS from among themselves, after the first meeting of the Lok Sabha.
  • The Speaker (along with the Deputy Speaker) is elected from among the Lok Sabha members by a simple majority of members present and voting in the House.
  • Although there are no specific qualifications prescribed for being elected the Speaker, an understanding of the Constitution and the laws of the country is considered a major asset for the holder of the Office of the Speaker.
  • The Speaker of LS generally remains in office during the life of Lok Sabha. However, to remain in office, he needs to remain a member of the Lok Sabha. Whenever the Lok Sabha is dissolved, its Speaker continues to remain in office until immediately before the first meeting of Lok Sabha after it is reconstituted.

Vacancy of office

  • If a Speaker is disqualified to be a member of Lok Sabha due to any reason, he/she also ceases to be a Speaker.
  • The Speaker can also vacate his office by addressing a resignation letter to Deputy Speaker.
  • He can also be removed by the members of Lok Sabha by a resolution (with the support of at least 50 members) passed by an absolute majority of the LS (50% of the total membership of the House).
  • When such resolution is under consideration of the house, Speaker cannot preside the meeting of the house but can participate and vote (except the casting vote in case of an equality of votes.)
  • When the Speaker’s seat falls vacant, the members elect another speaker on a date fixed by the President.

Removal of Speaker

  • Under following conditions, the speaker, may have to vacate the office earlier:
    1. If he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha.
    2. If he resigns by writing to the Deputy Speaker.
    3. If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Lok Sabha.
      1. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.
      2. When a resolution for the removal of the Speaker is under consideration of the House, he/she may be present at the sitting but not preside.

-Source: Indian Express

November 2023