Context:

With the Delhi High Court asking the Central government to explain its stand on a petition that claimed keeping the post of Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha vacant is a violation of Article 93 of the Constitution, the issue is once again in the spotlight.

The position of Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha had been vacant for the last 830 days.

Relevance:

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

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha
  2. Powers and Functions of Deputy Speaker
  3. Article 93 in The Constitution of India
  4. Vacancy of office of the Speaker 

Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha

  • The Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha is the vice-presiding officer of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India.
  • They act as the presiding officer in case of leave or absence caused by death or illness of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. (There is a constitution-mandated panel of 10 members to preside over the proceedings of the Lok Sabha in the absence of Speaker.)
  • It is by Convention that position of Deputy Speaker is offered to opposition party in India.
  • The Deputy Speaker is elected in the first meeting of the Lok Sabha after the General elections for a term of 5 years from amongst the members of the Lok Sabha. It is by convention that position of Deputy Speaker is offered to opposition party in India.
  • They hold office until either they cease to be a member of the Lok Sabha or they resign.
  • They can be removed from office by a resolution passed in the Lok Sabha by an effective majority of its members.
  • Since the Deputy Speaker is accountable for the Lok Sabha, the elimination is done by the effective majority in Lok Sabha only.

Powers and Functions of Deputy Speaker

  • In case of the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker presides over the sessions of the Lok Sabha and conducts the business in the house.
  • He decides whether a bill is a money bill or a non-money bill.
  • The Deputy Speaker while acting as the Speaker maintains discipline and decorum in the house and can punish a member for unruly behaviour by suspending him/her.
  • They permit the moving of various kinds of motions and resolutions like the motion of no confidence, motion of adjournment, motion of censure and calling attention notice.

Article 93 in The Constitution of India

The House of the People shall, as soon as may be, choose two members of the House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker thereof and, so often as the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, the House shall choose another member to be Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be.

Vacancy of office of the Speaker 

  • 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.
  4. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.
  5. 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: The Hindu

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