Learn complete about Speaker and its powers.

Jun 13, 2024

Current Affair 1:

The Speaker has a key role in parliamentary democracy. The Constitution of India provides for the offices of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker who, according to Article 93, are to be elected “as soon as may be” after the commencement of the House.

Resignation and removal of Speaker:

There is a difference in explanation who presides Speaker’s role when Speakers seat is vacant and when Speaker is absent.

There are no specific qualifications for becoming Speaker, which means any member is entitled to be considered.

The Speaker not to preside while a resolution for his removal from office is under consideration.

The Chairman or Speaker, or person acting as such, shall not vote in the first instance, but shall have and exercise a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.

If at any time during a meeting of a House there is no quorum, it shall be the duty of the Chairman or Speaker, or person acting as such, either to adjourn the House or to suspend the meeting until there is a quorum.

If any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of the Speaker of the House of the People thereon shall be final.

The salary of the Speaker is drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India.

At a joint sitting of the two Houses the Speaker of the House of the People presides the first ( Article 118 (4).


Powers of the Speaker:


The conduct of government business of the House is decided by the Speaker in consultation with the Leader of the House. Prior permission of the Speaker is required for members to ask a question, or to discuss any matter.

There are Rules and Procedure for the functioning of the House, but the Speaker has vast powers in ensuring these Rules are followed, and in choosing procedures. This makes the impartiality of the Speaker a crucial check and balance for the Opposition to have its say in the House.


The Speaker decides the admissibility of a question raised by a member, as well as how the proceedings of the House are published. The Speaker has the power to expunge, in full or in part, remarks that she may consider to be unparliamentary. Critical remarks against the ruling party may not be published if the Speaker decides to expunge them.


When the treasury benches seem thin in the House, the Speaker can disregard a request for division and push a Bill through by voice vote.

As per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, if the Speaker is of the opinion that is “unnecessarily claimed”, simply ask the members who are for ‘Aye’ and those for ‘No’ respectively to rise in their places and decide.

In such a case, the names of the voters shall not be recorded. Vote by division is important as a record for posterity. An MP gets a chance to record dissent and show the mandate of her constituents.


One of the most important times when a speaker’s impartiality impacts the Opposition is when a motion of no-confidence is moved against the government. In 2018, when the YSRCP and TDP gave notices for a motion of no-confidence, then Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House several times before admitting the motion and putting it to vote.


Although it is rare that a speaker is required to give her casting vote, it is a crucial function. According to Article 100 of the Constitution, which talks about voting in the Houses, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha or Speaker of Lok Sabha, or any person acting as such, “shall not vote in the first instance, but shall have an exercise a casting vote in the case of any equality of votes”.

Conventionally, the Speaker votes in favour of the government.

Disqualification of members

For the Opposition, the realities of the power of the Speaker under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution are perhaps more significant than how the House is conducted.

The Tenth Schedule or the anti-defection law, introduced to the Constitution through the Fifty-Second (Amendment) Act, 1985, gives the Speaker of the House the power to disqualify legislators who ‘defect’ from a party. In the landmark case Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillhu in 1992, the Supreme Court upheld the power vested in the Speaker and said that only the final order of the Speaker will be subject to judicial review.

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