Om Birla elected again as the Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha

speakers of lok sabha and their tenure

OM birla dons the role of speaker again in the 18th loksabha

He is the fifth speaker overall to preside 2 different lok sabhas.

One of the first acts of a newly constituted Lok Sabha is to elect the Speaker to replace the Pro-tem speaker. In the new Lok Sabha, both Presiding Officers – the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are elected from among its members by a simple majority of members present and voting in the House.

The Constitution neither sets a time limit nor specifies the process for these elections. It leaves it to the legislatures to decide how to hold these elections. In Lok Sabha and state legislatures, the President/Governor sets a date for the election of the Speaker, and it is the Speaker who decides the date for the election of the Deputy Speaker.

Constitutional mandate for election to various assemblies & councils:

  1. According to Article 93 for the Lok Sabha and Article 178 for state assemblies, these houses must choose two of their members to be Speaker and Deputy Speaker “as soon as may be” after the House begins to replace protem speaker.
  2. Article 93 of the Indian Constitution says, “The House of the People shall, as soon as may be, choose two members of the House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
  3. Article 94 outlines the procedures for vacation, resignation, and removal from the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
  4. Article 95 provides provisions regarding the “power of the Deputy Speaker or other person to perform the duties of the office of, or to act as, Speaker.”


Note: powers of speaker & deputy speaker are equal.

Powers of the Speaker

Powers of the Speaker

The Lok Sabha Speaker, appointed for 5 years, has wide-ranging powers and responsibilities, provided by the Indian Constitution. Listed below are the powers and responsibilities of the Lok Sabha Speaker:

  1. Conducting house:The Speaker, with a vantage view of the House, decides how it is conducted. The conduct of government business 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.

According to the book Practice and Procedure of Parliament, published by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the Speaker is “the principal spokesman of the House, he represents its collective voice and is its sole representative to the outside world”.

  1. Interpreter of constitutional provisions but can be challenged in courts of law: The Lok Sabha Speaker is the final authority on the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution of India, the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Lok Sabha, and the parliamentary proceedings within the House. Their rulings on such matters are binding on the members of the House.
  2. Presiding over joint sessions: The Speaker presides over joint sittings of both houses of Parliament(Article 178), which are summoned by the President to resolve deadlocks between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabhaon a particular bill.
  3. Maintaining order and decorum:The Speaker has the power to adjourn the House or suspend a meeting in the absence of one-tenth of the total strength of the House, known as the quorum. This authority is crucial for maintaining order and ensuring the proper conduct of parliamentary proceedings.
  4. Deciding on money bills:The Speaker has the exclusive authority to decide whether a bill is a “money bill” or not, and this decision is final and cannot be challenged.
  5. Question and Records: 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 he/she may consider to be unparliamentary. Critical remarks against the ruling party may not be published if the Speaker decides to expunge them.
  6. Chairing committees and groups: The Speaker acts as the ex-officio chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG), which serves as a link between the Parliament of India and the various parliaments of the world. The Speaker also chairs the conference of presiding officers of legislative bodies in the country.
  7. Constituting various committees:The committees of the House are constituted by the Speaker and function under his/her overall direction. The chairpersons of all parliamentary committees, the Business Advisory Committee, the General Purposes Committee, and the Rules Committee work directly under the Speaker’s chairpersonship.
  8. Protecting the House’s privileges:The Speaker is the guardian of the rights and privileges of the House, its committees, and its members. It depends solely on the Speaker to refer any question of privilege to the Committee of Privileges for examination, investigation, and report.
  9. Casting Vote:According to Article 100 of the Constitution, which talks about voting in the Houses, the Chairman of Rajya Sabhaor 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.
  10. Disqualification of members: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 would be subject to judicial review.

— In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that Speakers of Assemblies and Lok Sabha must decide disqualification pleas within three months except in extraordinary circumstances.

Removal of the Speaker

On the removal of the Speaker article 94 (c) of the Indian Constitution says, “A member holding office as Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of the People may be removed from his office by a resolution of the House of the People passed by a majority of all the then members of the House: Provided that no resolution for the purpose of clause (c) shall be moved unless at least fourteen days’ notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution: Provided further that, whenever the House of the People is dissolved, the Speaker shall not vacate his office until immediately before the first meeting of the House of the People after the dissolution.”

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