This article deals with ‘Parliament .’ This is part of our series on ‘Polity’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here


  • Legislative Organ of Union
  • Article 79 to 122 of Part V deals with it

Organisation of Parliament

  • Consist of three parts
President Rajya Sabha Lok Sabha
  • Based on Britain Model or Westminster Type of Legislative system
  • In India unlike USA,  Executive is part of and responsible to Legislature

Rajya Sabha

  • Earlier name – Council of States (changed in 1954)
  • Also known as – Second House or House of Elders
  • Membership of this house
Maximum 250 (238  from States and UT+ 12 Nominated by President)
Now 245 (229- States, 4- UTs, 12 Nominated)

4th Schedule

Deals with allocation of seats in Rajya Sabha  in States & Union Territories

Representation of  States Elected by elected members of Legislative Assembly
System of Proportional Representation by means of Single Transferable vote
– Seats allotted to States on basis of population . eg : UP has 31 & Tripura has 1
In USA, all States have equal representation irrespective of population and House is of 100 members ie 2 from each State
Representation of  UT – Indirectly elected by specially elected electorate for this purpose
Only two UTs -Delhi and Pondicherry has representation Population of rest is so small that  they can’t be represented.
Nominated Members President nominates 12 members having special knowledge in Art, Literature , Science & Social Service  

Duration of Rajya Sabha

  • It is Continuing Chamber and can’t be dissolved(first constituted in 1952)
  • 1/3rd of members retire after 2 years . Hence , each member has tenure of 6 years
  • In first lot, this was done by lottery
  • Constitution doesn’t provide for term of member of Rajya Sabha and left it for Parliament to decide it.
  • Representation of People Act,1951 decided term would be 6 years

Lok Sabha

  • Earlier Name – House of People (changed in 1954)
  • Also known as First Chamber or Popular House
  • It represents Indian people as whole


Maximum 552 (530-States, 20-UTs, 2-Nominated)
Now 545 (530-States, 13- UTs, 2-Nominated)

Representation of States

  • Members directly elected by citizens
  • By Universal Adult Franchise
  • All citizens above age of 18 (Earlier 21 changed by 61st Amendment,1988) can vote and elect

Representation of Union Territories

  • Constitution empowered Parliament to prescribe manner to elect members from UT
  • Parliament enacted UNION TERRITORIES(Direct Election to House of People) Act , 1965
  • Representatives from UTs to be elected by Universal Adult Franchise

Nominated Members

  • President can nominate 2 Anglo-Indians if they are not adequately represented
  • Initially till 1960, extended till 2020 by 95th Amendment,2009

Duration of House

  • Not Continuing Chamber . It has normal term of 5 years
  • Can be dissolved earlier by President & this can’t be challenged in court
  • In case of Emergency, term can be extended beyond 5 years

System of Election for Lok Sabha

Territorial Constituency

  • For purpose of direct election,  state to be divided into constituencies
  • Number of Seats allotted to each State is  such that Ratio of Population and Seats allotted is same for all States


  • After each Census , readjustment to be done in allocation of seats in LS to States and division of each State into Constituency
  • For this , Parliament constituted Delimitation Commission Act in 52,62,72,2002
  • 42nd Amendment – froze all till 2000
  • 84th Amendment – froze number of Seats to States till 2025 on basis of 1971 census but States can readjust constituencies on basis of 1991 Census
  • 87 Amendment -frozen number of Seats to States  till 2025 on basis of 1971 Census but States can readjust Constituencies on basis  of 2001 Census


  • Abandoned Communal Representation
  • But accepted Reservation for SC & ST in proportion of their population
  • Originally till 1960, 95th Amendment,2005 reserved till 2020
  • But there are not any separate electorate for them

Delimitation Process


  • After each Census , readjustment to be done in allocation of seats in Lok Sabha to States and division of each State into Constituency
  • For this , Parliament constituted Delimitation Commission Act in 52,62,72,2002
    • 42nd Amendment – froze all till 2000
    • 87 Amendment, 2003 -frozen number of Seats to States  till 2026 on basis of 1971 Census but States can readjust Constituencies on basis  of 2001 Census

Side Topic : Why 1971 Census?

During 1970s, Government started Population Control via Family Planning. But States which took a lead in population control faced the prospect of their number of seats getting reduced . To allay this apprehension Forty-second Constitutional Amendment Act effected a freeze on the population figure with reference to the 1971 Census 

Delimitation Dilemma post 2026

  • An increase in number of seats in both Houses of the Indian Parliament is expected post 2026.
    • Population 2011 Census :  121 Crore,
    • Population 1971 Census :  55 crore
  • Hence, there is need to increase number of representatives .
  • Presently, India has  highest population per MP . (15 lakh/MP)
Inhabitants per MP (thousands) 
Arab States 
1 ,500.oo 
  • There is dilution of Principle of “One Citizen One Vote” . Eg : MP of Rajasthan represents 30 Lakh people while that of Tamil Nadu represents 18 lakh . This needs to be balanced .
Tamil Nadu 
Loss 2071 
  • Concerns expressed by the States in 1976 which necessitated the freezing of seat allocation on the basis of 1971 population figures would appear to hold good even today
  • There is a need to start a  debate now on how to deal with the problems that are likely to arise else we will be forced to postpone the lifting of the freeze to a future date as was done in 2001.

Membership of Parliament

Qualifications as laid down by Constitution 

  • Citizen of India
  • Not less than 30 years of age for Rajya Sabha
  • Not less than 25 years of age for Lok Sabha
  • Must have other qualifications as laid down by the Parliament

Qualifications made by  Parliament under Representation of Public Act, 1951

  • Must be a registered elector for a Parliamentary Constituency (ie any constituency in India
  • Above condition is same for both Lok Sabha  & Raj Sabha  (The requirement that a candidate contesting an election to Rajya Sabha from a particular State should be an elector in that particular State was dispensed with in 2003. The same was upheld by Supreme Court in 2006 in Kuldeep Nayyar vs Union of India . )
  • He must be a member of SC/ST in any state or UT if he wants to contest a seat reserved for him . But , member of SC/ST can also contest a seat not reserved for him


  • Holds Office of Profit  under Union or State Government
  • Of unsound mind
  • Undischarged  insolvent (ie declared bankrupt)
  • Not citizen of India / voluntarily acquired citizenship of a foreign state
  • Disqualified under any law made by the Parliament

Parliament disqualification under Representation of Public Act, 1951

  • Must not have been found guilty of certain Election Offences or Corrupt Practices in the elections
  • Must not have been convicted for any offence resulting in imprisonment for two or more years. But the detention of a person under a Preventive Detention law doesnot amount to disqualification
  • Must not have failed to lodge an account of election expenses within time
  • Must not have any interest in Government contracts /works/ services
  • Must not be a Director or Managing Director or hold an Office of Profit  in a corporation in which government has atleast 25% share
  • Must not have been dismissed from Government service for corruption /disloyalty to state
  • Must not have been convicted for promoting enmity between different groups or for the offence of bribery
  • Must not have been punished for preaching & practicing social crimes like untouchability, dowry etc

On the question whether a member is subject to any of the above disqualifications, the President’s decision is final . However, he should obtain opinion from the Election Commission & act accordingly .

Disqualification on Ground of Defection

Under the Provisions of Schedule 10

  1. If he voluntarily gives up the membership of the Political Party on whose ticket he is elected to the house
  2. If he votes /abstains from voting in the House contrary to any direction given by his Political Party
  3. If any independently elected member joins any Political Party
  4. If any nominated member joins any Political Party after the expiry of 6 months

The question of disqualification under Schedule 10 is decided by

  1. Chairman for Rajya Sabha 
  2. Speaker for Lok Sabha
  3. And not by the President

In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that the decision of the Chairman / Speaker in this regard is subject to the Judicial Review

Vacating seats Article  101

1 . Double Membership

  • A Person cannot be a Member of both Houses .
  • Representation of Public Act, 1951 provides :
    1. If a Person is elected to both Houses of Parliament , he must intimate within 10 days in which house he desires to serve . In default of such intimation, his seat in RS becomes vacant.
    2. If a sitting Member of one House is also elected to the other House , his seat in the first House becomes vacant.
    3. If a person is elected to two seats in a house , he should exercise his option for one . Otherwise both seats become vacant .
  • A person cannot be a member of Parliament & State Legislature at the same time. If a person is so elected , his seat in Parliament becomes vacant if he doesn’t resign his seat in State Legislature within 14 days.

2. Disqualification

  • Laid down by the Constitution & Schedule 10 also

3. Resignation

  • May resign his seat  by writing to Chairman of RS or Speaker of Lok Sabha
  • Chairman /Speaker may not accept the resignation if not voluntary or genuine

4. Absence

  • Absent from meetings of the house for a period of 60 days can lead to disqualification
  • Any period during which the house is prorogued / adjourned for more than 4 consecutive days is not counted in 60 days

Note :-

  • If the disqualified person is elected to Parliament , Constitution has no provisions to declare the election void . This is dealt by Representation of People Act , 1951 which enables the High Court to declare the election void if disqualified candidate is elected
  • Appeal to this shall lie with the Supreme Court

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