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Deputy Speaker

Supreme Court sought a response from the Centre on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that contends that not electing a Deputy Speaker to the 17th (present) Lok Sabha, since 2019, is “against the letter and spirit of the Constitution".

Post Vacant for 2 years

Supreme Court sought a response from the Centre on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that contends that not electing a Deputy Speaker to the 17th (present) Lok Sabha, since 2019, is “against the letter and spirit of the Constitution”.

What are the Constitutional Provisions?

Article 93 says that the House of the People (Lok Sabha) shall, as soon as may be, choose two members to be Speaker and Deputy Speaker so often as the offices become vacant. However, it does not provide a specific time frame.

Article 178 contains the corresponding position for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of a state.

What are the Different Viewpoints on the Matter?

Experts point out that both Articles 93 and 178 use the word “shall”, indicating that the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker is mandatory under the Constitution.

What is an argument from Union Government regarding Vacancy?

The government argues that there is no “immediate requirement” for a Deputy Speaker as “bills are being passed and discussions are being held” as normal in the House.

Further, there is a panel of nine members selected from different parties who can act as chairpersons to assist the Speaker to run the House.

Can the Court Interferein the Matter?

Article 122 says, “The validity of any proceedings in Parliament shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure.”

Courts usually don’t intervene in the procedural conduct of Parliament.

However, Experts argue that the courts do have jurisdiction to at least inquire into why there has been no election to the post of Deputy Speaker since the Constitution does envisage an election “as soon as may be”.

What are the Provisions Regarding Deputy Speaker?

Election: In Lok Sabha, the election of a Deputy Speaker is governed by Rule 8 of The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.

The Deputy Speaker is elected by the Lok Sabha from amongst its members right after the election of the Speaker. The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the Speaker.

What is Time Frame for the election of the deputy Speaker?

The election of the Deputy Speaker usually takes place in the second session and is generally not delayed further in the absence of genuine and unavoidable constraints.

What arethe Terms of Office and Removal process for the deputy speaker?

Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker remains in the office usually for the entire duration of the House (5 years).

The Deputy Speaker may vacate his/her office earlier in any of the following three cases:

If he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha.

If he resigns by writing to the Speaker.

If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the then members of the Lok Sabha. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.

What is the constitutional position of the Deputy Speaker?

Under 95 The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speaker’s office when it is vacant and acts as the Speaker when the latter is absent from the sitting of the House. In both cases, he assumes all the powers of the Speaker.

Deputy Speaker is not subordinate to the Speaker. He is directly responsible to the House. Consequently, if either of them wishes to resign, they must submit their resignation to the House which implies that Speaker gives the resignation to Deputy Speaker.

What is the Need fora Deputy Speaker?

Maintains Continuity: Deputy Speaker maintains continuity of the office whenever the speaker is absent or the office becomes vacant.

Represents The House: If Speaker resigns, he/she tenders resignation to Deputy Speaker.

If the post of Deputy Speaker is vacant the Secretary-General receives the letter of resignation and informs the House about it. The resignation is notified in the Gazette and the Bulletin, as per the Rules for Presiding Officers of Lok Sabha.

Strengthens the Opposition: Since 2011, the convention has been to offer the position of deputy Speaker to the Opposition party.

Though Constitutionally, the Deputy speaker can be from the Opposition or Majority party.

Read Also:- 9th Schedule (Issue Of Karnataka Reservation)

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