Parliament of India (link)
What is Parliament
It is a democratic government’s legislature. A legislature is a decision-making organisation/a group of people who have the power to make and change laws. Parliament comes from the old French word – ‘Parlement’ which meant speech, discussion.
Why do we need a Parliament
1) To legislate. It is the supreme power of legislature – makes, amends and abolishes laws.
2) Centre of democratic process – debates & discussions, protests, unanimity, walk-outs, demonstrations.
3) Basis of representative democracy. Most representative organ of a democracy.
4) Exercises control over the Executive – the PM and his Cabinet. Government can run only with people’s majority in the people’s houses.
5) Budget is decided in Parliament. Sanction on expenditure of public money.
6) Forum to ventilate people’s grievances. Forum to seek information.
Functions of Parliament
Legislation – Proposals are ‘introduced’ by the government (parliament plays limited role in ‘initiating’ legislature). But it’s the Parliament that gives final approval without which bill cannot enter the statue book.
Control over Executive – Council of ministers is responsible to Lok Sabha, which can remove the government by a no-confidence motion.
Control over budget – Parliament approves budget after discussion and voting. Lok Sabha has the power accept/refuse/reduce the amount of a grant.
Representation – Parliament represents the divergent views of members from different regional, social, economic, religious groups of different parts of the country. High lighting people’s grievances – members make use of question hour, sort discussions etc.
Debating Function – Highest forum of debate in the country. No limitation on its power of discussion. Members are free to speak on any matter without fear. Parliamentary Privilege: No action can be taken against a member for whatever he may have said in the legislature.
Constituent Function – Discussing and enacting changes to the constitution.
Electing – President and Vice President. Removal of President & Vice President
Judicial – Considering proposals for removing High court and Supreme court judges.
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