TWO HOUSES (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) of the Parliament of India
The Rajya Sabha (RS) or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Rajya means “state” and Sabha means “assembly” in Sanskrit. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are nominated by the President of India for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. The remainder of body is elected by the state and territorial legislatures. Members sit for six-year terms, with one third of the members retiring every two years.
Duration of Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha (first constituted in 1952) is a continuing chamber, that is, it is a permanent body and not subject to dissolution. However, one-third of its members retire every second year. Their seats are filled up by fresh elections and presidential nominations at the beginning of every third year. The retiring members are eligible for re-election and re-nomination any number of times.
The Constitution has not fixed the term of office of members of the Rajya Sabha and left it to the Parliament. Accordingly, the Parliament in the Representation of the People Act (1951) provided that the term of office of a member of the Rajya Sabha shall be six years. The act also empowered the president of India to curtail the term of members chosen in the decided by lottery as to who should retire. Further, the act also authorized the President to make provisions to govern the order of retirement of the members of the Rajya sabha.
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult franchise. The Constitution limits the Lok Sabha to a maximum of 552 members, including not more than 20 members representing people from the Union Territories, and two appointed non-partisan members to represent the Anglo-Indian community (if the President feels that the community is not adequately represented).
Duration of Lok Sabha
Unlike the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha is not a continuing chamber. Its normal term is five years from the date of its first meeting after the general elections, after which it automatically dissolves. However, the President is authorized to dissolve the Lok sabha at any time even before the completion of five years and this cannot be challenged in a court of law.
Further, the term of the Lok Sabha can be extended during the period of national emergency bee a law of Parliament for one year at a time for any length of time. However, this extension cannot continue beyond a period of six months after the emergency has ceased to operate.