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Discuss the powers and functions of Loksabha

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1. Legislative functions: The power of Loksabha extends to all subjects falling under the Union List and the Concurrent list. In case of emergency in operation, its power also extends to the State list as well. No bill can become a law without the consent of Loksabha. The Loksabha has equal powers of law-making with Rajyasabha except on financial matters where the supremacy of Loksabha is total.

In case of disagreement between the two houses on a matter of legislation, it is resolved by a Joint Sitting of both the houses presided over by the Speaker. In a Joint Sitting, Loksabha would emerge triumphant because tire decisions are taken by a majority of the total number of members of both the house present and voting in which the numerical superiority of Loksabha prevails.

2. Financial functions: On financial matters, the supremacy of the Loksabha is total and complete. “One, who holds a purse, holds power,” said James Madison. By establishing its authority over the national purse, Loksabha establishes its authority over the Rajyasabha. It is expressly stated that the Money bill can originate only in the house of people. Regarding budget, Loksabha being a representative house enjoys total authority. Loksabha’s position on financial matters is such that the demands for grants are placed only before the Loksabha.

3. Control over the executive: The Loksabha enjoys direct control over the executive because; the executive is directly responsible to the lower house and stays in office as long as it enjoys the confidence of the house. The Loksabha not only makes laws but also supervises the implementation. The lower house being a debating house, the members are free to seek information from the executive and raise questions and seek clarifications. The members can effectively seek information from the government by way of discussions and debates during the Question Hour (seek clarification), the Adjournment Motion (raises issues of national importance), the Zero Hour, the Cu motion, the Call-attention motion, etc. The soundest way of controlling the executive is by way of moving the No-confidence motion, if the executive fails to win the support of Lok sabha, they must step down.

4. Constituent functions: The Loksabha shares equal powers in regard to amending provisions of the constitution. An amendment may be initiated either in the Rajyasabha or Loksabha and must be passed by a 2/3 majority in both the houses present and voting. The agreement of Rajyasabha is compulsory for the success of the constitutional amendment.

5. Electoral functions: The Loksabha and Rajyasabha elect the highest constitutional functionaries such as the President and the Vice-president. The President is elected by the members of Loksabha and Rajyasabha along with the members of Legislative Assemblies of the states. The Vice-president is elected by members of Loksabha and Rajyasabha.

6. Judicial functions: The Loksabha acts as a judge in the impeachment of the President. Either house can prefer the charge of impeachment. If Rajyasabha prefers the charge, Loksabha investigates the charge and if it passes a resolution by a 2/3 majority of the total membership of the house. President stands impeached from the office. The Loksabha also sits in Judgement, along with the Rajyasabha, in removing high constitutional functionaries such as the Comptroller and Auditor General, The Chief Vigilance Commissioner, the Chief Election Commissioner, etc.

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