In federal representation the state is important. In India, the members of the Rajyasabha are indirectly elected for 6 yrs but 1/3rd of them will retire even. 2 yrs. The Rajyasabha has 250 members out of whom 12 are nominated by the president for their contributions to science, literature, art and social service. The remaining 238 members are indirectly elected by the state legislative assemblies through a system of proportional representation.
The powers and functions of Rajyasabha are as follows:
1. Legislative functions: Oh legislative matters, the Rajyasabha enjoys powers with the Loksabha except in case of a Money Bill or Financial Bill. Nonmoney Bill can originate in Rajyasabha and must get a 2/3 majority in the House and then proceeds to the Loksabha. The approval of both Houses is essential for a bill to become a law.
In case of disagreement between the two Houses on a bill, both the houses sit on a joint sitting presided by the speaker and the deadlock is resolved by a majority of the total number of members of both the houses present and voting.
2. Financial functions: On the financial front, the Rajyasabha virtually has no powers. The procedure to deal with Money bills clearly states that a Money bill or financial bill cannot originate in the Rajyasabha. The Rajyasabha may discuss and suggest changes but have no right to reject or amend a Money Bill. It is left to the Loksabha to accept or reject its recommendations. In case, the Rajyasabha does not send back a Money bill back to the Loksabha within 14 days from the date of receipt of the bill, the bill is deemed passed, in the original form, by both the Houses.
3. Control over the executive: The Rajyasabha’s hold over the executive is very minimal because the executive is not directly responsible to the upper house. However, it can seek information, and make clarifications on various policy matters. On issues of national and local importance, the members can grill the executive during debates and discussions during the Question Hour, the Adjournment motion, the Zero Hour, the Cut-Motion, Call- attention Motion, etc.
4. Constituent functions: The Rajyasabha enjoys full powers with Loksabha in executing constituent functions. An amendment to provisions of the constitution can be initiated in either House of the parliament and must be passed by a 2/3 majority’ in both the Houses present and voting. If Rajyasabha does not pass an amendment bill, the amendment Bill stands defeated. In some special provisions apart from the 2/3 majority in both house of parliament and ratification by not less than 1/2 of the states is necessary.
5. Electoral functions: The Rajyasabha shares the privilege of electing the highest constitutional functionaries, the President and Vice-president. The President is elected by an electoral college consisting of the members of parliament along with the members of the State legislative assemblies. The members of both the houses of parliament elect the Vice-president.
6. Judicial functions: The impeachment move against the President may be initiated in either house of the parliament. If Loksabha prefers the charge, Rajyasabha investigates the charge and passes a resolution by a 2/3 majority of the total membership of the house, then the President stands impeached.
There is no need for an impeachment against the Vice president who may be removed by a resolution of Rajyasabha passed by the majority of its members and consented to it by Loksabha. The Rajyasabha also participates in the removal of the highest constitutional functionaries such as the Chief Election Commissioner, the Vigilance Commissioner, etc.
7. Miscellaneous functions:
The Rajyasabha performs other functions as well as
1. By a resolution Rajyasabha can create one or more All India Services.
2. Continuation of emergency beyond the specified time must come before the Rajyasabha and Loksabha.
3. Orders made by the President suspending enforcement of fundamental rights is required to be laid before the Rajyasabha and Loksabha.
4. According to Article 249, the Rajyasabha by a resolution can ask the parliament to legislate on certain subjects in the State list.