ARTICLE 178

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ARTICLE 178 OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION

Article 178 of the Indian Constitution talks about the the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. As custodians of order and fairness within the assembly, they play an integral role in maintaining decorum during debates, ensuring the smooth conduct of proceedings, and upholding the principles of democracy.

What does Article 178 states ?

The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

  • Every Legislative Assembly of a State shall, as soon as may be, choose two members of the Assembly to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speakers thereof and, so often as the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, the Assembly shall choose another member to be Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

  • The Speaker, an impartial and influential figure, serves as the presiding officer of the assembly and ensures the orderly conduct of its proceedings. Elected by the members of the assembly, the Speaker is vested with the authority to maintain decorum, make rulings on parliamentary procedures, and give members the opportunity to express their views.
  • Beyond the procedural aspect, the Speaker is a guardian of the legislative process, upholding democratic values by fostering open debates, safeguarding minority opinions, and promoting transparency.

Deputy Speaker Of Legislative Assembly

  • The Deputy Speaker, second in command to the Speaker, plays a crucial role in maintaining order, facilitating debates, and ensuring the smooth functioning of the assembly. Elected by the members of the assembly, the Deputy Speaker steps in when the Speaker is absent or unable to preside over proceedings.
  • This includes upholding parliamentary rules, managing discussions, and making impartial decisions on procedural matters. The Deputy Speaker’s role embodies the principles of fairness, neutrality, and efficiency, contributing significantly to the effective functioning of the legislative process.

Key Aspects of Article 178

  1. Electing the Speaker and Deputy Speaker: Article 178 mandates that each State’s Legislative Assembly must select two of its members to serve as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. These individuals play pivotal roles in presiding over assembly proceedings, maintaining order, and upholding the principles of parliamentary democracy.
  2. Ensuring Prompt Elections: The article emphasizes the need for a swift selection process for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. This ensures that the assembly can effectively commence its legislative functions and debates without undue delay.
  3. Importance of Leadership: The positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker are crucial in maintaining the integrity and decorum of the Legislative Assembly. These individuals are responsible for ensuring that debates are conducted in a civil and organized manner, allowing members to express their views while adhering to established parliamentary procedures.
  4. Presiding Over Sessions: The Speaker, as the presiding officer, holds a position of authority during assembly sessions. They facilitate discussions, maintain order, and have the power to call members to order if parliamentary rules are violated.
  5. Deputy Speaker’s Role: The Deputy Speaker assists the Speaker and takes on their responsibilities in their absence. This ensures continuity in the functioning of the assembly, allowing for the seamless conduct of proceedings.
  6. Addressing Vacancies: In the event that the office of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant due to resignation, removal, or other reasons, the Legislative Assembly must promptly elect new individuals to fill these positions. This guarantees the continuity of leadership within the assembly.
  7. Stability in Governance: The provision for promptly electing replacements when the Speaker or Deputy Speaker positions become vacant ensures that there is no vacuum in leadership. This contributes to the stability of the legislative body and prevents any disruptions in its functioning.
  8. Democratic Values: Article 178 reflects the democratic values of representation and accountability. By electing members of the assembly to these positions, the legislature ensures that its leadership is drawn from within its own ranks, fostering a sense of responsibility to the electorate.
  9. Parliamentary Tradition: The roles and responsibilities of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are rooted in long-standing parliamentary traditions. These roles are meant to maintain the fairness, decorum, and efficiency of the legislative process.
  10. Continuity of Operations: The provision for selecting new Speakers and Deputy Speakers when vacancies arise reflects a commitment to the continuous operation of the legislative machinery. This is essential for the enactment of laws, oversight of the executive, and representation of the people’s interests.

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