Duration of Two Houses

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Duration of the Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha, which was first established in 1952, is a continuing chamber, meaning it is an ongoing entity that cannot be dissolved. However, every two years, one-third of its members retire. At the start of every third year, new elections and presidential nominations fill their positions. The retiring members are up for a limitless number of elections and nominations.
The Constitution left it up to the Parliament to determine the Rajya Sabha members’ terms of office. As a result, the Parliament stipulated in the Representation of the People Act (1951) that a Rajya Sabha member’s term of office shall be six years. The act also gave the president of India the authority to shorten the terms of Rajya Sabha members. Who should retire in the initial group was chosen by random.
The act also granted the President the authority to establish rules governing the Rajya Sabha members’ order of retirement.

Duration of the Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha is not a continuing chamber, in contrast to the Rajya Sabha. It normally has a five-year tenure that ends with an automatic dissolution five years after the date of its first meeting following the general elections. The Lok Sabha can be dissolved by the President at any time, even before the five-year mark, and this decision cannot be contested in court.
Additionally, a law of Parliament may prolong the Lok Sabha’s tenure during a state of emergency for periods of up to one year at a time. This extension, however, is only valid for a maximum of six months after the emergency has ended.

Main Features of these Two House’s Durations

A critical component of the nation’s legislative process is the length of the two houses of the Indian Parliament, the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States). The following are the main features of these two houses’ durations:

Lok Sabha first session

  • Five-Year Term: India’s citizens directly elect the Lok Sabha, which is the country’s lower house of parliament. According to the Indian Constitution, it has a fixed duration of five years. This means that unless the Lok Sabha is dissolved earlier, general elections to the Lok Sabha must be held every five years.
  • Dissolution: Before the end of its five-year tenure, the President of India may dissolve the Lok Sabha on the advice of the Prime Minister. This frequently occurs when the majority of the government is lost or when the prime minister suggests early elections.
  • Accountability: The five-year term guarantees that Lok Sabha members are answerable to the electorate for a suitable amount of time, enabling them to carry out their duties, put policies into effect, and run for re-election based on their performance.

Rajya Sabha Period of Time

  • Indirectly Elected: Rajya Sabha, the upper chamber of Parliament, is indirectly elected on behalf of India’s states and union territories. Its members are not chosen by popular vote, unlike the Lok Sabha. Using a proportional representation system, the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies and the members of the Electoral College for Union Territories elect the members of the Rajya Sabha.
  • Six-Year Term: Members of the Rajya Sabha serve set terms of six years. The Rajya Sabha is a permanent body, in contrast to the Lok Sabha, and one-third of its members retire every two years. The house will remain consistent thanks to this staggered retirement strategy.
  • Stability: The longer term of the Rajya Sabha than the Lok Sabha gives the legislative process a sense of stability and continuity. Members are able to concentrate on long-term policy planning and take into account challenges that might not be connected to the electoral cycle.

Complementarity

  • Bicameral Legislature: India’s bicameral legislature is made up of the two houses, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha reflects the interests of the states and union territories, whereas the Lok Sabha, which is directly elected, represents the will of the people. These houses’ various lifespans are a reflection of their various functions.
  • Checks and Balances: The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha’s various terms help to maintain a system of checks and balances in Indian democracy. While the Rajya Sabha offers a platform for evaluating and modifying legislation over a longer period of time, the Lok Sabha reflects the people’s current mandate.

Provisions of the Constitution

  • Constitutional Framework: Articles 81, 82, and 83 of the Indian Constitution specify the terms and procedures for the Lok Sabha, whereas Articles 80, 81, and 83 specify the terms and procedures for the Rajya Sabha.
  • Amendment Process: Changes to the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha’s terms would need to be changed through a constitutional amendment, which is a lengthy and involved procedure. This ensures that any changes are made carefully and with proper deliberation.

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