Q. Discuss the role of Presiding Officers of state legislatures in maintaining order and impartiality in conducting legislative work and in facilitating best democratic practices. (150 Words, UPSC Mains 2023)14 Nov, 2023 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance
- Begin by introducing the offices of Presiding officers of State Legislatures (Speaker and Chairman).
- Discuss the role of Presiding Officers in maintaining order and impartiality, and facilitating democratic practices.
- Conclude by emphasizing the role of presiding officers.
The Speaker of Legislative Assembly and Chairman of Legislative Council, act as the Presiding Officer of their respective houses, as per Articles 178 and 182. They ensure smooth functioning of their houses as per the rules of procedure.
Role of Presiding Officers
- Maintaining Order:
- Presiding Officers have the power to expel members, call for order, and even adjourn meetings to make sure the decorum of the house is maintained.
- They can intervene if unparliamentary language is used, or personal attacks are carried out.
- They can penalise members, e.g., Maharashtra member disqualification.
- Maintaining Impartiality:
- Presiding Officers ensure equal participatory opportunities for all members and all parties.
- While the Presiding Officers do not vote on a matter at first instance, in the case of tie of votes, they can put in a deciding vote.
- Facilitating Democratic Practices
- They create a healthy environment for conversation with contrasting views.
- They help safeguard the minority rights and ensure active participation in discourse
- They ensure constitutional compliance in the process.
By ensuring the fulfilment of their duties, the Presiding Officers of state legislatures ensure democratic and constitutionally compliant sessions of the houses.
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