Legislative Assembly vs. Legislative Council

Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) like the Lok Sabha, occupies a dominant position.

Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) enjoys much less powers as compared to the powers of Vidhan Sabha even in relation to ordinary bills.

The Rajya Sabha at the Centre enjoys equal powers in consideration of bills other than money bills, but Vidhan Parishad enjoys much lesser powers as compared to the Rajya Sabha.

The relative position of the Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad is as under:

In Relation to Ordinary Bills

In case of the Parliament, if there is disagreement between the two Houses over an ordinary bill, the President summons a joint sitting of both the Houses and if the bill is passed there by the majority of votes, the bill is taken as passed by both Houses of the Parliament.

But this provision of the joint sitting does not exist in the States.

Although an ordinary bill can originate in either House of the State Legislature, yet both Houses have unequal powers.

If a bill is passed in the Vidhan Sabha, it is transmitted to the Vidhan Parishad for consideration.

When it is passed by Vidhan Parishad without any amendment, the bill is sent to the Governor for his assent.

In case, the bill is

[a] rejected by the Parishad or

[b] more than three months elapsed without the bill being passed by the Parishad, or

[c] bill is passed with an amendment to which the Vidhan Sabha does not agree, the Vidhan Sabha may pass the bill again in the same or in the subsequent session.

After that, the bill is again sent to the Vidhan Parishad.

If the Vidhan Parishad does not return the bill within a period of one month, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both Houses of the State Legislature and is sent to Governor for his assent.

Thus the Vidhan Parishad can delay the bill for a maximum period of four months.

On the other hand, if the bill is first passed by the Vidhan Parishad and rejected by the Vidhan Sabha, the bill is rejected and cannot become a law.


In Relation to Money Bills

Like in the Lok Sabha, money bill is introduced first in Vidhan Sabha.

It cannot be initiated in the Vidhan Parishad.

The Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha certifies whether a particular bill is a money bill.

After the bill is passed in the Vidhan Sabha, it is sent to the Vidhan Parishad.

The Vidhan Parishad gets 14 days time to consider the bill.

If the Parishad passes the bill, it is sent to the Governor for his assent.

If the bill is not returned by the Vidhan Parishad within 14 days, it is deemed to have been passed by the Vidhan Parishad.

If it suggests certain changes in the bill and sends to Vidhan Sabha, the Vidhan Sabha may accept or reject the changes suggested by the Parishad.

The bill is then sent to the Governor for his assent who is bound to give his assent.


Control over the Executive

The Council of Ministers of the State is responsible to the Vidhan Sabha only and remains in the office so long as it enjoys the confidence of the Assembly (Vidhan Sabha).

Although members in the Vidhan Parishad can ask questions, introduce adjournment motions, calling attention notices, etc. yet the Vidhan Parishad cannot remove the government.


Electoral Functions

Only the elected members of the Vidhan Sabha are entitled to participate in the election of the President of India.

The members of the Vidhan Sabha do so in their capacity as the members of the Electoral College.

But the members of the Vidhan Parishad are not entitled to vote in the election of the President.

Members of the Rajya Sabha from each State are elected only by the members of Assembly and not of the Council.


The above discussion makes it clear that the Vidhan Parishad is powerless and non-influential House.

It has become a secondary House.

But the Vidhan Parishad is not superfluous.

It serves as a check on hasty Legislation made by Vidhan Sabha by highlighting the short bills comings or defects of the bill.

It lessens the burden of the Vidhan Sabha, as some bills are initiated in the Vidhan Parishad.