The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha

The Speaker Lok Sabha—

The presiding officer of Lok Sabha is known as Speaker.

He/she is given a very high position in the order of precedence. He/she is placed at seventh rank, along with the Chief Justice of India.

This means, he has a higher rank than all cabinet ministers, except the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister.

The members of the House elect him/her.

Whenever the office of the Speaker falls vacant, the Lok Sabha elects another member to fill the vacancy.

The date of election of the Speaker is fixed by the President.

He/she remains the Speaker even after Lok Sabha is dissolved till the next House elects a new Speaker in his/her place.

In his/her absence, a Deputy Speaker who is also elected by the House presides over the meetings.

He/she can be removed from office by a resolution of Lok Sabha passed by an absolute majority and not by an ordinary majority.

His/her powers of regulating procedure or conducting business or maintaining order in the House are not subject to the jurisdiction of any Court.

His/her salaries and allowances are fixed by Parliament. They are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India and thus are not subject to the annual vote of Parliament.

Some of the powers and functions of the speaker are given below:

The basic function of the Speaker is to preside over the house and conduct the meetings of the House in orderly manner.

No member can speak in the House without his/her permission.

He/she may ask a member to finish his speech and in case the member does not obey he/she may order that the speech should not be recorded.

All the Bills, reports, motions and resolutions are introduced with Speaker’s permission.

He/she puts the motion or bill to vote.

He/she does not participate in the voting but when there is a tie i.e. equal number of votes on both sides, he/she can use his casting vote.

But he/she is expected to caste his/her vote in a manner so that her impartiality and independence is retained.

His/her decisions in all parliamentary matters are final.

He/she also rules on points of order raised by the members and his/her decision is final.

He/she is the custodian of rights and privileges of the members.

He/she decides the questions of disqualification of a member of the Lok Sabha, arising on the ground of defection under the provisions of the Tenth Schedule.

He/she also accepts the resignation of members and decides about the genuineness of the resignation.

In case of joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the Speaker presides over the meeting.

He/she acts as the ex-officio chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

He/she also acts as the ex-officio chairman of the conference of presiding officers of legislative bodies in the country.

He/she himself/herself is the chairman of the Business Advisory Committee, the Rules Committee and the General Purpose Committee.

The Speaker decides whether a bill is a money bill or not and his decision on this question is final.


Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha—

The Deputy Speaker is elected by the Lok Sabha itself from amongst its members.

He/she is elected after the election of the Speaker has taken place.

The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker remains in office usually during the life of the Lok Sabha.

However, he/she may vacate his office earlier in any of the following three cases:

[1] If he/she ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha;

[2] If he/she resigns by writing to the Speaker; and

[3] If he/she is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Lok Sabha. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days advance notice.

The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speaker’s office when it is vacant.

He/she also presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, in case the Speaker is absent from such a sitting.

Whenever he/she is appointed as a member of a parliamentary committee, he automatically becomes its chairman.

While presiding over the House, he/she cannot vote in the first instance; he can only exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie.

When a resolution for the removal of the Deputy Speaker is under consideration of the House, he/she cannot preside at the sitting of the House, though he may be present.

His/her salary and allowance fixed by Parliament, and charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.

Upto the 10th Lok Sabha, both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were usually from the ruling party.

Since the 11th Lok Sabha, there has been a consensus that the Speaker comes from the ruling party and the post of Deputy Speaker goes to the main opposition party.