DMPQ-“Healthy bicameralism is predicated on the constructive relationship between Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament.” Analyse the contemporary relevance of the statement.

“The makers of our Constitution envisaged the role of the Rajya Sabha along three axes: as a legislative chamber of elders discussing, revising or delaying legislation as per need; as an institution where interests of the states of the Indian Union could be projected and safeguarded and; as a deliberative chamber where greater and diverse experience is brought to bear on questions of significance. The essence of democracy is participatory governance. Experience the world over has shown that this ensures responsiveness and transparency.”- Hamid Ansari

 

  • It is often said that House of the People and Council of States are the two functional wheels of Indian Parliament.
  • Hence, the mandates that underlie the composition of the houses necessitate that the houses are to retain their functional independence and may not be mere instrumentalities of partisan politics.
  • As it may not be easy for the party in power at the centre having confidence of House of the People, to have majority in Council of States as well, the constitutionally envisaged role of Council being a meaningful revisory house gets miscast, if extreme politicization of legislative procedure happens.
  • This, in turn, leads to vetoing the mandate of the people in favour of the government of the day which has the confidence of House of the People.
  • Similarly, the constitutionally ascribed role of Council of States may get subverted if financial bills are getting certified as money bills to get over the objection on the floor of the Council, as was contended by a member of Rajya Sabha whose writ petition challenging the certification of Aadhar Bill as money bill had been pending for the consideration of a Constitution bench.

Hence, one of the greatest challenges of the houses of Indian Parliament is to reclaim their relative functional autonomy so that the institutions do not remain subjected to excessive politicization.

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