Question – 1. Parliamentary system is a basic structure of constitution but not bicameralism. Should Rajya sabha be abolished in lieu of its diminished authority? Comment.
Answer: India is a bicameral parliamentary democracy. Lok sabha and Rajya sabha make up two of the legislative bodies. Rajya sabha has often been criticised that it doesn’t serve any purpose as its members are not directly elected and hence are not accountable to the people.
Basic structure doctrine
- The basic structure doctrine of the constitution recognises that certain features of the constitution are permanent and cannot be altered by the parliament.
- Parliamentary form of government is one of the basic structure and is central to Indian constitution.
Drawbacks of Rajya sabha
- Drain on resources and time
Critics say that many of the members do not have interest in law making. They do not attend sessions and derive pays and benefits.
- Impediment in law making
Rajya Sabha has been criticised for acting as impediment for laws to be passed. Since bills can only become law after being passed by both houses, law-making process is hindered.
- Issue of nomination
Rajya sabha has provisions for nominating 12 members. They are neither directly or indirectly elected. They can become ministers without even facing any sort of elections.
Importance of Rajya sabha
- Revisionary body of laws
Rajya sabha prevents hasty decision making by Lok sabha. They take time to study bills and ensure that all concerns are addressed before a law is made.
- Expert advice
Experts, who cannot win direct elections, can provide their expertise through Rajya sabha. Without expertise, the whole law making process will be at the mercy of bureaucrats.
If not for Rajya sabha, ruling party will use its brute strength to impose emergencies. Since Rajya sabha approval is needed, emergency will be imposed only through consensual decision.
Thus, Rajya sabha has its own importance. In the current situation where coalition governments are rare, Rajya sabha provides voice to opposition parties.
Tags: GS 2 ( Polity and Governance)
By – Raghunandan