Question : “The Rajya Sabha is a weaker house as compared to the Lok Sabha.” Comment critically. (UPSC mains , PCS mains exams)
In some cases Rajya Sabha has equal rights to Lok Sabha , in some cases Lok Sabha has more power than Rajya Sabha and in some cases Rajya Sabha also has more power than Lok Sabha , we need to discuss all facts here to clarify our answer.
Answer : The position of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha is the same in many matters such as :- Introduction and passing of ordinary Bills and Constitutional Bills , President election and impeachment, Vice-President election, Ordinances and Emergency approval, Consideration of reports of Constitutional commissions like Finance Commission, UPSC, CAG etc. But there are many subjects in which the Lok Sabha has more powers than the Rajya Sabha, such as –
1. Only the Speaker of the Lok Sabha can declares a bill as a Money Bill. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha only has the authority to declare any bill as a Money Bill.
2. Money Bill can be introduced only in Lok Sabha. Money Bill can not be introduced in Rajya Sabha.
3. The Rajya Sabha cannot reject or amend a Money Bill and the recommendations made by Rajya Sabha are not binding on the Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha can not make any changes to any Money Bill , Rajya Sabha only can give suggestions or recommendations to Lok Sabha to make any change but it is on Lok Sabha for considering them or not , these recommendations do not forcefully applied to Lok Sabha.
4. Finance Bill – It can be introduced only in Lok Sabha. Finance Bill also can not introduced in Rajya Sabha.
5. Rajya Sabha can only discuss the budget , Rajya Sabha cannot vote on demands for grants.
6. The joint sitting of both the Houses is presided over by the Speaker of Lok Sabha and the number of Lok Sabha
members is twice that of Rajya Sabha. so here the majority of Lok Sabha can be seen here in voting , so we can say that in joint sitting the power of Rajya Sabha is seems lower than Lok Sabha.
7. The resolution to end the national emergency can be passed only by the Lok Sabha. To end national emergency declared by president of India can be end by a resolution which need to passed by the Lok Sabha.
8. Rajya Sabha cannot dissolve the Council of Ministers. But Lok Sabha has power to dissolve the Council of Ministers.
Therefore, the Rajya Sabha is weaker than the Lok Sabha in many respects, but it also has some special powers, Such as: – Authorizing the Parliament to make laws on the subject of the State List, (Article 249): Authorizing the Parliament for Formation of new all India Services (Article 312), only Rajya Sabha can remove Vice-President from office.
conclusion : In conclusion, in our constitutional system, the Rajya Sabha has been made neither as weak as the House of Lords (England system) nor very powerful like the US Senate (USA system), which is appropriate according to our diverse cultural democracy of our country.