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Article 169 states: Abolition or creation of Legislative Councils in States

(1) Notwithstanding anything in Article 168, Parliament may by law provide for
the abolition of the Legislative Council of a State having such a Council or for the
creation of such a Council in a State having no such Council, if the Legislative
Assembly of the State passes a resolution to that effect by a majority of the total
membership of the Assembly and by a majority of not less than two thirds of the
members of the Assembly present and voting
(2) Any law referred to in clause ( 1 ) shall contain such provisions for the
amendment of this Constitution as may be necessary to give effect to the
provisions of the law and may also contain such supplemental, incidental and
consequential provisions as Parliament may deem necessary
(3) No such law as aforesaid shall be deemed to be an amendment of this
Constitution for the purposes of Article 368

As mentioned in the constitution the total membership of the Legislative Council shall not be less than
forty and more than one third of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of the
concerned state.
All the members of the Legislative Council are either indirectly elected or nominated by the Governor. Let
us take a look at the way the Legislative Council is constituted.
a) One-third of the members of this House are elected by the Legislative Assembly from amongst persons
who are not its members.
b) One-third of its members are elected by the local bodies like Municipalities or District Boards or any
other local authority as specified by the law of the Parliament.
c) One-twelfth of the members are elected by graduates of at least three years standing.
d) One-twelfth of the members are elected by teachers of secondary schools having at least three years
experience.
e) About one-sixth of the members are nominated by the Governor from among persons possessing.
Special knowledge and experience in the field of art, science, literature, social service and cooperative
movement.
Very simple qualifications are prescribed for membership in the Vidhan Parishad. Any Indian citizen who
is 30 years of age or more having such other qualifications as prescribed by the Parliament can become a
member of the Vidhan Parishad. Of course a person cannot simultaneously be a Member of Parliament
and State Legislature. The Legislative Council like the Council of States is a permanent chamber, not
subject to dissolution. The members are elected for a period of six years and like Rajya Sabha one-third

of members retire every second year. The Legislative Council elects its Chairman and Deputy Chairman
from amongst its members.

Theoretically

the

powers

of

the

Legislative Council are coequal with the Assembly. But in reality the Council is a weak partner of the
Legislative Assembly. Ordinary bills can originate in any chamber of the legislature. A bill in order to
become an Act must be approved by both the chambers and receive the assent of the Governor. The
Governor may give his assent or return the bill back to legislature with his observations. The legislature
while reconsidering the bill may or may not take note of the views of the Governor on the bill. The
Governor is bound to give his assent to the bill when it is presented to him for the second time. If the
Legislative Council disagrees with a bill passed by the Legislative Assembly, then the bill must have a
second journey, from the Assembly to the Council.
But ultimately the views of the Assembly shall prevail. The Council has no powers to advise a bill passed
in the Assembly. It can only delay the passage of the bill for 3 months in the first instance and for one
month in the second. There is no provision of joint sitting as in case of disagreement in Parliament over
ordinary bills. In the ultimate analysis the Legislative Council is a dilatory chamber so far as ordinary
legislation is concerned. It can delay the passage of the bill maximum for a period of four months.
In the domain of finance it has almost no powers. Like the Council of States, it enjoys a subordinate
position in financial matters. Money Bills originate only in Assembly. After they are passed in the
Assembly it is sent to the Council. The Council can keep it maximum for a period of 14 days. If it does not
pass it within that period, it is deemed to have received the approval of that House.
The Council can control the executive by way of putting questions to ministers, by raising debates and
adjournment motions to highlight the lapses of the government but it cannot throw a government out of
power. The Legislative Assembly in addition, to the powers discussed above enjoys the power to move
vote of no confidence which can force the government to resign. In case of controlling the executive the
final say lies with the Legislative Assembly.
The makers of the Constitution have deliberately given a secondary position to the Council of States so
that both the chambers in the state do not compete with each other for supremacy. The purpose was to

accommodate various professional interests in the Legislative Council, who through their experience can
act as the friend, philosopher and guide of the Legislative Assembly.
As of today, Seven (out of twenty-eight) states have a Legislative Council: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu
and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. Union Cabinet has cleared State of
Assam to formed Legislative Council in December 2013. In 2010 the Parliament of India passed an Act
to re-establish a Legislative Council for a seventh state, Tamil Nadu, but implementation of the Act has
been put on hold pending legal action; the state government has also expressed its opposition to the
councils revival.
The Legislative Council has two elected officials: the Chairman and Deputy Chairman. They
are elected by the members of Legislative Council from amongst themselves. The Chairman,
and in his absence the Deputy Chairman, presides over the meetings of the Legislative
Council.