HomeGeneral KnowledgeIndian Polity Short Notes For Exams part 4

Indian Polity Short Notes For Exams part 4

Union Legislature


The legislature of the Union consists of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States), the Lok Sabha (House of the People), and the President.

  • The business of Parliament is conducted in Hindi or English, with provisions for members to address the House in their mother tongue with permission from the Presiding Officers.

Rajya Sabha (Council of States):

  • Upper House of Parliament.
  • Permanent House with members enjoying a tenure of six years. However, one-third of the members retire every two years.
  • Maximum permissible strength is 250 members, with 238 elected indirectly from states and Union Territories, and 12 nominated by the President.
  • Shares legislative powers with the Lok Sabha, except in the case of Money Bills.

Lok Sabha (People’s House):

  • Lower House of Parliament.
  • Members directly elected by the people of the states.
  • First sitting took place on May 13, 1952.
  • Three sessions held annually: Budget Session, Monsoon Session, and Winter Session.
  • Current Lok Sabha is the 17th constituted Lok Sabha.
  • Membership qualifications include citizenship of India, age requirements, and any other qualifications prescribed by Parliament.


  • Classified as Ordinary, Money, Financial, and Constitutional Amendments.
  • Money Bills can only be initiated in the Lok Sabha.
  • After passing the Lok Sabha, Money Bills are sent to the Rajya Sabha for deliberation.
  • Speaker of the Lok Sabha:
    • Appointed by the President and is generally the senior-most member of the House.
    • Conducts business in the House and is assisted by a Deputy Speaker.
    • Several notable individuals have held the position throughout history, including GV Mavlankar, MA Ayyangar, Dr. Balram Jakhar, GMC Balyogi, and Meira Kumar, the first woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Facts about Speaker:

  • GV Mavlankar was the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha (1952-1956).
  • MA Ayyangar was the first Deputy Speaker (1952-1956).
  • Dr. Balram Jakhar was the longest-serving Speaker (1980-1989).
  • GMC Balyogi is the first Speaker to die in office (1998-2002).
  • Meira Kumar is the first woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha (2009-2013).


  • Inaugurated on January 28, 1950.
  • Presently functioning at full strength with a sanctioned strength of 34.
  • Division Bench: Small bench with two to three Justices.
  • Constitutional Bench: Large bench with five or more Justices.

Tenure and Qualification:

  • Appointed by the President and retire at age 65.
  • Qualifications include being a citizen of India, a Judge of a High Court for at least 5 years, or an advocate of a High Court for at least 10 years, or a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the President.

Independence of Judges (Article 125):

  • Salaries and allowances charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • Removal of Judges possible only on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
  • Removal requires a resolution of both Houses of Parliament supported by a majority of total membership and 2/3 of members present and voting.


  • Original Jurisdiction: Disputes between the Centre and States, between States, and among States (Article 131).
  • Appellate Jurisdiction: Appeals against judgments of lower courts, including constitutional, civil, criminal cases, and special leave appeals.
  • Advisory Jurisdiction: President may seek court’s advice on legal matters (Article 143).
  • Court of record (Article 129).
  • Article 139(A) allows the Supreme Court to transfer cases from High Courts if they involve significant questions of law.

Some facts

  • The first Chief Justice of India was HJ Kania (1950–51).
  • The shortest tenure so far is of KN Singh (25th November, 1991—12th December, 1991).
  • The longest tenure so far is of YV Chandrachud (1978–85).
  • The first woman Judge of the Supreme Court was Justice Fatima Beevi in 1987, and the second woman Justice was Gyan Sudha Mishra in 2010.

Comptroller and Auditor General

  • The Comptroller and Auditor General is appointed by the President under Article 148 of the Constitution.
  • The CAG audits all receipts and expenditures of the Union and State Governments.
  • The CAG also acts as the external auditor for the government-owned companies.
  • The CAG submits its reports to the President (in case of accounts relating to the Union Government) or to the concerned State Governors (for State Government Accounts).
  • The CAG is also the head of the Indian Audits and Accounts Service (IA & AS).
  • The office of the CAG was established in 1860.
  • The first CAG of India was V Narahari Rao (1948-1954).
  • The CAG can only be removed from office in a manner similar to a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • The salary and benefits of the CAG cannot be changed to his disadvantage during his tenure.
  • The CAG is not eligible for further office under the Union or State Governments.
  • The expenses of the office of the CAG are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India.

Attorney General of India

  • The Attorney General is the highest law officer in the country appointed by the President under Article 76 of the Constitution.
  • The first Attorney General of Independent India was MC Setalvad (1950-1963). The 15th and Current Attorney General of India is KK Venugopal.
  • To be appointed as Attorney General, a candidate must be qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • The Attorney General can participate in proceedings of the Parliament without the Right to Vote (Article 88).

Part VI: The States (Article 152-237)

Role of the Governor:

  • Constitutional Head: The Governor serves as the highest authority in the state.
  • Appointment: Appointed by the President, the Governor holds office at the President’s pleasure.
  • Executive Powers: Granted powers to grant pardons, reprieves, and remissions of punishment.
  • Discretionary Powers: Enjoy discretion in certain matters, not subject to questioning by courts.
  • Nomination: Can nominate members to the Legislative Councils from distinguished fields.
  • Ordinance Power: Empowered to issue ordinances during the state legislature’s recess.

Qualifications for Governor:

  • Citizenship: Must be a citizen of India.
  • Age: Should be at least 35 years old.
  • Legislative Membership: Cannot be a member of Parliament or State Legislature.
  • Office of Profit: Must not hold any office of profit.

State Legislature

  • Article 163: Council of Ministers advises the Governor.
  • Article 165: Each state has an Advocate General.
  • Article 169: Allows for the abolition or creation of Legislative Councils in states.
  • Unicameral System: Most states have a single legislative chamber, while only six have a Legislative Council: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana.

Legislative Assembly:

  • Directly elected representatives.
  • Assembly size varies from 60 to 500 members, with some exceptions for smaller states like Sikkim, Goa, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Puducherry.

Legislative Council:

  • Indirectly elected members.
  • Maximum strength is one-third of the total Assembly strength, with a minimum of 40 members.

High Courts (Article 214-232):

  • India has 25 High Courts.
  • The oldest is the Calcutta High Court, established in 1862.
  • The Bombay and Madras High Courts were also established in 1862.
  • The newest are Tripura, Meghalaya, and Manipur High Courts, established in 2013.
  • The High Court of Andhra Pradesh, the 25th in India, was established on January 1, 2019.

Part IX: The Panchayats (Article 243-243O)

  • Introduced by the 73rd Amendment Act, 1992.
  • Envisages a three-tier system of local government:
    1. Gram Panchayat at the village level
    2. Panchayat Samiti at the block level
    3. Zila Parishad at the district level
  • Exists in all states except Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram. Also present in all Union Territories except Delhi.
  • Provided for states with a population exceeding 2 million.
  • Each Panchayat has a term of 5 years from its first meeting.

Part IXA: The Municipalities (Article 243P-243ZG)

  • Introduced by the 74th Amendment Act, 1992.
  • Envisages three types of urban local bodies: Nagar Panchayat, Municipal Council, and Municipal Corporation.
  • First Municipal Corporation in India was introduced in Madras in 1688.
  • Municipal Corporations established in cities with a population greater than 1 million.
  • Nagar Panchayat administers urban areas with a population between 30,000 and 100,000.
  • Municipal Council administers urban areas with a population of 200,000 or less.

Part XI: Relations between the Union and the States (Article 245-263)

  • Includes Legislative Relations, Administrative Relations, and Financial Relations.
  • Article 262: Adjudication of disputes related to waters of inter-state rivers or river valleys.
  • Article 263: Inter-state council.

Part XII: Finance, Property, Contracts, and Suits (Article 264-300A)

  • Article 266: Consolidated Fund of India.
  • Article 267: Contingency Fund of India.

Part XIV: Services Under the Union and the States (Article 308-323)

  • Article 312: All India Services.
  • Article 315: Public Service Commissions for the Union and for the States.
  • First Public Service Commission set up in 1926, based on the recommendations of the Lee Commission.
  • Government of India Act, 1935 provided for the establishment of Federal and Provincial Public Service Commissions.




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