The Lok Sabha, which is the highest legislative body in the country, chooses its Speaker who presides over the day to day functioning of the House.Electing the Speaker of the House is one of the first acts of newly constituted House.The office of the Speaker is a Constitutional Office. The Speaker is guided by the constitutional provisions and the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.
The Speaker is placed very high in the Warrant of Precedence in the country i.e. at rank 6.
The Speaker conducts business in Lok Sabha by ensuring discipline and decorum among members.S/he guards the rights and privileges of the members of Lok Sabha, deciding who should speak at what time, the questions to be asked, the order of proceedings to be followed, among others. Money bill certified by Speaker. Anti-defection final decision is taken by Speaker.
The position of the Indian Speaker is paradoxical. The holder of the position, whether in Parliament or in State Assemblies, contests the election for the post on a party ticket, and yet is expected to conduct himself or herself in a non-partisan manner, all the while being beholden to the party for a ticket for the next election.
The absoluteness of the Speaker’s decisions can also be an incentive for potential abuse. Instances of suspension of almost all the MLAs of the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2016, where members of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam were evicted en masse from the House while protesting, raise crucial questions about the health of our democracy.
“The Speaker represents the House. Heshe represents the dignity of the House, the freedom of the House, and because the House represents the nation, in a particular way, the Speaker becomes symbol of the nation’s freedom and liberty. Therefore, that should be an honoured position. A free position and should be occupied always by persons of outstanding ability and impartiality.“
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