Comparison of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha
Under article 75(3) of the Constitution, the council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha which means that the Rajya Sabha cannot make or unmake the government and this function becomes quite prominent, particularly when the Government does not enjoy majority in the Rajya Sabha.
Ministers may belong to either House of Parliament. Every minister has the right to speak and take part in the proceedings of either House, but he is entitled to vote only in the House of which he is a member.
Similarly, with regard to powers, privileges and immunities of the house of Parliament, their members and committees thereof, the two Houses are placed absolutely on equal footing by the Constitution.
Equal Powers of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
• Equal right with the Lok Sabha in the election and impeachment of the President (under articles 54 and 61). Equal right with the Lok Sabha in the election and removal of the vice-president (under article 66). However the Rajya Sabha alone can initiate the removal of the Vice-President. He is removed by a resolution passed by the Rajya Sabha by a special majority and agreed to by the Lok Sabha by a simple majority.
• Equal right with the Lok Sabha to make laws defining parliamentary privileges and also to punish for contempt (under article 105), Equal right with the Lok Sabha to approve the Proclamation of Emergency (issued under article 352), Proclamations regarding failure of the Constitutional machinery in states (issued under Article 356) and even a sole right in certain circumstances. Enlargement of the Jurisdictions of the Supreme Court and the UPSC.
• Approval of ordinance issued by the President
• Equal right with the Lok Sabha to receive reports and papers from various statutory authorities
• Annual Financial Statement (Article 112(1)).
• Audit reports from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (Article 15(1)).
• Reports of the Special Officers for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes [Article 338(2)].
• Reports of the commission to investigate the condition of the backward classes [Article 340(3)].
• Reports of the Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities [Article 350B].
Special Power of Lok Sabha with respect to Rajya Sabha
A Money Bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha cannot amend or reject a money Bill. It should return the bill to the Lok Sabha within 14 days with or without recommendations. The Lok Sabha can either accept or reject all or any of the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha. In both cases, the money bill is deemed to have been passed by the two houses.
A financial Bill, not containing solely the matters of Article 110, also can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha. But with Regard to its Passage, both have equal powers. The final power to decide whether a particular bill is a money bill is vested in the speaker of the Lok Sabha. The Speaker of Lok Sabha presides over the Joint sitting of both the houses.
The Lok Sabha with a greater number wins the battle in a joint sitting expect when the combined strength of the ruling party in both houses is less than that of oppositions parties. Rajya Sabha can only discuss the budget, but cannot vote on the demands for grants. A resolution for the discontinues of the National emergency can be passed only by the Lok Sabha and not by the Rajya Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha cannot remove the council of Ministers by Passing a No-Confidences Motion. This is because the Council of ministers is collectively responsible only to the Lok Sabha.
Special Powers of Rajya Sabha with respect to Lok Sabha
As a federal chamber, it can initiate central intervention in the State Legislative field. Article 249 of the Constitution provides that the Rajya Sabha may pass a resolution, by a majority of not less than two thirds of the members present and voting, to the effect that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest that Parliament should make laws with respect to any matter enumerated in the state list. If such a resolution is adopted, Parliament will be authorised, to make laws on the subject specified in the resolution, for the whole or any part of the territory of India.
Such a resolution will remain in force for such Period, not exceeding 1 year, as may be specified therein, but this period can be extended by 1 year at a time by passing further resolutions.