Officers, Conduct of Business and Disqualification of MPs (Articles 89-106/122)

Having covered the General provision regarding parliament in the last post, let us discuss Articles 89-106 under Chapter II (Parliament) under Part V (Union) of the  Constitution of India. We shall see topics like Officers of Parliament, Conduct of Business and Disqualifications of Members in this post. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman are the two officers of Rajya Sabha with Constitutional status. Similarly, Constitution mentions about Speaker and Deputy Speaker for Lok Sabha. There is also provisions for separate Secretarial staff for both houses of the Parliament. Now, let’s see the articles from 89-106 in detail.

Officers of Parliament

Article 89 : The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Council of States

(1) The Vice-President of India shall be ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States.
(2) The Council of States shall, as soon as may be, choose a member of the Council to be Deputy Chairman thereof and, so often as the office of Deputy Chairman becomes vacant, the Council shall choose another member to be Deputy Chairman thereof.

Article 90 : Vacation and resignation of, and removal from, the office of Deputy Chairman

A member holding office as Deputy Chairman of the Council of States –
(a) shall vacate his office if he ceases to be a member of the Council;
(b) may at any time, by writing under his hand addressed to the Chairman, resign his office; and
(c) may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Council passed by a majority of all the then members of the Council:
Provided that no resolution for the purpose of clause (c) shall be moved unless at least fourteen days’ notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution.

Article 91 : Power of the Deputy Chairman or other person to perform the duties of the office of, or to act as, Chairman

(1) While the Office of Chairman is vacant, or during any period when the Vice-President is acting as, or discharging the functions of, President, the duties of the office shall be performed by the Deputy Chairman, or, if the office of Deputy Chairman is also vacant, by such member of the Council of States as the President may appoint for the purpose.
(2) During the absence of the Chairman from any sitting of the Council of States the Deputy Chairman, or, if he is also absent, such person as may be determined by the rules of procedure of the Council, or, if no such person is present, such other person as may be determined by the Council, shall act as Chairman.

Article 92 : The Chairman or the Deputy Chairman not to preside while a resolution for his removal from office is under consideration

(1) At any sitting of the Council of States, while any resolution for the removal of the Vice-President from his office is under consideration, the Chairman, or while any resolution for the removal of the Deputy Chairman from his office is under consideration, the Deputy Chairman, shall not though he is present, preside, and the provisions of clause (2) of article 91 shall apply in relation to every such sitting as they apply in relation to a sitting from which the Chairman, or as the case may be, the Deputy Chairman, is absent.
(2) The Chairman shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, the Council of States while any resolution for the removal of the Vice-President from his office is under consideration in the Council, but, notwithstanding anything in article 100 shall not be entitled to vote at all on such resolution or on any other matter during such proceedings.

Article 93 : The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of the People

The House of the People shall, as soon as may be, choose two members of the House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker thereof and, so often as the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, the House shall choose another member to be Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be.

Article 94 : Vacation and resignation of, and removal from, the offices of Speaker and Deputy Speaker

A member holding office as Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of the People –
(a) shall vacate his office if he ceases to be a member of the House of the People;
(b) may at any time, by writing under his hand addressed, if such member is the Speaker, to the Deputy Speaker, and if such member is the Deputy Speaker, to the Speaker, resign his office; and
(c) may be removed from his office by a resolution of the House of the People passed by a majority of all the then members of the House:
Provided that no resolution for the purpose of clause (c) shall be moved unless at least fourteen days’ notice has been of the intention to move the resolution:
Provided further that, whenever the House of the People is dissolved, the Speaker shall not vacate his office until immediately before the first meeting of the House of the People after the dissolution.

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Article 95 : Power of the Deputy Speaker or other person to perform the duties of the office of, or to act as Speaker

(1) While the office of Speaker is vacant, the duties of the office shall be performed by the Deputy Speaker or, if the office of Deputy Speaker is also vacant, by such member of the House of the People as the President may appoint for the purpose.
(2) During the absence of the Speaker from any sitting of the House of the People the Deputy Speaker or, if he is also absent, such person as may be determined by the rules of procedure of the House, or, if no such person is present, such other person as may be determined by the House, shall act as Speaker.

Article 96 : The Speaker or the Deputy Speaker not to preside while a resolution for his removal from office is under consideration

(1) At any sitting of the House of the People, while any resolution for the removal of the Speaker from his office is under consideration, the Speaker, or while any resolution for the removal of the Deputy Speaker from his office is under consideration, the Deputy Speaker, shall not, though he is present, preside, and the provisions of clause (2) of article 95 shall apply in relation to every such sitting as they apply in relation to a sitting from which the Speaker, or, as the case may be, the Deputy Speaker, is absent. (2) The Speaker shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, the House of the People while any resolution for his removal from office is under consideration in the House and shall, notwithstanding anything in article 100, be entitled to vote only in the first instance on such resolution or on any other matter during such proceedings but not in the case of an equality of votes.

Article 97 : Salaries and allowances of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker

There shall be paid to the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Council of States, and to the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of the People, such salaries and allowances as may be respectively fixed by Parliament by law and, until provision in that behalf is so make, such salaries and allowances as are specified in the Second Schedule.

Article 98 : Secretariat of Parliament

(1) Each House of Parliament shall have a separate secretarial staff:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as preventing the creation of posts common to both Houses of Parliament.
(2) Parliament may by law regulate the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed, to the secretarial staff of either House of Parliament.
(3) Until provision is made by Parliament under clause (2), the President may, after consultation with the Speaker of the House of the People or the Chairman of the Council of States, as the case may be, make rules regulating the recruitment, and the conditions of service of persons appointed, to the secretarial staff of the House of the People or the Council of States, and any rules so made shall have effect subject to the provisions of any law made under the said clause.

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Conduct of Business

Article 99 : Oath or affirmation by members

Every member of either House of Parliament shall, before taking his seat, make and subscribe before the President, or some person appointed in that behalf by him, an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.

Article 100 : Voting in Houses, power of Houses to act notwithstanding vacancies and quorum

(1) Save as otherwise provided in this Constitution, all questions at any sitting of either House or joint sitting of the Houses shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and voting, other than the Speaker or person acting as Chairman or Speaker.
The Chairman or Speaker, or person acting as such, shall not vote in the first instance, but shall have and exercise a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
(2) Either House of Parliament shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in the membership thereof, and any proceedings in Parliament shall be valid notwithstanding that it is discovered subsequently that some person who was not entitled so to do sat or voted or otherwise took part in the proceedings.
(3) Until Parliament by law otherwise provides, the quorum to constitute a meeting of either House of Parliament shall be one-tenth of the total number of members of the House.
(4) If at any time during a meeting of a House there is no quorum, it shall be the duty of the Chairman or Speaker, or person acting as such, either to adjourn the House or to suspend the meeting until there is a quorum.

Disqualifications of Members

Article 101 : Vacation of seats

(1) No person shall be a member of both Houses of Parliament and provision shall be made by Parliament by law for the vacation by a person who is chosen a member of both Houses of his seat in one House or the other.
(2) No person shall be a member both of Parliament and of a House of the Legislature of a State, and if a person is chosen a member both of Parliament and of a House of the Legislature of a State, then, at the expiration of such period as may be specified in rules made by the President, that person’s seat in Parliament shall become vacant, unless he has previously resigned his seat in the Legislature of the State.
(3) If a member of either House of Parliament –
(a) becomes subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in clause (1) or clause (2) of article 102; or
(b) resigns his seat by writing under his hand addressed to the Chairman or the Speaker, as the case may be, and his resignation is accepted by the Chairman or the Speaker, as the case may be, his seat shall thereupon become vacant:
Provided that in the case of any resignation referred to in sub-clause (b), if from information received or otherwise and after making such inquiry as he thinks fit, the Chairman or the Speaker, as the case may be, is satisfied that such resignation is not voluntary or genuine, he shall not accept such resignation.
(4) If for a period of sixty days a member of either House of Parliament it without permission of the House absent from all meetings thereof, the House may declare his seat vacant:
Provided that in computing the said period of sixty days no account shall be taken of any period during which the House is prorogued or is adjourned for more than four consecutive days.

Article 102 : Disqualifications for membership

(1) A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament –
(a) if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder;
(b) if he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;
(c) if he is an undischarged insolvent;
(d) if he is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State, or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State;
(e) if he is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament.
Explanation: For the purposes of this clause a person shall not be deemed to hold an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State by reason only that he is a Minister either for the Union or for such State.
(2) A person shall be disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule.

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Article 103 : Decision on questions as to disqualifications of members

(1) If any question arises as to whether a member of either House of Parliament has become subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in clause (1) of article 102, the question shall be referred for the decision of the President and his decision shall be final.
(2) Before giving any decision on any such question, the President shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and shall act according to such opinion.

Article 104 : Penalty for sitting and voting before making oath or affirmation under article 99 or when not qualified or when disqualified

If a person sits or votes as a member of either House of Parliament before he has complied with the requirements of article 99, or when he knows that he is not qualified or that he is disqualified for membership thereof, or that he is prohibited from so doing by the provisions of any law made by Parliament, he shall be liable in respect of each day on which he so sits or votes to a penalty of five hundred rupees to be recovered as a debt due to the Union.

Article 105 : Powers, Privileges, etc., of the Houses of Parliament and of the members and committees thereof

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and to the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of Parliament, there shall be freedom of speech in Parliament.
(2) No member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof, and no person shall be so liable in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper, votes or proceedings.
(3) In other respects, the powers, privileges and immunities of each House of Parliament, and of the members and the committees of each House, shall be such as may from time to time be defined by Parliament by law, and, until so defined, shall be those of that House and of its members and committees immediately before the coming into force of section 15 of the Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act. 1978.
(4) The provisions of clauses (1), (2) and (3) shall apply in relation to persons who by virtue of this Constitution have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, a House of Parliament or any committee thereof as they apply in relation to members of Parliament.

Article 106 : Salaries and allowances of members

Members of either House of Parliament shall be entitled to receive such salaries and allowances a may from time to time be determined by Parliament by law and, until provision in that respect is so made, allowances at such rates and upon such conditions as were immediately before the commencement of this Constitution applicable in the case of members of the Constituent Assembly of the Dominion of India.

Info Bits Related to Parliament and MPs

  1. Who decides on the disqualification of MPs? Ans : President on advice of Election Commission of India (binding).
  2. Which article provides immunity to MPs from any proceedings in Court? Ans : Article 105 (2).
  3. Quorum needed for a house of the Parliament : Ans : 1/10th of the strength of that house.

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