Thursday, 10 February 2022

Powers of State Legislature - Manav Puri@LexCliq

 Powers of State Legislature – Manav Puri@LexCliq


The Constitution of India provides for a legislature in each state and entrusts it with the responsibility of enacting laws for the state. In the case of a bicameral state legislature, the upper house is known as the State Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) The Legislative Council is a semi-permanent house that never dissolves as a whole. 1/3 of its members retire every two years. Each member has a term of 6 years. The Lower House as the State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha), The normal term of the Legislature is 5 years. However, it can be dissolved by the Governor at any time. It can be suspended or dissolved in case of emergency in accordance with art. 356 is proclaimed in the state. 


  1. Legislative Powers - The State Legislature may enact laws on matters on the State List and the Concurrent List. He can enact any bill on any matter on the state list, which becomes an act with the governor's signatures. Typically, the Governor acts as the nominal and constitutional head and as such follows the advice of the State Premier and his Council of Ministers. 

However, it may reserve certain bills approved by the state legislature for the approval of the President of India. Further, in the event that a law enacted by the state legislator on a concurrent matter conflict with an EU law on the same matter, the latter prevails over the former. In ordinary legislation, the two Houses (Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council when they exist together) have equal powers. 

In practice, the Legislative Assembly dominates legislative work. Most ordinary non-money bills are introduced in the Legislative Assembly and play an important role in their approval. The Legislative Council acts only as a second chamber of examination and delay. 

A bill approved by the Legislative Assembly and rejected by the Legislative Assembly or not decided by the Legislative Assembly within 3 months, after consideration by the Legislative Assembly, takes effect on the expiration of a months from the date of its transmission to the Legislative Assembly. Advice a second time. A bill first approved by the Legislative Council does not come into force until it receives the approval of the Legislative Assembly. Therefore, the Legislative Council can only delay the approval of an ordinary bill for a maximum of 4 months. In case the state legislature is a unicameral body, all legislative powers are exercised by the Legislative Assembly.

  1. Financial Powers - The State Legislature has the power to levy taxes in respect of subjects stated in State List. He is the guardian of the finances of the state. No revenue can be collected nor any tax can be levied or collected by the state government without the permission of the State Legislature. 

The budget and all other financial policies and programs of the state government become operational only after obtaining the approval of the state legislator. When a state legislature is unicameral, all financial powers are naturally exercised by the legislature. However, even when it is bicameral, the real financial powers are in the hands of the Legislative Assembly. A money bill can only be introduced in the Legislative Assembly and after it is passed, it goes to the Legislative Council.

The latter can only delay approval for 14 days. If the bill is rejected or amended, the decision of the Legislative Assembly prevails. When the Legislative Council returns a money bill with certain amendments to the Legislative Assembly, it is the power of the Legislative Assembly to accept or reject them. As a result, with regard to financial powers, the true authority is in the hands of the state legislature. The State Legislative Council can exercise only  limited control over the ministry by asking questions and supplementary questions to  ministers.

  1. Control over Executive - Control over the State Council of Ministers is exercised by the State Legislative Assembly. Little role has been assigned to the State Legislative Council. The State Chief Minister is the leader of majority in the State Legislative Assembly. 

The Council of State Ministers is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly. The latter can cause the downfall of the ministry by passing a motion of no confidence or by rejecting a bill or a policy or budget sponsored by the Council of Ministers. The State Legislative Council can exercise only limited control over the ministry by asking ministers questions and supplementary questions.

  1. Other Powers - The legislature of the state, in particular its Legislative Assembly, exercises various other powers. The Elected Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) participate in the election of the President of India. They also elect state representatives to the Rajya Sabha. Some constitutional amendments can only be made by the Union Parliament with the ratification of at least half of the state legislatures. 

The state legislature considers the reports of the State Public Service Commission, State Auditor General, and others. It also acts as a forum for ventilation of the grievances of the people. The State Legislative Assembly has the right of adopting a resolution for the creation or abolition of the State Legislative Council.

Author Name – Manav Puri@LexCliq

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