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Understanding the Role of Speaker and Protem Speaker in the Lok Sabha

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The Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's Parliament, plays a crucial role in the country's legislative process. Within this esteemed body, the roles of the Speaker and the Protem Speaker are of paramount importance. These positions ensure that the parliamentary proceedings are conducted smoothly and in accordance with the established rules and regulations. In this blog, we will delve into the functions and significance of the Speaker and Protem Speaker of the Lok Sabha, along with references to relevant articles of the Indian Constitution.



The Role of the Speaker



The Speaker of the Lok Sabha holds a pivotal position in the Indian parliamentary system. As the presiding officer, the Speaker's primary responsibility is to maintain order and decorum during the proceedings of the Lok Sabha. Let's explore the key functions of the Speaker with references to the Constitution:



1. Conducting Sessions



The Speaker is responsible for conducting the sessions of the Lok Sabha. They decide the agenda, ensure that the discussions are carried out in a structured manner, and allocate time for debates on various bills and issues. The Speaker's impartiality is crucial in ensuring that all members get an opportunity to voice their opinions. Article 94 of the Constitution specifies the election and role of the Speaker.




2. Maintaining Order



One of the most critical functions of the Speaker is to maintain order and decorum in the house. The Speaker has the authority to discipline members who violate the rules or disrupt the proceedings. This includes the power to suspend members for unruly behavior. This function is rooted in the parliamentary conventions and rules framed under Article 118 of the Constitution.



3. Deciding Points of Order



During debates, members may raise points of order to question the procedure or relevance of the ongoing discussion. The Speaker decides whether these points of order are valid and takes appropriate action. This ensures that the parliamentary procedures are followed meticulously.



4. Certifying Money Bills



The Speaker has the exclusive authority to certify whether a bill is a Money Bill. Money Bills deal with financial matters like taxation, borrowing, and expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India. The Speaker's certification is final and cannot be challenged. This power is derived from Article 110 of the Constitution.



5. Ensuring Fair Representation



The Speaker ensures that all political parties and groups in the Lok Sabha are fairly represented in the various parliamentary committees. This ensures that the committees function effectively and reflect the diversity of the house.



6. Casting Vote



In case of a tie during voting, the Speaker has the power to cast the deciding vote. This vote is cast based on the Speaker's discretion and is usually exercised to maintain the status quo. Article 100 of the Constitution grants this power to the Speaker.



The Role of the Protem Speaker



The Protem Speaker is a temporary position in the Lok Sabha, appointed primarily to conduct the first meeting of the newly elected house. The word "Protem" is derived from the Latin phrase "pro tempore," which means "for the time being." The Protem Speaker's role is crucial during the transition period between two Lok Sabhas. Let's explore the key functions of the Protem Speaker:



1. Administering Oath



The primary duty of the Protem Speaker is to administer the oath of office to the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha. This is the first task undertaken when the new house convenes for the first time after general elections. The Protem Speaker ensures that the oath-taking ceremony is conducted smoothly. This function is carried out under Article 99 of the Constitution.



2. Election of the Speaker



After the members are sworn in, the Protem Speaker oversees the election of the new Speaker of the Lok Sabha. This election is conducted by secret ballot, and the Protem Speaker ensures that the process is fair and transparent. Article 93 of the Constitution deals with the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.



3. Presiding Over Initial Sessions



Until the new Speaker is elected, the Protem Speaker presides over the sessions of the Lok Sabha. This includes handling procedural matters and ensuring that the house functions smoothly during this interim period.



4. Ensuring Continuity



The Protem Speaker's role is vital in ensuring the continuity of parliamentary proceedings during the transition phase. They ensure that the Lok Sabha starts functioning without any delay or disruption after the general elections.






The roles of the Speaker and the Protem Speaker in the Lok Sabha are fundamental to the smooth functioning of India's parliamentary democracy. The Speaker ensures that the proceedings are conducted in an orderly and fair manner, while the Protem Speaker plays a crucial role during the transition period after general elections. Both positions require a deep understanding of parliamentary procedures and an unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of democracy.

In the complex and dynamic environment of the Lok Sabha, the Speaker and Protem Speaker provide the necessary leadership and guidance to ensure that the voices of the people, as represented by their elected members, are heard and respected.


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