What is the function of Speaker of the Legislative Assembly?

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The members of the Legislative Assembly, soon after its first session after general elections starts, elect the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker from among themselves. The Speaker is the presiding officer of the Assembly. In his absence, the Deputy Speaker functions as the Speaker.

The Speaker continues in office until another Speaker assumes office after the general elections. The Speaker or the Deputy Speaker can be removed from office if a resolution for Nis removal is passed by the Legislative Assembly at least by the majority of its existing members.

After the Assembly ejections of 2009, Sri Pradip Kumar Amat, the BJD MLA - Boudh was elected as the Speaker of Orissa Legislative Assembly.

Towards his salary and allowance, the Speaker of Orissa Legislative Assembly is paid per month Rs. 6,500/- and Rs. 12,500/- respectively, while the corresponding figures for its Deputy Speaker are Rs. 5,500/- and Rs. 10,500/- respectively.

Functions of the Speaker

(a) The main function of the Speaker is to preside over the meetings of the Legislative Assembly.

(b) He maintains order and discipline during meetings. He maintains its decorum and dignity.

(c) He interprets Rules of Business and enforces them.

(d) He protects the rights of the MLAs and punishes those who breach the privilege of the House.

(e) He appoints the Chairman and members of different Committees of the House.

(f) He determines 'defection' under Anti-Defection Act, 1985.

(g) He casts his vote in case of 'tie' (when the supporters and opponents of a resolution have equal votes).

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly usually belongs to a political party. But once he is elected by the MLAs as the Speaker, he is expected to act in an impartial manner. His job is that of an impartial referee in a match. But most of the Assembly Speakers are found to be acting in partisan manners.

Sessions

The Governor summons prorogues and dissolves the Assembly. There should be at least two sessions of the Assembly in a year. If an MLA remains absent for 60 days without the permission of the House, it may declare his seat vacant.


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