What are the Powers and Functions of Legislative Council (India)?

1. Legislative Powers:

Non-money bills can be introduced in the Legislative Council. When a non-money bill, passed by the Legislative Assembly, comes to the Legislative Council, the latter can pass it, or can send it back with amendments to the legislative Assembly for its reconsideration. If the bill is passed by the Council, it is sent to Governor for his approval. If the bill is returned by the Legislative Council to the Legislative Assembly for reconsideration, the process of lawmaking is delayed.

When, aft reconsideration by the Legislative Assembly, the bill again comes to the Legislative Council the latter may pass it in which case the bill will be sent to the Governor for approval. If, the contrary, the bill is rejected second time by the Legislative Council, the bill is deemed to have been passed by the Legislative Council. Thus the Legislative Council has o delaying power and the Legislative Assembly can override it.

2. Financial Powers:

The Legislative Council has only limited powers in financial matters. A Money Bill cannot be introduced in the Legislative Council. It can be introduced only in the Legislative Assembly. When a Money Bill comes from the Legislative Assembly to the Legislative Council, the latter is required to take action on it within 14 days. If the Council passes it, then the bill is sent to the Governor for his assent.

If, on the other hand, the Council sends back the Money Bill to the Assembly with some changes and if these changes are not acceptable to the Assembly, then the bill, as originally passed by the Assembly, shall be taken as passed by both the Houses, the Assembly as well as the Council.

If the Council does not return the Money Bill to the Assembly within 14 days, then the bill is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses. Money Bills are not sent back to the Legislative Council second time.It is thus clear that in the financial field, the Legislative Council has a subordinate status and that the Legislative Assembly has a dominant position.

3. Constituent Power:

Some amendments of the constitution need to be ratified by the state legislatures. When such an amendment bill comes to a bicameral state legislature, the bill has to be passed by both Houses of the state legislature. But like ordinary bills, the Legislative Council can delay the passage of the amendment bill, but in case of difference of opinion between the two Houses, the voice of the Legislative Assembly shall prevail.

4. Control over Executive:

The Legislative Council does not have much control over the Executive. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Legislative Assembly. Even if the government is defeated in the Legislative Council, it is not bound to resign. The members of the Legislative Council may elicit information and expose the weakness of the government by asking questions and moving different motions in the Council, but they cannot force the Council of Ministers to resign.

5. Miscellaneous:

(i) The Legislative Council elects its own Chairman and Deputy Chairman,

(ii) The Council discusses technical matters, as there are experts as its members.