Notes: Comparison between the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha of India


1. Composition of House:

The Lok Sabha is the popular House. Its members are directly elected by the people. But the members of the Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected. This difference in the process of election of the members of both Houses gives an edge to the Lok Sabha over the Rajya Sabha.

2. Cabinet Responsibility:


Another factor which makes the Lok Sabha more important than the Rajya Sabha is cabinet responsibility. The members of the Council of Ministers at the centre are responsible to the Lok Sabha and not to the Rajya Sabha. If the government loses majority in the Rajya Sabha, it is bad for the government.

This will be considered a political defeat for the government. But the government will not be required to resign. However, the government will have to resign if it loses a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha.

3. Financial Power:

In democracies, the popular House is normally given more powers in financial matters and in this respect India is not an exception. In India, the Money Bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha; it cannot be introduced in the Rajya Sabha.


After a Money Bill is passed by the Lok Sabha, it is sent to the Rajya Sabha for its consideration. Within 14 days, the Rajya Sabha has to return the bill. If it is not returned to the Lok Sabha within 14 days, it will be deemed to have been approved by the Rajya Sabha.

4. Amendment:

In other matters like impeachment, constitutional amendment and approval of proclamation of emergencies etc. both Houses enjoy equal powers. But even in these matters, the Lok Sabha has an in built advantage over the Rajya Sabha. This is due to the provision of joint sitting for resolving any conflict between the two Houses on any matters other than Money Bills.

5. Joint Session:


If there is disagreement between the Lok Sabha and the Ra Sabha, on any bill other than a Money Bill, then the two Houses are required to sit joint to resolve the conflict and in a joint sitting, the decision would be taken by simple majority. The Lok Sabha, having more members, would prevail over the Rajya Sabha in such ma of conflict between the two Houses.

6. Special powers of Rajya Sabha:

The Rajya Sabha, however, has three special powers. First, according to Article 249, the Rajya Sabha has power to authorize Parliament to make law on the State List if it feels that such legislation is necessary national interest. Second, by a resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting, it can authorize the Parliament, to create one or more Al India Service, if that is necessary in national interest (Article 312). Third, for the removal of the Vice-President of India, the action has to be initiated by the Rajya Sabha.

A resolution for the removal of the Vice-President has to be passed first by the majority of the members of the Rajya Sabha. If it is then adopted by the Lok Sabha, the Vice-President stands removed. These three exclusive powers, vested in the Council of States, give it some advantage, but, in the overall context, the Lok Sabha is clearly superior to the Rajya Sabha The Lok Sabha enjoys more influence and prestige than the other House of the Parliament


7. Miscellaneous Powers:

(a) Both houses have equal powers in respect impeachment, amendment of constitution and approval of emergency proposal, (b) The members of both houses take part in the election of President of India, and in the election of Vice-President of India, (c) The members of both houses work together in some Parliamentary committees including the Public Accounts Committee.

Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, did not like the view, believed to be true by man that the Lok Sabha is superior to the Rajya Sabha. He called this view erroneous. I considered both Houses of the Parliament equal except on some financial matters. Hew perhaps right insofar as the theory is concerned. But, in practice, the higher status enjoy by the Lok Sabha is quite evident.

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