Topic– Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges
3) If there was any real benefit in having a Legislative Council, all States in the country should, and arguably would, have a second chamber. Evaluate.(250 words)
Why this question
The article discusses the debates surrounding the creation of Legislative Councils in states. The issue gains significance in light of the wish of Odisha to have an upper house of its own. The creation of Legislative Councils needs to be evaluated in this question.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to discuss the role Legislative Councils play and how useful are they for states. The question makes an assertion that if LCs were useful for states, each state would have one. Since not all states are having LCs, it indicates the limited utility of LCs. We have to give our opinion on this assertion mainly.
Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences. You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain the constitutional provisions regarding LCs and highlight the number of states that have LCs in India.
- Discuss the role that LCs were envisaged to perform as per the founding fathers of our constitution – as a revisory house, give an opportunity to diverse section to be a part of the law making process etc
- Highlight the status quo of functioning of Legislative councils in the states in India.
- Mention the negatives of having an LC – Constitution Assembly itself felt this body would delay legislative process, not a representative of people directly, and an expensive institution, no real power except the power to delay legislations etc
- Discuss the recommendations of committees like 2nd ARC and what they have suggested for improving the functioning of LCs – election of members of legislative council, role of teachers and graduates should be decreased or done away with. And more say should be given to local bodies. So that SLC can represent local bodies at state level as Rajya sabha represents states at national level. It will strengthen the root level democracy.And SLC should be strengthened as a Second chamber rather than a secondary chamber.
- Examine whether a national policy for states to have LCs would make more sense
Conclusion – Give your view on the importance of LC for states and the way forward.