Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges
3) Why Some States in India have Bicameral Legislatures? Discuss the relevance of the Legislative Councils in the States in the backdrop of recent demand of certain states to create the second house. (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.
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.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
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 how more say should be given to local bodies.
- Examine whether a national policy for states to have LCs should be encouraged.
Give your view on the importance of LC for states and the way forward.