Special Powers of Rajya

Sabha Due to its federal character, the Rajya Sabha has been given two exclusive or special powers that are not enjoyed by the Lok Sabha: 1. It can authorize the Parliament to make a law on a subject enumerated in the State List (Article 249). 2. It can authorize the Parliament to create new All-India Service common to both the Centre and states (Article 312). An analysis of the above points makes it clear that the position of the Rajya Sabha in our constitutional system is not as weak as that of the House of Lords in the British constitutional system nor as strong as that of the Senate in the American constitutional system. Except in financial matters and control over the council of ministers, the powers and status of the Rajya Sabha in all other spheres are broadly equal and coordinate with that of the Lok Sabha.

Even though the Rajya Sabha has been given less powers as compared with the Lok Sabha, its utility is supported on the following grounds:

1. It checks hasty, defective, careless and ill-considered legislation made by the Lok Sabha by making provision of revision and thought.

2. It facilitates giving representation to eminent professionals and experts who cannot face the direct election. The President nominates 12 such persons to the Rajya Sabha.

3. It maintains the federal equilibrium by protecting the interests of the states against the undue interference of the Centres.

Article 120

Hindi and English have been declared by the Constitution to be the languages for conducting business in Parliament. The Presiding Officer may, however, allow any member not proficient in either to address the House in his mother tongue (Article 120).

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