Why in News?
Recently, the West BengalLegislative Assembly has passed a resolution to set up a Legislative Council in the state with two-thirds majority.
About Legislative Council (LC):
- Process of setting up LC:
- Passing Resolution to this effect by the Legislative Assembly by a special majority,
- Then a nod from the Governor is required.
- Presently Six States have a Legislative Council:Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka.
Article 169- Creation and Abolition of LC:
- The Parliament can abolish a LC (where it already exists) or create it (where it does not exist) by passing a resolution by simple majority, (a majority of the members of each House present and voting) if the legislative assembly of the concerned state, by a special majority, passes a resolution to thiseffect
- Special majority denotes:
- A majority of the total membership of the assembly and
- A majority of not less than two-third of the members of the assembly present and voting.
- Composition of LC:
- Under Art. 171 of the Constitution, the LC of any state shall not havemore thanone-third of the total strength of the State Legislative Assembly, and not less than 40 members.
- Similar to the Rajya Sabha, the LC is a continuing chamber, hence, is a permanent body not subject to dissolution.
- The tenure of a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) is six years, with one-third of the members retiring every two years.
Comparative Study of LC and Rajya Sabha:
- The legislative power of the Councils are very limited and is thus considered a secondary house of state legislature. While Rajya Sabha has substantial powers to shape non-financial legislation, LC lacks such powers.
- State Assemblies can override suggestions/amendments made to legislation by the LC.
- Unlike Rajya Sabha MPs, MLCs cannot vote in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections.
- The Vice President becomes the Rajya Sabha Chairperson while a member from the LC itself is chosen as the Council Chairperson.