The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), the lower house of the Parliament of India.
The speaker is elected generally in the very first meeting of the Lok Sabha following general elections. Serving for a term of five years, the speaker chosen from sitting members of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), and is by convention a member of the ruling party or alliance.
The election of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha is an important event in the life of the House.
- Newly elected Members of Parliament from the Lok Sabha elect the Speaker among them selves.
- MP’s propose a name to Pro tem speaker. These names are notified to President of India. President through their aid Secretary- General notifies the election date.
- If only one name is proposed, Speaker is elected without any formal vote.
- However, if more than 1 nominations are received. A division (vote) is called. MPs vote for their candidate on such date notified by President. Successful candidate is elected as Speaker of the Lok Sabha until next general election.
- Usually, a member belonging to the ruling party is elected the Speaker.
- A healthy convention, however, has evolved over the years whereby the ruling party nominates its candidate after informal consultations with the leaders of other parties and groups in the House. This convention ensures that once elected, the Speaker enjoys the respect of all sections of the House.
- As such, no specific qualifications are prescribed for being elected the Speaker. The Constitution only requires that Speaker should be a member of the House.
- An understanding of the Constitution and the laws of the country and the rules of procedure and conventions of Parliament is considered a major asset for the holder of the office of the Speaker.
- The Speaker of the Lok Sabha conducts the business in house; and decides whether a bill is a money bill or not.
- They maintain discipline and decorum in the house and can punish a member for their unruly behaviour by suspending them.
- They also permit the moving of various kinds of motions and resolutions such as a motion of no confidence, motion of adjournment, motion of censure and calling attention notice as per the rules.
- The Speaker decides on the agenda to be taken up for discussion during the meeting.
- The date of election of the Speaker is fixed by the President.
- All comments and speeches made by members of the House are addressed to the Speaker.
- The Speaker also presides over the joint sitting of both houses of the Parliament of India.
- The counterpart of the Speaker in the Rajya Sabha (Council of the States) is its Chairperson; the Vice President of India is the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
- On the order of precedence, the Speaker of Lok Sabha ranks sixth, along with the Chief Justice of India.
- The Speaker is answerable to the House.
- Both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker may be removed by a resolution passed by the majority of the members.