The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Membership of Rajya Sabha is limited by the Constitution to a maximum of 250 members, and current laws have provision for 245 members. Most of the members of the House are indirectly elected by state and territorial legislatures using single transferable votes, while the President can appoint 12 members for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. Members sit for staggered six-year terms, with one third of the members retiring every two years. It is also called the Council of Stated, or House of Elders. Rajya Sabha members are elected by state legislatures rather than directly through the electorate by single transferable vote method.
Members of the Rajya Sabha:
- Vice-President is the ex-officio chairman of the RS.
- Deputy Chairman is elected by the members, from amongst themselves. His office terminates if he ceases to be a member. He can resign(submitting the letter to the Chairman)’ may also be removed by a resolution passed by the majority with at least 14 days prior notice.
- Members are elected for 6 years’ and 1/3re retire every two years.
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Legislative powers of the President (Article 123):
Generally, only the Legislature is empowered to make Laws for the country. However, our Constitution under Article 123 gives special legislative powers to President of India. When the Parliament is not functioning, On the recommendations of the Council of Ministers, the President has powers to promulgate Ordinance on the matters on which the Parliament has power to make laws.
Once an ordinance is passed, it should be placed before both the Houses of Parliament and approver by them within six weeks of their respective dated of reassembly. If the ordinance is not approved within six weeks or if it is rejected earlier, the ordinance ceases to have any legal effect. If it approved, it has same effect as an act of Parliament.