Types of Majorities in Indian Parliament – Simple, Absolute, Effective and Special Majority

Introduction


  • In the Indian Parliament, there are several types of majorities that play crucial roles in the legislative process and decision-making.
  • These majorities are based on the number of votes or support required to pass various types of bills and motions.

Here are the some types of majorities in the Indian Parliament:

  1. Simple Majority
  2. Absolute Majority
  3. Effective Majority
  4. Special Majority

 

Type of Majority Definition When Used
Simple Majority A majority of more than 50% of the members present and voting in the House. For passing ordinary bills or motions, or for electing the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
Absolute Majority A majority of more than 50% of the total membership of the House. Not used in the Indian Parliament, but is used in general elections to determine which party has won a majority of seats.
Effective Majority A majority of more than 50% of the effective strength of the House, which is the total number of members minus the vacancies. Removal of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha.
Special Majority A majority of more than 2/3 of the members present and voting in the House, or more than 2/3 of the total membership of the House, whichever is less. For amending the Constitution, declaring a state of emergency, and impeaching the President.

Simple Majority


  • A simple majority in the Indian Parliament is a majority of more than 50% of the members present and voting in the House.
  • This is the most commonly used type of majority in the Parliament.
  • It is used for passing ordinary bills, money bills, financial bills, adjournment motions, no-confidence motions, censure motions, confidence motions, and to declare a financial emergency or President’s rule.
  • To calculate the simple majority, the total number of members present and voting is first determined.
  • Then, 50% of that number is added 1.
  • This is the number of votes needed to secure a simple majority.
  • For example, if there are 500 members in the Lok Sabha and 400 members are present and voting, then the simple majority is 201 (50% of 400 + 1).
  • The simple majority is also known as the functional majority or working majority.
  • This is because it is the minimum number of votes needed to pass a bill or motion in the Parliament.

Absolute Majority


  • An absolute majority in the Indian Parliament is a majority of more than 50% of the total strength of the house.
  • In the Lok Sabha, the absolute majority is 273 (50% more than 545, the total membership of the Lok Sabha).
  • This means that a political party or coalition of parties must have at least 273 seats in the Lok Sabha in order to form the government.

Effective Majority


  • Effective majority in the Indian Parliament refers to a majority of more than 50% of the effective strength of the House.
  • The effective strength is calculated by deducting the number of vacant and absent seats from the total strength of the House.
  • For example, the Lok Sabha has a total strength of 545 members.
  • If there are 5 vacant seats, then the effective strength of the Lok Sabha is 540.
  • In this case, the effective majority is 270 (i.e., 50% of 540 + 1).

The effective majority is required in the following cases:

  • The effective majority is different from the absolute majority.
  • The absolute majority is a majority of more than 50% of the total strength of the House.
  • In the Lok Sabha, the absolute majority is 273 (i.e., 50% of 545).

Special Majority


  • A special majority in the Indian Parliament is a majority of two-thirds of the members present and voting, supported by more than 50% of the total strength of the house.
  • This means that in the Lok Sabha, a bill requires the support of 364 members (more than 50%) and at least 273 members present and voting (two-thirds of the members present and voting).
  • In the Rajya Sabha, a bill requires the support of 164 members (more than 50%) and at least 101 members present and voting (two-thirds of the members present and voting).

The special majority is required for certain important matters, such as:

  • The impeachment of the President of India (Article 61 of the Constitution)
  • The amendment of the Constitution (Article 368 of the Constitution)
  • The removal of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts (Article 124 and 217 of the Constitution).

Conclusion


  • In conclusion, there are four types of majorities in the Indian Parliament: simple, absolute, effective, and special.
  • The type of majority required for a particular bill or motion is determined by the provisions of the Constitution.
  • Simple majority is the most common type of majority, and it is required for most ordinary legislation.
  • Absolute majority is required for the election in India.
  • Effective majority is required for the removal of the Vice President, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha Speaker, and Deputy Speaker.
  • Special majority is required for amending the Constitution and for creating new states.
  • The different types of majorities serve to ensure that important decisions are made with the consent of the majority of the people.
  • They also help to protect the rights of minority groups.
  • The Indian Parliament is a complex institution, and the different types of majorities are an important part of its functioning.
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