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Legislative council

Date: 06 March 2021 Tags: Constitution

Issue

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has promised to constitute Legislative Council if her party comes back to power in the state.

 

Background

The Legislative Council is the upper house of state legislatures and is widely dubbed as a retirement house for political discardees.

 

Details

  • Legislative council has been defined under Article 168 of the Constitution of India. The process of constituting Legislative Council is defined in the same article.

  • The size of the State Legislative Council should not exceed one third of the membership of the State Legislative Assembly. 

  • The tenure of the MLCs is six years. One-third of the members of Council retire after every two years. 

 

Criteria

To be eligible as a member of State Legislative Council (MLC), a person must be a citizen of India, at least 30 years old, mentally sound, not an insolvent, and must be enrolled on the voters' list of the state for which he or she is contesting. 

 

Membership of council

  • One third members are elected by the members of local bodies such as municipalities, Gram panchayats, Panchayat samitis etc.

  • One third are elected by the members of Legislative Assembly of the State.

  • One sixth are nominated by the Governor from individuals having knowledge or practical experience in fields such as literature, science, arts, the co-operative movement and social services.

  • One twelfth are elected by persons who are graduates of three years' standing residing in that state.

  • One twelfth are elected by teachers who had spent at least three years in teaching in educational institutions within the state not lower than secondary schools, including colleges and universities.

 

Powers and functions

  • The State Legislative Council cannot form or dissolve a state government.

  • The Legislative Council does not play any role in the passing of money bills.

  • The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the State Legislative Council enjoy the same status of Cabinet Ministers in the state.

 

States with legislative council

At present, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Karnataka have a legislative council.