Original Text of Article 171 of Indian Constitution:
(1) The total number of members in the Legislative Council of a State having such a Council shall not exceed [one-third] of the total number of members in the Legislative Assembly of that State:
Provided that the total number of members in the Legislative Council of a State shall in no case be less than forty.
(2) Until Parliament by law otherwise provides, the composition of the Legislative Council of a State shall be as provided in clause (3).
(3) Of the total number of members of the Legislative Council of a State—
- as nearly as may be, one-third shall be elected by electorates consisting of members of municipalities, district boards and such other local authorities in the State as Parliament may by law specify;
- as nearly as may be, one-twelfth shall be elected by electorates consisting of persons residing in the State who have been for at least three years graduates of any university in the territory of India or have been for at least three years in possession of qualifications prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament as equivalent to that of a graduate of any such university;
- as nearly as may be, one-twelfth shall be elected by electorates consisting of persons who have been for at least three years engaged in teaching in such educational institutions within the State, not lower in standard than that of a secondary school, as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament;
- as nearly as may be, one-third shall be elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly of the State from amongst persons who are not members of the Assembly;
- the remainder shall be nominated by the Governor in accordance with the provisions of clause (5). (4) The members to be elected under sub-clauses (a), (b) and (c) of clause (3) shall be chosen in such territorial constituencies as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament, and the elections under the said sub-clauses and under sub-clause (d) of the said clause shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
(5) The members to be nominated by the Governor under sub-clause of clause (3) shall consist of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as the following, namely:—
Literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social.
Explanation of Article 171 of Indian Constitution:
The legislative Council’s strength depends on the Legislative Assembly’s strength. It cannot be more than 1/3rd of the Legislative Assembly, and the minimum strength is 40.
Election to Legislative Council
The members of the Legislative Council are indirectly elected through a single transferable vote under the proportional representation system.
It must be noted that currently, only 6 state legislatures have a second House; these are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Election and Nomination Process:
- 1/3 of the members are elected by the members of the local bodies;
- 1/3 of the members are elected by the members of the legislative Assembly;
- 1/12 of the members are elected by residents of the State who have been graduates for 3 years;
- 1/12 of the members are elected by residents of the State who have been teachers, not lower in standard than secondary school, for 3 years.
- The remaining 1/6 members are nominated by the Governor. These nominated members should be eminent personalities from different walks of life, such as art, literature, science, social service, and cooperative movement.
- The propriety of the nomination by the Governor cannot be challenged in any court.
- The Parliament is authorised to alter the scheme of the composition of the legislative Council; however, no such law has been enacted so far.
Nominated Members: The provision to nominate a member of the Anglo-Indian community in legislative assemblies was discontinued after 2020 through the 104th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019.
In legislative councils, 1/6th of the seats are filled by nominating members who are eminent personalities from different walks of life, such as science, literature, art, social service, and cooperative movement.
List of Amendments in Article 171 of Indian Constitution:
|Seventh Amendment Act, 1956
|The amendment changes the maximum strength from one-fourth to one-third, which is equal to 33% of the strength of the legislative Assembly.
|One hundred and fourth Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019
Earlier, there was a provision (Article 333) for the nomination of 1 Anglo-Indian in the legislative assemblies by the Governor if the community is not represented adequately.
The Act amended Article 334 and discontinued the provision of the nomination of the Anglo-Indian community in the state assemblies.
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