State Legislature of Maharashtra (MH 8)

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Vidhana Sabha (Legislative Assembly)

The strength of the Vidhana Sabha depends on the population of the State. The maximum number of seats of any Vidhana Sabha should not exceed 500 or below 60. However, the number of seats in small states is less. Eg. in Mizoram and Goa there are 40 members each. The Vidhana Sabha in Karnataka has 225 members out of which 224 are elected whereas one Anglo-Indian is nominated by the Governor.

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Legislative powers of the Legislative Assembly

The Legislative Assembly has the power to frame laws relating to the subjects mentioned in the State List and the Concurrent List.

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Vidhana Parishad (Legislative Council)

The upper house of the State Legislature is called the Legislative Council. The strength of this house is 1/3 of that of the Legislative Assembly of the State. Every state does not have a Legislative Council because it does not fulfill the criteria of having a minimum of 40 members. There are 75 members in the Karnataka Legislative Council. These members represent 5 fields. The Governor nominates some members who are experts in the field of art, literature, education, social service, science, etc. It is a permanent body.

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Qualifications for a Legislative Assembly member

i) Should be a citizen of India;
ii) Should have completed 25 years of age;
iii) Should not be employed in any office of profit of the government;
iv) Should not be of unsound mind;
iv) Should not be an insolvent;
v) Should not have been punished by any court.

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Financial powers of the Legislative Assembly

The Legislative Assembly has greater powers than the Legislative Council in matters of finance. The Finance or Money Bill has to be first presented in the Legislative Assembly, and only then in the Legislative Council.

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Qualification of the Member of Legislative Council

i) Should be a citizen of India;
ii) Should have completed 30 years of age;
iii) Should possess all qualifications as required for an M.L.A.
The term of the nominated members is of 6 years.

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Term of office of a Vidhana Sabha member

Thr members of the Vidhana Sabha are elected for a term of 5 years. However, the Assembly may be dissolved before the expiry of the full term on the recommendation of the Cabinet. 

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Administrative powers of the Legislative Asssembly

The State Executive is responsible to the Legislative Assembly and can be in power only as long as it enjoys the trust of the Legislative Assembly. Each Minister of the Council is individually accountable and the Council of Ministers as a whole are also accountable to the Legislative Assembly.

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Powers of Legislative Council

The powers and status of the legislative council are equal to that of the legislative assembly in following matters:
1. Introduction and passage of ordinary bills. In case of disagreement, the will of the assembly prevails over that of the council.
2. Approval of ordinances issued by the governor.
3. Selection of ministers including the chief minister.
4. Consideration of the reports of the constitutional bodies.
5. Enlargement of the jurisdiction of the state public service commission.

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Electoral powers of the Legislative Assemnly

The elected members of the Legislative Assembly have the powers to elect the President, members of the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.

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Other powers of the Legislative Assembly

The members of the Legislative Assembly discuss bills passed by the Parliament when the need arises. The report of the State Public Service Commission and other reports are discussed in the Legislative Assembly.

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Officers of the Legislative Council

The legislative council elects its chairman and deputy chairman from amongst its members. The chairman vacates his office in any of the following three cases:
1. if he ceases to be a member of the council;
2. if he resigns by writing to the deputy chairman; 
3. if he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the council.
The deputy chairman vacates his office in any of the following three cases:
1. if he ceases to be a member of the council;
2. if he resigns by writing to the Chairman; 
3. if he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the council.