India has a bicameral system of governance, that is it has Parliament at the central level and Assembly at the state level. Again in the parliament, we have Lok sabha and Rajya sabha and at the state level, we have legislative assembly and legislative council. Generally, Rajya Sabha and the legislative council are considered as the upper houses. It is known as the intellectual forum because most of the candidates in Rajya Sabha and the legislative council are well educated and people with high profiles. They are elected through indirect elections.
WHAT IS THE NEED OF LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL?
The need of legislative council is, when any bill passes through the assembly at the state level, it goes to the legislative council for review. If the council members find any flaws in the bill, then they can ask the state government to review it. This process can be done twice, and if again the bill is rejected in the legislative council, the state government can directly make it an act by the approval of the governor.
CRITICISM ON LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
Rather than alloting the seats to the intellectuals, the state leaders are misusing by giving them to candidates who fail to win the general elections.
While Rajya Sabha MPs can vote in the election of the President and Vice-President, members of Legislative Councils can’t. MLCs also can’t vote in the elections of Rajya Sabha members.
As regards Money bills, only fourteen days’ delay can be caused by the Council, which is more or less a formality rather than a barrier in the way of Money Bill passed by the Assembly.
HOW CAN THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL GET DISSOLVED?
While Legislative Council is a permanent House like the Rajya Sabha, it can be dissolved. Under Article 169 of the Indian constitution, Parliament may create or abolish the Council in a state if the Legislative Assembly of that state passes a resolution to that effect by a special majority. Parliament abolished the Vidhan Parishad in Andhra Pradesh in 1985, but in March 2007, it was reinstated. Again now the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Jagan Mohan Reddy is in a plan to abolish the state legislative council.
It can actually happen but will take a long time to come into implementation. Already the legislative council gave the AP decentralization bill to the select committee. The select committee may take at least one month to form, and 3 months to finalize on the bill. Again it should be sent to the state assembly for review. Then, again to the legislative council. But, if the council still exists, it may be hard for the government to make the bill become an act.