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Prelims-IAS –POLITY MCQ Ans -22

1.. With reference to Legislative Councils, consider the following statements:

  1. For the abolition or creation of legislative councils in states, a resolution must be passed by the state assembly by a special majority.
  2. Union Territories cannot have a legislative council.
  3. Governor can nominate one member of Anglo-Indian community in legislative councils.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 2 only
(d) 1 and 3 only
  • Statement 1 is correct: The Constitution provides for the abolition or creation of legislative councils in states. Accordingly, the Parliament can abolish a legislative council (where it already exists) or create it (where it does not exist), if the legislative assembly of the concerned state passes a resolution to that effect. Such a specific resolution must be passed by the state assembly by a special majority, that is, a majority of the total membership of the assembly and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the assembly present and voting. This Act of Parliament is not to be deemed as an  amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of Article 368 and is passed like an ordinary piece of legislation (ie, by simple majority).
    • Statement 2 is not correct: In 1962 Art. 239A was inserted in the constitution empowering Parliament to create legislature or a Council of Ministers or both for certain Union Territories. In exercise of this power, the Parliament passed the government of Union Territories Act, 1963, which created a legislature as well as a Council of Ministers for some of the Union Territories.
    • Statement 3 is not correct: The Governor must nominate one member from the Anglo-Indian community if the community is not adequately represented in the assembly.
    • Ans-A

2.. Which among the following factors limit the sovereignty of the Indian Parliament?
1. Presence of a written Constitution.
2. Incorporation of fundamental rights in the Constitution.
3. Veto powers of the President.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a)  1 and 2 only      (b)  2 and 3 only        (c)  1 and 3 only         (d)  1, 2 and 3

  • The doctrine of ‘sovereignty of Parliament’ is associated with the British Parliament. Sovereignty meansthe supreme power within the State. That supreme power in Great Britain lies with the Parliament. The Indian Parliament, on the other hand, cannot be regarded as a sovereign body in the similar sense as there are ‘legal’ restrictions on its authority and jurisdiction.
  • Several factors limit the sovereignty of the Indian Parliament:
  • Written Constitution: The Constitution is the fundamental law of the land in our country. It has definedthe authority and jurisdiction of all the three organs of the Union government and the nature of interrelationship between them. Hence, the Parliament has to operate within the limits prescribed by the Constitution. There is also a legal distinction between the legislative authority and the constituent authority of the Parliament. Moreover, to effect certain amendments to the Constitution, the ratification of atleast half of the states is also required. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Fundamental Rights: The authority of the Parliament is also restricted by the incorporation of a code of justiciable fundamental rights under Part III of the Constitution. Article 13 prohibits the State from making a law that either takes away totally or abrogates in part a fundamental right. Hence, a Parliamentary law that contravenes the fundamental rights shall be void. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • Federal System of Government: India has a federal system of government with a constitutional division of powers between the Union and the states. Both have to operate within the spheres allotted to them. Hence, the law-making authority of the Parliament gets confined to the subjects enumerated in the Union List and Concurrent List and does not extend to the subjects enumerated in the State List (except in special circumstances and that too for a short period).
  • System of judicial review: The adoption of an independent Judiciary with the power of judicial review also restricts the supremacy of our Parliament. Both the Supreme Court and high courts can declare the laws enacted by the Parliament as void and ultra vires (unconstitutional), if they contravene any provision of the Constitution or amend its basic structure.
  • The President is a part of the Parliament itself; therefore his/her veto powers are not a limitation upon Parliamentary sovereignity. Hence, statement 3 is not correct. Hence, option (a) is correct.
  • Ans-A

3.. Consider the following statements:

  1. The grants made by the Parliament to the states who are in need of financial assistance are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India every year.
  2. Both the Centre and the states are empowered to make grants for any public purpose within their respective legislative competence only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

  • Statutory Grants: Article 275 empowers the Parliament to make grants to the states which are in need of financial assistance and not to every state. Also, different sums may be fixed for different states. These sums are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India every year. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Discretionary Grants: Article 282 empowers both the Centre and the states to make any grants for any public purpose, even if it is not within their respective legislative competence. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • Ans-A

4.. With reference to the evolution of Panchayati Raj in India, consider the following statements:

  1. The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee recommended establishment of a two-tier Panchayati Raj system.
  2. Rajasthan was the first state in independent India to establish Panchayati Raj.
  3. The Panchayati Raj institutions got constitutional status in 1982.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a)  1 and 2 only(b)  2 only(c)  1 and 3 only(d)  1, 2 and 3

  • In January 1957, the Government of India appointed a committee to examine the working of the Community Development Programme (1952) and the National Extension Service (1953) and to suggest measures for their better working. The chairman of this committee was Balwant Rai G Mehta. The committee submitted its report in November 1957 and recommended the establishment of the scheme of ‘democratic decentralisation’, which ultimately came to be known as Panchayati Raj. It recommended establishment of a three-tier panchayati raj system—gram panchayat at the village level, panchayat samiti at the block level and zila parishad at the district level.
  • Rajasthan was the first state to establish Panchayati Raj. The scheme was inaugurated by the prime minister on October 2, 1959, in Nagaur district. Rajasthan was followed by Andhra Pradesh, which also adopted the system in 1959. Thereafter, most of the states adopted the system.
    • 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 which came into force on 24 April 1993 gave a constitutional status to the panchayati raj institutions. It has brought them under the purview of the justiciable part of the Constitution. In other words, the state governments are under constitutional obligation to adopt the new panchayati raj system in accordance with the provisions of the act. Consequently, neither the formation of panchayats nor the holding of elections at regular intervals depend on the will of the state government any more.
    • Ans-B

5.. Consider the following statements:
1. The Zonal Councils are established by the States Reorganisation Act of 1956.
2. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister acts as a chairman of all the zonal councils. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
  • The Zonal Councils are the statutory (and not the constitutional) bodies. They are established by an Act of the Parliament, that is, States Reorganisation Act of 1956. The act divided the country into five zones (Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern) and provided a zonal council for each zone. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The Home Minister of Central government is the common chairman of the five zonal councils. Each Chief minister acts as a Vice-Chairman of the council by rotation, holding office for a period of one year at a time. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • Ans-A

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