Parliament of India

Bhāratīya Sansad
A picture of the State Emblem of India. Composed of four lions facing the four directions standing back to back on an abacus. The abacus carries a frieze of a bull, a horse, a lion and an elephant in profile, separated by 24-spoked wheels between each pair, all presented in high relief.
HousesRajya Sabha
Lok Sabha
Founded26 January 1950 (74 years ago) (1950-01-26)
Preceded byConstituent Assembly of India
245 Members of Rajya Sabha
543 Members of Lok Sabha
Rajya Sabha political groups
Lok Sabha political groups
Single transferable vote
First Rajya Sabha election
First Lok Sabha election
25 October 1951 – 21 February 1952
Last Rajya Sabha election
Last Lok Sabha election
19 April – 1 June 2024
Next Rajya Sabha election
Next Lok Sabha election
Meeting place
Sansad Bhavan
118, Rafi Marg, New Delhi, 110001
National Capital Territory of Delhi, Republic of India
Constitution of India

28°37′2″N 77°12′29″E / 28.61722°N 77.20806°E / 28.61722; 77.20806 The Parliament of India (IAST: Bhāratīya Sansad) is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India. It is a bicameral legislature composed of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People). The President of India, in their role as head of the legislature, has full powers to summon and prorogue either house of Parliament or to dissolve the Lok Sabha, but they can exercise these powers only upon the advice of the Prime Minister and their Union Council of Ministers.

Those elected or nominated (by the president) to either house of Parliament are referred to as members of Parliament (MPs). The members of parliament of the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the Indian public voting in single-member districts and the members of parliament of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the members of all state legislative assemblies by proportional representation. The Parliament has a sanctioned strength of 552 in the Lok Sabha and 250 in the Rajya Sabha including 12 nominees from the expertise of different fields of literature, art, science, and social service.[4] The Parliament meets at Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi. The Parliament of India represents the largest democratic electorate in the world (the second is the European Parliament), with an electorate of 912 million eligible voters in 2019. On 28 May 2023, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, unveiled and inaugurated the New Parliament Building, located adjacent to the previous one.


Main articles: Imperial Legislative Council and Constituent Assembly of India

During British rule, the legislative branch of India was the Imperial Legislative Council, which was created in 1861 via the Indian Councils Act of 1861[5][6] and disbanded in 1947, when India gained independence. Following independence, the Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India.[7] In 1950 after the constitution came into force, the Constituent Assembly of India was disbanded,[8] and succeeded by the Parliament of India, which is active to this day.

Parliament House

Main articles: Old Parliament House, New Delhi and New Parliament House, New Delhi

Old premises (Samvidhan Sadan)

The Old Parliament House (Samvidhan Sadan) is located in New Delhi. It was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who were made responsible for the planning and construction of New Delhi by the British government, as the home of the Central Legislative Assembly, the Council of State, and the Chamber of Princes. The construction of the building took six years, and the opening ceremony was performed on 18 January 1927 by the viceroy and governor-general of India, Lord Irwin. The construction cost for the building was 8.3 million (US$99,000).[9]

The building is 21 metres (70 ft) tall, 170 metres (560 ft) in diameter and covers an area of 2.29 hectares (5.66 acres). The Central Hall consists of the chambers of the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha, and the Library hall. Surrounding these three chambers is the four-storeyed circular structure providing accommodations for members and houses parliamentary committees, offices and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.[9] The center and the focus of the building is the Central Hall. It consists of chambers of the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha, and the Library Hall, and between them lie garden courts. Surrounding these three chambers is the four-storeyed circular structure providing accommodations for ministers, chairmen, parliamentary committees, party offices, important offices of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariat, and also the offices of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. The Central Hall is circular in shape and the dome is 30 metres (98 ft) in diameter.

It is a place of historical importance. The Indian Constitution was framed in the Central Hall. The Central Hall was originally used in the library of the erstwhile Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of States. In 1946, it was converted and refurbished into the Constituent Assembly Hall. election.[10]

New premises (Sansad Bhavan)

A new parliament building was inaugurated on 28 May 2023.[11] The old building, an 85-year-old structure suffers from inadequacy of space to house members and their staff and is thought to suffer from structural issues. The building also needs to be protected because of its heritage tag.[12][13] The new building, with a built-up area of approximately 65,000 sq m and a distinctive triangular shape, optimally utilizes space. It houses an expanded Lok Sabha hall, accommodating up to 888 seats, and a larger Rajya Sabha hall, accommodating up to 384 seats, with the Lok Sabha capable of accommodating up to 1,272 seats for joint sessions of Parliament. The Lok Sabha hall draws inspiration from India's national bird, incorporating a peacock theme, while the Rajya Sabha hall is designed with a lotus theme, reflecting India's national flower. Additionally, a state-of-the-art Constitutional Hall symbolically and physically places Indian citizens at the heart of democracy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundations for the new Parliament building on 10 December 2020.[14][15] With an estimated cost of 9.71 billion, the new building was inaugurated in 2023.[14][15] The first session in the New Parliament took place on 19 September 2023.[16]


The Indian Parliament consists of two houses, namely, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, with the president of India acting as their head.

President of India

The President of India, the head of state, is a component of Parliament vide Article 79 of the Constitution. Under Article 60 and Article 111 of the constitution, the president's responsibility is to ensure that laws passed by the Parliament are in accordance with the constitutional mandate and that the stipulated procedure is followed before indicating approval to the bills. The president of India is elected by the elected members of the Parliament of India and the state legislative Assembly and serves for a term of five years.[17]

Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha Chamber

The Lok Sabha (House of the People) or the lower house has 543 members. Members are directly elected by citizens of India on the basis of universal adult franchise representing parliamentary constituencies across the country. Between 1952 and 2020, two additional members of the Anglo-Indian community were also nominated by the president of India on the advice of the Indian government, which was abolished in January 2020 by the 104th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019.[18]

Every citizen of India who is over 18 years of age, irrespective of gender, caste, religion, or race and is otherwise not disqualified, is eligible to vote for members of the Lok Sabha. The constitution provides that the maximum strength of the Lower House be 550 members. It has a term of five years. To be eligible for membership in the Lok Sabha, a person must be a citizen of India and must be 25 years of age or older, mentally sound, should not be bankrupt, and should not be criminally convicted. The total elective membership is distributed among the states in such a way that the ratio between the number of seats allotted to each state and the population of the state is, so far as practicable, the same for all states.[19] Out of 543 seats of Lok Sabha, 84 seats are reserved for Scheduled castes and 47 seats are reserved for Scheduled tribe.[20]

Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha Chamber

The Rajya Sabha (Council of States) or the Upper House is a permanent body not subject to dissolution. One-third of the members retire every second year and are replaced by newly elected members. Each member is elected for a term of six years.[21] Its members are indirectly elected by elected members of legislative assembly of the states. The Rajya Sabha can have a maximum of 250 members. It currently has a sanctioned strength of 245 members, of which 233 are elected from states, and union territories and 12 are nominated by the president. The number of members from a state depends on its population. The minimum age for a person to become a member of the Rajya Sabha is 30 years.[22] There are no caste based reservations in Rajya Sabha.[20]


As the primary institution responsible for lawmaking, the Indian Parliament possesses a wide array of powers that form the backbone of the country's democratic governance.


The period during which the House meets to conduct its business is called a session. The constitution empowers the president to summon each house at such intervals that there should not be more than a six-month gap between the two sessions. Hence the Parliament must meet at least twice a year. In India, the Parliament conducts three sessions each year.[26]


Legislative functions

See also: Lawmaking procedure in India

Legislative proposals are brought before either house of the Parliament in the form of a bill. A bill is the draft of a legislative proposal, which, when passed by both houses of Parliament and assented to by the president, becomes an act of Parliament. Money bills must originate in the Lok Sabha. The Council of States can only make recommendations over the bills to the House, within a period of fourteen days.[28]

Parliamentary committees

Main article: List of Indian parliamentary committees

Parliamentary committees are formed to deliberate specific matters at length. The public is directly or indirectly associated and studies are conducted to help committees arrive at the conclusions. Parliamentary committees are of two kinds: standing committees and ad hoc committees.[29][30][31]

Standing committees are permanent committees constituted from time to time in pursuance of the provisions of an act of Parliament or rules of procedure and conduct of business in Parliament. The work of these committees is of a continuing nature. Ad hoc committees are appointed for a specific purpose and they cease to exist when they finish the task assigned to them and submit a report.[citation needed]


Parliamentary privileges play a crucial role in safeguarding the functioning of the Indian Parliament and upholding its authority as the primary legislative body in the country. These privileges grant certain rights and immunize Members of Parliament, enabling them to perform their duties effectively, express their views freely, and ensure democratic accountability.[32]

Code of conduct

To uphold the principles of transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct, the Indian Parliament focuses on some of the key behavioral aspects for parliamentarians.

  1. Parliamentarians should disclose their financial interests, including assets, investments, and sources of income, to ensure transparency and prevent conflicts of interest.
  2. Detailed records of parliamentary proceedings, including debates, voting records, and committee activities, should be made readily available to the public for scrutiny and accountability.[34]

In 2022, the Lok Sabha secretariat released a booklet listing out unparliamentary words and expressions before the start of the Monsoon session on 18 July 2022. The banned words if used during debates or otherwise in both the houses would be expunged from the records of the parliament.[36]


2001 Terrorist attack

Main article: 2001 Indian Parliament attack

On 13 December 2001, the Indian Parliament was attacked by an Islamic terrorist group. The perpetrators were Lashkar-e-Taiba (Let) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists. The attack led to the deaths of five terrorists, six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament Security Services personnel, and a gardener, which totaled 14 fatalities. The incident led to increased tensions between India and Pakistan, resulting in the India–Pakistan standoff.[37]

2023 Security breach

Main article: 2023 Indian Parliament breach

On 13 December 2023, two protestors breached the new premises of parliament and entered the Lok Sabha section.[38] The parliament security breach was organized by six protestors. Two of the accused, Sagar Sharma and D Manoranjan, jumped into the chamber from the visitor's gallery, and opened a yellow smoke canister, in an attempt to reach the Speaker's Chair. While outside the parliament, two others, Neelam Devi and Amol Shinde, allegedly opened an aerosol canister, releasing a colored smoke.[39][40]

The sixth individual, Vishal Sharma, was caught meters away from the parliament after filming and uploading the video of the protest outside Parliament to the social media platforms.[41] [42] The alleged leader of the protestors was Lalit Jha, who is affiliated with the Samyabadi Subhas Sabha, a non-governmental organisation in West Bengal, and calls himself a teacher on his Instagram profile.[43][44] The Delhi police told the court that it was a well planned conspiracy, and that the accused might also be associated with terrorist organisations.[45] While the police have not officially revealed a motive, both media reports and statements from the families of the accused suggest that the protesters sought to articulate their frustration with the government's policies.[46]

Rashtriya Loktantrik Party founder Hanuman Beniwal along with some MPs caught and overpowered the intruder and became ‘hero’ or ‘saviour’ of the Parliament.[47][48] Beniwal told the media soon after - "Herogiri unki utar di, [trans. taught them a lesson]”.[49] Beniwal soon after incident questioned BJP government on national security and called it a ‘big security lapse’ and demanded a thorough investigation. He also highlighted the timing, coinciding with the 22nd anniversary of the 2001 Indian Parliament attack.[50][47]

Day after the security breach, MP Derek O'Brien of the Rajya Sabha and 13 MPs of Lok Sabha from the Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam parties, were suspended until 22 December for protesting by bringing placards and hindering the proceedings of the parliament by demanding answers regarding the security breach and the home minister's statement. [51] A week after the breach, 78 more MPs were suspended, most of them part of the INDIA alliance, after protesting the security breach.[46]


See also


  1. ^ "Droupadi Murmu takes oath as the 15th President of India". The Hindu. New Delhi, India. 25 July 2022. Archived from the original on 25 July 2022. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Jagdeep Dhankhar sworn in as 14th Vice-President of India". The Times of India. Mumbai, India. 11 August 2022. Archived from the original on 14 August 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Narendra Modi is sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India". The Times of India. 26 May 2014. Archived from the original on 6 September 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Nominated Members of Rajya Sabha". Rajya Sabha. Archived from the original on 26 January 2022. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  5. ^ "History | Our Legislature through the ages – Civilsdaily". 30 December 2015. Archived from the original on 30 January 2022. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Indian Councils Act | 1861, India | Britannica". Archived from the original on 30 January 2022. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  7. ^ "United Nations General Assembly Session 18 Agenda item 23 - Report of the Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples". Archived from the original on 30 November 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  8. ^ "Indian Politics and Society Since Independence" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2022. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  9. ^ a b "History of the Parliament, Delhi". Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  10. ^ "India's iconic circular Parliament, where country began its 'tryst with destiny'". The Economic Times. 10 December 2020. ISSN 0013-0389. Archived from the original on 7 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  11. ^ "As India gets a new Parliament, a look at the history of the first legislative office, from a room to an institution". The Indian Express. 28 May 2023. Archived from the original on 28 May 2023. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  12. ^ "Delhi may see a new Parliament building". The Times of India. 13 July 2012. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  13. ^ Firstpost (13 July 2012). "Speaker sets up panel to suggest new home for Parliament". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 11 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  14. ^ a b Chaturvedi, Rakesh Mohan (10 December 2020). "PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of new Parliament building". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 8 May 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  15. ^ a b PTI (5 December 2020). "PM Modi to lay foundation stone of new Parliament building on Dec 10". Business Today. Archived from the original on 20 January 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  16. ^ Hebbar, Sobhana K. Nair & Nistula (17 September 2023). "New Parliament to host session from September 19, 2023". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 20 September 2023. Retrieved 20 September 2023.
  17. ^ Constitution of India (PDF). Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India. 1 December 2007. p. 26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 September 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  18. ^ "Anglo Indian Representation To Lok Sabha, State Assemblies Done Away; SC-ST Reservation Extended For 10 Years: Constitution (104th Amendment) Act To Come Into Force On 25th Jan". 23 January 2020. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Lok Sabha". Archived from the original on 1 June 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  20. ^ a b "State/UT Wise Seats in the Lok Sabha" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  21. ^ "Parliament – Government: National Portal of India". Home: National Portal of India. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  22. ^ "Rajya Sabha Introduction". Archived from the original on 12 July 2023. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  23. ^ a b Kumar, Arvind (3 October 2011). "What are the Powers and Functions of the Parliament of India?". Preserving Your Articles for Eternity. Archived from the original on 23 June 2023. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  24. ^ Parihar, Subhashini (22 January 2023). "What Are the Powers and Functions of the Indian Parliament?". WritingLaw. Archived from the original on 23 June 2023. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  25. ^ "Parliament and the Executive" (PDF). PRS Legislative Research. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 June 2023. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  26. ^ "Our Parliament" (PDF). New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  27. ^ a b c d Morris-Jones, W. H. (30 September 2015). Parliament in India. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-1-5128-1817-8. Archived from the original on 18 September 2023. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  28. ^ "How bill becomes act". Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  29. ^ Parliamentary Committee. "Parliament of India". Indian Parliament. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012.
  30. ^ Committees of Rajya Sabha. "General Information". Rajya Sabha Secretariat. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012.
  31. ^ Lok Sabha - Committee Home. "Introduction". Lok Sabha Secretariat. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016.
  32. ^ "An Analysis of Parliamentary Privileges in India". Archived from the original on 18 June 2023. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  33. ^ a b c d e "Indian Parliamentary Privileges". Prime Legal. 12 March 2023. Archived from the original on 18 June 2023. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  34. ^ a b c d "A Guide for Parliamentarians" (PDF). Global Task Force on Parliamentary Ethics. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  35. ^ a b "Rules of Conduct and Parliamentary Etiquette" (PDF). Rajya Sabha Document. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 October 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  36. ^ "'Jumlajeevi', 'baal buddhi', 'Covid spreader' among words now banned in Parliament". 14 July 2022. Archived from the original on 14 July 2022. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  37. ^ "Terrorists attack Parliament; five intruders, six cops killed". 13 December 2001. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  38. ^ "The Indian Parliament was Just Attacked with Gas Bombs - The News Dispatcher". 13 December 2023. Retrieved 13 December 2023.
  39. ^ "Terror charges invoked in Parliament security breach case". The Hindu. 14 December 2023.
  40. ^ "MPhil Degree, No Job: Parliament Protester's Mother On Why She Was Upset". 14 December 2023.
  41. ^ "Terror charges invoked in Parliament security breach case". The Hindu. 14 December 2023.
  42. ^ "Explained – Lok Sabha security breach—What helped the two men elude tight security". 14 December 2023.
  43. ^ "Terror charges invoked in Parliament security breach case". The Hindu. 14 December 2023.
  44. ^ "Parliament security breach: 7-day police custody for 'mastermind' Lalit Jha". 15 December 2023.
  45. ^ "Terror charges invoked in Parliament security breach case". The Hindu. 14 December 2023.
  46. ^ a b "Parliament winter session: India opposition fury as 78 MPs suspended in a day". 19 December 2023. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  47. ^ a b "Would have caught him even if he had gun: MP who thrashed Lok Sabha intruder". India Today. 13 December 2023. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  48. ^ "Parliament Security Breach: राजस्थान के 'हनुमान' बने संसद के 'संकट मोचक', घुसपैठियों को सबसे पहले दबोचा, वायरल हो रहा वीडियो". (in Hindi). Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  49. ^ "Hanuman Beniwal thrashes Lok Sabha intruder: 5 things you need to know about the Nagaur MP". The Indian Express. 13 December 2023. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  50. ^ व्यास, मनीष (13 December 2023). "लोकसभा में घुसे युवक की हनुमान बेनीवाल ने की पिटाई: बोले- सांसद घबरा गए थे, कहीं कोई हथियार तो नहीं; मैंने और कुछ MP ने दबोचा - Rajasthan News". Dainik Bhaskar (in Hindi). Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  51. ^ "Parliament security breach: 15 India opposition MPs suspended for protests". 14 December 2023.

 This article incorporates text from New Parliament Building for Realizing People's Aspirations, which is a copyrighted work of the Government of India, licensed under the Government Open Data License - India (GODL).

Further reading