• India
  • Jun 21

Explainer - Pro-tem Speaker of Lok Sabha

• Seven-term parliamentarian Bhartruhari Mahtab was appointed as Pro-tem Speaker by President Droupadi Murmu under Article 95(1) of the Constitution.

• The newly elected members of the 18th Lok Sabha will make oath or affirmation before the Pro-tem Speaker. 

• He will be assisted by a panel of chairpersons comprising Congress leader K. Suresh, DMK leader T.R. Baalu, BJP members Radha Mohan Singh and Faggan Singh Kulaste and TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadyay.

What is a Pro-tem Speaker?

• “Pro-tem” essentially means ‘for the time being’ or ‘temporarily’.

• As per the second provision to Article 94 of the Constitution, the office of the Speaker becomes vacant immediately before the first meeting of the new Lok Sabha.

• In that case, the duties of the Speaker are to be performed by a Member of the House appointed for this purpose by the President as Pro-tem Speaker.

• Normally, the senior most members (in terms of number of years of membership of the House) are generally chosen for the purpose, even though there have been exceptions to this practice.

• As soon as the new government is formed, a list of the senior most Lok Sabha members is prepared.

• The list will indicate their seniority in terms of their tenure in the Lok Sabha as well as in the Rajya Sabha.

• The list is then submitted to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs/Prime Minister for identifying a member as Pro-tem Speaker.

• After the approval of the Prime Minister, the minister submits a note to the President seeking his/her approval to the appointment of the Pro-tem Speaker.

• The President administers the oath to the Pro-tem Speaker in the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

• Three other members are also appointed by the President to assist Pro-tem Speaker in administering the oath/affirmation.

• They are administered the oath/affirmation by the Pro-tem Speaker in the Lok Sabha.

The duties of Pro-tem Speaker:

• The Pro-tem Speaker oversees the first session of the Lok Sabha.

• Administers the oath of office to the newly elected Members of Parliament.

• Carries out the floor test in the House.

• Facilitates the election process for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

• The role of the Pro-tem Speaker ends upon the election of the new Speaker.

(The author is a trainer for Civil Services aspirants.)

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