The Union Legislature consists of the President, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
It has a total sanctioned strength of 550 elected members (530 from States and 20 at the most from UTs). The President can nominate a maximum of 2 members from the Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha if he feels that they are not sufficiently represented.
The Lok Sabha members are elected by an electoral college of all adult citizens (not less 18 years and who is not disqualified for non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practices- Universal Adult Franchise – Art. 326). The normal term of a Lok Sabha is 5 years, unless dissolved earlier by the President but is also extendable by a maximum of 1 year at a time only during Emergency.
The Speaker presides over the Lok Sabha sittings. Soon after formation, the new Lok Sabha chooses its Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. Since the new Lok Sabha is yet to elect a Speaker who can administer the oath of office and secrecy to new MPs, it normally elects a Pro Tem (temporary) Speaker to conduct the business meanwhile. The Speaker conducts the business of the House as per the Rules of Business. The Speaker may cease to be so
1. if he loses the Lok Sabha membership for some reason
2. if he gives his resignation in writing to the Deputy Speaker and vice-versa.
3. If he is removed by a Loksabha resolution supported by a majority of all members.
Normally, the Speaker exercises the casting vote in case of a tie over a bill.
Besides, the Lok Sabha Speaker presides over a Joint Sitting of both the Houses. The Speaker also ratifies a bill as Money Bill and his decision in this matter is final.
During a vacancy in the office of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker performs his duties.
After the first General Elections in 1951, GV Mavlankar had become the first Speaker of the Loksabha.
It is a permanent House (cannot be dissolved) with each member having a term of 6 years. One-third of its members retire after every two years. Consequently, there will be an election of one-thirds of the Rajya Sabha at the beginning of every 3rd year.
It is the President's duty to summon both Houses of Parliament at an interval of not more than 6 months between two successive sessions.
The Vice-President of India is the ex-office Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. During his absence, the Deputy Chairman discharges his duties in the House.