Explain the constitutional provisions under which Legislative Councils are established. Review the working and current status of Legislative Councils with suitable illustrations.

Sample Answer


Legislative Council being the second house of deliberations in the state, is being considered to be constituted by states like West Bengal, Assam and Rajasthan.  


Constitutional Provisions for Legislative Council:        

  • Article 169 – empowers the Parliament to create or abolish LC in a state if State Legislative Assembly passes a resolution by a majority of the total membership of the Assembly and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting.  
  • Article 171 provides for composition of LC where total members shall not exceed one-third of the total members in the Legislative Assembly but cannot be less than 40.  
  • Article 172 (2) – makes LC a permanent body not subject to dissolution; but one-third of its members shall retire every second year.
  • Article 182 – Members of LC shall choose two members from the Council as Chairman and Deputy Chairman.
• Acts as a second chamber for discussion depicting bicameralism at the state level.

• LC acts as an institution of checks and balance on every Bill and prohibits hasty, defective, careless & ill-considered legislation thereby allowing for revision.

• Ensures Diverse Representation by facilitating representation of professionals and experts who cannot face direct elections.
• Does not provide effective check on law making process and constitutionally can only delay the bill by 4 months.

• Serve as parking space for defeated politicians or those who did not receive ministerial berth.Eg: West Bengal.

• Unnecessary delay in law making without substantial power including no powers on Money Bill.

• Extra expenditure of government’s resources and hence taxpayers’ money.


Role of the Legislative Council should be re-conceptualized to act as representation for the local governments as suggested by Second Administrative Reform Commission.

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