Constitution of India

178. Vacation and resignation of, and removal from, the offices of Speaker and Deputy Speaker

178. Vacation and resignation of, and removal from, the offices of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.—A member holding office as Speaker or Deputy Speaker of an Assembly—

(a) shall vacate his office if he ceases to be a member of the Assembly;

(b) may at any time by writing under his hand addressed, if such member is the Speaker, to the Deputy Speaker, and if such member is the Deputy Speaker, to the Speaker, resign his office; and

(c) may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Assembly passed by a majority of all the then members of the Assembly:

Provided that no resolution for the purpose of clause (c) shall be moved unless at least fourteen days’ notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution:

Provided further that, whenever the Assembly is dissolved, the Speaker shall not vacate his office until immediately before the first meeting of the Assembly after the dissolution.

The majority referred to in article 179(c) cannot refer to the majority amongst all the members present or not inside the House. The expression “all the then members of the Assembly” referred to in article 179(c) means the members present in the House. There can be no two opinions on this.

When a resolution for the removal of the Speaker comes up for consideration there is a deemed vacancy under the provision of the Constitution and the Speaker even though he is physically present is said to be constitutionally absent and cannot therefore be the presiding officer of the Assembly from that moment.

The resolution for removing the Speaker has to be considered by the House and the Speaker has no power to reject such a motion. If the Speaker so desires, he has the opportunity to defend himself in the House against the allegations made against him.

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Subhash C Kashyap

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