News Polity & Governance


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Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Indian Constitution [Paper-I]: Indian Constitution and its salient features, Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, function, power and privilages


Supreme Court has ordered a floor test in the Maharashtra legislative Assembly recently.

What is a “floor test”?

  • A floor test is a motion through which the government seeks to know whether it still enjoys the confidence of legislature.
  • In this procedure, a Chief Minister (CM) appointed by the Governor can be asked to prove majority on the floor of the Legislative Assembly of the state.
  • The determination of majority is done in a sitting of the legislature, for which the legislature has to be convened.
  • When a floor test is called for in the assembly of a state, CM will move a vote of confidence and prove that he has the majority support.
  • If the floor test fails, CM will have to resign.
  • The whole idea of a floor test is incorporated in the constitution of India to ensure transparency in the constitutional process.

Who will order the convening of Legislative Assembly?

  • Under the Constitution, the Governor convenes the session of the legislature.
  • But on multiple occasions, the Supreme Court has ordered the convening of the Assembly to hold the floor test.

Pro Tem Speaker

  • The election of the Speaker is taken up after the conclusion of the floor test.
  • In the absence of a Speaker, the Governor appoints one of the MLAs to perform the duties of the Speaker. This MLA is referred to as the Pro tem Speaker.
  • He administers the oath of office to the other MLAs, and thereafter oversees the floor test in the legislature.
  • Conventionally, the longest serving House member is nominated as pro tem speaker, who also conducts the election of the full-time speaker.

[Source: Indian Express]


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