Profile Role of Speaker Email to Speaker Press Releases Speeches Rulings from chair Speakers since 1957 Office Of the SpeakerCouncil of Ministers Legislature Museum Tender Gallery Email
The Speaker is the conventional and ceremonial head of the Legislative Assembly. His authority is supreme in the House due to his absolute and varying impartiality. His duties are very arduous, and in their discharge he must be actuated by a sense of justice and fairness, uninfluenced by passion or prejudice. He has to impress the House generally with confidence in the soundness and impartiality of his judgments, with the conviction that he considers himself the conscience and guardian of the House.
As the representative of the House to the outside world, the Speaker communicates the decisions of the House to the authorities concerned, requiring them to comply with the terms of such decisions. Similarly, he communicates to the House letters and documents addressed to him, as Speaker, such as those relating to the rights and privileges of the House and Members. He also issues warrants to execute the orders of the House, where necessary.
The speaker regulates the debates and proceedings of the House. He is charged with the maintenance of order in the House and enforces the observance of Rules by the Members. He determines when a Member should be called upon to speak and how long he be allowed to speak. He can also impose time-limit on speeches, whenever necessary. He proposes questions for the consideration of the House and puts them for its decision. He rules on points of order raised by Members and his decision is final.
The Speaker determines whether there is a prima facie case for a matter relating to a breach of privilege or contempt of the House. Without his consent, no question involving breach of privilege either of a Member or of the House or a Committee thereof can be raised in the House. It is the right of the Speaker to interpret the Constitution and Rules, so far as matters in or relating to the House are concerned.
Maintenance of the order in the House is a fundamental duty of the Speaker. He derives his disciplinary powers from the Rules and his decisions in matters of discipline are not to be challenged except on a substantive motion.
All matters are not specifically provided for in the Rules and all questions relating to the detailed working of the Rules are regulated in such manner as the Speaker, from time to time, directs.
The Speaker is the head of the Secretariat which functions under his ultimate control and direction. The Speaker’s authority over the secretarial staff of the House, its precincts and its security arrangements is supreme. The Speaker is responsible for the protection of the rights of the Members, and for ensuring that all reasonable amenities are provided for them.