The Indian Constitution is a comprehensive framework that governs the nation's political, legal, and administrative systems. Within its provisions, there are various time limits established to ensure the smooth functioning of the government, protect individual rights, and maintain the integrity of democratic processes. Understanding these time limits is crucial to uphold the principles of justice, accountability, and efficiency in the Indian governance structure.
Understanding these time limits is vital for students, citizens, policymakers, and individuals working within the Indian legal system. By adhering to these prescribed durations, the Constitution ensures effective governance, prevents undue delays, and upholds the principles of democracy and justice.
Let's explore some of the important time limits enshrined in the Indian Constitution:
Maximum period within which a person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate. [Article 22(2)]
Time after which money bill passed by Lok Sabha/Legislative Assembly is deemed to have been passed by Rajya Sabha/Legislative Council when no action is taken by it. [Article 109(5) and Article 198(5)]
If a member of either house of the Parliament or a member of a House of the Legislature is absent without permisssion, for a period of sixty days then his seat may be declared vacant. [Article 101(4) and Article 190(4) respectively]
1. Maximum interval between two sessions of Parliament/State Assembly. [Article 85(1) & Article 174(1)]
2. Maximum duration for which a Union Minister/State Minister may hold his office without being a member of either of the houses of the Parliament/State Legislature. [Article 75(5) and Article 164(4) respectively.
3. Maximum period within which an election is to be held to fill a vacancy created by the death, resignation or removal, or otherwise of a President. [Article 62(2)]
4. Maximum life of Presidential Ordinance issued under Article 123. (Six months being the maximum interval between two sessions of the Parliament and six weeks being the time allowed for the Parliament to approve/disapprove the ordinance after its reassembly.)
5. Approval by the Lok Sabha of the proclamation of President’s rule in a state under Article 356. [Article 356(4)]
6. Where the term of a Lok Sabha/State Legislature has been extended while a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, the maximum period for which the Lok Sabha/State Legislature may continue to function after the Proclamation of Emergency has ceased to operate [Article 83(2)]
Note: Points 4, 5 and 6 have been broadly explained. For more clarity, please read the original articles of Constitution of India.
1. Maximum duration for which a President /Vice-President /Governor may hold his office from the date on which he enters his office. [Article 56(1), Article 67 and Article 156(3) respectively]
2. Maximum duration for which a Lok Sabha /State Legislature may function from the date appointed for its first meeting. [Article 83(2) and Article 172(1) respectively]
3. Maximum duration for which a Panchayat/Municipality shall function from the date appointed for its first meeting. [Article 243E(1) and Article 243U(1) respectively]
1. Maximum duration for which a member of a Public Service Commission may hold his office subject to his not attaining the age of sixty-five years in case of a Union Commission and sixty-two years in case of a State Commission or Joint Commission [Article 316(2)]
Additionally, we'll explore specific provisions outlined in The Representation of the People Act, 1951. These include time limits for elected representatives who secure seats in both houses of Parliament or State Legislature, emphasizing the need for timely decisions to maintain the integrity of the legislative bodies.
Section 68. Vacation of seats when elected to both Houses of Parliament : The person so elected must choose which house to serve within 10 days and in case of default his seat in Rajya Sabha will become vacant.
Section 70 & Rule 91 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. Election to more than one seat in either house of Parliament or State Legislature : The person so elected must resign from all BUT ONE seat withing 14 days and in case of default, all the seats will fall vacant.